Looking To Start A Driving Career At 59 Yoa

Topic 24702 | Page 1

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Scott C.'s Comment
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Hi Fellas and Gals, I was recently cut from a job and career that I had been in since 1985. l have looked everywhere for work, submitted tons of applications for work but to no avail. I have a substantial mortgage and two beautiful daughters in college. So... I have been considering this as a profession. In fact, I have pretty much made up my mind to take the leap. I have considered all of the pros and cons of trucking as a career. And have thoroughly discussed these with my wife. My wife is a very independent woman and has been in the pharmacy field for 36 yrs at the same hospital. So in that regard, I am somewhat comfortable with the initial lack of home time. At least for the first yr. We do what we must! I also served in the USAF from 1978-1982. My question, or questions are: Should i use savings (which are running out very quickly) to pay 5,000.00 to TDI for training. Or should I consider a company sponsored training program? And if there are other options I am missing? The second question is. What would be the best company to go with to begin my career? In terms of money, home time, routes, fairness to drivers, equipment etc...? I live near Charlotte NC just over the state line in SC at Lake Wylie. Also, I understand that there are some companies who are especially good to veterans. Would anyone please help me answer some of these questions. I do appreciate it and look forward to your responses. Sincerely, Game****scott

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Scott C.'s Comment
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Oh and by the way. The mods starred out the last of my sign name. I wont rewrite it for fear of upsetting anyone. But it is the University of South Carolinas mascot. Not a crude tag! :)

Tractor Man's Comment
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Oh and by the way. The mods starred out the last of my sign name. I wont rewrite it for fear of upsetting anyone. But it is the University of South Carolinas mascot. Not a crude tag! :)

Yes, the dirty word filter on this site does not like that word! A couple of years ago I used the word for the drain valve on the air tanks on a truck. I will misspell it here so it shows up. Petcook. We know what you meant, and you won't get in trouble. Actually the mods didn't do it. There is an algorithm on this site that blocks them automatically. Welcome to the forum

Scott C.'s Comment
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Thanks tractor man. any advice on where to begin this new career?

PJ's Comment
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Welcome Scott.. I immediatley knew what it was.. I live in NE Georgia, about 30 miles from Anderson. You would be much better served going the company sponsored route. It saves you money out of pocket and is much quicker. They are fast paced, but they want to see you succeed. Plus when you pass you have a job.. You know for a fact before you spend money you are hireable... Picking a company depends on what you prefer. All the biggies do things in similiar fashion, just subtle differences. Living in that area you should have no problems with most anyone’s hiring area.

I’m not great with links, I’m sure G or anyone of our computer savy folks will be along to share some great links you should read..

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Scott, I can't post links very well either. Start at the main menu, 3 horizontal bars at the top left of the home page. Go to Truckers Career guide. Also, Brett's Book. Great info, easy couple hour read. Then if you decide this is for you, use the High Road Training Program. You will pass your CLP exam like a pro. Personally, I went through Company Sponsored Training with Swift. No out of pocket up front costs. Virtually guaranteed a job once you pass your CDL exam. Most on this site would recommend Company Sponsored Training. We have drivers from Prime, Swift, Schneider, CFI, Wolding, Knight, etc. on this forum. All are happy with their choices. It is much more about the Driver than the name on the door of the truck. I'm sure many more will join this thread and answer any questions. Again, Welcome!

smile.gif

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Welcome Scott. The others are indeed correct, we highly recommend Paid CDL Training Programs for the exact reasons mentioned above. Your training will be absolutely free as long as you fulfill a one-year commitment with the company, which is something you should do anyway. When a company invests their time, effort, and money into training you they'll have a vested interest in your success, just giving you a greater opportunity at success.

The company you choose really doesn't make a whole lot of difference. You're in a major freight lane, so any of the megas will be glad to have you.

Spend a little time checking out these links, and don't hesitate to ask us questions. Good luck!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Scott C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks fellas, I appreciate your responses. I have been looking closely at schneider. Their military appreciation pay gives you credit, 25% drive time credit for non-driver past military experience. I also considered swift and us-xpress. My eventual goal is one day after enough successful drive time get on with a company like southeastern out of w. columbia sc. they have excellent reviews from their drivers. It would also allow me more time at home. Initially i was considering a team approach with Schneider. I have read somewhere online that it is a good idea to start OTR and if you have a teammate 2 extra set of eyes are certainly better than one. Also the pay is better. However, with Schneider, I would have to get to Ohio for training I believe. But I also read on their website that if hired in a team capacity, they will pay 400.00 monthly to reimburse the cost of a non company sponsored training program. I am not too worried about finding work. I realize there is a significant shortage of drivers. And I believe that I am a good worker. I do understand that this transition will be somewhat difficult. However, I think I can handle just about anything for a yr. After all. When you get to be my age the yrs roll by pretty quickly! After getting some experience and hopefully a good safety record. I should be able to find something that I truly would like to jump into. Good company, great pay, and home time. After all. I see driving as a very good career to even take into the retirement yrs. When I hit SSN Medicare age. I can work when i want to (in some cases). Again, thanks for the kind responses. I have a lot to consider and pray about.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I also urge you to read Rainy's article on team driving. There are some popular myths spread on teaming, such as the ability to make more money. In reality you'll generally make the same as a solo driver, and in fact will sometimes make less. Keep an open mind and do your research before making any decisions.

Dispelling the myths of team driving

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Personally I would not recommend team driving, your partner will need to sleep while you drive so they really will not be a extra set of eyes. As far as pay goes you can make the same as a decent solo driver.

Not to mention the biggest problem with teams, sharing a small space with a stranger or even someone you know can be exhausting. It is very difficult to sleep in a moving truck as well for some people, as the truck will pretty much never stop moving.

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