Looking To Start A Driving Career At 59 Yoa

Topic 24702 | Page 3

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G-Town's Comment
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New Scott wrote...

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After all, I have to pay my dues for a yr regardless, and once I commit with a company, I WILL stick with them for the first yr. After that I will re-evaluate and go from there

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We hear that a lot from newbies...

We’re different here...we suggest things that are not what you’d expect...in some circles even controversial...as follows:

Staying With Your Starter Company Beyond the 1st Year

PJ's Comment
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G I think that stems from his military background more than anything else. In the military and law enforcement I was always taught to keep my options open, and continually evaluate and or schedule revaluation of things. It just becomes second nature. I still sit in public facing the door!!!

G-Town's Comment
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I understand. Wasn’t questioning his commitment.

PJ's Comment
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Understood...

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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It just becomes second nature. I still sit in public facing the door!!!

My dads cousin was a prison guard at a Supermax even after not doing it for years he couldn't have anyone walk up behind him, at the family parties he always had his back up against a wall and didn't like people gathering around him.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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Sorry, I'm late to the party. As you may have guessed I am with CFI. They trained me at no cost to me, just worked a year for them. Almost the end of year two. I love the company. Like most companies they have several programs for our honorable vets.

I live in Charlotte, just over 2 miles from our drop yard there. CFI will get you home by your requested date. They have rider and pet policies. We pull dry van and are treated well.

Whichever company you go to, it will take time for you to prove your worth. Good luck.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Marc Lee's Comment
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Welcome Scott C.. You found the right place!

I recommend buying the hard copy of Brett's book, though you can read it free online. I think I've read it once online and twice "in hand". Best of luck!

Someone here with good link-posting skills please share the great article from HomeHalf... "Getting Ready for CDL School is a Family Affair" (I think it was).

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

DaveW's Comment
member avatar

Hello Scott,

Your OP was a bit of a deja vu for me. I turned 60 the day I graduated from truck driving school. They gave a little party for me.

I have some thoughts that might relate to your situation:

Next to getting married and having children, graduating truck driving school and getting my CDL was the single-most satisfying thing I had ever done. It beat getting two college degrees. It beat rising to the top in my previous 33-year professional career. It beat owning and operating my own business for 14 years; which went downhill only because it was heavily dependent on two things that were so heavily hit by the 2008 recession -- real estate and construction. Simply put, it beat any other achievement in my 60 years of walking this earth.

I was relatively a loner anyway, independent, so the thought of days/weeks alone in a truck was not daunting at all. But those qualities are what led to me eventually having to get out. Being in management for so many years, and having run a successful business, taught me a few things about how to treat employees. Long story short, my personality just could not mesh with the illogical, sometimes impossible, demands of dispatchers, fleet managers and load planners who had never set foot inside the cab of a long-haul truck. I believe that if I was younger and more compliant things would have been easier for me in that area.

On the physical side: You need to watch out for areas where your body doesn't react and bounce back like when you were 25 years old. I discovered that I was very dependent on a regular sleep cycle. However, sometimes I would have to take my 10 starting in the middle of the day in order to be able to take a middle-of-the-night load. Very many of those, and I would become a wreck. In my younger days, probably not so much.

All this is not to discourage you from starting a driving career. I absolutely miss being on the road in Old Blue, navigating the scenic byways. My family still doesn't believe me when I tell them I'd rather traverse the LA Basin in a Freightliner than in a car. I miss floating gears , never having to touch the clutch for endless miles of up and down shifting. I tried to float gears in my son's manual Ford F150 one time. Don't do that!

I miss the satisfaction that I got one time from successfully traversing the Grapevine four times in one day. Crazy dispatching, and pretty hectic, but I got 'er done. I miss the excitement of successfully traversing Donner in the dark of a snowy, icy winter's night and seeing four-wheelers all around me spinning out 360s.

I do agree with the recommendation of others here to go with company training. It is more accelerated and faster-paced, but it will get you on the road faster. You will still owe them for their cost in putting you through their program, but it shouldn't be near the $5,000 cost of a private school, and they will take it out of your paycheck in increments.

So, good luck, and keep us informed on how it is going.

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.

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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