Trucking As A New Career

Topic 24984 | Page 1

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Alfred H.'s Comment
member avatar

I had been on disability since early 2007 and that ended November 2018. I worked at a job here and there. Because of the disability payments I could only work up to 80 hours a month. Had to keep up with any and all hours to send in.

Seems that the government wants a person on disability to work but not work at the same time. Sound confusing? It was 100% confusing to me.

My disability was my psychiatrist diagnosis for me having bipolar.

I am 48 years old. I am wanting to get into the trucking industry.

I have been studying the CDL manual for Tennessee where I live. I want to get my Class A CDL permit.

Question #1: Due to this information based on bipolar as my disability, "Is it even worth the effort on my part to try any longer pursuing a career in the trucking industry?"

Question #2: I don't want to waste time going to a school and then sent back. If that's what would happen. I don't want to waste anyone's time and money getting into the trucking industry. I want to be working again. Sounds like I'm repeating myself. Is the time I am putting in to get my license going to pay off in the long run? I don't know. What do you think?

I hope these questions make some sense.

I sure am glad thankful having this forum to ask questions, to get insight and help into trucking as a career choice.

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.
Alfred H.'s Comment
member avatar

To add what jobs I did have were only temporary jobs.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Alfred!

You should consider the Paid CDL Training Programs. They will determine if they can hire you before you start their school. You didn't mention your medications. That is one thing that my cause you some problems with being considered for employment. Remember we are in a very safety sensitive position. These companies want to move freight, but it has to be done responsibly with as much limited liability as possible.

You're diagnosis won't keep you out. We've seen other folks that are bi-polar get hired on, but the stress of the job may be a trigger that you don't need. Start a conversation with some recruiters you contact after reading that link I provided. You may need to get your doctor to change your medications. You'll need to start a conversation with some recruiters and find out how to proceed.

Have you seen these? They are full of great information for you.

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

My other half is bipolar as the day is long lol. He's extremely funny, smart, a great all around guy, and an excellent driver.

You can be one too. You'll have to learn to always put on a positive face no matter the situation when dealing with customers and your company. It's not easy for him but he manages to pull it off. He takes Lamictal which is a mood stabilizer. We also have drivers on adderall and a host of other medications. My company will pretty much allow anything that DOT does. All companies are different. We don't have our own school but now offer tuition reimbursement.

But absolutely company sponsored schools should be your first choice.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

My concern is the triggers, as Old School.said. You were on disability a long time and we work in one week what you did in one month. That is a huge difference. Can you handle that stress of just the hours? That doesnt even include the stressful training, or road conditions, horrible weather, or pressure making deliveries on time.

It took over a decade for you to stabilize enough that you are no longer on disability and you want to jeopardize that? It takes many years to find the right med combination to stabilize some people and to go to a company and be told one of the meds is not accepted....if you try to change the meds you could tailspin downward. Is your health worth the risk to you? What if you have a meltdown and kill someone on the road, can you handle that? What if you become depressed and suicidal? Driving a killing machine might not be the best place for you.

I know plenty of bipolars (and i often think it is overdiagnosed. After my sister died, the doctors convinced me i was bipolar. I definitely am not...although i understandably was depressed after her death). Most are told they should keep a particular schedule. This could be extremely difficult to do. We have no set schedules, its basically a 24hour job with no pattern.

Many bipolars have symptoms of hyper sexuality, which could easily get you into trouble OTR. There are plenty of hookers and adult stores. That means the possibilty of contracting a disease, or even getting arrested by an undercover cop.

Yes, that could happen at home but if symptoms arise at home, a doctor is nearby for meds and therapy. What if you are 2000 miles away from your doctor? and how in tune with yourself are you to recognize your symptoms? You could Skype your doctor but will he be able to observe changes online? Will you recognize your mania if it pops up?

Big Scott drives for CFI and pretty much drives days sticking to a schedule, but has an occassional night. drive. That may not be a bad choice if that is what you need. Susan has often said when her 10 hour break is up, she is expected to roll. Can you work until 5pm and then be on the road again at 3am? then work until noon and get back on the road at 10pm? all in a couple days? If not, you need to really consider your company.

I drive for Prime and they are really selective with meds and our schedules can be crazy. Prime will also scrutinize your work history. they will want to know why you havent had a full time job since you came off disability in November. For that alone, they could reject you.

None of us are doctors. We can only guess. My advice is to find a full time job at home and work it for a year or so. First see if you can handle a full time job. Trucking is basically having 2 full time jobs on steroids. Im worried being thrust into it could thwart any and all progress you have made.

you said:

don't want to waste anyone's time and money getting into the trucking industry.

It would be your time and money.

Once you get some time in the full time workfoce, have a plan. CFI might be a good fit. However, company sponsored programs will have a contract making YOU responsible for payment if you cannot stay a full year.

States often have Vocational Rehab for people with disabilities to help get them schooling for career changes. That may be an option for a local school and be no cost to you. However, just the schooling and getting a CDL won't mean you are accepted by an employer.

And dont think "The American Disabilities Act protects me". It does, but only if you can perform the job. If you cannot, you cannot. period. It isnt discrimination, it is protecting both you and the public. We have heard the discrimination speech in the past. But no company is going to put an 80,000 pound machine in the hands of someone who cannot prove they can handle it.

And now that I am thinking about it...are you stabilized on meds? If you are no longer on disability do you have insurance to cover meds? If you have been med free, companies will require you be stable on meds (if necessary) for a particular amount of time. If you have no insurance, how will you pay for the meds during training? Vocational Rehab may be able to help with that.

I know I sound like Debbie Downer, but this is a serious topic and we dont know you. You need to read some of our lifestyle blog articles and training diaries and discuss this with your doctor. Dont throw your progress away because you want to try something new and Smokey & the Bandit makes trucking look cool.

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.

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.

Alfred H.'s Comment
member avatar

My other half is bipolar as the day is long lol. He's extremely funny, smart, a great all around guy, and an excellent driver.

You can be one too. You'll have to learn to always put on a positive face no matter the situation when dealing with customers and your company. It's not easy for him but he manages to pull it off. He takes Lamictal which is a mood stabilizer. We also have drivers on adderall and a host of other medications. My company will pretty much allow anything that DOT does. All companies are different. We don't have our own school but now offer tuition reimbursement.

But absolutely company sponsored schools should be your first choice.

Oh yes I take Lamictal also. Thank you. And thank you both. Uplifting for me.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Alfred H.'s Comment
member avatar

I was turned down for disability by the judicial system 3 times saying I was able to work. I would have to start the process all over again. I would rather be working. I thought trucking would be a good career choice.

As of January 1st, 2019 my insurance coverage that helped in paying for my meds ended. The medications I buy are on me.

Also I will check into Vocational Rehabilitation.

I was thinking of trucking as a career choice. After those things you said and the questions asked made sense. Things I am thinking of now. Opened my eyes to all sides of trucking. Not to say I could not do the job because I could.

If nothing more, I truly have learned some things on trucking reading the CDL Manual and reading the other things on here has been good help.

Thank you for your help and advice. It means and has meant a whole lot to me.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Alfred H.'s Comment
member avatar

Good asking questions to things I wouldn't have known beforehand. Thanks to all of your answers, help and suggestions to trucking and more. I'm grateful and thankful for all of this.

Alfred H.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Alfred!

You should consider the Paid CDL Training Programs. They will determine if they can hire you before you start their school. You didn't mention your medications. That is one thing that my cause you some problems with being considered for employment. Remember we are in a very safety sensitive position. These companies want to move freight, but it has to be done responsibly with as much limited liability as possible.

You're diagnosis won't keep you out. We've seen other folks that are bi-polar get hired on, but the stress of the job may be a trigger that you don't need. Start a conversation with some recruiters you contact after reading that link I provided. You may need to get your doctor to change your medications. You'll need to start a conversation with some recruiters and find out how to proceed.

Have you seen these? They are full of great information for you.

----------------------------------------------------- This is my last post on this I think. I am and have been taking in the responses from all of you. I am Going through the suggested links also. Thanks again for the help and better looking into the trucking side of things.

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.
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