Voluntarily Downgraded CDL A To Start A Biz...

Topic 25455 | Page 1

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Matt R.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok so believe me when I say this: I KNOW IM AN IDIOT...

I have 1,100,000 accident free miles Class A (but got into a very minor backing accident Class B after 1,100,000 accident free miles).

After a decade plus in trucking, I had a business idea and thought I could make so much more money from it than trucking (in hindsight: I’m way better at trucking than at running a business).

I also had the really bad idea that I would voluntarily downgrade my cdl , so that I could put tons of pressure on myself to make my business succeed.

“Work your butt off and make this business bring in money before money runs out!!!”

That backfired. My business went nowhere and now I’m working in retail.

I don’t mind retail that much, but I sure miss the money I made for over a decade (and ending about 9 months ago).

More than that, I just plain miss trucking itself! I’m meant to roll, not to be cooped up inside all day.

I want my Class A back! But I don’t want to pay to go to truck school again (I’m still making payments on my original truck school loan, it was a 20 year loan because I was young when I originally got my license and I had basically no credit back then).

Lifestyle creep (again... I’m an idiot), also factors in here.

Fortunately, I learned so much from running an unsuccessful business about money management, and if I can get back into trucking... I know I can get so much more out of my next trucking decade than my first.

I finally know how to manage money well (I just don’t have enough coming in to apply what I’ve learned). And my bills are getting paid down (so my cash flow is getting better) but this is taking FOREVER-ISH at retail income levels.

With wheels turning, I could be out of debt in no time and saving/investing, (but never again starting a business).

Obviously I regret choosing to downgrade my cdl.

But what are my options now?

I’m quite sure I could go back to long haul and find a company to sponsor me getting my cdl back (especially with over a million accident free miles, prior to the minor backing accident), but that’s the one thing I’d like to avoid if at all possible.

I love trucking. Local trucking.

And I did OTR for years. But I have a girl, and family. Here. And families getting older.

I want to be home daily.

And all the companies I’ve applied to locally aren’t able to (for liability reasons) “front me a truck” to use to take the CDL road test in.

I’ll pass (with flying colors), the written, drug, and road tests.

I just don’t have a truck to test in.

And I don’t have a lot of money to rent one.

If anyone has any suggestions, please by all means suggest away!

Whatever it takes, I’m gonna get my license back. And I’ve found local companies that will hire me right away, but they won’t let me use their trucks to get my cdl itself back.

So I’m so close to making big money again, and also what feels like so far away from that at the same time.

(“Smiley frown combo emoji” would be a good fit here, lol)

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.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Matt. I'm sorry for your difficulties. Your post raises a lot of questions. So, do I understand that somehow you gave up your class A for a class B just as a motivational tool? And you were making big bucks driving truck for over a million miles but couldn't pay off your CDL school loan? I never heard of a small loan like that going out 20 years. I'm confused by your account, but it'll be interesting what others have to say.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I’ve found local companies that will hire me right away, but they won’t let me use their trucks to get my cdl itself back.

So why don't you contact a local truck driving school and find out what options they have for letting you get in a little practice and take the test in their truck?

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.
Matt R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Bruce,

Sorry if that was confusing.

I didn’t downgrade my class a for a class being, I had the backing accident in a class b truck while I had my class a (I worked for a company at that time that had both box trucks and tractor trailers).

That day they just happened to need me to do a box truck run.

I downgraded my full-cdl to a regular non-cdl license (about a year later) so I could start a business.

I used the complete downgrade as a motivational tool, but it did backfire, because I wasn’t very good at sales.

I didn’t get customers fast enough and my decade of savings ran out.

And on that other topic, yes - truck school gave me a 20 year loan. They went thru a financing company that regularly does that.

And while I had ZERO CREDIT at that time, I did have a co-signer for it (my dad).

I went to truck school way back when I was 20 (almost 21).

Hi Matt. I'm sorry for your difficulties. Your post raises a lot of questions. So, do I understand that somehow you gave up your class A for a class B just as a motivational tool? And you were making big bucks driving truck for over a million miles but couldn't pay off your CDL school loan? I never heard of a small loan like that going out 20 years. I'm confused by your account, but it'll be interesting what others have to say.

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.
Matt R.'s Comment
member avatar

Forgot to mention, yes the loan was a 20 year loan... but I also had other bills, and was very horrible at money management.

Failing when I started my business actually gave me money management skills. But the mistakes I made in the past = drowning in debt.

It takes time to pay down debt and get it to a manageable level.

Best move to make is to never accumulate a “drowning level of debt” in the first place.

I can’t go back in time and knock some sense into my younger self, but I can work to pay down my debt and not make the same mistake again!

Hi Matt. I'm sorry for your difficulties. Your post raises a lot of questions. So, do I understand that somehow you gave up your class A for a class B just as a motivational tool? And you were making big bucks driving truck for over a million miles but couldn't pay off your CDL school loan? I never heard of a small loan like that going out 20 years. I'm confused by your account, but it'll be interesting what others have to say.

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.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

"Come on over to Will Screwyas Truck Driving School. 20 year loans. Everybody's approved."

I can picture the TV Commercial in my head!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

How the hell much money did you borrow to go to TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL 20 years ago??!!

I paid $3900.00 in2016!

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah - talk about your "really bad idea".

I went to school 10 years ago, opted not to go drive.

Guess what - 3 renewals of hazmat & TWIC later - I STILL have a PTX Endorsed CDL-A. I still keep up on the industry, rules & regs, etc.. Much as I would love to be out on the road - health and other issues have me struck where I'm at.

But I still deal with the expense and hassle of keeping my med/cdl/twic current - because I worked hard to get them, and I'm not just turning them in.

Now - for the good news. In many states, upgrading could mean something as easy as walking into your local DMV and asking for your Class A back. And even though you've been off the road for what, 9 months - your decade of experience (assuming it's a good job history), you should be able to get back out there pretty easily - at worst, a quick refresher.

Keep us posted on your progress...

Rick

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Out of curiosity where do you live? Have you looked into LTL companies?

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
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