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Ohioman1972's Comment
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Long story short, I am starting over in life. Lost a marriage, my career, and most of what I had in a matter of 2 years. I just passed my written tests with the endorsements. I have to wait until Monday to get my DOT card. Likely, due to diabetes and heart disease, I won't get more than 3 months at a time. Anyway, I have been looking at Roehl for the CDL school. I also looked at the insurance. Being that I have to see many specialists, and that I have to provide insurance for my kids, I need to have good insurance that pays a lot. Roehl's insurance plan has a ton of out-of-pocket. Also, it will be about $45k per year. I also have the option of being on disability for a couple months while going to CDL school. I'd imagine it would pay off to do this. Thoughts?

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

$45,000 per year for just the insurance costs is about what a rookie driver will make during their first year driving. I applaud anyone that is working for a living, but with those numbers you wrote, driving may not be the answer. You’d be lucky to end up with $50 a week left over, on a great week.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

That $45,000 figure can't be correct. On a company health insurance plan? No way. Somebody has their information wrong, better double check.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

How were you able to take the Permit and Endorsement tests before getting your DOT Medical Card? What State do you live in?

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

It looks like OH10, Tractor Man.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Insurance plans (coverage and costs) vary widely... do your homework.

Perhaps someone can advise on going on disability... doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Thought that takes time, usually an attorney and would seem to be a red flag to potential employers (both from a health perspective and future actions risk (minor injury @ work / Worker's Comp / DI claim.

As for diabetes, are you on insulin? If so a one year Fed. Med. is permitted (with an MCSA-5870 form (and 90 days of testing 3x / day).

Can't speak to the other.

Leave complete details if you want help here. TT is a Treasure Trove of knowledgeable and helpful people who deal in facts and specifics...

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CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Ohioman1972's Comment
member avatar

Ok - not sure I was clear. I estimated the income from Roehl would be around $45k. I see specialists and I take quite a few different meds, and I use an insulin pump. I'm only looking at dollar signs right now. Changing a career at 46 and looking short term and long term. I have to be able to pay the house, car, child support, etc. I was looking to see if it made more sense to go to a local CDL school and pay back the loan, and have a pick of more carriers? Is there that large a demand for a 46 old rookie with the endorsements?

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.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Ok - not sure I was clear. I estimated the income from Roehl would be around $45k. I see specialists and I take quite a few different meds, and I use an insulin pump. I'm only looking at dollar signs right now. Changing a career at 46 and looking short term and long term. I have to be able to pay the house, car, child support, etc. I was looking to see if it made more sense to go to a local CDL school and pay back the loan, and have a pick of more carriers? Is there that large a demand for a 46 old rookie with the endorsements?

I will let the Pro's speak to advantages to Co. Sponsored training. There is funding for private schools and some Companies will reimburse your training over time (if you paid for it). Paying out-of-pocket and borrowing money to pay for training is probably the worst way to do this!

As for insulin pump supplies... I will pretty much hit any reasonable out-of-pocket costs of any reasonable plans. Pump supplies are about $150 / mo.. Insulin @ retail is over $1,000! So 80/20 PPO with less than $5K/yr. OOP is about all I can live with. I think Humalog is going generic... brand-name only now.

One company I looked at was HMO only... 70/30. Looked like I would have to drive 3 hours to see a Dr. (if at home). Not sure how that works OTR?!?

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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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I was looking to see if it made more sense to go to a local CDL school and pay back the loan, and have a pick of more carriers? Is there that large a demand for a 46 old rookie with the endorsements?

There are only a limited number of carriers out there that hire new drivers, and many of them have their own Paid CDL Training Programs, which we highly recommend. Here is an article I've written on the topic:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

Old School also wrote an excellent article on the topic:

Busting The Free Agent Myth In Trucking

The driver demand the media is always talking about really pertains to proven, experienced drivers. There is no shortage of incoming recruits looking to get started in the industry. However, if you have relatively clean criminal, driving, and employment records you will definitely find an opportunity with one or more carriers. Age is no concern at all. You're below the average age of truck drivers. This is not a young man's game.

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.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

One more on insulin pumps...

Make sure yours is working well AND under warranty before making an insurance change... especially if new insurance means higher costs (copays and deductibles). Last pump was several years old, out of warranty and having battery life issues. Got it replaced with newest model which is much nicer (color screen, presets, great battery life) and will be under warranty for a few years. Cost to me with current insurance was $0! Would only be more later!

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