Switching Careers/Team Driving With Spouse And Other General Nonsense

Topic 2579 | Page 1

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Dale K.'s Comment
member avatar

Howdy folks, I just joined this site a few days ago for some more research and insight. I'm contemplating joining the ranks as a professional driver, in a year or so. Currently I'm a registered nurse and have been for 20 years. It's not that big of a change for me, as I had worked in a large warehouse operations 26 years ago as a yard hostler and forklift operator. In between nursing contracts I obtained my CDL will all the endorsements, I took the writtens on my own and did a week long training (which really wasn't much in the way of training) to get my driving test done. Needless to say, I was a pro at backing up and which was surprising since I hadn't driven a yard mule since 1988, but I did struggle a bit with double clutching , I was taught to float the gears back in the day, so double clutching was a new concept.

Ok, so now I have a CDL, no experience and am wondering if any companies would hire me directly to OJT, or am I going to have to go back to a driving school? I live near Phoenix where Swift is headquartered, and I might look at them for my year of experience. Any advice on which companies might take me as I am right now, or at least give me credit for already having my CDL and endorsements? My brother is about to complete his first year at Swift and is ok with them, and they've been pretty good to him..I guess that's all in how one looks at things.

As far as the pitfalls of the industry, I've done my part to eliminate most of the big ones. I no longer have a house that owns me, my wife will be coming with me, and my kids are grown and on their own. I am waiting on my old dog to go to heaven, so I won't have any reasons to have ties to one place. I know we'll take a pay cut from our current jobs, (wife is an air traffic controller), but with no bills, we don't need as much. I'm hoping my wife will get her CDL, she said she would, even though she's not enthusiatic about driving, I still want her to have it. I'll give her the good news that Schnieder National has automatic transmissions, maybe that'll boost it for her!

Any thoughts, good, bad or otherwise?

Dale

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.

Float The 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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Looks like you have done a lot of the hard work up front. I see no reason that you can not find what you are looking for.

Here is the catch...you have zero experience. Your yarddog time might be taken into account but not for the purposes of training goes. Being that long since you have gotten your CDL you will need to go through at least a refresher course which means some type of school. Fast way would be company sponsored schooling. Your ahead of the game so far as schooling cause you will not have to take all the test cause you already have your cdl. The only thing you will need to do is successfully complete the refresher course and whatever company you go with you will need to pass a driving test with them. You will also have to do training once you are with a company cause you have no experience.

Depending on the company the only thing that might happen is your training time might get cut shorter due to being filmilar with backing and handling a trailer but that will be solely up to your training and company policy.

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.
Daniel H.'s Comment
member avatar

I just graduated from the Swift Driving Academy on Friday. There was a student in my class who had got his CDL 15 yrs ago but he never had any driving experience in an 18 wheeler. To work for Swift they required him to go through training.

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.
Dale K.'s Comment
member avatar

To Jax and Dan:

Thanks for your input, I would welcome more training as I know I need it, I just don't want to drop 5 grand or more if I can get some credit for what I've accomplished so far. Like Jax said that depends on the company. Jax keep your head low from those C-130's at LRAFB and if you get a chance do some crappie fishing on Greers Ferry up by Choctaw, March and April are good months for that.

Dale

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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