Struggling With Making The Big Decision

Topic 26459 | Page 1

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James C.'s Comment
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Hey all, my name is James. Basically I am completely unsatisfied with my current life and lifestyle and I am seriously considering becoming a trucker.

As a little backstory, I come from a computer/IT background (don't we all??), but I never got an "official" IT degree...just a General Studies degree (even if it is a bachelor's, still feels worthless). I've never really had a good "career" job, with my current one being the closest, but I absolutely hate it. I'm Technical Support for a very large power/outdoor tool corporation, basically sitting in a cubicle 8 hours a day attempting to help absolute idiots start their trimmers. I dread every single day, and I struggle to sleep at night because it means having to get up again and go to work in the morning. Ironically, I'm very introverted and I hate most people, and I hate talking on the phone...so...perfect job, eh?! I've been at it for a little over 2 years.

I've applied to many jobs in the IT field, and even different jobs within the company, but I can't seem to get anything different. I'm not good at "selling myself" or networking with people, and that seems to be the only thing that matters in today's society.

I'm 34, single, no kids, one old cat, and I love being alone. My parents live just 15 minutes away, but their presence isn't chaining me down (I don't think...). I've very mechanically minded, and a great driver (literally no tickets since I've started driving). I also have a love for cars and engines and love working on my own. I've thought about being a mechanic, but it seems like there are still barriers there for someone who can't afford any more school and no connections...plus the pay seems like crap. So my mom told me one day "why don't you be a truck driver?" and of course I scoffed at first (knowing only of the stereotypes), but after more research, it really does seem like a lifestyle that would fit me.

I spend most of my off time on my computer, gaming and whatnot, which apparently wouldn't even be an issue driving OTR with all the advanced wireless technology we have now, so I wouldn't miss my creature comforts.

So I filled my information out on here to get Paid CDL Training, and narrowed it down to 4 options. I live in Belton, SC (its in the upstate near Greenville). So my choices are TMC, Roehl, Millis, or PAM via Driver Solutions. The first three would require me to travel 2-3 hours out of state for training (which is intimidating to me), but the fourth solution may have training in Greenville (I'm not sure, the website says it would find a school near me and I haven't filled out the application yet).

As much as I hate my currently life and want out of it...I'm still so hesitant to start the process. I guess it just fear of breaking my current routine, no matter how agonizing it is. I need some advice that will push me over the edge!

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

Bruce K.'s Comment
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James C: You came to a great place to get sound advice. So, that's a great start. What caught my attention is your statement that "I hate most people". I think you have to work to change that mindset to be successful in any profession. Truck drivers spend a lot of time alone, but they do interact with others more than you might think, especially in the training phase. If you can't get along with other people, it will be a liability as a trainee and driver. I would certainly encourage you to pursue driving and get out of that cubicle torture chamber, but think about developing your people skills at the same time.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I used to say "I hate people" all of the time. Turns out, I was just in a toxic environment and I was miserable. Once I got out of there, I like people a lot more.

As for your options, go with what fits your needs. Don't focus on the where you're going for training because that's the smallest part of it.

First one is, who's saying yes. You can get a no for any reason and you'd never know why because they won't tell you.

Second is what kind of fleet are you interested in? This is where roehl stands out. They offer pretty much every kind and if one doesn't fit you can go to another division. As opposed to go to TMC and learning that you hate flatbed.

You're hesitant because it's scary to start over. But, what have you got to lose? If your work life is making you this unhappy, why not shoot your shot. There is no magic advice to push you over the edge. You either want to do this or you don't.

Most guys (me included) can't be gone from home because of family and obligations. You have nothing holding you back, but some mental blocks.

James C.'s Comment
member avatar

James C: You came to a great place to get sound advice. So, that's a great start. What caught my attention is your statement that "I hate most people". I think you have to work to change that mindset to be successful in any profession. Truck drivers spend a lot of time alone, but they do interact with others more than you might think, especially in the training phase. If you can't get along with other people, it will be a liability as a trainee and driver. I would certainly encourage you to pursue driving and get out of that cubicle torture chamber, but think about developing your people skills at the same time.

Ah, that might have been misleading...I'm actually very easy to get along and can work well and adapt with many people...I just really prefer not to (and I think most people will agree..that most people suck! lol)

James C.'s Comment
member avatar

I used to say "I hate people" all of the time. Turns out, I was just in a toxic environment and I was miserable. Once I got out of there, I like people a lot more.

As for your options, go with what fits your needs. Don't focus on the where you're going for training because that's the smallest part of it.

First one is, who's saying yes. You can get a no for any reason and you'd never know why because they won't tell you.

Second is what kind of fleet are you interested in? This is where roehl stands out. They offer pretty much every kind and if one doesn't fit you can go to another division. As opposed to go to TMC and learning that you hate flatbed.

You're hesitant because it's scary to start over. But, what have you got to lose? If your work life is making you this unhappy, why not shoot your shot. There is no magic advice to push you over the edge. You either want to do this or you don't.

Most guys (me included) can't be gone from home because of family and obligations. You have nothing holding you back, but some mental blocks.

Yeah...I haven't really traveled outside of my home area, so I may open up if I get out of here. Roehl seems to have higher training standards from what I've seen, and I like the idea of that. Yeah my block is definitely mental...something I've struggled with all my life, unfortunately.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

You might wanna start making a few drives outside your area. Getting comfortable outside your immediate area is going to be necessary.

I come through your area quite a bit and there’s lots of freight moving there. Right now I’m in Greenwood. Tomorrow I’ll pick up in Spartanburg. Fountain Inn is a regular stop for me too. But I was OTR with Schneider for two years before getting this Southeast Regional gig.

Keep doing your research, but expand your comfort zone. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish and overcome.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Feanor K.'s Comment
member avatar

Go for it mate. I am of a similar mindset on a lot of points (introverted, dislike talking on phones, bad at networking, gamer) and trucking was one of the biggest, most difficult, and most rewarding choices of my life.

Before I started I trucking 2 years ago, I was making $11/hr busting butt from 4am in a bakery, I had hardly been out of my home state, never driven a manual vehicle, and was nervous just going to the small-medium sized city 20 miles away.

Now I make twice in a week what I used to every 2 weeks, while most work days consist of taking in the beautiful scenery of the Northwest while listening to my favourite music and audio books and doing some deep thinking on my projects and life in general. I have been to every state (minus a couple), about half of Canada, almost every major city in a 10speed truck over 60ft long.

The whole experience has expanded my mind, my confidence, and my wallet, and is truly a unique job experience that will likely change the way you think about work.

I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying it is worth it. Despite the first 6 months of my career being some of the must stressful and challenging I can remember, I consider it a small price for what you can gain sticking with it.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

James, you might surprise yourself, getting out of your comfort zone.....Think of it like this, how much training/college is needed for IT certs? Mechanic work? You can't get trained and earning more, as fast in much anything these days....Where as in trucking, IF it fits, you could start out a LOT faster, earning more, sooner....And not be saddled with huge college/class debt years down the road!.....Like they will tell you in here, it's a lifestyle,not just a J.O.B ( Just Over Broke )rofl-3.gif

I really got out of my comfort zone in kind of a big way !!....I made some facebook group friends, researched for a few years, about the Philippines (as well as trucking) on my idle time from turnin' wrenches....Finally, in October 2016 I got my passport, and hopped a plane 7,500 miles across the ocean, to the Phil's for 3 months, and LOVED it ! lol Everyone I know here, told me i was loony, to do such a thing,, flying off so far to a foreign country alone.....lol I told em "hey I'm grown, and ain't skeered !!

In a few years I plan to retire there !smile.gif

Banks's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I used to say "I hate people" all of the time. Turns out, I was just in a toxic environment and I was miserable. Once I got out of there, I like people a lot more.

As for your options, go with what fits your needs. Don't focus on the where you're going for training because that's the smallest part of it.

First one is, who's saying yes. You can get a no for any reason and you'd never know why because they won't tell you.

Second is what kind of fleet are you interested in? This is where roehl stands out. They offer pretty much every kind and if one doesn't fit you can go to another division. As opposed to go to TMC and learning that you hate flatbed.

You're hesitant because it's scary to start over. But, what have you got to lose? If your work life is making you this unhappy, why not shoot your shot. There is no magic advice to push you over the edge. You either want to do this or you don't.

Most guys (me included) can't be gone from home because of family and obligations. You have nothing holding you back, but some mental blocks.

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah...I haven't really traveled outside of my home area, so I may open up if I get out of here. Roehl seems to have higher training standards from what I've seen, and I like the idea of that. Yeah my block is definitely mental...something I've struggled with all my life, unfortunately.

They all have high training standards. They're trusting you with hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and customers merchandise. They're not going to half ass it or send you out kinda sorta ready.

As for mental blocks, everybody has them they just deal with them differently. Just check out the diaries section and you'll see it. You'll also have great days and brutal days where you want to go to bed so tomorrow comes faster. It's all in how you handle it.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome James, we are almost neighbors, I live in Ga just the other side of Anderson.

At your age and position in life this is a possible fit for you. That depends on your goals both short and long term.

I started driving 6 years ago after being retired for 1 year. Everything you have described sounds to me like you are just marking time in your comfort zone in life. There is so much more to life. This is number 1 a lifestyle and secondly a completely performance based business.

I am a Roehl Paid CDL Training grad. I attended their school and its top-notch. I regularly recommend new drivers to them. They have freight in and out of the area. Any company you choose to go with will be similar for the most part.

Getting out of your comfort zone and exploring life may be a great thing for you, while earning a good living. All the folks here will wish you well and give you the best advise to succeed, up too you too put it in practice. Just the way it is around here.

Wishing you well in your decision making.

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.

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.

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