Miss The Trucking Life: Advice On What To Do Next...diesel Mechanic?

Topic 26832 | Page 1

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TZ's Comment
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Have any drivers considered becoming a diesel mechanic to make use of their CDL A that they might not be using?

Me: started CDL School at 44, worked briefly with 2 trucking companies: tanker & dry van , found myself in an “office” job w/ a major logistics company (unable to move into into a driving position w/ same company due to a rare ability of being able to type), unable to return to trucking due to (insert random reason here).

I’m considering yet another career change to diesel mechanic and I’m looking for advice, opinions, and knowledge of any current & former truck drivers willing to offer it.

Trucking was good to me when I was a driver, I was fortunate to find a local position after not getting my 1st tanker job and miss making decent money weekly for delivering beer, chips, & other perishable consumer goods. While I don’t miss traversing the NYC tri-state area driving a truck I do miss trucking as a whole (if that makes any sense).

Currently I manage drivers daily but they aren’t CDL qualified & have given advice including referring many of them here when they learn that I was a truck driver not so long ago. I’m feeling underutilized at my current company and seeking help before I make any rash decisions. I’m wondering if age discrimination is a reason that I haven’t been able to progress here or if it’s my imagination.

While I worked in healthcare as an intake patient representative before I did trucking I find that to return to that field, I am required to get a 4 year college degree in health information technology (which is absurd for a job I have over 10 years experience doing). The ROI of that degree compared to the money to be made doesn’t make financial sense to pursue that path.

Thank you for reading.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
TZ's Comment
member avatar

Apologies for what seems like a repost. I asked the same question a year & a half ago. I will read responses there, feel free to delete if needed.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

My dad has been a truck mechanic for over 30 years, he has been in management for the last 15 years. You will have to put out tens of thousands of dollars in tools and years of schooling in order to reach top pay. A lot of time top drivers can earn more than mechanics unless you get a good dealer job plus you still might need a CDL as a lot of places require them.

In fact my dad is fed up with management and is planning on getting a CDL and doing P&D next year as he will at minimum make the same money if not more.

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Yep and those big wrenches and sockets dont come cheap !!!

Even some of my 1/2 drive snap-on impact sockets over 1 inch & 1/4 are around $100 and up each!!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
Even some of my 1/2 drive snap-on impact sockets over 1 inch & 1/4 are around $100 and up each!!

is there any reason so many mechanics use Snap On? I get that its convenient that they roll up to your shop but are they better or is it one of those things where it's just preference such as craftsman vs black and decker etc.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Quality and lifetime warranty.....Craftsmans warrany is getting harder to get anything i think.....Oh I buy Mac and Matco too for some things. But always preferred S-Ons. Wrenches n sockets/ratchets.....like my 1/2in Ingersol Rand impact,, best it can snap off flywheel bolts on a Cummins NH855.... lol and torques big lug nuts as tight or tighter tgan them big 1 inch wheel guns do....I don't buy many tools nowdays.....odds n ends I go grab at Harbor Freight

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I get my impact tools at Harbor Freight. Their brand, "US General", also has a lifetime warranty for 1/8 the price of Snap On. That's where I got all my 1/2" and 3/4" impacts and extensions at.

All my other mechanics tools are Kobalt, Craftsman, MAC, and Snap On.

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