Trying To Get Into Trucking...

Topic 27210 | Page 1

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Jason S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm hoping to get some help / advice. Seems no matter what route I choose to get into trucking, I hit a road block. Trucking seems to be the ideal career path for me at 45, and it's something I really want to do. But, I keep running into these hitches:

In my twenties I racked up a total of 3 DUI's. Had one at 21 years of age, then 8 years later went through a divorce and got 2 back-to-back. Pulled over, jailed, bailed myself out, got my car back and proceeded to go back to the same bar only to get pulled over by the same cop 2 days later and back to jail. Color me stupid, I was young and dumb. It's been 15 years since (I rarely go to a bar now - like once a year), but this rules out a few companies, especially since I need training.

After that nonsense, I went to China and taught English. I've been back in the States for almost 3 years now, mostly working odd jobs (electrical and offshore). This kills me because the companies that will still talk to me want 5 years of verifiable employment. I understand why (they're fronting the cost of school and want to know they're going to get a return). But spending a decade overseas doesn't seem to count as dedication. It seems company-sponsored schooling is out.

During my fun-but-stupid twenties I used the Pel grant and student loans for computer school. Those skills are now obsolete and I still owe money on the student loans, so FAFSA is not an option.

I looked into the WIA program here in Houston, but they want a layoff notice and/or proof of unemployment benefits. I'd still be doing electrical but my pickup blew up. Laying myself off (when I didn't have a real company) won't qualify.

Other than robbing a bank (not going to happen), I can't see a way to finance trucking school. I'm hoping somebody here might know of something I missed.

Right now I'm wondering if I should just self-study for the learner's permit, and maybe find an owner-operator who's willing to hire me on cheap just so I can get my hours in for my CDL.

Any 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I am sorry you are having trouble.

Think before you do anything. If a company wont train you...who do you think will hire you if you pay for school yourself? So you could.be wasting yet another education.

An owner op wouldnt be able to insure a driver with no experience so that is not an option.

You are bettrr off trying PAM or CR England. Many companies have a "lifetime limit" on DUIs but those two seem to be second chance companies.

good luck

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Jason S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey thanks for the input.

I've tried PAM and a couple others. The sticker for me is the 5 years of verifiable employment. Working in China does not create a W-2. Nor does self-employment. But I'm thinking they have these requirements because they're paying for trucking school, and want to know they're not going to lose money on someone who'll quit right away. In any case, I can't provide 5 years of W-2's. So company sponsored schools do not seem to be an option.

As I don't have the money for school, and cannot borrow, I am considering self-studying for my permit. They only loss for me would be a little time. Minus the application and medical exam costs.

As far as I know, an owner-op can insure anyone he or she wants. It may cost more money for the policy, but if insurers never insured people with learning permits and no experience - nobody (yourself included) would ever be able to get a CDL. So I'm not too worried about that.

I think (for now) I'll go ahead and stick with Plan A. If someone out there knows an option I haven't seen, hopefully they'll post!

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Is there anybody you know that can vouch for your working overseas via a notorized letter, listing the dates and where you were employed?

Jason S.'s Comment
member avatar

It's China. I could get a letter, but sadly it would be in Mandarin and there's no such thing as a notaries in China.

LOL but I do have a ton of pictures!

EricGuvNC's Comment
member avatar
In my twenties I racked up a total of 3 DUI's. Had one at 21 years of age, then 8 years later went through a divorce and got 2 back-to-back. Pulled over, jailed, bailed myself out, got my car back and proceeded to go back to the same bar only to get pulled over by the same cop 2 days later and back to jail.

Most Carriers CLEARLY stipulate in their Literature: "NO MORE THAN ONE D.W.I./D.U.I./O.W.I./O.U.I. CONVICTION IN A LIFETIME!" -for misdemeanors-

3 Convictions in that close time frame is anathema in Trucking.

J.B. HUNT, SWIFT, SCHNEIDER were the only 3 LARGE CARRIERS that would not hire me. J.B. kept calling and calling about Driving for them until I told someone I had 3 D.U.I. convictions in 2 years and they stopped calling. Schneider stated in '08 "that D.U.I. conviction in N.C. would be a problem with our Insurance Carrier". SWIFT stated basically the same.

I've had 2 D.W.I. or D.U.I. convictions in me Lifetime. 1 each: South ('86) and North Carolina (91). North Carolina only sees the one in 8-91 since they didn't (then) "communicate".

A D.W.I./D.U.I. is like a Felony as it follows to the Grave.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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