Change Of Career From Law Enforcement To CDL Driver

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Leeva804's Comment
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Nobody told you this but you’ll be just as stressed as a truck driver

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Maybe, maybe not. After the year driving, he may find the stresses to be minimal and a walk in the park. My son went from LE and grade/middle school teaching to driving local at FedEx and he said other than stupid 4-wheelers, it's a relaxing job. 🙄 He's now less stressed since retiring from the Navy.

Laura

I’m definitely more stressed but the good days outweigh the bad days. So you make a valid point

Sean H.'s Comment
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So, I was given an offer by a friend of mine. He runs a small company (6 drivers) with a couple accounts, one being amazon.

I'm gonna try this out part-time while still working for my agency. This should hopefully give me some better insight on the job.

Rick S.'s Comment
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So, I was given an offer by a friend of mine. He runs a small company (6 drivers) with a couple accounts, one being amazon.

I'm gonna try this out part-time while still working for my agency. This should hopefully give me some better insight on the job.

Sounds like a valid compromise to get your feet wet, without bailing on your current LEO gig.

As other have mentioned - double-thanks for your service - both military and LEO.

I can't imagine what LEO's are going through right now - in morale, personal safety on shift (versus political correctness that can get you killed). You didn't indicate your locale - I know some jurisdictions are doing way better than others (like who wouldn't want to work for Polk County FL Sheriff Grady Judd?).

As a few have mentioned - being out OTR (especially the first year), being newly married - adds a large dimension of stress both to the driving/training and relationship. This would obviously be a decision both you and the wife would have to give real careful consideration to.

So "checking things out" with your friends company might be a good way to figure out if that's the direction you want to go in.

While not knowing your friend (and having the advantage of doing DOT inspections) - smaller companies (with smaller cash-flows) tend towards being "somewhat lax" on maintenance. So make sure your rig is up to snuff (pre-trip) to avoid getting jammed up by safety issues (hate to sound negative, but it is, what it is).

Good luck whatever you decide. Keep us posted. STAY SAFE OUT THERE. IMHO - JOB #1 of EVERY LEO - is GETTING HOME IN ONE PIECE EVERY DAY. And know that, while the press and the "pc crowd" may not have your back - there are MILLIONS OF US THAT DO. A.L.W.A.Y.S. Every deputy that know me - KNOWS I GOT THEM.

Rick

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Nobody told you this but you’ll be just as stressed as a truck driver

Leeva804 (and Sean): possibly, and possibly not.

Sean, thanks for doing that thing you're still doing.

I've been driving for over 7 years after doing 28 as a road cop. There is NO drama with the driving job, unless I choose to make it. The stresses are, like LE, most often things that you have NO control over, so they don't count. I was a trainer, force instructor, academy adjunct staff, worked a stint in admin and training - I specifically told my new outfit that I had no interest in being a full time trainer - I rode with trainees for 12 years, no desire to go back there everyday. No stress. No drama. I will acknowledge that my willingness to NOT engage in the drama is possibly a result of having a pension, and I don't overlook the importance of the financial security. That could be a potential challenge if you're considering wedding the love of your life. This job is probably HARDER on a young marriage than coppery is. My wife and I wed when I was 5 years OTJ, so our situations are similar, with the clear lack of the post-44 grabasstification. That said, however, coming into this field after being a cop, you have skills that many of your truck driving coworkers will likely lack, including self reliance, poise under tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situations, reliability, integrity, knowledge of and respect for statutes, and possibly most importantly, the ability to work with people from all walks of life and all backgrounds.

Brian O is giving you perspective that I respect. GTown provided you a link for OTR relationships. I will tell you, even with a low stress approach, the first years on this job are going to likely be rough on a new bride, but possibly less stressful with the frequent phone contacts that are possible in driving that may not have been in your previous life. And, make no mistake, you will be leaving one lifestyle job, and taking on a new lifestyle job. You won't succeed in driving if you don't fully embrace the new lifestyle and do everything you can to become the best truck driver in the company you work for. You're ability to forget the circus, and remember fondly the clowns, will serve you well if you move forward into this world. If you still love doing the cop job, deep inside, and you leave it for a completely different line of work that will mandate separation from your family, you may come to regret the choice. As for close supervision, you are likely to deal with MORE micromanaging in the early days of driving than you ever did on the job. And on a daily basis, everything you do is monitored on the ELD - speed monitoring, in-cab cameras, lane position monitoring, rapid braking monitoring, following distance monitoring, and your exact location at any given moment. If you are late, they know, if you are taking too long to take a dump, they will know. If you stop to grab a cat nap because you're exhausted or have a massive headache, they will know. And you're always compared to the clock. If you thought being a cop garnered over-supervision, very little occurs in a modern CMV that is not monitored, or capable of being monitored, by a safety department that NOT be shy about letting you know if you transgress. How you handle that will be instructive on how well the job is going to suit you, and vice versa.

Wishing you well in the decision. If you go this route, and immerse yourself fully into it, you can accomplish this. You are a cop.

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

John S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys I’ve been reading this post. I am a Deputy Sheriff in Florida and have been in law enforcement for 27 years. Due to unforeseen medical situation that happened my wife had to medically retire and that cut $3000 from our monthly income.

I can’t live on the $36500 I make yearly at the Sheriffs office so a buddy who left a sheriffs office in north Florida and I got to talking and he works for Wiltrans and he showed me that I could average about $2000 biweekly as a company driver. That’s $1000 more than I make now biweekly.

I’ve always for the last couple of years wanted to get into driving and figured nie is a good time. I love being a cop and live the agency I am with but at the end of the day financially I gave to do what is best for my family. I BBC will also be with Wiltrans as a company driver and otr. It is a very scary situation coming out of my comfort zone and any advice would be appreciated 😁

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard John! Here's some great reading material that will help you. Check some of it out and ask all the questions you like. We are here to help you.

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.
Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys I’ve been reading this post. I am a Deputy Sheriff in Florida and have been in law enforcement for 27 years. Due to unforeseen medical situation that happened my wife had to medically retire and that cut $3000 from our monthly income.

I can’t live on the $36500 I make yearly at the Sheriffs office so a buddy who left a sheriffs office in north Florida and I got to talking and he works for Wiltrans and he showed me that I could average about $2000 biweekly as a company driver. That’s $1000 more than I make now biweekly.

I’ve always for the last couple of years wanted to get into driving and figured nie is a good time. I love being a cop and live the agency I am with but at the end of the day financially I gave to do what is best for my family. I BBC will also be with Wiltrans as a company driver and otr. It is a very scary situation coming out of my comfort zone and any advice would be appreciated 😁

I grew up in Manatee County, Florida. I know how hard y'all work, for less than teachers' salary. One of my best friends is still on with MCSO. My family is retiring there, and it's become a scary place. I don't even care to visit lately; but may have to next month...

I wish you well, good sir. I'd endorse your taking this leap; read the links O/S sent you for starters.. Brett's free online book is awesome. Wilson Transport is an excellent company; no argument there! I'm sure you've seen the 'starting pay' threads, all over this forum. It'll probably be a bit more than your average; first year alone.

Best to you! ~ Thank you greatly, for your service.

~ Anne ~

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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