It's Getting Real....

Topic 2881 | Page 1

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Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Well, I am officially nervous! Excited?!? Scared?!?

Thursday, I hit the road heading to school at Roehl Transport. This is a big move. I am leaving a career of 20+ years behind. The stability that I have had is gone. We are looking for a new place to call home once I get out of school. So many changes are happening. Now, the demons in the brain start clawing at the skull.

Am I making the right move?

Is this the right career path?

What if I fail?

Will my family adjust to this?

Those trucks are so BIG! Will I actually be able to drive them?

What happens when I am on the road alone?

All of these things (and more) are running through the brain non-stop. It is all quite intimidating and humbling. For the past 20+ years, I have had to make life and death decisions quickly. When I started, I was so nervous. When I was released as a Paramedic many years ago, I was not confident. Now, I can show up on a scene that is insane. All eyes fall on me, asking "What do we do?" because I am the highest trained medical person on scene. I take a deep breath and start to give each person a task. Many times over the years, others have said that I take control and calm everybody down. That was what I did. Family, friends, co-workers and bystanders saw a calm, cool, collected, and most of the time professional standing there. (We all have our moments.) In my head, alarms are ringing, "OH! $%^@#$#!" Most of the time it did not show on the outside.

Trying to put things in perspective, back then I had similar doubts and apprehensions starting out. That same gut wrenching feeling is now in the base of my stomach as I make the last minute preparations to set out on my new adventure. I have prepared as much as I think I could have. The High Road CDL training on here has helped me learn the material a lot. I have asked questions. I have pondered answers. I have sat staring at the computer screen trying to figure out the split sleeper berth rule. (I got it now, I think.) So, many questions still float around in my head.

Time to stand up, toe the line and get the job done! I am on my way to becoming an American trucker!

Thank you guys and gals for all the help you have given me over the past few weeks as I start this major transition in my life.

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.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

The split berth rule should be the last thing to worry about. Very Rarely you will use it. Most times if you are in the sleeper for 8 you have time for the extra 2 hours for a 14 reset. I have used it .....never..... In 16 years of drive. It's more the exception than the rule.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

That's awesome Wine Taster!

Hey listen...the best thing to keep in mind when it comes to controlling your nerves about taking a shot at trucking is that there is nothing keeping you from walking away anytime you like and saying, "Thanks anyways. I'm on to new things." .... and you're done. Simple as that.

It's not a lifetime commitment. It doesn't cost $100k for training and take 6 years. It's a short course for a few thousand bucks (if that much even) and you're out on the road. If you like it - great! Enjoy your new career. If not - great! Find a path that suits you better.

So really you can go into it like an adventure. You're going to have a ton of great experiences, you're going to learn a lot, you're going to meet a lot of interesting people, and you're going to drive one of the coolest machines to ever grace our beloved planet. That's a pretty awesome itinerary! It's one a lot of people have dreamed of since they were little kids and now you get to do it.

If you can handle being a paramedic, trucking will be no concern at all. Because like most things, trucking is 95% mental. There's almost nothing physically challenging about it. It's all about keeping your composure under pressure, remembering the things you learned in training, and making smart decisions on the fly. You've been doing that all along. You already have 95% of what it takes to be a true professional out there on the highways. Now all you have to do is learn the easy part...how to drive one.

Erik M.'s Comment
member avatar

good-luck.gif Wine Taster - It seems as if you and me have something in common. I'm leaving next week for trucking school and I most certainly share your fears and doubts. The two things that help me overcome those negative feelings are knowing that I will be trained well, and that if I keep things safe and by the book I'll be fine. One experienced trucker on this forum said that the fear is a good thing. It keeps you sharp and alert. If you're not afraid of what you're getting yourself into then something's wrong. Have faith in yourself and keep moving forward.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chris B.'s Comment
member avatar

I to am leaving a 20 year Career at Cvs/Pharmacy as supervisor. I start school on the 10 of march. Nice to know that i am not the only one with those concerns and fears. But I am doing the TT High Road CDL Training on this website it is definitely worth doing. I have already learned so much that when my trucking customers come in i ask them to give me impromptu quizzes and i have given the right answers all the time. I think they are impressed. Maybe we will cross paths on the road. Im looking forward to this

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.
Jopa's Comment
member avatar

Wine Taster, I think those nerves are a symptom of CHANGE . . . I concur that if you were a successful paramedic for 20 years, this next adventure should be fairly easy to master in comparison . . . I cannot imagine the stress of being the person at an accident scene whom (who?) everyone is looking to for an "answer" - that must have been intense . . . while everyone here says this may not be for everyone (you & me included) I am quite sure you will do just fine in terms of the technical aspects of the job . . . saving someone's life? Don't look at me - I can't stand the sight of blood! But, again, change ALWAYS gets the 'ole butterflies fluttering . . . I remember when I was 32 and starting as a freshman in college (I always seem to be late for everything) I was in tears on my first day worrying about failing . . . CHANGE is scary all the time . . .

Stephen E. Birch

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

shocked.pngshocked.pngwtf.gif "OH NO! WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO??"

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

For those going from a high stress, high responsibility job, into trucking....it will be very HUMBLING....you will learn to be just another bean in the pot...just another truck in the truckstop, just another truck on the road that 4 wheelers hate, just another truck sitting at the shippers/receiver. You will have no control over where you pick up, where you drop, where you fuel, what you drive. In alot of ways, it will take alot of stress off of you...but as a new driver, there will be alot of stress put ON you. So it will be a emotional roller coaster...and thats not even counting the stuff from home...being alone...strange places...weird food...you and a stranger in a walkin closet on wheels...yup...you will be humbled.. And when you come out the other end of this adventure....you will be a changed person....

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You will be fine! Look at it as a new life.... couple months you'll be glad you did it!!!!!!

Gary C.'s Comment
member avatar

Right there with you. I've got two days left in my current job. Friday at 3:30 I punch out for the last time from what I've been doing basically as long as I've been working. Monday, Central is going to voluntarily put me in the drivers seat of an 80,000lb machine powered by exploding dinosaurs. It's Incredibly intimidating, very exciting to see the change. I'm also nervous as I've ever been about making a change.

In the end, I think it'll be a good move for me. But it's not without nerves.

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