Am I Too Old To Get My CDL

Topic 28826 | Page 1

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Baron T.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings, I need to know if I’m realistic about a plan I have: I am 55, in good health (just passed my DOT health check) and not ready to retire any time soon. I have been driving straight trucks/trucks with flatbed trailers with my class C for the last 20 years. Driving record is excellent. Not married/no kids and currently living in a van while working to save money. I want to get my CDL through a driving school. Work might sponsor me but if they reneg I have the money set aside to pay my own way. Once I get my CDL I can do some larger loads at work but nothing like driving a ‘53 trailer for some experience. Eventually, I will move from California to Pocatello, ID and hopefully pick up a regional trucking job. It’s the only thing I can think of doing for work where age discrimination won’t come into play.I hope to do this until I’m @70. In your opinion am I too old to be getting my CDL? I don’t really want to do cross country work but regional so that’s why I was thinking of a truck driving school as opposed to getting my CDL free through a contract with a nationwide company.

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.

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.

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

There are a few members here who are far more experienced in life than you so no 55 isn't too old.

Heck we have a driver who is over 70.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

I got my CDL at 56. It's all good, no problems.

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.
Tim F.'s Comment
member avatar

Baron,

You are not too old.

I wouldn’t waste your money in CDL school though. I think you get more bang for your buck by going company paid and doing 1 year OTR. Don’t forget..some companies have regional available after you establish yourself. Swift comes to mind.

Just my two cents!

Good Luck!

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.

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.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Baron,

I was 63 when I got my CDL through a school and am now 69. I would not advise a school because, living in Idaho, you will have a tough time finding work. Most of the companies in Idaho or down in the Salt Lake area would require 1 years experience... I had that problem. How I got around it was by being hired by my first boss and his wife who hired my brother also. My brother had 6 months experience but the insurance company said I had to run with him. Now, I will tell you I had experience driving long-haul with a chauffeur's license Back in 88 to 93. I never drove after that till I got my CDL. But I had started looking for work before my brother was hired by my first bosses and needed one year requirement.

So, you go to a national company as you call them, get your training, run for a year which will go by fast and then go to someone that suits your purpose. I drive for a company out of Twin Falls and we run to Wisconsin down to Arkansas and everywhere West. Only once did I go into Western Tennessee, ran up to Kentucky to get my load and came back through Illinois to Missouri and normal routing after that. I can be out between 10 days, which I did at first when I joined this company, to being out 3 weeks or so with a run by the house while under load. I do need to go home on occasion to do IRS paperwork and stock up the truck and head back out, but I'm doing very well with how the company runs me. Many smaller companies in Idaho stay from the Mississippi River on West... So that might be more Regional for you.

Why did you pick Pokey? Most people coming from California have settled in the Boise to Ontario area. I live just west of Twin Falls and we're beginning to get a lot of transplants from the West Coast... But it's still fairly reasonable cost-wise.

Laura

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I got mine at near 60.

In a few more months I’ll be 65.

The average of OTR drivers is more than 50 years old.

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Not too old!

I got mine at 53 and been driving the 5+ years since. Come onboard! 😎

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Try Jim Palmer. They train and run western regional.

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.

Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

I got my license at 55. I’m 57 now and ain’t no way I’m quitting this gig . I love it out here.

Baron T.'s Comment
member avatar

Laura,

Thanks for the advice. I picked “Pokey” because I helped my friend move there and it kind of reminded me of Montana a little. I’ll also know someone there and the housing is affordable on my budget.

Baron,

I was 63 when I got my CDL through a school and am now 69. I would not advise a school because, living in Idaho, you will have a tough time finding work. Most of the companies in Idaho or down in the Salt Lake area would require 1 years experience... I had that problem. How I got around it was by being hired by my first boss and his wife who hired my brother also. My brother had 6 months experience but the insurance company said I had to run with him. Now, I will tell you I had experience driving long-haul with a chauffeur's license Back in 88 to 93. I never drove after that till I got my CDL. But I had started looking for work before my brother was hired by my first bosses and needed one year requirement.

So, you go to a national company as you call them, get your training, run for a year which will go by fast and then go to someone that suits your purpose. I drive for a company out of Twin Falls and we run to Wisconsin down to Arkansas and everywhere West. Only once did I go into Western Tennessee, ran up to Kentucky to get my load and came back through Illinois to Missouri and normal routing after that. I can be out between 10 days, which I did at first when I joined this company, to being out 3 weeks or so with a run by the house while under load. I do need to go home on occasion to do IRS paperwork and stock up the truck and head back out, but I'm doing very well with how the company runs me. Many smaller companies in Idaho stay from the Mississippi River on West... So that might be more Regional for you.

Why did you pick Pokey? Most people coming from California have settled in the Boise to Ontario area. I live just west of Twin Falls and we're beginning to get a lot of transplants from the West Coast... But it's still fairly reasonable cost-wise.

Laura

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.

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.

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