Career Change!

Topic 29406 | Page 1

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Jimmy J.'s Comment
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Hello everyone! Brand new to this site, but been reading (and studying) since August - 2020. I've really enjoyed all the stories and guidance on here, so I thought I would join the family. I'm a Computer Network Engineer (for last 31 years), always had a plan to retire at 50 (since I was 17). Can't figure out or afford health care insurance for my wife and I though. I'm stressed out in my current job. Been working for Hospital System (10 acute care hospitals and about 170 clinics) for last 19 years. Of course this past year has been exceptionally stressful. Decided to make a total career change since I / we can't retire. My wife and I enjoy traveling. Been all over the US in our fifth wheel; and now motor home. We wanted to retire at 50 (turned 50 last year) and do this full time working here and there at campgrounds and such as we go, but not realistic when it comes to paying bills and insurance. I am! I got my CDL permit back in November with all endorsements (Tennessee), got fingerprinted, got Hazmat and TWIC card. I will be starting class in Cartersville, GA with Millis Transfer Jan. 18th. I would like to get my training (3 weeks class, 3 days orientation, and 8 weeks with trainer OTR), keep a safe driving record, learn the ins and outs of this industry, learn clock management and how to operate safely and efficiently, then bring my wife on-board as a rider. She's not interested in Driving, but we have been together for 31 years and figured this would be the next best thing to retiring. Hopefully be able to have insurance, see some sites, pay the bills, and reduce stress. I know we have plenty to learn, everything won't go as planned, adjustments to this lifestyle will be challenging and hopefully rewarding. We don't need a ton of money. I know I will be taking a pretty large pay cut, but all we have is our house payment (no other debt). We have some money put back to help with this first year (or 2) of learning, but hope it will be possible to maybe get income up to 40k take home by 2nd or 3rd year. I am open and looking for any advice you want to contribute. I want to learn, be realistic, and plan accordingly. Thank you all for this website and what you have made out of it! Sincerely, JJ


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.


Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations


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.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


Hours Of Service

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

Welcome aboard Jimmy, and thanks a lot for introducing yourself to us!

There are a lot of you guys who just read and never participate. That's okay I guess, but we love it when you guys poke your head in the room and say, "Hi, my name is Jimmy." That's great stuff, and we love it each time a new person comes forward. We are really glad to have you and want you to feel free to participate as much as you like. Most people learn a lot by reading in our website, but you can also learn a whole lot by participating. You will probably make a few friends along the way, and it's great to have such a team that you can come to if you have a few questions arise while in training or trying to figure out some unforeseen problem during those rookie days.

We do our best here to be friendly and compassionate with new drivers. We don't bite and we try not to be critical. There are no dumb questions, and we've had plenty of time to hear somebody come up with one. I mean, if a -person doesn't know the answer, we figure it's our responsibility to help them find it.

Welcome aboard Jimmy - don't be a stranger!


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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