New Year-New Career!

Topic 29527 | Page 1

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Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, I am glad I found this forum. It's been very informative and helpful as I have lurked for about 3 months. Thank you all! I am going to use this as a journal to encourage myself and to help others in the future. Especially if you're like me... I have never even touched a tractor-trainer, never sat in one, only know one person that is a career trucker, haven't backed up anything big and super happy to discover--big rigs have AUTO's!

As many others I have went through lots of change and soul searching in 2020 which ended with me turning the BIG 50 in December. One of the biggest lightbulb moments- I am glad we were out of debt and we need one or two more streams of income. I have spent the last 24 years in full-time Christian ministry-the last 14 years in the senior/lead pastor role. To supplement my income when needed I have worked off and on as a contractor in the private security space (executive and close protection) it's been a good supplemental career but it's time for a change.

When my brother retired in October 2020 after a 30 year career as a marine officer (1802 tank) we had been talking about his next steps all of last year ( his last duty station was at the Pentagon and civilian opportunities were plentiful and lucrative) and this conversation turned into- lets do something together and I am done with government work (his big point).

More and more we talked the more trucking came up and with eventual plan to be owner operators as a team in the next few years. We both figured out we better start with "boots on the ground" he is right now out on a trainers truck at TMC and I am headed to school on Monday.

I did some research and discovered a very reputable local truck driving school called Check Ride in Woodinville, WA went in met everyone and seems like a good fit. I am paying for it myself and discovered there is some grant money out there I qualified for and got $700 knocked off the $5,000 price.

Here in Washington State requires 160 hours of training. To help prepare, I took off the month of January to get ready for school, take permit tests, DOT physical, drug tests etc.

I am fortunate that I do not have work (hasn't always been this way) to be able to focus on school. Word of ADVICE especially for those in the 20-30's (my son's are 29 and 31 they listened to this advice and it has paid off) don't get in debt and if you are get out of debt as fast as you can. It will be mentally beneficial for you. Especially if you want to make pivots career wise. Ok, enough of the Dad talk. :-)

What I have done to prepare before school:

1. Joined this forum.

2. Watched and watching lots of Youtube videos on Pre-trip testings. I am a visual learner and I didn't want to wait till class. I feel I can take and pass the pre-trip airbrakes test now and when I get to the tractor and trailer I will able to learn the pre-trip quicker since I have spent 6 weeks learning via videos and the script the school gave me when I signed up.

3. Started following truckers on Youtube: Trucking along with Kearsey (excellent), 50 plus, Wilson Logistics, TMC Trucking to name a couple.

4. I scheduled my permit test and passed all three on the first try. I only missed 8 question total.

5. I have started the process for my TWIC

6. I am taking the Tanker endorsement test (today actually)

7. I have been practicing the pre-trip airbrakes portion over and over again with my wife. I am f=driving her crazy but she is used to after 29 years. hahahaha

I think my biggest challenge is going to be on the trainers truck. I have an introverted personality, I am very systematic and structured. I also like things clean and in their place.....if I am loosing sleep over anything it's this--- I have to be on someone truck for 5 weeks AGH. Though I know I need it.

Well, looking forward to updating couple of days a week when I get started!

See ta around! JH

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

TWIC:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

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

Jared, it's great having you in here. Keep us posted on how things are going for you in school. We all like to follow along with you guys as you progress through this process.

Are you planning on driving solo for a little while before teaming up with your brother?

Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Old School! Thanks a bunch. Yes, I plan on driving solo until we connect up. He lives out in South Carolina and I am in Washington State. Seems best for us to move out to SC (they live very close to the beach) and we will team from the east coast.

Jared, it's great having you in here. Keep us posted on how things are going for you in school. We all like to follow along with you guys as you progress through this process.

Are you planning on driving solo for a little while before teaming up with your brother?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Very good sir. It's just an opinion of mine, but I am convinced you will learn a lot more by starting out solo. It puts the whole burden on your shoulders. You don't have anybody there to be a crutch for you. I'm glad to see that you guys have a plan and it's coming together for you. Don't rush yourselves into becoming Owner/Operators. You can make a great living as company drivers without having the problems associated with truck ownership. You will want to spend at least a couple of years learning how things work out here before making that transition, and you may even decide it's not worth it. I'll leave that to you. I looked hard at it myself, and I couldn't ever make it seem worthwhile.

Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Old School for taking the time to share. We are on the same page for sure. We both want to run solo 6-12 months. Which works great for me. I won’t be able to move out until late 2021 the earliest.

Then we will team drive and make sure we can stand each other on the road hahaha...

We to share the same room- well, 33 years ago 😂

Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

Final prep done.

Just passed Tanker test (100%) Applied for TWIC - have appointment set for March to finish up.

TWIC:

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.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Final prep done.

Just passed Tanker test (100%) Applied for TWIC - have appointment set for March to finish up.

I'm following as well, Jared! Wishing you the best~!!

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

TWIC:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Best of luck to you. Have you looked into Paid CDL Training Programs? You could get trained for free and the company has a vested interest in your success.

Some companies, like CFI have you on a trainer's truck for only a few weeks.

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.
Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you so much!

double-quotes-start.png

Final prep done.

Just passed Tanker test (100%) Applied for TWIC - have appointment set for March to finish up.

double-quotes-end.png

I'm following as well, Jared! Wishing you the best~!!

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

TWIC:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Big Scott! I did look into a few companies and decided to do just pay myself. Not sure where I want to land yet.

Probably get a dedicated route that gets me home on weekends.

Thanks for the advice!

Best of luck to you. Have you looked into Paid CDL Training Programs? You could get trained for free and the company has a vested interest in your success.

Some companies, like CFI have you on a trainer's truck for only a few weeks.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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