Bookmobile Librarian Turned Trucker??

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Mountain Matt's Comment
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Matt please do not look out there for this type of information. The internet does not provide factual, objective information on trucking companies. It will mislead and discourage you.

I urge you to be very careful where you do your research, and who you take advice from. Company websites are a great start... Trucking review sites are predominantly BS. I suggest diving into the blog section of Trucking Truth to get the skinny on every tricking topic imaginable.

And the term starter company? We try not to refer to any company offering training as a “starter”. We believe a good driver can be successful for any company represented in this link: Paid CDL Training Programs

I’ve been with Swift for 7 years running Northeast Walmart Dedicated. No intentions of changing employers; I get consistently great mileage, treated professionally and excellent compensation. There are many of us on this website who have stayed with our so-called “starter company” well beyond year 1.

Good luck.


Yes, I spent some time stumbling through the wasteland of the trucking internet and YouTube before I found Trucking Truth and burned through all of Brett's "Road Home" podcast episodes in about 3 days. I appreciate the advice from you and others about not viewing companies as "starter companies" but instead putting in your time, building a reputation and showing your work ethic. Brett's points about the major carriers being valid options by virtue of their success carried a lot of water with me too.

That link to the reviews/summaries of Paid CDL Training Programs is pure gold--thanks! That's definitely the route I would go (already paying off other student loans, lol). So, I read about needing to get the CLP before starting CDL school... I suppose I would still need to do that for the Class A, even though I already hold my Class B? I already have my air brake endorsement... I haven't taken the combination test though.

Anyway, good to hear of your good experience with Swift. I appreciate hearing the challenges of the job and the success stories from the folks in this community/forum.


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.


Operating While Intoxicated


Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.


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

Mountain Matt's Comment
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A 'tomboy' and a 'nerd' is a pretty powerful combination, lol! Yup, some good income combined with frugality can go a long way. I'm a master budgeter and track my debt down to the penny, so my remaining option is to find a way to increase my income to buy my FREEDOM. I'm a wannabe mountain man stuck in the city because I can't replace my wages anywhere else, lol. And I tend to like to upend my life and reinvent myself every 10 years anyway.

I'm glad things have worked out ok for you and yours--and yes, gotta keep those kids happy! All the best to you too,



Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jared H.'s Comment
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Welcome to the site and the journey into trucking. I’m way to new to add anything but to say.... you’ve come to the right place to get the right advice. Welcome !

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Welcome to the site and the journey into trucking. I’m way to new to add anything but to say.... you’ve come to the right place to get the right advice. Welcome !

Thanks, Jared! After navigating the trucking internet "wastelands" for a while, I'm glad to have found this site/community.

Congrats on completing your training and getting your own truck! I was reading your story.

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