Getting Started While In A Life Rut

Topic 30079 | Page 1

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Michael P.'s Comment
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Has anyone gotten into trucking as a career and lifestyle change during/following a divorce? I am trying to get back on my feet but could use a serious change from having to return to mindless corporate office work. I am essentially homeless, unemployed, no family, just me and my old labrador (11 y/o). Has anyone gone into trucking in similar circumstances, or in less than ideal situations? I see opportunities for Paid CDL , but don't know what I would do with my dog. He's my boy. COVID seems to have changed some pet policies. Additionally, I am couch surfing. What paths has anyone taken getting into trucking when you don't really have a home to go to? Does anyone have experiences with any companies more helpful in getting someone started while in a life rut? I've gotten great experience lately with big box trucks while moving a few times and drove non-commercial flatbeds many years ago working for a lumber yard.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Banks's Comment
member avatar

It's not uncommon for people to go OTR after getting a divorce, becoming homeless and/or getting tired of corporate life.

Your lab will not be able to go to training with you or to schooling. You'll have to make arrangements for him to stay with a relative or a friend.

At 11 years old, he has maybe 3 or 4 good years left in him. It might be best for you to suck up the corporate life until he passes on. An older dog requires more medical attention and being on the road makes that difficult. The adjustment of being left with somebody else for 2-3 months might be really stressful for him as well.

Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Has anyone gotten into trucking as a career and lifestyle change during/following a divorce? I am trying to get back on my feet but could use a serious change from having to return to mindless corporate office work. I am essentially homeless, unemployed, no family, just me and my old labrador (11 y/o). Has anyone gone into trucking in similar circumstances, or in less than ideal situations? I see opportunities for Paid CDL , but don't know what I would do with my dog. He's my boy. COVID seems to have changed some pet policies. Additionally, I am couch surfing. What paths has anyone taken getting into trucking when you don't really have a home to go to? Does anyone have experiences with any companies more helpful in getting someone started while in a life rut? I've gotten great experience lately with big box trucks while moving a few times and drove non-commercial flatbeds many years ago working for a lumber yard.

I, ALSO, wish you well, good sir. Thanks for joining Trucking Truth.

A certain person (and friend of mine!) comes to mind: Millionmiler24. .

Simply click on the blue bar where its says 'comments by members' (fifth down, or 2nd from the bottom) and put in his username. This site/forum and his CAREER with CRST turned his whole life around.

Search here:

And . . . there's this! Read Brett's book; 2nd link down:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Best wishes;

~ Anne ~

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

My concern is the age of your dog as well. That would be your biggest hurdle right now. You would need an address for your license. Most companies will work with you as long as you can prove past work and unemployment.

Good luck.

Michael P.'s Comment
member avatar

I figured his age makes him calmer and he's always in the car with me (or truck when I have moved around), and my age and experience make me ripe for the road. He just curls up a lot, and occasionally peeks out the window, but never bothers me driving. How do drivers handle old dogs? Or dogs in general when they have health issues? He sleeps fine on a twin mattress with me. It seems hard to find a company that will train someone to get a CDL and allow dogs, especially a larger dog when going solo with this pandemic stuff. Not sure if it is better to go to a school first, but I would still be inexperienced.

I'll hopefully, with employment, figure out the residence thing to put an address or use a friend's address. Is it common to completely live out of your truck?

Thanks for the resources. I've started reading some of the materials and going through the practice questions.

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.
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

You would be surprised to know how many homeless or about to be homeless got into trucking as well as those who have reached the end of their rope. Most companies will allow a dog with a deposit (usually $500-$1000l which is usually taken out of your checks at $50 a week or so. Some are refundable if the truck is in good shape when you leave it, some are non refundable and used to clean it for the next guy. You need to make sure if you do jump in that the company you chose doesn't have a weight limit. I have a 52 pound blue nose American Pit Bull Terrier that rides with me, she is young and gets in/out of the truck by herself. You will probably have to lift yours in and out, no biggie, many do just that or get a ramp. I don't see an issue with your dogs age unless you are having lots of health problems right now. There are vets everywhere you go, just find one close by if you have an issue.

My dog and I live in the truck fulltime, 24/7/365, me for 2 years her for 1 .25 years. I have no bills to speak of and consider myself lucky my company not only pays me a damn fine income but pays my rent and utilities as well (truck and diesel to power heat, AC and inverter, TV and fridge), it's great. I don't mind it AT ALL, although some don't because it's a 7'x8' box.

You will have to board him or have someone watch him during CDL school and training OTR , make sure he is up to date on vaccines and carry a copy in the truck, the company will probably want a copy also. However, if you make it through and go solo the first thing you do is load your needs and your dog into the truck and start working. I recently switched companies and got lucky, they paid the extra $25x3 nights for my dog to stay at the hotel during orientation and told me to bring her along to orientation as well, so I didnt have to board her or put her in doggie daycare. You probably wont get that lucky just starting out however covid19 has changed nothing towards pet policies at trucking companies that I have seen.

Carry food and water, a slide proof bowl setup (has rubber on the bottom) and one of the spill mats to put it on and roll on from town to town. Everytime you stop to pee, take him out, when you stop for the day take him out and again right before bed. Just woke up? Take him out and again right before starting if it's been an hour or more since you got up. Stop for fuel? Take him out. Reached a shipper or reciever? Do NOT take him out. Many don't want your pet out on their property and many companies don't want him out on their/your customers property, stop before reaching them if he needs to go out again.

Good luck, hope it helps. Any more questions just ask.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

In quoting our own Kearsey, here's Prime's pet policy . . . !!

Kearsey's Prime Update!

~ Anne ~

Michael P.'s Comment
member avatar

I guess even if you stay in a hotel for a weekend, you are saving money not renting or paying a mortgage. Can you get pizza delivered to your truck? Luckily I have no health problems yet that would prevent me from carrying him in and out of the truck, but he is 70 lbs, so I would worry about weight limits. But a good weight for workouts. I've been through some stuff, so could get him classified as an ESA if that opens more doors. It sounds more like it can be manageable. I figured plenty of others have been in similar, or worse circumstances to make trucking work. I've been in contact some with PRIME and CRST. Open to other suggestions until I find the right opportunity. I appreciate everyone's response's thus far.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Can you get pizza delivered to your truck?

You sure can. In fact you can get just about any type of food delivered to your truck. With all the delivery apps available now days you can dine on whatever you want. All it takes is money.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I've been in contact some with PRIME and CRST.

I don't recommend CRST for your particular situation. You will be a team driver. That has a whole set of other concerns for a rookie, but with a large pet I think it is probably out of the question.

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