Introduction

Topic 30826 | Page 1

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Wile E.'s Comment
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Being new here, I'll introduce myself. I'm John W. I'm an older guy, grandfather, drove a truck for 5 years a long time ago (manufacturing company, day runs). A family move to an area with less trucking jobs ultimately lead to a change in career path, and I've been in manufacturing for 30 years, currently driving a desk, sometimes out on the factory floor, primarily programming a multi axis CNC router.

Never got the road out of my system, especially in autumn. Loved driving the mountains of the Carolinas and Georgia in the fall! Thinking about getting back into driving and starting to look around at what's out there.

Anyway, found this place, been lurking and reading for a few weeks now, thought I would say hello.

Old School's Comment
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Hello John, and welcome to our forum!

You're never too old to start a trucking career. I've done my fair share of vacuum forming while in the sign business. It is interesting work.

I started driving trucks at the age of 53. I'm in my early sixties now with 5 grandchildren and two on the way. One of the great things about driving OTR is that I get to stop and see them sometimes when I am dispatched into or near their hometowns. It's a lot of fun popping in on them, and of course they all love climbing around in my truck.

You may have already seen these, but we have some great resources here for folks looking into this career. You can check these links out at anytime and I think you will find them very informative.

I was fascinated to see you are from New Bern, NC. The dedicated flatbed account I work on delivers there all the time. We have a customer there called Chatsworth Products. I like your hometown and usually spend the night there when I make that run. I'm on a little hiatus from the road right now, but hope to be back soon. Some of my friends are making sure Chatsworth Products get their goods right now.

Don't even give a second thought to your age being a hindrance. If you do get into this you will be surprised to find there are a lot of drivers out here older than you. This is a career that lends itself to responsible adults who take care of their business. Often times that is done best by those with some years on them. Check out this conversation about Eugene. He is an older flatbed driver I met on the road once. He was eighty years old at the time. He is not the only driver I've met who was that old. I've met several of them in their eighties.

Trucking For The Long Haul

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.

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.
Wile E.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, thanks for the reply! I have read a couple of the links you provided, and will definitely check out the ones I've not read yet.

I've been reading on this site for several weeks before I joined, and read about your eye issue. Wishing you a full recovery! When you do get back on the road, let me know when you're headed to Chatsworth. Maybe we can meet up.

I'm originally from the Laurens area in upstate SC. Used to drive for St. Joe Container, a corrugated container manufacturer. That company is long gone, but the plant itself is still there, now owned by International Paper, at the intersection of I-385 and US 221. WalMart has a distribution center diagonally across 385 from the plant now, but it wasn't there back in my driving days.

I'm fascinated by the comments and stories I've read thus far here on the site. Brings back a lot of memories and there's tons of good info to read.

I can relate on the eye issue. That's a large part of my hesitance, as I've had a vision issue in my left eye since 2004. Not sure I could pass the current vision requirements of the DOT physical, but I'm thinking about going to take a DOT physical and just find out. Even if I could pass it, I would want any prospective employer to know the details of that issue, including info from my optometrist or whatever else an employer might want.

Otherwise, I'm healthy, in decent shape. BP good, etc. In the gym 4 morning a week at 4:00 AM lifting. I still have to lift stuff at work, and sometimes have to climb all over the CNC to maintain or repair it, so I work out regularly.

Again, thanks for the reply. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

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.

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