And So It Begins... Just Gave My Notice

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Mountain Matt's Comment
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I've received conditional offers of employment from two trucking companies, and I just gave my notice at my job this week. Since I'm a librarian/bookmobile supervisor, I needed to give 4 weeks' notice. After that, I'll get my apartment moved out, then head out to South Dakota to establish my residency (which you can do in one night's stay). I'll then transfer my license to South Dakota, and take the CLP exam out there. So, this puts me on track to start orientation by the middle of December.

I passed my DOT exam the other week, and I'm planning to go to Wilson Logistics. We've talked about a December 13 start date. After 16 years working in one place, I'm ready for a change of pace and a change of scenery! It was a bit fun seeing the look on people's faces when I gave my notice and mentioned what I'd be doing next. Once I get some experience, I should stand to make more money doing this than I do in my current job, which requires a masters degree.

Since I'm divorced and the kiddo is headed off to college, I plan to live out of my truck (once I get through the next hurdles) and maximize my work time. There's no reason for me to be tied down to any one location, other than visiting my kid at college once in a while.

I've been here on Trucking Truth for about 7 months, soaking up all the good info and perspectives from those of you actually doing this job. I learned about company-sponsored training on here, which is perfect for me (I've had enough of student loans!). And the High Road Training Program has been invaluable in my preparation. I have a class B CDL currently, but in terms of prepping for the class A, combination, tanker, etc. tests.

Changing pretty much everything in my life is a bit nerve-wracking, but mostly exciting in a liberating kind of way. It's time for a change, time for a challenge, time to push myself once again...


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.


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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


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.

Mikey B.'s Comment
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Sweet!! Next just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. What a long strange trip it'll be!

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Ha! Thanks, Mikey! I'm looking forward to it. And I often keep an eye out for your posts/responses, both for your general perspective and the fact that you live out of your truck too (if I'm not mistaken).

PackRat's Comment
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Scary but liberating, both.

Don't forget we're always here to help if the needs arise.

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Thanks, PackRat--much appreciated! I'm sure I'll be reaching out to you all at certain key points.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Great another Illinoian taking their money else where. How are we going to fix the roads now??

But seriously, congratulations and good luck. That's a huge leap

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Lol, Bobcat Bob! Well, after 16 years of paying Illinois taxes--and Cook County sales tax!--I'm ready for the state tax-free land of South Dakota. You're on your own, now, haha. Also, South Dakota has those mail services that will handle my mail virtually.

Thanks for the kind wishes!


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Thomas D.'s Comment
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Best of luck to you Mountain Matt! I have decided to hold off on starting my adventure till after the first of the year, you know one last Christmas with the family before I begin.

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Thanks, Thomas! That makes sense... for me, the holidays are a drag anyway, so I'm wanting to get started. I realize there will probably be a few days of "down time" during my training when things pause over the holidays.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
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Congrats from Ohio, as well !!

I'm excited FOR you; will be looking forward to UPDATES, as I ?? (im)PATIENTLY ?? await MY turn!

Be safe, man. Enjoy, too!

~ Anne (& Tom) ~

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

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