Returning To My Roots!

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Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

First, let me say, I enjoy reading about the personal stories and experiences on this blog. Second, I love this website and this forum. Trucking Truth has been a tremendous asset for me as I prepared to embark on this new journey. I can't say enough good things about TT.

Now, my first post on TT.

Life is funny. Not funny, ha, ha. But funny how we think we know what we want to do, then go do it, then realize that was cool, but I'm ready for something else. Then, something else was what you were doing before.

I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone. It was a poor, blue-collar town, where almost everyone worked for the railroad or the steel mills. Either that or they operated their own small business. My uncle John was one of those who owned and operated a small business. He had a small auto repair/welding shop and towing company. Uncle John was one of my heroes - he was funny, hard-working, and intelligent. Although he had no formal schooling, he was completely self-taught beyond high school; he was one the most brilliant people I've ever known in my entire life. I hung on his every word, and I followed him wherever he went. When I was just 5 years old, he would pick me up from the house and take me to his shop. He would have me sit on the fender of a car; I would watch him work on the engine, handing him tools and whatever he asked me to do. This became a standard routine.

Later, somewhere around junior high school, I became his apprentice. I did anything that was asked of me, and then some. I wanted to know everything he knew. I hoped I would become 1/2 as good and at least half the man he was if I was – he was good at everything that had anything to do with automobiles.

One of my favorite things to do, aside from running the autobody shop for him and servicing 10 -20 trailers per week, was to go out on the road with him when he had to rescue a big rig off route 80 or 76 in Pennsylvania. Hearing that big Mac truck's engine roar loud and proud, feeling the power of the engine transfer through the seat and coursing through my body, it was incredible; I swear I could feel it pulsating through my veins. We had some grand adventures. I loved listening to the drivers' stories about their experiences and the places they traveled. I thought, man, how fantastic is that job - I want to drive trucks. I want to go on adventures. I want to be in command of that big rig, and I want to be the one who gets that load to where it has to go because someone needs what is in that big box!!

I worked for my uncle for a few years. As I was nearing graduation, many things were going through my mind. My father told me I was out of the house when I graduated, but I didn't make enough money to support myself. What was I going to do? I talked to my uncle John; he told me I was smart, I could do whatever I wanted and that I would figure it out. Not what I expected. I was shell-shocked. I felt like my entire family let me down. I really was discouraged.

So, here I was, 17 years old, approaching graduation, and being forced to leave the house. I had no money to speak of, nowhere to go, and I didn't know exactly what to do. So, I started looking at options and decided to join the Airforce. Just like that, I went from working on big trucks, working for the man I idolized, to basic training in San Antonio, TX, in less than three months. Then, a few short weeks into basic training, something unexpected happened. I was told I would be working in the nuclear weapons field as a missile maintenance technician. I know, not a truck. But guess what? Part of my job was to drive the truck transporting those things to and from silos. Haha. Can you believe it?

Anyway, I went on to do that for a few years; I loved every minute of it. If a truck was moving, I wanted to be the one driving it. Especially backing it onto the pylons. Transporting those ICBMs is a tremendous responsibility. After leaving active duty and returning to the civilian world, I quickly discovered my CDL training from the Air Force was not recognized. My road to a trucking carrier was suddenly not so clear. This was the early 1990s. I ended up doing other things but never truck driving until now. After a couple of rewarding careers, a good bit of college education, and a great deal of consideration, I'm ready to get back to my roots. I'm prepared to drive a truck again, the open road calls me.

Today, I passed my general knowledge test and earned my CDL permit. I've researched several trucking companies and have conditional offers, I expect to make my decision next week. I know I have a lot to learn and relearn. I know there will be hurdles and challenges. I know this won't be a stroll in the parl. I know I will have to work hard. But I haven't been this excited about a career choice in a long time. I enjoy isolation and solitude, but I also like being around people enough (just long enough 😉) to make new friends and get the job done safely! I believe I'm well-suited for the trucking life and hope I have what it takes (I'll do everything within my power) to become a top-tier driver someday!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Howdy, Bill !

Welcome to Trucking Truth, for sure, man. Thanks for your service! We've got a LOT of vets on this site; quite the group we have here.

Congrats on getting your CDLP ! Did you get to use our HRTP to help ya? It's awesome.

Your intro is awesome; wow! You've 'been there, done that' in a lot of arenas; you sound like MY other half, honestly! Pleasure to 'meet' ya!

There's SO much for you within these walls, going forward. We always recommend Company Paid Training, for many reasons; first being you'll have a 'conditional' job (upon completion of their training.)

Here's a few more things to look into, moving forward:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Truck Driver's Career Guide

And, in preparation for the full CDLA, here's this:

Additionally, dive into our 'diaries' section; you can see how things are going for our guys & gals, company specific. Older diaries are priceless, as well.

If you have a propensity to what freight you'd like to haul, we can guide ya...diary specific, too!

Best wishes, Bill.

Welcome, again!!

~ Anne ~

ps: I've gotta say, man. . . your intro rocks. You'll be a natural, in this profession. :)

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to Trucking Truth!

What missile base were you at and for how long?

I had to change career fields to make the move with my now ex-husband in 1978. I was the OJT manager in the Security group...4 missile security squadrons and LE. From there I went to the Civil Engineer Squadron and then back into accounting and finance. I was stationed there from 78 thru 81. While there I was tasked with WarSkil and did LE Duty, getting my Expert (Marksman) ribbon with the M16.

From there I went to Decimomanu Sardinia for one year and came back to Mountain Home in Idaho. My first base was Loring ME in the northern part of the State. I did 14 yrs on active duty, getting out in 88 to drive truck. You can click on my name and read my bio there.

I had a break of 22 years from the first time I drove to when I came back on the road in 2014. There were lots of changes, so going back to school was a good refresher for me. Good luck

Laura

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Anne,

Thanks for the warm welcome. Yes, I've been tapping into a lot of resources here and finding a lot of good information from others - especially the diaries. It's interesting to see the varying experiences among students/drivers.

I plan to be in paid training by the second week of February. I just need to tighten up some loose ends before I get going.

I'll be sure to access the links to more resources that you included in this thread.

Again, thanks for the warm welcome. I'm sure we'll be talking again!

Bill

Howdy, Bill !

Welcome to Trucking Truth, for sure, man. Thanks for your service! We've got a LOT of vets on this site; quite the group we have here.

Congrats on getting your CDLP ! Did you get to use our HRTP to help ya? It's awesome.

Your intro is awesome; wow! You've 'been there, done that' in a lot of arenas; you sound like MY other half, honestly! Pleasure to 'meet' ya!

There's SO much for you within these walls, going forward. We always recommend Company Paid Training, for many reasons; first being you'll have a 'conditional' job (upon completion of their training.)

Here's a few more things to look into, moving forward:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Truck Driver's Career Guide

And, in preparation for the full CDLA, here's this:

Additionally, dive into our 'diaries' section; you can see how things are going for our guys & gals, company specific. Older diaries are priceless, as well.

If you have a propensity to what freight you'd like to haul, we can guide ya...diary specific, too!

Best wishes, Bill.

Welcome, again!!

~ Anne ~

ps: I've gotta say, man. . . your intro rocks. You'll be a natural, in this profession. :)

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

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.

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi IDMTnGal,

What a coincidence. OJT manager in the security group? That's a big job, and from the stories I've heard, there were some interesting moments for the northern tier bases in the 1970s and even early 80s.

I made it to Vandenberg in the mid-80s, it was my only active duty assignment. I went TDY elsewhere, but only to play sports or for joint training exercise.

It sounds like you love driving truck. I'm looking forward to school and getting back on the road.

Thanks for the well wishes!

Welcome to Trucking Truth!

What missile base were you at and for how long?

I had to change career fields to make the move with my now ex-husband in 1978. I was the OJT manager in the Security group...4 missile security squadrons and LE. From there I went to the Civil Engineer Squadron and then back into accounting and finance. I was stationed there from 78 thru 81. While there I was tasked with WarSkil and did LE Duty, getting my Expert (Marksman) ribbon with the M16.

From there I went to Decimomanu Sardinia for one year and came back to Mountain Home in Idaho. My first base was Loring ME in the northern part of the State. I did 14 yrs on active duty, getting out in 88 to drive truck. You can click on my name and read my bio there.

I had a break of 22 years from the first time I drove to when I came back on the road in 2014. There were lots of changes, so going back to school was a good refresher for me. Good luck

Laura

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Wow thats quite the journey, thanks for serving! Melton Truck Lines is a great choice! I plan on becoming an officer in the Airforce and already taking steps towards that😊

First, let me say, I enjoy reading about the personal stories and experiences on this blog. Second, I love this website and this forum. Trucking Truth has been a tremendous asset for me as I prepared to embark on this new journey. I can't say enough good things about TT.

Now, my first post on TT.

Life is funny. Not funny, ha, ha. But funny how we think we know what we want to do, then go do it, then realize that was cool, but I'm ready for something else. Then, something else was what you were doing before.

I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone. It was a poor, blue-collar town, where almost everyone worked for the railroad or the steel mills. Either that or they operated their own small business. My uncle John was one of those who owned and operated a small business. He had a small auto repair/welding shop and towing company. Uncle John was one of my heroes - he was funny, hard-working, and intelligent. Although he had no formal schooling, he was completely self-taught beyond high school; he was one the most brilliant people I've ever known in my entire life. I hung on his every word, and I followed him wherever he went. When I was just 5 years old, he would pick me up from the house and take me to his shop. He would have me sit on the fender of a car; I would watch him work on the engine, handing him tools and whatever he asked me to do. This became a standard routine.

Later, somewhere around junior high school, I became his apprentice. I did anything that was asked of me, and then some. I wanted to know everything he knew. I hoped I would become 1/2 as good and at least half the man he was if I was – he was good at everything that had anything to do with automobiles.

One of my favorite things to do, aside from running the autobody shop for him and servicing 10 -20 trailers per week, was to go out on the road with him when he had to rescue a big rig off route 80 or 76 in Pennsylvania. Hearing that big Mac truck's engine roar loud and proud, feeling the power of the engine transfer through the seat and coursing through my body, it was incredible; I swear I could feel it pulsating through my veins. We had some grand adventures. I loved listening to the drivers' stories about their experiences and the places they traveled. I thought, man, how fantastic is that job - I want to drive trucks. I want to go on adventures. I want to be in command of that big rig, and I want to be the one who gets that load to where it has to go because someone needs what is in that big box!!

I worked for my uncle for a few years. As I was nearing graduation, many things were going through my mind. My father told me I was out of the house when I graduated, but I didn't make enough money to support myself. What was I going to do? I talked to my uncle John; he told me I was smart, I could do whatever I wanted and that I would figure it out. Not what I expected. I was shell-shocked. I felt like my entire family let me down. I really was discouraged.

So, here I was, 17 years old, approaching graduation, and being forced to leave the house. I had no money to speak of, nowhere to go, and I didn't know exactly what to do. So, I started looking at options and decided to join the Airforce. Just like that, I went from working on big trucks, working for the man I idolized, to basic training in San Antonio, TX, in less than three months. Then, a few short weeks into basic training, something unexpected happened. I was told I would be working in the nuclear weapons field as a missile maintenance technician. I know, not a truck. But guess what? Part of my job was to drive the truck transporting those things to and from silos. Haha. Can you believe it?

Anyway, I went on to do that for a few years; I loved every minute of it. If a truck was moving, I wanted to be the one driving it. Especially backing it onto the pylons. Transporting those ICBMs is a tremendous responsibility. After leaving active duty and returning to the civilian world, I quickly discovered my CDL training from the Air Force was not recognized. My road to a trucking carrier was suddenly not so clear. This was the early 1990s. I ended up doing other things but never truck driving until now. After a couple of rewarding careers, a good bit of college education, and a great deal of consideration, I'm ready to get back to my roots. I'm prepared to drive a truck again, the open road calls me.

Today, I passed my general knowledge test and earned my CDL permit. I've researched several trucking companies and have conditional offers, I expect to make my decision next week. I know I have a lot to learn and relearn. I know there will be hurdles and challenges. I know this won't be a stroll in the parl. I know I will have to work hard. But I haven't been this excited about a career choice in a long time. I enjoy isolation and solitude, but I also like being around people enough (just long enough 😉) to make new friends and get the job done safely! I believe I'm well-suited for the trucking life and hope I have what it takes (I'll do everything within my power) to become a top-tier driver someday!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Sincerely, it was my pleasure. My, military career didn't end there; I served a considerable amount of time, and in more than one branch.

Excellent choice with the Air Force. You will love it. Also, you'll find opportunities are endless. Best of luck with that!

Wow thats quite the journey, thanks for serving! Melton Truck Lines is a great choice! I plan on becoming an officer in the Airforce and already taking steps towards that😊

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Thank you! I figured I would get back on the road, correct my attitude while on the road, become a tier 1 driver for Melton, and become what a officer should be while on the road before school starts in August. God is always working. I sure can be stubborn though, but He is Faithful!

What other branches did you serve in?

Sincerely, it was my pleasure. My, military career didn't end there; I served a considerable amount of time, and in more than one branch.

Excellent choice with the Air Force. You will love it. Also, you'll find opportunities are endless. Best of luck with that!

double-quotes-start.png

Wow thats quite the journey, thanks for serving! Melton Truck Lines is a great choice! I plan on becoming an officer in the Airforce and already taking steps towards that😊

double-quotes-end.png
P G.'s Comment
member avatar

If you’re going to continue with your non-stop promotion of Melton Truck lines, please also mention they do not offer paid training so people aren’t mislead. The OP specifically mention pursuing paid training. I believe Melton only hires trucking school graduates or experienced people. They don’t have a paid training program to obtain a CDL.

Wow thats quite the journey, thanks for serving! Melton Truck Lines is a great choice! I plan on becoming an officer in the Airforce and already taking steps towards that😊

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.
Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

I served in the Air Force, and in the Army.

What other branches did you serve in?

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