Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position To Begin Training As A Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

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Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

According to this website, I have been lurking on here for nearly 8 years! Where does the time go? I remember when I was a young man of 19-years-o***e, sitting with my wife and a couple of friends after dinner. My friend was an owner-operator and offered to take me under his wing and teach me to be a professional truck driver. We had just had our first (of what would eventually be seven) babies, and despite every fiber of my being wanting to jump at the opportunity, I knew it would not be a good fit for what we hoped would be a large family with lots of kids. I said no. I have been fascinated with heavy equipment, tractors, trucks, and everything in-between since I was a kid growing up on a dairy farm in Ontario. I couldn't care less about livestock, but I loved the smell of diesel. I have been driving tractors and various farm implements since I was 8-years-old. It is only natural that I would gravitate towards tractor-trailers. I have driven dump trucks part-time in Canada, hauling agricultural products on my days off from my real job. I loved every minute of it. But, those tractor-trailers keep calling my name.

I eventually joined the police department in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and embarked on a law enforcement career. After 9-years of duty in Southern Ontario, my family relocated to Central Virginia, where my wife's family was located. I worked for the next 15-years in law enforcement in Virginia. After nearly 25-years total in the law enforcement arena, I made a drastic change and became a Technical Trainer for a large communication company, serving police, fire, and military customers with our digital communication system. That has been my job for the past 10-years. Not a day has gone by, that I haven't wondered what would have happened all those years ago if I had taken up my friend on his offer to drive trucks.

Well, that's all ancient history. Here we are in June 2022 and I'm 57-years old. My sweetheart and I are celebrating our 38th anniversary today and we have raised five of our seven boys. The last two boys are 16 and 18. Everyone, including our soon-to-be eighteen grandchildren, are healthy and happy...and life is good.

Except for one little issue. I still can't get the truck driving out of my mind. I'm just a sentimental old fool I guess. Who would consider hiring an old guy with zero experience? Would there be any interest out there? We shall soon see as I quit my very well-paying job yesterday. I can't really explain how all of this transpired, but it probably has something to do with my best friend dropping dead unexpectedly a couple of months ago at the age of 59. When we last met for breakfast he talked of all of his dreams for retirement. He was a very successful businessman, a multi-millionaire who hated what his life had become. He had raised his children and had dreams and plans for a long and happy retirement after slaving away for nearly 40-years building his business which he had grown to despise.

Life has a way of changing your perspective on things. I had planned to ride out my remaining years in a very stressful, low-level management position making good money and being absolutely miserable. But, the money was good. My blood pressure was high, my spirits were low, and I do not like the person that I've become. Yesterday, I did something I've wanted to do every day for the past 14-months. I gave my 2-week notice and signed up at the local Community College to get my CDL! My classes start on June 21. In thanks for all of the fantastic information that I have gleaned from others, I'll start my diary here and we'll see what happens.

It's time to stop lurking on the sidelines. I feel more excited than I have in years...and of course, that could just be the beginning stages of dementia. Let the adventure begin!

My personal thanks to Brett and all of the administrators of this website, who have stoked the dream for all of these years. I have watched (and read) from the sidelines for nearly 8-years now, so I guess it's finally time to step up and see where this adventure will lead...if anywhere.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome and thank you for your service from one old retired flat foot to another. I got into trucking after being bored after retiring. I started 8 years ago and have made it a pretty good second career. A month ago I even obtained my own authority and have got to a point I can work as I choose to. I’ll be 62 really quick so no such thing as being too old. Keep us informed how it goes for you.

Wishing you the best!!!

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Grandpa Clark welcome to the light lol yes loved your story, think you will do well in your new challenge in life. I too couldn't wait to hit 62, and retire early. Watched my step dad work his butt off with 5 kids. I told him when he was disabled and retired, to take it easier. He had side gigs with realtors doing odd jobs for them. He scrapped metal, whatever for extra cash. I told him why? Chasing the almighty dollar was gunna kill him and he'd die broke. That's exactly what happened, @ 64 cholesterol clogged his arteries ( wouldn't go to dr's) and 1 night after dinner, he put a cig in his mouth, and keeled over dead on the sofa, right then n there!! We had to sell most his stuff to bury him, luckily he was a Korean Vet, so that part was free @ Riverside, Calif Vet cemetery....He lied bout his age at 15 to join the army...I miss the old fart, he'd been 90 next Feb.

Very good luck and many long happy years to come Sir

BK's Comment
member avatar

From one grandpa to another, your story is awesome. I’ll be 70 in October. I started my trucking adventure when I was 66, almost 67. Had to put driving on hold for several years, but July 12 I will have one full year of driving experience in.

Being that you have so many grandchildren and a couple of teenagers, when you look for a company to drive for, give serious consideration to it’s rider policy. Some companies let you have ride alongs right away. Some companies are less welcoming of passengers. Just keep that in mind when you talk to recruiters.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Oh, I forgot to mention that my one and only grandson just graduated from high school and is scheduled to ride with me for the first time in July. I’m so excited about it that I’m counting the days. But because of your total disregard for over-population (lol), you could have many and frequent ride alongs. What a great way to bond with your kiddos.

Really looking forward to reading about your journey as it unfolds!

Matthew P.'s Comment
member avatar

I got you beat by a year. I just started in trucking. I left a miserable existence and started flat-bedding. I was making a considerable amount of money doing what I was doing before however I dreaded going to work everyday.

I took about a 50% pay cut however I don't give a s***. My blood pressure is down my weight is less my mood is much better. In the scheme of things I upgraded in my opinion

Good luck to you and I look forward to reading what you have to say as she goes through the initial process.

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Welcome and thank you for your service from one old retired flat foot to another. I got into trucking after being bored after retiring. I started 8 years ago and have made it a pretty good second career. A month ago I even obtained my own authority and have got to a point I can work as I choose to. I’ll be 62 really quick so no such thing as being too old. Keep us informed how it goes for you.

Wishing you the best!!!

Thanks PJ! Congrats on your own authority. It sounds like you are enjoying your retirement. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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.

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Grandpa Clark welcome to the light lol yes loved your story, think you will do well in your new challenge in life. I too couldn't wait to hit 62, and retire early. Watched my step dad work his butt off with 5 kids. I told him when he was disabled and retired, to take it easier. He had side gigs with realtors doing odd jobs for them. He scrapped metal, whatever for extra cash. I told him why? Chasing the almighty dollar was gunna kill him and he'd die broke. That's exactly what happened, @ 64 cholesterol clogged his arteries ( wouldn't go to dr's) and 1 night after dinner, he put a cig in his mouth, and keeled over dead on the sofa, right then n there!! We had to sell most his stuff to bury him, luckily he was a Korean Vet, so that part was free @ Riverside, Calif Vet cemetery....He lied bout his age at 15 to join the army...I miss the old fart, he'd been 90 next Feb.

Very good luck and many long happy years to come Sir

Oh, I forgot to mention that my one and only grandson just graduated from high school and is scheduled to ride with me for the first time in July. I’m so excited about it that I’m counting the days. But because of your total disregard for over-population (lol), you could have many and frequent ride alongs. What a great way to bond with your kiddos.

Really looking forward to reading about your journey as it unfolds!

Thanks so much for the encouragement and yes, the truck could very easily be over run with grandkids! I hope you will have a fantastic time on the road with your grandson. How many young guys can say they've traveled in a big rig with their grandpa? It will be the experience of a lifetime. All the best to you.

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

I got you beat by a year. I just started in trucking. I left a miserable existence and started flat-bedding. I was making a considerable amount of money doing what I was doing before however I dreaded going to work everyday.

I took about a 50% pay cut however I don't give a s***. My blood pressure is down my weight is less my mood is much better. In the scheme of things I upgraded in my opinion

Good luck to you and I look forward to reading what you have to say as she goes through the initial process.

Wow Matthew! Thanks for the encouragement. It looks like your experience pretty much mirrors my own. I really feel that this change is going to be a real positive for my health to. There is nothing so dangerous to your health than to be stressed to the max and miserable with no prospect of relief. That scenario is a heart attack waiting to happen.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Are you going thru the program at CVCC?

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