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

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BK's Comment
member avatar

Actually, both flying an airplane and driving a truck have something in common. Long periods of complete boredom punctuated by moments of sheer panic. Lol

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Actually, both flying an airplane and driving a truck have something in common. Long periods of complete boredom punctuated by moments of sheer panic. Lol

You are absolutely correct that flying definitely gives you a good dose of adrenaline from time to time. I was flying a Piper Warrior about 10 miles from one local airport to the other. What could go wrong? On takeoff, just left the ground and was climbing. At about 100ft, a huge boom and the interior is a massive wind tunnel with all my paper flying out the now-open door. Somehow the door was not latched properly and I flew the short flight with the door wide open! Good airflow in the cabin but crappy aerodynamics!

Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
member avatar

Actually, both flying an airplane and driving a truck have something in common. Long periods of complete boredom punctuated by moments of sheer panic. Lol

Yep. Remember our buddy, (yours!) Marc Lee ? He could only do one or the other.

(How's he been, anyway?)

Quite a few of the guys on here, have their pilot's license.. IMHO it's very similar.

~ Anne ~

Starlighter's Comment
member avatar

Y'all are inspiring me so much. I worried that 50 was late to totally start a brand new adventure of this magnitude. But it's never too late and I love reading your stories!

smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Y'all are inspiring me so much. I worried that 50 was late to totally start a brand new adventure of this magnitude. But it's never too late and I love reading your stories!

50 is nothing but a youngster 😉 Many of us on here have started in our late 50s and 60s. I'm starting with a new company tomorrow and I think they were wondering how long I'd be out driving for them as I will be 71 next month. I have been driving for 8 years next month, this time.

When people wonder how old I am I have them guess. Most think I'm in my fifties and I just laughed and tell them my real age and then say driving is a good job for women and old people and I'm both. 😁

You will do just fine out here. Everything takes a while to learn and that is why going with company training is probably better.

Laura

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for posting something after all these years…

I began my trucking career at the age of 54 after a 30 years in technology. That was 9 years ago.

I read through your story and wondered if you considered Paid CDL Training Programs. Many of us on this forum successfully followed the company sponsored path.

Why We Prefer Company Sponsored Training

Regardless, best of luck to you.

Hi G-Town and thanks for all of your fantastic advice I've absorbed over the years. I certainly intended to take the company-paid training route. I investigated every one of the paid-training links here on TT and carefully weighed the pros/cons of each. I decided to submit my application to the following: Roehl, Schneider, TMC, Swift, Knight, and Maverick. I also applied to the company-sponsored training from Cypress (Jacksonville, FL).

Before I go through the responses and my eventual decision, here are my application details: 57 years old, zero CDL driving experience, clean driving record, no criminal history, excellent credit, excellent health, and already in possession of my CDL Permit and a 2-year DOT Medical Card. Here is a summary of the responses I received:

Roehl-very quick and responsive, with an offer to join their training class in Wisconsin within a couple of weeks. My recruiter was very friendly and professional, answered all of my questions, and understood when I said I was weighing my options and would get back to them. Offer was for dry van OTR.

Swift-very quick and responsive initially and I was very interested because their training is in Richmond, VA, not far from where I live. However, after extending a conditional offer to join their class, the recruiter ghosted me and refused to return my calls, emails, etc. I took that as a "not interested". I called them and emailed them at least ten times but after the initial positive exchanges, they went completely silent.

TMC- No response, despite repeated attempts to contact my assigned recruiter. He didn't return calls or emails. I called the general recruiting line multiple times over several weeks and every time was routed to "Mike", but Mike never picked up and didn't call me back. I am very interested in flatbed and tanker, so TMC was definitely of interest to me. I took this lack of response as a "not interested".

Cypress- very responsive, very professional, and very helpful. They are 100% flatbed and they showed great interest initially. I went through the process and had a great experience with them. However, in the end, they very professionally and politely said that they could not extend me an offer for training at this time. I thanked them for their very professional and respectful process, and I have a very high opinion of the way Cypress runs their recruiting operation.

Schneider-My interest in Schneider is in their tanker division as my ultimate goal once I get enough experience, is to join a local company that hauls either fuel or flatbed. There are multiple great options in those areas here in Central VA. Schneider discontinued their in-house training, so they said they could pay for me to attend a class at one of the schools they are affiliated with. I advised that if I were to go the local school route, I would prefer to just pay for it myself and avoid a contract. They were very professional, informative, and asked me to please contact them when I had my CDL in hand and they would be very interested in hiring me.

Knight- Their recruiter immediately sent me an email, and asked me to call by phone. I did call Tyler about six times over a two-week period and all I received were endless spam emails from Tyler advertising their various opportunities. I texted Tyler, phoned their general recruiting line, emailed Tyler, and phoned Tyler, but to this day I'm not really sure that Tyler is a real person. It's possible he is a bot that simply sends endless spam about Knight. I abandoned my efforts with Knight and blocked Tyler, lest he fill up my email with endless Knight propaganda.

That leaves Maverick. Maverick was near the very top of my favorites list because they are flatbed and seem to have a very good reputation for training. They were very responsive, very professional, and always answered my calls/emails. My recruiter, Jeff Bone, was very friendly, and patiently answered the dozens of questions that I sent his way. After working my way through the process, Maverick extended me an offer to join their class in Little Rock on June 11, 2022. I carefully pondered my decision and had a slight reluctance at the thought of a 27-month contract and the $8,000.00 contract amount. Don't misunderstand me. I've paid far more, for far less training and support than Maverick extends to their students. They pay for food, lodging, and transportation to the class, about $600 to cover expenses during your first couple of weeks while you go through the CDL training. Before I committed, I decided I would do one final check of the local options. That's when I discovered Central Virginia Community College. I'll explain their program in another post as I've hit the limit on this one.

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.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I was researching Ancora. They appear to be a vocational training company. Schools will outsource to them. I can never copy links on here. Sorry. Anne?? Not sure what to think. lordbyron1970@yahoo.com Message me Grandpa Clark.

double-quotes-end.png

Ancora, How it Works Summary:

From Ancora Corporate Training - CDL Program:

"We offer Entry Level Driver Training to obtain a Class A CDL. Training meets the new FMCSA regulations. Students will participate in classroom, range and On-The-Road Training. Classroom training will cover topics such as basic control, safe operating procedures, distracted driving, hazard perception, vehicle systems and much more. Range training consists of Pre-Trip Inspection , Straight Line Backing, Off-Set Backing, and Parallel Parking, all of which are required to pass the DMV skills test. On-The-Road training covers speed and space management, and many other control topics. Our program uses automatic transmission trucks. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, a DMV skills test will be scheduled, and a truck will be provided."

~ Anne ~

Thanks for finding the link Anne. Here is how I ended up choosing Central Virginia Community College, in Lynchburg, VA for training. My class starts June 21, 2022 on the CVCC campus. They partner with Ancora Corporate Training who provides the instructors, equipment etc. I will keep a day-by-day diary in the "CDL Training Diaries" here on TT.

I had initially checked out CVCC 4-years ago when I almost pulled the trigger on this adventure. At that time, I received a great offer to go back to my corporate job as a Technical Trainer and I opted for the "safe" known, instead of the scary "unknown" of CDL training/driving. I actually had an offer to join TMC 4-years ago to get my CDL, but decided to turn it down to return to the corporate (safe) rat race. Perhaps this decision resulted in the lack of interest I received from TMC this time around? I wouldn't blame them. Getting back to CVCC, when I checked 4-years ago, you had to take the training in Roanoke or Charlottesville, which is not that big of a deal as they are only a little over an hour's drive from my location. I used to commute over about 70-mins each way, every day as a police officer in Toronto, so that wasn't really a deal-breaker, just a bit inconvenient.

This time around I called CVCC and they said that as of March 22, they are offering CDL Training on-site here on the Lynchburg campus. I submitted a simple application online which was managed by Ancora. They quickly sent me a start date of June 21, 2022. The course is 4 weeks, 160 hours and the price is $4500. Now, here's the amazing part. Because CDL Drivers are in great demand, Virginia's Workforce Development gives you an instant $3000 grant which reduces the class fee to $1500. There is nothing to do in order to qualify for the grant, just sign up for the class! Then, my CVCC admission counselor asked what county I live in? I replied "Campbell County." "Great!," she replied, "you get another $750 grant from the Tobacco Compensation Fund because you live in a tobacco-producing county." So, my fee to pay the class in full was $750.00. My admissions counselor also signed me up for the VA Ready Program which will pay me $1000 if I successfully complete the program in the 4-week period. Because this $1000 has nothing to do with tuition reimbursement but is rather a single payment for completing an in-demand training program, any company that offers tuition reimbursement will still see my out-of-pocket as $750 which should be repaid.

I hope this clearly explains the reason I chose CVCC/Ancora for my CDL training. Virginia is certainly making it easy and inexpensive to get your CDL!

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

Fm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

I was researching Ancora. They appear to be a vocational training company. Schools will outsource to them. I can never copy links on here. Sorry. Anne?? Not sure what to think. lordbyron1970@yahoo.com Message me Grandpa Clark.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Ancora, How it Works Summary:

From Ancora Corporate Training - CDL Program:

"We offer Entry Level Driver Training to obtain a Class A CDL. Training meets the new FMCSA regulations. Students will participate in classroom, range and On-The-Road Training. Classroom training will cover topics such as basic control, safe operating procedures, distracted driving, hazard perception, vehicle systems and much more. Range training consists of Pre-Trip Inspection , Straight Line Backing, Off-Set Backing, and Parallel Parking, all of which are required to pass the DMV skills test. On-The-Road training covers speed and space management, and many other control topics. Our program uses automatic transmission trucks. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, a DMV skills test will be scheduled, and a truck will be provided."

~ Anne ~

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks for finding the link Anne. Here is how I ended up choosing Central Virginia Community College, in Lynchburg, VA for training. My class starts June 21, 2022 on the CVCC campus. They partner with Ancora Corporate Training who provides the instructors, equipment etc. I will keep a day-by-day diary in the "CDL Training Diaries" here on TT.

I had initially checked out CVCC 4-years ago when I almost pulled the trigger on this adventure. At that time, I received a great offer to go back to my corporate job as a Technical Trainer and I opted for the "safe" known, instead of the scary "unknown" of CDL training/driving. I actually had an offer to join TMC 4-years ago to get my CDL, but decided to turn it down to return to the corporate (safe) rat race. Perhaps this decision resulted in the lack of interest I received from TMC this time around? I wouldn't blame them. Getting back to CVCC, when I checked 4-years ago, you had to take the training in Roanoke or Charlottesville, which is not that big of a deal as they are only a little over an hour's drive from my location. I used to commute over about 70-mins each way, every day as a police officer in Toronto, so that wasn't really a deal-breaker, just a bit inconvenient.

This time around I called CVCC and they said that as of March 22, they are offering CDL Training on-site here on the Lynchburg campus. I submitted a simple application online which was managed by Ancora. They quickly sent me a start date of June 21, 2022. The course is 4 weeks, 160 hours and the price is $4500. Now, here's the amazing part. Because CDL Drivers are in great demand, Virginia's Workforce Development gives you an instant $3000 grant which reduces the class fee to $1500. There is nothing to do in order to qualify for the grant, just sign up for the class! Then, my CVCC admission counselor asked what county I live in? I replied "Campbell County." "Great!," she replied, "you get another $750 grant from the Tobacco Compensation Fund because you live in a tobacco-producing county." So, my fee to pay the class in full was $750.00. My admissions counselor also signed me up for the VA Ready Program which will pay me $1000 if I successfully complete the program in the 4-week period. Because this $1000 has nothing to do with tuition reimbursement but is rather a single payment for completing an in-demand training program, any company that offers tuition reimbursement will still see my out-of-pocket as $750 which should be repaid.

I hope this clearly explains the reason I chose CVCC/Ancora for my CDL training. Virginia is certainly making it easy and inexpensive to get your CDL!

One thing I forgot to mention. My class fee pays for the mandatory DOT Physical and Drug Screen (urine) which is required prior to the start of class.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

Fm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Grandpa Clark, you mention your interest in pulling tanker. My observation is that the experienced drivers advise new drivers to drive dry van , reefer or flatbed for a year or two before considering tanker. Driving tanker is a very risky endeavor for a new driver. Perhaps another forum member will weigh in to elaborate on this issue. I switched from dry van to reefer and have no interest in tanker based on everything I know about it. But I can enthusiastically recommend reefer over dry van now that I have done both. Physically, flatbed is out of the question for me.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Grandpa Clark, you mention your interest in pulling tanker. My observation is that the experienced drivers advise new drivers to drive dry van , reefer or flatbed for a year or two before considering tanker. Driving tanker is a very risky endeavor for a new driver. Perhaps another forum member will weigh in to elaborate on this issue. I switched from dry van to reefer and have no interest in tanker based on everything I know about it. But I can enthusiastically recommend reefer over dry van now that I have done both. Physically, flatbed is out of the question for me.

BK, thanks so much for sharing your advice. Schneider would be my option for tanker training if I'm successful in obtaining my CDL and getting my license. However, my first choice is flatbed which appeals to me because it tends to be more physically demanding. After sitting in a cubicle for the past 20+years, I am really in need of activity. I'm hoping a tanker driver will weigh in as I really appreciate all of the advice you people so willingly share. Your advice seems very prudent and reasonable, especially for someone like me with zero experience. Thanks again, Steve

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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