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PackRat's Comment
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My numbers will be significantly lower than that by far! I have been counting every back I do with a trailer, minus any practicing I do. Yes, I still do various practice backing scenarios each week if I am able.

BK's Comment
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Sorry, forgot to add. As PJ said, local work requires a lot of backing. I reverse 15-25 trailers everyday. Mix of 53’s and pups. Most moves are at my terminal which is pretty tight quarters. Rest are at customers and our main terminal.

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I am actually keeping a total of the number of "backs" I do this year! I will have a six month total put together this coming Monday. Just another set of numbers for me to tabulate. As if I didn't have enough?!?!? MPG, loads, miles, average weight, etc......

PackRat, can you also provide us with “distance driven in reverse”? I think you may have backed up more miles than I’ve driven forward.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Starlighter,

I understand where you're coming from. I was a librarian for 17 years, and then it was just time for a change.

I'm not going to give you advice, but just a data point (me): The timing worked out for me, because my daughter was about to head off to college when I started training. I went through Wilson Logistics company-sponsored training , and it worked out fine for me. They do, however, expect you to stay out 3-4 weeks at a time, which is what you were wondering/concerned about.

What other options might be out there that offer more regular hometime..... well, that's what you're looking into.

Best of luck! This is such a unique job that for the right person, it is amazing and a terrific change of pace!

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.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
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Welcome. My thoughts:

1. Fewer than 10% of all CDL driving jobs are available to new drivers. Fun fact: an employer will pay > $1,000/mo. in additional insurance premiums to hire a new, inexperienced driver than to hire an experienced driver with a clean record. Truck school teaches you how the pass the test at the DMV - important topics like how to fuel the truck aren't covered. Employers know a new driver needs to be trained and that's an additional cost to them as well.

2. The most important concern is finding a job that works with your other job (raising a teenager). Getting a CDL, but not finding a job is just thousands in tuition down the drain. A CDL isn't something you can store on a shelf for a year or two until you're ready to use it like a Twinkie. Once you get your CDL the clock starts ticking. As the months tick by, fewer and fewer employers will consider you until the day comes when the only way you can get a driving job is to go to CDL school again!

3. While I understand the hesitation to be locked in with a contract that requires you work for an employer to pay it back, the other side of that is that you have a job waiting for when you finish training and won't have to fork over thousands in tuition up front.

4. Giving your circumstances, I'd suggest either:

A) Getting a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity grant ( WIOA ) to pay for your school. They'll pay 100% of your truck school costs. It takes a while to set up but it's a lot cheaper than using your own money. If things don't work out at ODFL you can keep looking. Worst case, you can drive a school bus or take a class B job to keep your CDL alive while you wait for the kid to move out.

B) One stop shopping. Work, get paid, get your CDL and have a job waiting when you're done:

Truck Driver Student

Starts at $19.56/hr. Full health insurance on day 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.

WIOA:

WIOA - Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (aka WIA)

Formerly known as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the WIOA was established in 1998 to prepare youth, adults and dislocated workers for entry and reentry into the workforce. WIOA training funds are designed to serve laid-off individuals, older youth and adults who are in need of training to enter or reenter the labor market. A lot of truck drivers get funding for their CDL training through WIOA.

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.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Hi.. and I concur that trucking should wait until after your child is grown and on her own. Home daily jobs are not easy for newbies to get and the ones out there can be very difficult with long hours and tight backing

Check out this video. It's old but still applies

Local Rookies

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