Thinking Of Changing Careers, But Im Not Sure

Topic 32231 | Page 1

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Jessie S.'s Comment
member avatar

So, I went through Swift academy and will hit my 1 year solo in October. I'm SO close to my year and having the tuition paid off. I'm also utilizing their benefit of going to college for my Associates degree, free of charge. I got a job offer, however, to be a dispatcher at a different company for $55k. Now, I know that is well above the market average for that career and is a VERY good offer. They also have Vacation, paid sick days, and a 40 hour work week that will let me go home every night and have 2-4 days off a week, depending upon scheduling needs. The office atmosphere there sounds amazing after talking to a few employees there that I know personally.

My hang up is, I know it's an amazing offer, but im so close to having my CDL and college tuition completely free. Do I jump, anyway? Or pass on the opportunity and hope something as good comes along after my obligations are done?

I LOVE driving the truck, but I can't seem to get them to honor their word about getting me home. I thought I could handle the time away, but it's slowly eating away at me. I've become so depressed being gone from my family so much. I totally respect all of you that thrive in this. I thought I could and, while I'm doing great at the job, driving just isn't for me I have learned. I need to be home every night with my family, and have regular days off each week.

So, any advice from you all would be great. I keep going back and forth and they want a decision by the end of business today and I am so torn.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Jessie, congratulations on your accomplishments! You seem like a smart girl who is determined and able. I like those qualities. I have a few questions...

Is this new dispatcher job going to provide you with a W-2 at the end of the year? If not, don't even consider it. Is this a small company? If so, I'd be very reluctant. How did you get this offer? I assume you were fishing and someone took your bait.

I'd love to see you finish what you started. I understand your reasons, and they are valid, but I hate seeing people who are just getting started come to the conclusion that this isn't working for them. It happens all the time, but I think it's a premature decision for most people. It takes several years to really settle into this career and make a go of it.

Do you realize how stressful dispatching can be? You are going to have angry drivers going off on you daily. Can you handle the pressures a dispatcher gets regularly? I'm not doubting your abilities. I just don't want you thinking it's going to be cushy and fun all the time.

Once a driver has your cell number a hundred other drivers will get it too. You will be getting calls when you think you are off. Seriously my dispatcher was just telling me how he barely got any sleep recently because he had two drivers involved in accidents at 2 or 3 in the morning and a third driver was blowing up his phone because he was mad about something that was trivial. It wasn't trivial to the driver and he wanted some empathy and a good chance to vent and complain.

Office environments are not always wonderful. There's sometimes a creepy person who is constantly hitting on everyone. Are you good at dealing with jerks like that?

I just know you had a reason to start trucking in the first place. What happened to your original motivation? Are you frustrated with your income? You didn't mention that, but I know a lot of people who quit early at this do it for that reason. I just want to start a little dialog with you so you can be sure you are really thinking this through.

Dispatcher:

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

BK's Comment
member avatar

Jesse, seriously consider the wisdom given by Old School. You are sooooo close to your one year mark and all the rewards that come with it. You must be one tough woman to do what you have done so far. Stay the course and good things will come your way, no doubt about it.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Just my two cents worth! I am sure w this my time w the company if you talk w your dm you could prob get on an acct that will get you more hometime.

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

So, I went through Swift academy and will hit my 1 year solo in October. I'm SO close to my year and having the tuition paid off. I'm also utilizing their benefit of going to college for my Associates degree, free of charge. I got a job offer, however, to be a dispatcher at a different company for $55k. Now, I know that is well above the market average for that career and is a VERY good offer. They also have Vacation, paid sick days, and a 40 hour work week that will let me go home every night and have 2-4 days off a week, depending upon scheduling needs. The office atmosphere there sounds amazing after talking to a few employees there that I know personally.

My hang up is, I know it's an amazing offer, but im so close to having my CDL and college tuition completely free. Do I jump, anyway? Or pass on the opportunity and hope something as good comes along after my obligations are done?

I LOVE driving the truck, but I can't seem to get them to honor their word about getting me home. I thought I could handle the time away, but it's slowly eating away at me. I've become so depressed being gone from my family so much. I totally respect all of you that thrive in this. I thought I could and, while I'm doing great at the job, driving just isn't for me I have learned. I need to be home every night with my family, and have regular days off each week.

So, any advice from you all would be great. I keep going back and forth and they want a decision by the end of business today and I am so torn.

Jessie!

Besides backing O/S's reply 100% and mirroring George and BK;

Good to see ya stop back in, m'lady! I've gotta say, I'm with O/S entirely...and then some!!! Do you remember this, from almost 1.5 years ago, in your words?

So, a little background. My dad was a trucker. My uncle, my brother, my cousin have all been truckers. I have always thought about becoming a truck driver as I LOVE being alone with nothing but the road and a good audio book or music. To me, that's paradise. What's held me back til now was I had a young step daughter that we only got every other weekend, and I didn't want to miss those moments with her. Well, she's well into her teens and too busy to see us anymore, lol. I've worked nothing but customer service jobs my whole life and I am TIRED of pretending that people aren't rude jerks, lol. I'm ready to start a new career path...

As a driver's wife, and a 2x permit holder, and mostly ~ a REGULAR of TT, I'd bet my last dime that you are among what I consider to be the 50% of drivers, that are willing to quit/jump/fly ... for ANY reason (especially the proverbial 'greener pastures') within their first year. Percentage wise, I'm on the low side.

Do you know how many drivers, that come through Trucking Truth... actually have worn this SAME hat?!? Some more than once ?!?! I'll dig these up for you, if you so choose. You could also search by tags; 'Dealing with the Boss,' 'Home Time,' 'Trucking Lifestyle,' and even 'Time Management.'

There's something that could (and SHOULD) be done, in dealing with your DM about hometime, first and foremost, lay out your thoughts, feelings with facts, and your 'suggested' resolutions. ie: Are there any dedicated/regional accounts you could request, for some semblance of region and regularity? Many companies can and will accommodate their drivers, in this fashion...and then said driver gets bored and goes back to full OTR .. LoL ! It's always helpful to have a "solution" you can present to the boss, as you discuss the perceived "problem" with same. You won't be seen as a complainer, but a communicator. This is ALL IN MY OPINION, from my point of view, and old age/wisdom in the industry. Disclosure.

If nothing becomes of 'said' heart to heart, could you look into maybe going a step higher? If it's THAT big of an issue, that may need to be your next step. When my guy drove for Transport America, I'd JUST had our brand new son~!!! (Who's now 18 .. drat it.. haha..!) and he sure DID have to go over his DM's head, to the FM (Fleet Manager) for resolution. Home time was never an issue again, NOR was it abused. Tom just REALLY enjoyed going to his baby boy's well being appointments, and ... later in life, Little League games...and our daughter's soccer matches. COMMUNICATION is (and was for him!) key .. especially in THIS profession, gal.

Stop back; keep us in the loop... As said above, in getting THUS far (as I've never been able to in TWENTY YEARS!) ... to give it up for a desk and a PC, phone and a headset ... for 55K, when drivers can EASILY make upward of $75K .. (yes, fact... it's here!) .. I wouldn't even ENTERTAIN it.

Sure wish you well! Sorry for the TL;dr...but it's true!

~ Anne ~

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

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.

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