Old Geezer Looking To Re-energize

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Larry P.'s Comment
member avatar

This is the best Forum I've seen online. I'm 60 years old and needing a new window of opportunity. Lost my office job and now I'm looking to get out on the road for the next 10 years or so before I have to retire. I could sure use some advice on how to proceed. There's a trucking school where I live that I can attend, but I'm wondering if going straight to a company-run training program would be better. Seems like they push you harder at those though and I wonder if my age will be a hindrance in that situation? I'm healthy, but don't have the same stamina that I had in my thirties. I don't drink or smoke. Any input would be appreciated. Also, I'm tending to be attracted to those few companies that have auto transmissions. Should I re-think that attitude? Thanks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Gary A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Larry! There's a LOT of us guys that "got the ax" or laid off. They SAY that age is NOT the issue, but I beg to differ, 3 of our team members that were laid off (me included) were over 50..Don't take a genius to figure out what's going on..I was pretty apprehensive about a driving career-I was about 3 days from class starting and got cold feet, decided to give finding another job in my career field another shot..no go, gave it 4 months, and still nothing..I give up, and am READY and totally committed to this new career..

I did a TON of research and heard good and bad..This site is by FAR the BEST resource I've found. STAY AWAY FROM YOU TUBE (except for Trucker Josh..he's GREAT! Check out his videos!!!)..You'll hear a ton of bad stuff on the Internet, but I have received very nice messages and EXCELLENT advice here..you can't go wrong with the folks here..they ARE THE BEST!!!!

I just turned 56, feel in good shape, not 20 anymore, but feel like I can handle this NEW adventure. I am SO looking forward to it! I'm going to go ahead and take the class at my local tech school, It's got a great reputation, and I want to 'do it right', I'm not saying that on the job training is BAD, I just want to have plenty of practice and feel fairly confident going into a new job...They SAY the companies are hiring people out of class here BEFORE class is over...As for the tranny thing, I want to learn manual and double-clutching, then IF I'm lucky get an automatic when I go to work!! I just want to be able to handle anything that comes along with confidence...

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

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

The company schools are fine...but they don't really offer anything but a guaranteed bill for the schooling, when compared to a private school, or a community college. Atleast at the private schools, they really want to see you learn all you can, cuz they get paid to teach you, not run you thru like a cattle call. Your age won't hurt you at all !! Companies tend to like the older, more settled drivers...less ego...lol. I would advise against going for auto transmissions only. I think that now, if you don't train and pass your cdl test in a standard shift truck, your cdl is restricted...you will ONLY be able to drive trucks with auto transmissions....It limits your employment possibilities..

You should check to see if you qualify for the WIA program thru your employment division. It will pay for your cdl schooling. Also, some community colleges offer CDL training. If you decide to go to a company school...choose carefully. You will need to stay with them for about a year to pay for your schooling. We like to see folks stay with their first employer for a year, anyway. It gives you a good background to offer to any other prospective employer. If you choose to go to a private school, then all you have to do is apply for prehire letters. And you just send in apps to EVERYONE. Then, when you get your CDL, you can weed thru them, and make your choice by what fits you best.

BUT...you need to get going on the High Road Training !!! Here's a link High Road Training Program. There are alot of links for different areas that this site has....be sure and peruse them....you will be surprised what you can learn without trying !!! Oh....and WELCOME TO TT !!!!! You came to the right place....settle in and start learning about trucking !!!

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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

As long as you can complete and pass a DOT physical and pass schooling you can find a job.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

One f the great things about the trucking industry is that they like "old geezers"!

Let me explain. I started driving a truck at age 53, the same day I got hired for my first driving job the company also hired a man who was 72! If you can do the job, and pass the physical you will have no problem getting a job. I am doing this as a second career after retiring from being self-employed for thirty years, and I have met a lot of people who are enjoying this as a second career, even met a retired dentist one day out here on the road. I also have come across two drivers who were owner/operators who were in their early eighties!

You feel free to ask us as many questions as you like, and we will be glad to help point you in the right direction as to how to get the ball rolling so you can make a fine start in your new career.

Make sure and read the Truck Driver's Career Guide, and if you want some insight into the career take a look at Brett's Book, it's an easy read, and best of all it's free!

The High Road Training Program, which you have free access to is also invaluable in helping you prepare for the state exams for getting your permit.

Welcome aboard, and don't even give your age a second thought.

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.
Michael H.'s Comment
member avatar

Just joined trucking truth today and incredibly came upon old geezer looking to re-energize. i myself have just turned 61. i have been looking for a job for the last 6 months with no luck at all. well, i cant say no luck, if you call working 20 hrs a week as a maintenance guy for shop-rite at 7.25/hr, a job. i have always loved to drive, though i have driven nothing as big as an 18 wheeler. after reading the answers to old geezer, maybe i am not too old to try a new career in trucking. i have read most of the reviews of the company paid trucking schools and i think for me that might be the way to go, as my finances these days are not as good as they should be. this is the site that will help me out with any questions i might have about what its really like as an OTR driver? well, thanks to the old geezer for breaking the ice for me and good luck to him

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Just joined trucking truth today and incredibly came upon old geezer looking to re-energize. i myself have just turned 61. i have been looking for a job for the last 6 months with no luck at all. well, i cant say no luck, if you call working 20 hrs a week as a maintenance guy for shop-rite at 7.25/hr, a job. i have always loved to drive, though i have driven nothing as big as an 18 wheeler. after reading the answers to old geezer, maybe i am not too old to try a new career in trucking. i have read most of the reviews of the company paid trucking schools and i think for me that might be the way to go, as my finances these days are not as good as they should be. this is the site that will help me out with any questions i might have about what its really like as an OTR driver? well, thanks to the old geezer for breaking the ice for me and good luck to him

Ask away and we shall answer all your questions.

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.

Charles M.'s Comment
member avatar

I am really happy to read all of this. At 62, I am starting over after having been a photographer/videographer for nearly thirty years. The economy and a couple of other factors (a, shall we say, "strategic" blunder on my part), but not excluding blatant ageism in my former profession, had me looking for another path. nice to have the potential of being valued for my abilities and not looked at as an over-the-hill dinosaur. I'm looking forward to the next adventurous chapter in my life

Jon R.'s Comment
member avatar

This is the best Forum I've seen online. I'm 60 years old and needing a new window of opportunity. Lost my office job and now I'm looking to get out on the road for the next 10 years or so before I have to retire. I could sure use some advice on how to proceed. There's a trucking school where I live that I can attend, but I'm wondering if going straight to a company-run training program would be better. Seems like they push you harder at those though and I wonder if my age will be a hindrance in that situation? I'm healthy, but don't have the same stamina that I had in my thirties. I don't drink or smoke. Any input would be appreciated. Also, I'm tending to be attracted to those few companies that have auto transmissions. Should I re-think that attitude? Thanks.

I'm 57 , 34 yrs driving , I'm broke down & disabled ( have an inoperable tumor in my spine & have a DOT med card ) can work part time ( under ticker to work program w/ soc sec program can make 1,000 a month ( so I drive casually ) . did the instructor thing for 6 yrs , loved it ...just didnt like the CDL"mill thing that the school went to "

and I still drive casually ....So if I can still do it you can too my friend .....I trained many OLD GEEZERS at Sage from 2006 - 2011 they were in their 50- 70's to drive ...you still got a future .... trained a Dr. & his wife to drive team ... they bought a truck O/O leased to a co .in 2008 ... he was 54 ....:)

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Colleen W.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard. Your story is familiar to a lot of us on the board. Having to start over at the age where most the work force are looking at retirement is not an easy thing to do. I would have love to have continued in the field I spent the last 9 years in but no one was hiring a 57 year old woman. Trucking doesn't seem to care about age, if you can pass the physical and get your CDL then you're in. Don't let the physical scare you. I worried so much my blood pressure went up (fortunately not enough for me to fail the physical). If you can see, if you can hear, if you can squat, walk on your tipping toes and heels, and if you're not on insulin you'll pass the physical. Oh and if your blood pressure isn't too high (can't remember the threshold). Meditate before you have your physical and if you have a pet, pet him/her to lower you pressure.

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.
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