Hello From Cincinnati And A Medical Question

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Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi All,

I have truly learned a lot from reading the pages on the women's forum! Many of the questions I have were answered by looking through the previous posts over the last few days. I have been thinking of getting a CDL for a while as I have been single for 14 years and my children have all moved to Phoenix, AZ. I have seen little of the U.S. except Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky and I know there is a great big country to see out there. I have worked in straight commissioned sales for the last 10 years (5 in automotive sales and finance) and I am so burned out. Although I can be quite extroverted I am a solitary being by nature.

My best friend thinks I have lost my mind as she could never imagine driving a truck and is sure I am going to be seriously maimed at a truck stop. The posts I've read about safety were wonderful and I am so glad I found this site. My medical question is this.....I am a breast cancer survivor and almost 5 years cancer free....will this be an issue? I am in my early 50's with no major medical issues to speak of, other than having had breast cancer. I broke my left elbow in 2008 and had 3 surgeries on it in the 9 months following the break, so there is some arthritis there and I do take a prescription anti-inflammatory for it. Is there some place I can find out what the medical requirements are?

I enjoy learning about all of your experiences and hope one day I can join in. Thanks so much for any guidance!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

WELCOME JOLIE !!!!! Glad you fond us here at TT......and you can read and post ANYWHERE on this site...women are truckers too...but we are cuter, and smell better lol. Your past medical issues will not be a hindrance to getting hired in trucking. If you can pass a DOT physical ( which I'm sure you can) you are good to go. And since your kids all live in one area, regardless of where you live, you can take your time off where ever you want !!! So you have some research to do about possible training, whether you want private, or go to a company school, and which one...We will ehlp you all we can...just ask. Lady Truckers are sought after by companies....we have proved our worth !!

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.

Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the welcome Starcar! I am serious starting to look into driving and trying to make a plan....I like to have my ducks in a row! The thought of being able to possibly see my kids more than once a year and to not be working in an office REALLY makes me want to do this more and more. Thanks so much for the information you share on here.....I have read pages and pages of questions and answers!

Idaho Mtn Gal's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the welcome Starcar! I am serious starting to look into driving and trying to make a plan....I like to have my ducks in a row! The thought of being able to possibly see my kids more than once a year and to not be working in an office REALLY makes me want to do this more and more. Thanks so much for the information you share on here.....I have read pages and pages of questions and answers!

Get your "ducks in a row" and go do this! I drove for 2.5-3 yrs back in 1988 - 1991 after doing 14 yrs on active duty in the Air Force...mainly in office jobs :-P

My husband was my co-driver and hated driving, wanting to be a cowboy (ranchhand) which he did in 1991. I hated it mostly...tho raising orphaned animals (lambs & calves) was interesting. Six years after we got married, he had 2 Traumatic Brain Injuries 45 hrs apart. Life changed in a blink of an eye! He had constant dizziness and headaches that were controlled with narcotics. When we moved to south-central ID from s.e. Montana in 2008, his anger got worse and his behavior was out of control. He was tested and it was found that the Fentanyl pain patch was causing him problems (on it for almost 10 yrs & on a dose that is used for people dying!) so went to rehab and was weaned off it. His headaches disappeared but his anger and behavior progressed. I was told he had dementia....which there is nothing you can do for that. In 2012, while my health was going downhill, he was getting more out of control. Meds were adjusted and last year was a good year. I raise registered Saanen dairy goats, having my Idaho Permit to sell unpasteurized (REAL) milk. I've met lots of wonderful people doing this. In Feb, while in a class in Twin Falls, I get a frantic call. My husband had punched his caregiver in the face. I made it home in record time. She was okay, but I could no longer have her watch him. While he goes to the nursing home for 5-6 hrs three times a week, those hours she watched him were gone. I started sliding downhill again and was just waiting to take a break from my caregiver duties over Memorial weekend. I go to a BIG goat show in Boise with my guys and gals for 3 days. The husband goes to a nursing home and I don't have to worry. Unfortunately, this year, while relaxing & enjoyable, I got him home and he's been angry ever since. Last week was the straw! After listening to his mean mouth for 3 hrs, I went into a funk and it affected how I cared for all of my critters. Fortunately I had a friend call day before yesterday and when she told me that she could see I was going in circles and looked sick (and old :-P ), I made a decision.

Now to put into action. I am reading this website, will be talking with his daughters and brother over the next week about his living permanently in a nursing home, line up a couple friends that will manage my goats and other critters, get my schooling out of the way and get my CDL! I will be 63 next month and have many good years left in me! ;-) IT'S TIME TO DO OUR THING and ENJOY LIFE!!

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Now to put into action. I am reading this website, will be talking with his daughters and brother over the next week about his living permanently in a nursing home, line up a couple friends that will manage my goats and other critters, get my schooling out of the way and get my CDL! I will be 63 next month and have many good years left in me! ;-) IT'S TIME TO DO OUR THING and ENJOY LIFE!!

Hi Idaho Mtn Gal!

I am with you that it is time to get on with and enjoy life! I went to an info session last night at our local technical school and I think I may be getting my CDL there. While I am sure I could keep up with the pace at a company sponsored school, I like the idea of having more options of employers when I get done. My kids live in Phoenix and I am hoping to find a company the runs the whole lower 48 so I can see them occasionally, as well as my family in southern IN. Maybe our paths will cross one day! Blessings to you as you get things with your husband worked out.

Jolie

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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.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Idaho Mtn Gal...you are my age....so you are NEVER to old to get out there and do what ya wanna do !!! I have milk cows...so we are alot alike....oddly enough... I was told I was lactose intolerant..but I had been raised on a dairy !!! So I got a milk cow,..and have been gurglin' down fresh whole milk ever since...oh...and the butter !!!!! yummmm

Idaho Mtn Gal's Comment
member avatar

Idaho Mtn Gal...you are my age....so you are NEVER to old to get out there and do what ya wanna do !!! I have milk cows...so we are alot alike....oddly enough... I was told I was lactose intolerant..but I had been raised on a dairy !!! So I got a milk cow,..and have been gurglin' down fresh whole milk ever since...oh...and the butter !!!!! yummmm

Since I wrote that, decisions have been made and things have progressed to where I paid for my school today (have a grant...$1000....from the local VietNam Veterans Motorcycle Club), did a drug pee test, got my 2 yr medical card last week and start school next Monday for one month's schooling. 2.5 weeks will be classroom and 1.5 weeks driving. The driving and backing will be easy as I haul a livestock bumper pull trailer to goat shows, the vet, deliver critters to new animals, etc. Many people have me back their stock trailers for them :-D After talking with my brother (started with England :-P in Feb), the Hours of Service rules are new to me, so I will really need to pay attention....plus I ran team before. Driving solo will be an experience. Before the husband can be put in the nursing home, he needs a physical & that is set up for next Tues at the VA. He will also need orders from his Brain Injury doctor and that will be done on 19 Aug. Friends say I have the sparkle back in my eyes and a ready smile for people. I really didn't realize that I was so worn down.

What I have found from talking to people that are lactose intolerant is that they can't drink store bought milk (pasteurized and homogenized). When they switch to fresh cow's milk, some don't tolerate that even. If they try fresh goat's milk, they do fine. A few years ago, in Australia, scientists discovered that there are 2 different types of cows: Holsteins, Shorthorns and those in that type are A1 and Jersey, Guernsey, Swiss and those type are A2. Goats are A2. People that switched to the A2 cows usually did fine. The truly allergic to all milks is 1% only. The biggest problem for people is the pasteurization and homogenization of all milk. Then I discovered that people with gluten intolerance and have celiac disease don't tolerate even fresh milk. I thought gluten intolerance was just in wheat products. I had a grandmother come to me for milk for her 8 mth old grandson. I do not feed wheat to my goats. Well, the baby projectile vomited and she called in a panic. When I told her that there were oats and barley in their feed, she told me what 4 grains (rye also) had gluten. So called my feed mill and they made a custom feed of milo, little bit of corn and field peas along with the protein pellet. Let the gals eat that for a week and they came down to try the milk on the baby. He kept it down. She and I got to talking and I related that my kids ped doc wanted them on formula (born in 75 & 78). When I insisted that I was nursing, he told me to watch what I ate as it would go thru my milk and into the baby. But that was a long time ago and I didn't remember. I fed that little boy for 1.5 yrs and then they went to almond milk :-P I have my gals back on regular grains again, but would switch for a customer if I needed to.

Goat milk is naturally homogenized so, while a little may separate off, you need a separator to get cream to make butter. Not worth the hassle :-P However, goat milk ice cream.....YUUUUMMM!!! :-D Well, it's cooled off enough so I best juice the gals!

IDLaura

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.
Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Good for you IDLaura! I hope you will let us know how your schooling goes. I am going to check out the possibility of WIA funds tomorrow so it may take me longer to get into school than I first thought. However, if free money for school is to be had I want to get it....I have never received anything free for school except the scholarship I earned many moons ago. If the WIA funds are a no go I will figure out how to get a loan and move on! Anyway, keep on keepin' on!

Dale K.'s Comment
member avatar

Jolie,

If you have family in Phoenix and they like you well enough to let you stay there, Swift is a company that trains newbies and they are based out of Phoenix. You'll hear a lot of bad, some good and some average about them, but my little brother went to work for them after he went through driving school in Missouri, the company he was supposed to work for backed out after they found out about his misdemeanor, which he told them before he enrolled in school. Swift picked him up and he trained fast and furious and did a year with them till he took time off to take care of our dad who's elderly. He lives and drives in Minnesota and had a daily route driving for a Coca Cola contract Swift had. He plans on going back to Swift after he can no longer care for our dad, or the inevitable happens. I live 60 miles north of Phoenix and plan on getting out of the nursing field when my brother goes back to Swift and then have him train my wife and I. She is planning on driving with me sort of as a team, they call what we have planned driving Super Single that's where I'd do most of the driving and she'd do a few hours per day. We don't need to drive a million miles a year, to chase off bill collectors. I'm 51 and my wife is 49, and our retirement is somewhat set, as we no longer have a house that owns us and no more bills, and the kids are grown and on their own. She's an air traffic controller and I'm an RN, we know we won't make great money in trucking but that's not our objective anyway. We're tired of being trapped in jobs we've done for 20 years. Now's the time to move on.

So what I'm saying is Swift seems to be the "training" company, most drivers get their one to two years experience and move onto somewhere else for a few more cents per mile. I already have a CDL with all the endorsements except for Haz Mat but that's not too hard to get. I took all the written exams and then went through a 2 week school in Phoenix to get the driving test done. I had previous yard hostling experience 25 years ago for Frito Lay and I didn't have any issues backing trailers during my CDL training, but I didn't like the double clutching , I was used to floating the gears. I would suggest contacting whichever company you want to work for and ask them which schools they recommend. My CDL was 1400.00 for one on one training, I paid a little extra so I didn't have to wait in the 112 weather with other students. The school I went to, didn't provide as much rolling down the highway driving, which is what I needed more of, but hey I got all of it done in 2 weeks, and I had the written exams done before I even picked a driving school.

Good luck and I will follow your post as you're sorta doing what my wife and I thinking about doing. I would advise you to go where they give you a bit more experience than one can get in 2 weeks. For me my school was fine, because I already had a background in the business, of course it's been two years since I obtained my CDL so it will be interesting to see what Swift or any other company might want me to do for current training, when I'm ready to take the plunge.

I look forward to hearing of your progress

Dale

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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Private schooling will give you more training than a trucking company school...thus you will have a better "base", and a better chance of success when you test. Private schools really try to make sure you get your cdl....company schools don't HAVE to have you...theres another student right behind you in the next class that will take your seat if you don't test out......sad but true....

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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