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Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

I hail from the mighty Amish town of Goshen, IN. On Monday, I go to CDL school in Fort Wayne, IN. I'm very nervous. About 7 years ago I did the Schneider National company sponsored training and was doing well until I accidentally put the rig into 2nd gear instead of reverse and the instructor fell on his bottom... he didn't get hurt, thank goodness.... I left... I was really embarrassed... I was also immature at 19 years old... Anyway, I'm more grown and ready to try this again. I'm going to try the Pam route since I can't really afford a loan or cash option. My wife is extremely supportive and if she wasn't pregnant right now she would want to do it too (that's what she said). I researched this for a few months since I grew up in Fort Wayne I think when the instructors tell me to go down a certain street or what not in the area I shouldn't have too many surprises (I'm still expecting surprises, though)! My ultimate goal is to go Regional/Local. When my kids grow up some I want to take them out with me if I can and my wife.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey welcome aboard Eric. Glad to have ya!

So have you been around TruckingTruth at all to see things like our Truck Driver's Career Guide, My Book (free online edition), or our High Road Training Program?

Have you been studying for the permit or do you have it already?

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you're really looking forward to it. But make sure you two will survive this. Your wife is pregnant, you will miss your child's toddler years completely. Your wife will also be completely alone taking care of the child, doing household chores, bills, etc. she'll have to do everything. Make sure she can handle this sudden change of lifestyle. And make sure you'll be able to survive not seeing your newborn and your wife for weeks at a time.

Trucking is really tough on a marriage, and even tougher when you have children in the picture. Just reminding you to cover your bases and really make sure that this is what you want.

I wish you luck sir! And congratulations!

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey welcome aboard Eric. Glad to have ya!

So have you been around TruckingTruth at all to see things like our Truck Driver's Career Guide, My Book (free online edition), or our High Road Training Program?

Have you been studying for the permit or do you have it already?

I have been studying the CDL book. I did Pam's eGears. I'm about ready to try those two items you have suggested!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Sounds like you're really looking forward to it. But make sure you two will survive this. Your wife is pregnant, you will miss your child's toddler years completely. Your wife will also be completely alone taking care of the child, doing household chores, bills, etc. she'll have to do everything. Make sure she can handle this sudden change of lifestyle. And make sure you'll be able to survive not seeing your newborn and your wife for weeks at a time.

Trucking is really tough on a marriage, and even tougher when you have children in the picture. Just reminding you to cover your bases and really make sure that this is what you want.

I wish you luck sir! And congratulations!

I can't say that I'm completely emotionless on the decision but definitely was getting burned out with working at the jail.

Kevin C.'s Comment
member avatar

You say you are "emotionless" on your decision.... are you really sure about that??? I am starting school in August and I have Zero family or kids. You will be away from the house for months at a time. When you're 2,000 miles from the house and your wife goes into labor then what? Your income for the first year is going to suuuuuuuckkkkka.. I'm not trying to bring you down however, plan on months away from the house. when you leave for school and then pass (One month (ish)) then get on the road training (three months (ish)) ya just can't run to the house when you're "under load"....

I really hope hope you have the fortitude for this... It's a lifestyle not a job. I truly wish you all the best and may the always wind be at your back.

dancing-dog.gif

Kevin C.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes people.... the "always wind" rofl-3.gif

Jopa's Comment
member avatar
I can't say that I'm completely emotionless on the decision but definitely was getting burned out with working at the jail.

Eric,

My best friend just retired from 30 years as a sheriff's deputy (Washoe County, Reno, NV) and I have to say I think you made the right choice to change jobs at this point in your life. My friend was never on patrol as he was a jailer & bailiff only those 30 years. I don't know if you were on patrol but I think the danger for a young father/husband is significant (Las Vegas recently - that comes to mind). However, the biggest effect I saw on my friend was the daily exposure of the class of people he had to deal with. This guy is a Viet Nam vet and a fearless warrior in terms of his make up but I witnessed him break down and cry over stresses he never dealt with on his job. I think the trucking career you have substituted for the life of a jailer is a definite improvement for you AND your family. Being home but having to deal with the stresses of law enforcement may be just as potentially harmful to a marriage and family as the separation of truck driving. There are lots of people here who can give you sound advice on how to deal with the new types of stress your family life will undergo (I'm not one as I am a 62 year old single person who's family is grown) so make use of the ability to dialogue with others in your same situation. Like Daniel said:

Trucking is really tough on a marriage, and even tougher when you have children in the picture. Just reminding you to cover your bases and really make sure that this is what you want.

. . . so don't go into this blindly but get all the info you can so you are not taken by surprise. I am sure you will do so (as should your wife) and will be very successful if you do. Again, I congratulate you on getting on with your life when you realized your previous occupation was not what you wanted for yourself or your family.

Jopa

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

You say you are "emotionless" on your decision.... are you really sure about that??? I am starting school in August and I have Zero family or kids. You will be away from the house for months at a time. When you're 2,000 miles from the house and your wife goes into labor then what? Your income for the first year is going to suuuuuuuckkkkka.. I'm not trying to bring you down however, plan on months away from the house. when you leave for school and then pass (One month (ish)) then get on the road training (three months (ish)) ya just can't run to the house when you're "under load"....

I really hope hope you have the fortitude for this... It's a lifestyle not a job. I truly wish you all the best and may the always wind be at your back.

dancing-dog.gif

Re-read what I posted... I'm not emotionless... "I can't say I'm emotionless."

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I can't say that I'm completely emotionless on the decision but definitely was getting burned out with working at the jail.

double-quotes-end.png

Eric,

My best friend just retired from 30 years as a sheriff's deputy (Washoe County, Reno, NV) and I have to say I think you made the right choice to change jobs at this point in your life. My friend was never on patrol as he was a jailer & bailiff only those 30 years. I don't know if you were on patrol but I think the danger for a young father/husband is significant (Las Vegas recently - that comes to mind). However, the biggest effect I saw on my friend was the daily exposure of the class of people he had to deal with. This guy is a Viet Nam vet and a fearless warrior in terms of his make up but I witnessed him break down and cry over stresses he never dealt with on his job. I think the trucking career you have substituted for the life of a jailer is a definite improvement for you AND your family. Being home but having to deal with the stresses of law enforcement may be just as potentially harmful to a marriage and family as the separation of truck driving. There are lots of people here who can give you sound advice on how to deal with the new types of stress your family life will undergo (I'm not one as I am a 62 year old single person who's family is grown) so make use of the ability to dialogue with others in your same situation. Like Daniel said:

double-quotes-start.png

Trucking is really tough on a marriage, and even tougher when you have children in the picture. Just reminding you to cover your bases and really make sure that this is what you want.

double-quotes-end.png

. . . so don't go into this blindly but get all the info you can so you are not taken by surprise. I am sure you will do so (as should your wife) and will be very successful if you do. Again, I congratulate you on getting on with your life when you realized your previous occupation was not what you wanted for yourself or your family.

Jopa

smile.gif

Thank you sir. I've seen some crazy stuff in the jail... Human kind at it's absolute worst. It has rubbed off in my personality, emotions, and everything. I've been threatened, cursed at, intimidated, assaulted, etc. Anyway, I'm excited about this opportunity... Also OTR is not my long term goal of things and I hope to get a local job some day. My wife is 100% behind me as we have all researched the lifestyle... She knows that the sacrifices to get the experience will be worth it... We have a strong Christian community here which can help.

Eric

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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

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