Is It Possible To Return To OTR Trucking After A Bad Experience Over 10 Years Ago?

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Joanna 's Comment
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Hey everybody! I'm new to the site and I've been poking around for a few days and have found lots of great resources like the High Road and many great, informative posts. So thank you Brett and all you contributors that take the time to do this. I wish I had this resource back in 1999 when I first got into trucking!

So I am interested in getting back into OTR after a 15 year absence. I have driven commercially off and on during that time but only class B trucks so I would need to be retrained, esp in the backing dept. Are there companies out there that would be willing to retrain me without getting charged for truck driving school again? Also, my main concern is this: Back in 1999 I took an OTR job straight out of truck driving school and ended up quitting after only a couple of months because back then I had a glamorized view of what the job would be like. I believed my recruiter when they told me I would be home every two weeks and I was practically married with two young kids at home at the time so home time was really important to me. Looking back now it's obvious that it was not a good time for me to start a truck driving career but I had no idea what I was getting into. I was 21 years old and totally naive. But I decided to drive teams and stayed out on the road with my trainer for 8 weeks straight and I hit a breaking point with not being able to go home that long and I quit. I left my trainer with the truck and took the next greyhound bus home to be with my family. I realized that that looks horrible on a resume and I wonder if it will prevent me from returning to OTR driving forever? It was over 10 years ago so it wouldn't show up on the job history necessarily. Perhaps I wouldn't need to mention it? I am totally ready to do this thing now. I know what I am getting into this time around (more or less) and the kids are grown and it's just me now so no strings at all! I'm ready to turn some wheels and make a company some money. Any advice would be helpful, thanks for reading!

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.

mountain girl's Comment
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Hi Joanna! Welcome to Trucking Truth!

Hey, I'm just a newbie so maybe someone else can give you an informed answer on the trucking side of your questions.

My opinion? You made your family your priority and you chose to be with them above all else. The recruiter wasn't honest but you were honest with yourself and no one can take those years you spent raising your kids away from you now. You made the tougher, most honorable choice. Good on you.

Just because you now want to return to this profession, doesn't mean you have to beat yourself down over having made the decision you know in your heart ...was the right one.

Remember to live in the "upper story" of your decision.

Good luck with everything!

-mountain girl

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hey mountain girl!

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Live the upper story, yes! I like it. It definitely was the right decision for me then. But you know my trainer was like good luck working in the industry again, but of course he is gonna say that, right? And that was 15 years ago! Funny how things people say can stick with you forever sometimes.

I think this time around I will wait for a female trainer. Nothing against the guys but I think seeing how other ladies take care of themselves out there is worth the wait. For one thing, I had no idea about the porta potty thing the first time around. Oh man!

David's Comment
member avatar

Joanna,

You shouldn't have to much of an issue getting back in. You will need to explain any gaps of employment between now and roughly 3-10 yrs ago. I don't want to tell you not to put your previous experience on your apps, but since its been so long, I don't think you'll need it. I'd recommend getting a DMV print out for the last 5-10 yrs as you may be required to bring one in. It will also help you write down any accidents or traffice violations you may have but forgotten about.

And also, I'd give the High Road Training Program a shot to refresh your memory. Its a great program, Plus its free.!

I'd recommend calling the OTR companies and getting apps submitted in.

Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driving Schools

These links should help you find a refresher course so you can relearn everything.. Things have changed in the last 15 yrs.

Good luck to you,

David

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.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

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.

Joanna 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, David!

I've been reviewing the rules and regulations in the High Road section to refresh my memory. It's such a great tool to use.

I am working on my ten year work history now and will get my 10 year DMV report. I wonder if there is way to find out exact hiring dates and such with your ssn. I've worked a lot of jobs over the past ten years and I don't remember every detail.

I will definitely check out the company sponsored training link. Thanks again!

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.

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.

David's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, David!

I've been reviewing the rules and regulations in the High Road section to refresh my memory. It's such a great tool to use.

I am working on my ten year work history now and will get my 10 year DMV report. I wonder if there is way to find out exact hiring dates and such with your ssn. I've worked a lot of jobs over the past ten years and I don't remember every detail.

I will definitely check out the company sponsored training link. Thanks again!

If you can remember the names of the place's your worked, you can call and speak to HR department and see if they can give you your start and end dates.. If not, try the best you can to remember and estimate the month/year.

Quick google search found this for you..

Employment History

you can send in a request to Social Sercurity or HR as I said above..

David

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.

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.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Most of the trucking companies applied to have been satisfied with "month and year" in my work history as the DOT requirement is to cover all activity and work gaps of a month or more. This is mostly a requirement to be sure that while you were unemployed, you weren't devising a way to cause terror, somewhere in the country or randomly go to some little pilot school so you could learn just enough to steer a 747 into a building.

But you know who's going to have your exact hiring and work dates ? Social Security. If you're interested, they can put out a full report, if you request it of them. I applied for that kind of report a long time ago when I had a SS number issue and it was almost creepy how accurate it was but they have all of that because with every job you've ever had, part-time, temporary, lalala, you've contributed to F.I.C.A. and your Social Security retirement fund and when you're 65 your Social Security check will be based on every work contribution you've ever made. It may take a few weeks (but everything's seemingly taking more time than I expected anyway) but you can get that kind of a report, with a list of every job, for your records from them. I don't know how you would request it, online or in person, but it's do-able.

Let us know what you find out.

-mountain girl

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.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

David beat me to it with his answer above. We must have been typing at the same time but he hit "send" while I was editing and re-writing sentences, lalala. LOL. Anyway ... Schweet.

-mountain girl

Joanna 's Comment
member avatar

I think I will order the social security report. Handy info to have even if it is bit overkill. Beats calling around to several different places as long as it doesn't cost too much. :-)

Mad Hatter's Comment
member avatar

Hey Johanna, I actually just grabbed a CDL manual today from the Secretary of State in Michigan. It states in section 1.3 Other CDL Rules "You must give your employer information on all of your driving jobs you have held for the past 10 years. You must do this when you apply for a commercial driving job." The section also states this is a federal and state rule that applies in all states. -Hatter

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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