Starting Later In Life And Pondering Different Choices- Advice?

Topic 4613 | Page 1

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Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Hello, all. My name is Jamie, I'm out of the Pittsburgh area, looking at trucking as a new career path. Traditional schools have never really interested me and I'm not from or have a lot of money. As well as wanting the chances to travel a bit, and not have a boss hovering over my shoulder (I know this site has a few advisements on the solitude of long haul trucking, but that's definitely something I'm fine with.)

I guess I have a couple of concerns. I'm going to be 28 this year and so far my career has been behind a computer at a desk, for the most part. Is 28 too late to start driving? Are there any issues that I'm going to have to look at not being in my early 20s anymore? My driving record is clean, no criminal record, no nothing like that. In relatively good health as well.

The second concern is that I'm looking to either go to one of our local private trucking schools (All-State Career is out here), but I've also seen Swift's trucking school that is free if you work for them for 26 months and can help with financing. I'm short on money so that looks like a fantastic option but at the same time, I don't know if I'd get as much overall training that could help me with many different companies by only going to Swift over a private training career school. Should I take the compensated, but specific training, or go for one that would help me get a more broad, general skillset that could apply in a lot of different scenarios?

Any advice you ladies could give me would be most appreciated. Thank you.

-Jamie

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

At 28, you're one of the youth crew! I'm planning to start school next month, and will be 57 when I start driving, and this will be something totally new for me. There are lots of folks on this forum who are in their 50's and just starting out, so I'd say that you're getting a good head start!

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

@Deb R. - Thank you so much! I appreciate the encouragement! :D

ColeTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Hi Jamie and welcome aboard! I am way older than you and a CDL student. Me and another 26 yo female are the only two females out of 11in my county vocational school. We are doing well!

Its hard to tell you what to do ref going to school through a company program vs on your own. I worked my patootie off to save the money for school and the time off to complete my goal when I was at my previous job. I also have a supporting husband and two grown sons. I made my decision not to go to a company program because I wanted more say in where I choose to work -after all, this has been something I wanted to do since forever ago. See, here is the thing, I can research all that I want and my experience at one company will be TOTALLY different from someone else's experience. Especially, since the transportation industry is completely new to me.

I've learned a lot from this site and other sites. I am trying to glean as much information towards setting myself in the direction I want to head. There are programs out there like WIA- program that can help you out with tuition and I'm sure there are others that I am not aware of. Whatever you decide, go for it and keep us updated. Cole

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.

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.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

@Cole- I absolutely will. Thank you for the insight, I'll see if I can look for programs to help my tuition costs.

Valerie V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello, Jamie.... I just want to say...I am wayyy OLDER than you also, so...There is no problem, with your age!!....But, ME on the other hand, its another story, BUT, I DO have Some experience with schooling and with driving for the schooling, but, I am STILL like you , do not have my license YET....But, I DID, Receive it back in the 90's...and I let it go or dropped it down on my license to just having a "C" Class license, and NOW....I could KICK MY OWN BUTT for that, Cause, This is something that I have ALWAYS DREAMED OF AND WANTED TO DO....AND NOW, HERE I AM...STILL NOT DOING IT....And you ask WHY? Well, Different situations and different circumstances in Life!! and I AM TIRED OF PUTTING it on HOLD...sooo I am going to TRY to...get my License back....all I say is...IF THIS IS SOMETHING...."THAT YOU TRULY WANT DEEP DOWN....THEN GO FOR IT"!!! Dont let anyone STEER YOU Away from it....LIKE I HAVE!!!....I could of...BEEN DRIVING BY NOW :( but IM STILL...Going to TRY IT!! ONE MORE TIME....and Im SOON To Be 50!! Yrs OLD!!! GOOD LUCK !! and Best Wishes!! :)

Catherine G.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm 58 and just got my cdl last winter and have been driving for 3 months. I like it but must admit I have an easy job as trucking jobs go. I work for a retailer with its own fleet and just run between 2 distribution centers averaging just over 13,000 miles/month.

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.

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.
Sharon W.'s Comment
member avatar

28 is indeed young to start. I'm 40 and just got my permit and started training 2 weeks ago. I am going thru company training, but feel very lucky with the company I'm with. School was free and I only have to give then 1 year after getting certified. Love it so far. Good luck.

Idaho Mtn Gal's Comment
member avatar

You are a youngster. ;-)

I was 36 when I got my Chauffeur License in 1988. Now I am going for my CDL and turned 63 a week into class. You've heard them say "70 is the new 50s" and I guess that is so. I sure don't think of myself as being old. In fact, the local farm & ranch store clerk said it was too bad I wasn't older so I could get the 10% Senior discount. I told her I qualified and showed her my CDL permit. She thought I was 52-55 :-D I know I don't move as fast as I once did, but I still take care of my registered dairy goats, meat goats, sheep, rabbits and chickens on 4.5 acres of irrigated land. I do it all by myself as my husband is Traumatic Brain Injured with some dementia.

As for schools vs training thru companies, see if there are other nearby companies that do training also. 26 mths is ridiculously long. Most companies do 12-18 mths from what I have found when I was looking.

IDLaura

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

WELCOME !!! You have found the best place to learn everything TRUCKING !! And an honest, caring buncha folks.....Now...down to basics, baby girl....You can save your money, have a yard sale, sell your car (you won't need it much,btw), find a community college that has a cdl course, and get a pell grant, go to your employment office, and check on WIA grants, borrow from family...but in my honest opinion, going to a trucking company sponsored school is a last ditch attempt to get your cdl. Now I may get stepped on severely over this...its just my opinion. trucking Co. schools tend to run you thru like cattle thru a sale. A private, or college school have to take more interest in your learning and succeeding....its their job !! AND you will have you PICK of who you want to drive for, once you get that bright shiny CDL !!! And thats a biggy. Now we always stress that you need to stick with your first company for a year, to get that experience...its a must...and it shows companies that your not a seat hopper. But beyond that...you are free to work for who you want. Truck driving is the same as painting a house....ITS ALL ABOUT THE PREPARATION !!!! IT your don't set up to do it right, it ain't gonna stick.

So look around for some other way to get your training...and if you need to go to a company school .....there are better ones out there than the one you picked....( Starcar shudders.....) Stick around here kid,.....we'll teach ya all we know from the school of hard knocks that we all have graduated from !!!!

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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