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Joshua H.'s Comment
member avatar

First off let me say that I have been around trucks my whole life. My father drives trucks, I grew up in them. I've known my whole life that I've wanted to drive a truck for a living. Now here's my problem, I have a small family and I don't want my family to feel like I'm abandoning them to pursue my childhood dream. I have it narrowed down that if I was to go drive I would go with a company that offers company sponsored cdl training. I just need someone to give me some really good advice on my situation.

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.
Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Joshua! I would first start by reading all this site has to offer. You can get real insite on how everything is going to work if you do go through paid training. Secondly I would sit down and talk with your family. See if you being gone most of the time something they cab handle. I know before I went to school my wife and I had agreed that I was going to do everything my power to stay local or at the most regional. I of course had this option because I went to a private school. Company training wasn't something I wanted to do. This will be a difficult adjustment for you and your family so I would really talk it over with them first then go from there. Good luck!

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Joshua! There are a lot of drivers here with families so you'll get some good feedback. I only have a family of animals (chickens, turkeys, cows, cat, & dog) so all I could really do is help you train your kids to walk properly without a leash or give you the proper grain ratios for raising beef steers. So not much help there. But I'll help you with the trucking side and let those here with families help you in that regard.

Depending on where you live and how fiercely determined you are you might find some local opportunities right out of school if you went to a Private Truck Driving School instead of a Company-Sponsored Training Program. The company-sponsored programs won't have anything local available right away but some of them might have regional stuff that gets you home on weekends. After a few months of doing that you could probably find something local to get you home every night.

So for starters I can say this....if you don't have the funds for a private school then your family will have to accept the fact you'll be gone for the better part of several months in the beginning. You'll only get home a few days a month for several months. At that point you can probably find something that will get you home at least on weekends if not every night.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Joshua, welcome to the site

I have a family back home my self. Wife and daughter. At the time f starting my career in driving, the hardest part was leaving my family. Being use to the touch of your wife/gf at night makes it lonely in the cab, but a quick text saying how you feel and that you miss them makes it better.

The biggest thing is to make sure your not doing this for you, but for them. It took 6 months for me to realize I wasn't driving truck for me, I was driving to provide for my family and to make sure I had food on the table and a safe place for them to sleep.

Communication is a relationship killer. If you don't talk with your spouse, that's it, eventually it will tear a part.

I was able to complete 11months out of my 1 year because I communicated with my spouse and told my family how I felt.

Talk it out with your family, weigh out your options. If your set on company training then take a look at Company-Sponsored Training and look at the company's listed to make a good decision.

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.

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.

Joshua H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice. If I decide to do this I'm going to do it for two reasons. One will be for me because its a dream for me to do this and secondly I'm going to do this for my family. So the way I look at it I'm not doing this for the wrong reasons. I've been looking at a few companies that offer cdl training like prime and roehl etc. Im not sure which one to choose if I decide to do this. I guess ill just have to read on here about those companies. This looks like a great site to be on with the situation I'm in so hopefully I won't have much trouble finding what I'm looking for.

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.

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Joshua. All of the advice is spot on. I have a long time girlfriend, now fiancee and she has a young son. She and I sat down with the information I was able to gather and made a mutual decision. I gotta admit, she does better than I do with me being gone so much. I'm adjusting. We text and/ or talk on the phone everyday . Its noway the same as being there, but we make it work. Next check the CDL Training Diaries section of the forum for experiences from cdl schools. Several of us have detailed our experiences for others to read and evaluate if that is for them. I went through Roehl's school along with winetaster. I believe there are also a couple folks from prime as well. There are others there. I suggust you read through that forum . Feel free to ask any questions you have. Daniel B is also a wealth of first hand knowledge on Prime. Best wishes too you with your decisions

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.
Joshua H.'s Comment
member avatar

Yea I've been reading in that forum a lot in fact I think it was yours Pj that I read just last night. I have to admit it gave me a lot of insight on what its like going through the training program with one of these companies. I've read a few on prime as well. Im not sure which company I want to go with just yet. Im still weighing all my options out. Plus im trying to make sure that when I go to do this that all my bills at home will be covered until I start getting paid 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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Joshua, I consider part of the definition of being a man is that you do what ever it takes to provide your family with what they need. Some people seem to think you're a man just by the fact that you brought your kids into this world, and then they leave everything up to their poor distraught wife to handle everything else - that approach is cowardly at best. Now, I'm gonna give you my personal opinions here, so take them for what they are worth, but I have raised three children into very socially adept and productive young adults. I didn't start driving a truck until they were grown - the youngest was sixteen. I think trucking is hard on families, it sounds like you may know about the troubles it can cause already if your dad drives truck.

This is something that you really need to discuss openly and honestly with your wife, she needs to know fully what the two of you are getting into. She needs to realize that she is going to be the one that provides all the emotional support, discipline, and family structure for the children. You need to realize that she is going to come to resent your absence. Your kids will be disappointed many times over that Dad couldn't see them at their ball games or dance recitals, or whatever they would enjoy having your presence at. Those are not insurmountable obstacles, but they are certainly stumbling block in most young marriages/families where one spouse is a truck driver. If your wife and children need you there, then that is what a man will step up to the plate and do, he will sacrifice his own dreams and desires for the ones he holds dear. I'm not saying what you should do, I'm just trying to point out what a real man does when it comes to taking care of his family. If you've got an exceptional woman, and you will need one to make this all work out right, then you are blessed far more than most young men. I hope you can pursue your career as a professional driver, but if worse comes to worse choose your wife and family over your longings for the open road and the traveling lifestyle. This career is not going anywhere anytime soon - you can do like I did and start it later in life when your relationship with your wife is more firmly established and grounded.

Make this decision together with your wife, don't just try to ramrod her into thinking this will be the best thing for your family. Hear what she has to say, empathize with the way she feels about it and act accordingly. If she's behind you 100% then go for it, but be careful that she and you both understand that it will cause difficulties for you both and for your children. It can be done, but it must be done with care. I admire all who have managed it before.

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.

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.

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.

Joshua H.'s Comment
member avatar

Yea you are right I seen the issues as a child growing up without my father always there. I've talked a lot with my dad about all this and basically hes said exactly what you just told me. We sat down and talked a lot here lately my fiance says shes gonna support me completely through all this. I myself understand completely what im up against as far as being away for extended periods of time. Im just doing the best I can to help my fiance understand it all. And again thanks everyone for the helpful advice and information.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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