Should I Or Shouldn't I Become A Truck Driver

Topic 5481 | Page 3

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
David's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Greg, as a father and husband, I know what your going through. There are a few of us here that have experienced what your going through.

Everyone here has provided you with some AWESOME advice. I started my career in 2012, (my 2nd yr of marriage to my wife) I will tell you, that first year was the make it or break it of our relationship, but we beat it and I got 11 months OTR and found a local gig (not the best but it got me home nightly and I made about the same as OTR)

If you start now, complete schooling and get on with a company that will train you, you can get yourself out solo at the latest of Feb. giving you 3 months to get set up to being home for graduation. (its doable) HOWEVER, trucking is not a set routine. You can try all you want to get certain days off, but sh** happens and you'll not make it as planned. I strive every year to have my anniversary with my wife, Ive gotten 1 yr successful with that. Missed the first yr OTR, was a shame but I made it up the next time I was home.

I don't know what you make a yr now, but as a first year rookie you'll be looking at 30-32k for that yr. Is that the max? No, you can do more, but its an avg. Local drivers can see about 32-35 in a first yr. (This is from Salary.com) your 2nd yr you could see 35k+ and as the yrs go on, you can see more. In the 11months I did OTR my first yr, I got roughly 29k (missed 1 month which could put me at 30-32 depending on my miles if I'd stayed)

Truck driving is a lifestyle more than a job. You'll be in a space the size of a walk in closet, with no one with you. Its solitude at its finest. when your family is at home eating a great t-giving dinner, you'll probably be eating at a restraunt if your lucky or eating whatever is in your truck. You'll find yourself longing for the smell of your wife, a simple kiss, cuddling in bed or on the couch. Im not saying this to discourage you, but this is what its like. I'm not ashamed to say, Ive cried like a baby a few times in this career just because I was missing my wife and kids (im sure others have).

This biggest thing is, making sure not only you support your decision, but your wife and kids do too. As i said, the hardest part is the first yr. Its a test.

Good luck to you, and I look forward to hearing more on your story. We all are here for you and will help answer whatever questions you may have. -David

double-quotes-end.png

Dude!!! You really hit a nerve there. I mean I almost got choked up reading that. You guys have really given me some good advice and while My wife isn't accustomed to me being away since we have been together I am pretty familiar with the family separation thing as my time in the military has prepared me for that. However, there were some others there to keep me company during those times. It seems as though You guys whether it be on websites like this or just out on the road are really a good band of brothers (and sisters) and now more then ever I look foreword to sharing the roads with you. Maybe even enjoying that holiday dinner at a truck stop along the way... Thanks to ALL of you. I'M IN!!!

Wasn't aiming to hit a nerve, but unfortunetly thats what its like.

small things like Texts and phone calls go a long way. I try and send my wife a msg every morning or throught the day and talk every other day or every day if we can.

All the best for you sir, and good luck.

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.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Hit the link below and watch the video. Pay special attention to the captions for each driver shown. While the video was done by JB Hunt its a very fair video assessment of drivers and their life.

Watch this video. Its very good and truthful

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Yes that video is very good. I call my fiancee every morning to make sure she's up, but we have a chance to have coffee together as well as texting her at a minimum when I park for the day. She is very supportive but she still worries. We have skype and facetime also on those limited times we get time. She has a child in kindergarden and my schddule is anyghing but predictable. But it works for us. There is no magical answer. We are all different. You have to work that answer out between you and your signifanct other.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I did find that video as well as many more on you tube and they are very insightful as to what i should expect. Thanks to all for your advice... Be safe out there!!!!

English Dave's Comment
member avatar

I don't want to hijack this thread but it's 7 years old and I have essentially the same question just different personal details. I'll be 67 tomorrow and I've been retired from a career in software development for a couple of years now. My retirement finances are OK but marginal - my wife and I mostly rely on social security and we have medicare so things are covered assuming no disasters but we have little discretionary income to travel or do much in the fun column. Life revolves around our grandkids who are 2 and 5 and live close by and I see them for a sleepover every couple of weeks. I'm considering getting company sponsored training and going OTR for a year both to make some money to bolster the retirement and to see the country while I can still travel. My concerns are mostly about the physical requirements and staying awake during long days on the road. I don't think being away from home for weeks or the solitude etc. will be any problem. So do others start driving at a similarly late age and succeed or is this a recipe for disaster?

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I'll be 67 tomorrow... My concerns are mostly about the physical requirements and staying awake during long days on the road.

If you can pass the D.O.T. physical you are good to go. Blood pressure needs to be no higher than 140/90. Vision needs to be at least 20/40. You need to have decent hearing. Other than those things it is simple to pass.

You can manage your time however it works best for you. I know several drivers who manage their time so they can take a nice nap in the middle of their day. You are in charge. As long as you deliver on time and do it safely, your driver manager will be quite thrilled with your results.

I started my trucking career at age 53. The same day I got hired there was another man getting hired who was 73! I have met several drivers who were in their 80's and still going strong. Check out this conversation where I introduced a flatbed driver that I met on the road who was 80 years old.

Trucking For The Long Haul

Driver Manager:

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.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

I don't want to hijack this thread but it's 7 years old and I have essentially the same question just different personal details. I'll be 67 tomorrow and I've been retired from a career in software development for a couple of years now. My retirement finances are OK but marginal - my wife and I mostly rely on social security and we have medicare so things are covered assuming no disasters but we have little discretionary income to travel or do much in the fun column. Life revolves around our grandkids who are 2 and 5 and live close by and I see them for a sleepover every couple of weeks. I'm considering getting company sponsored training and going OTR for a year both to make some money to bolster the retirement and to see the country while I can still travel. My concerns are mostly about the physical requirements and staying awake during long days on the road. I don't think being away from home for weeks or the solitude etc. will be any problem. So do others start driving at a similarly late age and succeed or is this a recipe for disaster?

Howdy!

My brother got his CDL just before his 61st bday. He talked me into doing it and I got mine just after I turned 63. He had a minor stroke and was able to go back out on the road. What sidelined him was his wife having seizures and having her license taken away.

I will be 70 next month and even having AFib that the VA dragged on with meds for 4 mths, after getting my heart shocked in Feb 2020, I have been running steadily since. Due to being on BP and anticoagulant meds, I get a physical once a year. I did mine yesterday and the doc was impressed that I am still driving and pretty healthy all things considered.

You can do it!

Laura

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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Laura reveals:

I will be 70 next month (July?)

Me too! Were we separated at birth?
rofl-2.gif

I assume the ID in IDMtnGal is Idaho. My dad was born in Buhl.

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.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Laura reveals:

double-quotes-start.png

I will be 70 next month (July?)

double-quotes-end.png

Me too! Were we separated at birth?
rofl-2.gif

I assume the ID in IDMtnGal is Idaho. My dad was born in Buhl.

I was born in Chicago on 26 July 1951... All us good people are born in July :-)

When I came back from a one-year tour to Sardinia, Italy, I got stationed at Mountain Home. After I got out of the Air Force in 1988, I drove for May Trucking for 4 months and I moved to Boise. A couple years later I married my husband, who was a native of Idaho and due to him working on cattle ranches, we worked in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. A number of years after his Traumatic Brain Injury, we moved back to Idaho...in Buhl, where I still live, .25 mile north of the high school.

SMALL WORLD!!

Laura

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.
English Dave's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies and encouragement. Sounds like it is definitely doable. I guess if and when I decide to take the plunge I would need to figure out which companies offer training that run diverse routes nationwide and pay reasonably. I'm surprised that pay varies so much ($30k-$90k) over different companies. Obviously the top companies have pick of the most experienced, reliable drivers, but are the lower paid ones mostly rookies tied to a contract for a year? How important is choosing the right company?

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.

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Becoming A Truck Driver Changing Careers Choosing A Trucking Company Older truck drivers Trucker's Family Matters
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More