Should I Or Shouldn't I Become A Truck Driver

Topic 5481 | Page 4

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Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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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?

Howdy, English Dave!

Here's a set of links that are a GREAT starter kit; the 2nd one being Brett's book, for free!

Additionally, if you go to the 4th blue tab down, where you found this forum, click it .."All Topics By Tags" and you can search most everything!!

Wish you well, good sir. I'm a driver's wife, but I can tell you, after completing the 1st year with what people call a 'starter' company, you may indeed decide to stay past your 'year' of training commitment, as did my husband, and : G'Town, and MANY drivers & mods here, ie: Truckin Along with Kearsey, and Big Scott with CFI .. I'd run out of allowable type characters if i'd include them all!!

When you 'digest' all the above, we have a real simple 'one and done' application that WILL go out to the companies, interested in training you. We highly recommend this at Trucking Truth, and wish you the best!

Apply For Paid CDL Training

~ Anne ~

ps: MANY (most?) CDL publications will indeed quote the 'median' age for truckers beginning as a 2nd career (or ever!) in the 50's. You are NOT old, as the others have shared!! My guy is 50 plus, as well.

Go for it, keep us posted!!!

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
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.

A lot of companies that hire rookies meet all three of your criteria.

  • Offer training
  • Run diverse routes nationwide
  • Pay a fair wage

Here's a great place to start your search for companies that meet your needs...

Paid CDL Training Programs

I'm surprised that pay varies so much ($30k-$90k) over different companies.

Dave, one of the biggest problems newcomers to trucking run into is sorting through and understanding the information they come across concerning this career. Most of your rookie drivers are going to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $45,000 to $55,000 their first year. Remember that we don't have salaries in this business. Everyone's pay is performance based. You get paid for what you accomplish. Some folks pick up on how to be more productive a lot quicker than others. Each driver measures out his own level of pay out here. An experienced hand at this is obviously going to know how to be more productive than a greenhorn newbie. Pay varies because drivers vary in their levels of productivity.

are the lower paid ones mostly rookies tied to a contract for a year?

Absolutely not. Prime has a lot of rookie drivers who are exceeding the national averages I gave you above. They have a lot of drivers contracted to them for training. That is just one example. Don't let the whiners on the internet confuse you. Truckers measure out their own results. This is not a career where our pay is measured by hourly wages, seniority, or years of experience. The folks who want to earn more learn how to accomplish more. It is honestly that simple, but is still somewhat complex. If it were easy everybody would be doing it. This is a special job that requires special people.

How important is choosing the right company?

As much as you'd like to believe the nonsense you've read online about this career, I am afraid so much of what has already influenced you is complete nonsense. There are no right or wrong companies. There are not certain trucking companies out here that you want to avoid because they are bad places to work. You can read all kinds of nonsense about some of these companies, but the ridiculous stories come from rookie drivers who couldn't figure out how to be productive. Any of the companies you see slandered online have a really great core group of professionals that have been with them for years. Some of the most maligned trucking companies have long lists of million miler drivers still on board with them. I started my career at one of the companies that is often compared with the plantation owning slave owners. Their reviews are absolutely frightening. None of it was true. I made fifty thousand dollars my first year there, and that was almost nine years ago.

They treated me like a king. I had all the freight I could handle, and I had a great relationship with my managers. They got me home when I needed and they kept me moving when I was on the road. That all came about while other drivers there couldn't seem to make minimum wage. What was the difference? It certainly wasn't the company. They wanted to keep everybody moving like I was. It was the drivers who couldn't handle the responsibilities of the job. Far more important than choosing the right company is choosing how you are going to operate your own truck and be productive with it. Don't get all tangled up on worrying over what name is on your truck. If you want to focus on something, focus on the man who is driving the truck. He is the one who will determine your success and your income. Check out this article and see if it doesn't help you understand a few of the things I am trying to help you with.

Show Me The Money!

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.

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