Trucker Vs. Computer Programmer? Two Jobs Lined Up.

Topic 5686 | Page 1

Page 1 of 4 Next Page Go To Page:
T.W.'s Comment
member avatar

I got my CDL and have a job lined up with US Xpress. Its dedicated run from Michigan to Ohio. Pay is .46 per mile. They run you hard I am told. I would be home every night. Pay is ok, hours are crazy. Benefits are good. The trucking career may mess up my resume since its taking me in a totally different direction from customer service to truck driver. However, the freedom of the road appeals to me a lot and the adventure. It just seems more fun. After 3 years I will be making 50k a year and full benefits to start. Seems like a no brainer.

I have another job offer in the I.T. world. since I have some programming and customer service experience. I am getting job offers from IT recruiters. My resume is geared more towards customer service with an emphasis on computers. The pay is $18 per hour for a programming/tech support job that was offered to me with no benefits. However, with time I can build up my resume and land a higher paying job w/benefits. The I.T. experience would amp up my resume a lot. I have been studying programming for 2 years by being self-taught. I have learned C++, Javascript, HTML, CSS, and now Objective C. Not impressive by any means. I do not have CS degree. Seems like computers are taking over every industry these days. But will the IT field be secure for 50 year olds?

I am in my mid-40's and this decision is going to map out the rest of life or until retirement. Not sure which path to take to reap the most benefits? I am looking for longevity in a new career and decent pay.

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.

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Matt S.'s Comment
member avatar

This certainly is not an easy choice to make. The IT industry has always been kind of feast or famine. I've made good money and I've struggled mightily. The nice thing about trucking is that it is a growing industry. There is a critical shortage of drivers so I would expect salaries to climb. IT is so vulnerable to layoffs and downsizing. Ultimately, it is your choice. I got out of IT to pursue a trucking career.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David L.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been doing system admin, field/desktop support, and software support work since 93. It's been good to me/us, but it is very stressful due to market demands, the economy, etc. the money is OK and I've had decent benefits though I'm also retired USAF and haven't had the problems with medical coverage. I'm fried at 62 and stuck in a truly dead end position. I'm OVER being judged in performance by metrics derived from models that DO NOT measure what I do but what I SHOUD do. I don't mind accountability but the IT world loves metrics. I've been cursed with marginal leadership that runs scared and won't do the right thing as a base line. But, the field is getting ever more diverse and some thrive in this arena. I'm leaving before I finally lose it and burn bridges! I've got an opportunity to drive with my son and we are both looking forward to the time together and the challenges. He'll be the senior driver!

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.
Gunner's Comment
member avatar

I've been doing system admin, field/desktop support, and software support work since 93. It's been good to me/us, but it is very stressful due to market demands, the economy, etc. the money is OK and I've had decent benefits though I'm also retired USAF and haven't had the problems with medical coverage. I'm fried at 62 and stuck in a truly dead end position. I'm OVER being judged in performance by metrics derived from models that DO NOT measure what I do but what I SHOUD do. I don't mind accountability but the IT world loves metrics. I've been cursed with marginal leadership that runs scared and won't do the right thing as a base line. But, the field is getting ever more diverse and some thrive in this arena. I'm leaving before I finally lose it and burn bridges! I've got an opportunity to drive with my son and we are both looking forward to the time together and the challenges. He'll be the senior driver!

I left IT (Sales side) after a 12 year career. Funny thing is for those 12 years I kept saying, "this is my last conference......this is the year I'm going to become a trucker". Well, I finally left IT 2 years ago. Totally burned out. Gave up the money and the benefits. 2 years later and I'm still in sales, real estate this time, which is equally grueling I must say. I don't make squat now and I'm now just realizing that my hesitation is because I'm afraid of making the wrong decision.

My point is this.......if you have a passion for trucking than don't be a scared little wuss like me. Do what you feel will make you happy. Everyday, I'm about an hour away from finally committing to a school but I come up with some lame ass excuse to hold off on that decision until the next day. DON'T DO THAT.

If you have a passion for trucking DO IT. The money will come in due time b/c you'll get up every morning ready to get rolling, which will bring in the $$$. Trucking will always have security. There is a shortage right now in the 10's of thousands for truckers. There's a ton of money to be made out there.

Damn, I need to take my own advice already b/c sales sucks...

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.
David L.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I've been doing system admin, field/desktop support, and software support work since 93. It's been good to me/us, but it is very stressful due to market demands, the economy, etc. the money is OK and I've had decent benefits though I'm also retired USAF and haven't had the problems with medical coverage. I'm fried at 62 and stuck in a truly dead end position. I'm OVER being judged in performance by metrics derived from models that DO NOT measure what I do but what I SHOUD do. I don't mind accountability but the IT world loves metrics. I've been cursed with marginal leadership that runs scared and won't do the right thing as a base line. But, the field is getting ever more diverse and some thrive in this arena. I'm leaving before I finally lose it and burn bridges! I've got an opportunity to drive with my son and we are both looking forward to the time together and the challenges. He'll be the senior driver!

double-quotes-end.png

I left IT (Sales side) after a 12 year career. Funny thing is for those 12 years I kept saying, "this is my last conference......this is the year I'm going to become a trucker". Well, I finally left IT 2 years ago. Totally burned out. Gave up the money and the benefits. 2 years later and I'm still in sales, real estate this time, which is equally grueling I must say. I don't make squat now and I'm now just realizing that my hesitation is because I'm afraid of making the wrong decision.

My point is this.......if you have a passion for trucking than don't be a scared little wuss like me. Do what you feel will make you happy. Everyday, I'm about an hour away from finally committing to a school but I come up with some lame ass excuse to hold off on that decision until the next day. DON'T DO THAT.

If you have a passion for trucking DO IT. The money will come in due time b/c you'll get up every morning ready to get rolling, which will bring in the $$$. Trucking will always have security. There is a shortage right now in the 10's of thousands for truckers. There's a ton of money to be made out there.

Damn, I need to take my own advice already b/c sales sucks...

I've got my short timers calendar running: 81 days (45 working days) and I cut the current umbilical! Do the study, get the permit, and jump. I realize I am a bit older than most and I have some safety net with retirement from the military and a little from a state job, but I'm really excited to be able emotionally and physically to start over again. I'm also going to team drive with my son and that's exciting at a whole different level.

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.
T.W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey fellas, great stuff....at least it gives me some insight into the careers. Trucking is secure field. IT seems a lot of burnout is happening.

I will investigate it more.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

My mother always used to say, "Do what you love, and everything else will fall into place." She would then explain that if you loved what you did, you would naturally do well in it. You wouldn't have to worry about the promotions, advancement, recognition, or whatever, because you would do well enough that those things would come easily. For the same reason, so would the money. Remember, no one can pay you enough ...there wouldn't be enough money in the world ...to pay you to hate what you're doing 'cause there's no figure out there that would be enough to make up for that.

-mountain girl

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
"Do what you love, and everything else will fall into place."

I love that post. I have a friend that seems to have every degree and license and certification there is to get dealing with programing. I won't go into detail who he works for but needless to say even he has seen the ups and downs. He writes and implements custom security software for major companies. Mostly Fortune 100 companies. He has to deal the heads of companies, big egos there, cause some of the work is for personal security software for their homes.

Anyway I am on track to gross over 54k this year. My friends makes 3 to 4 times that much. You know what? He wishes he had my job! :>) I have way less stress and I am much happier than he is.

LLife to to short just to sit in a windowless office while others control your fate no matter how hard you work. In trucking I get to control my own fate. Trucking is among the dying industries that you actually control how well you do. That is rare now a days. Trucking will always be here. Plenty of job security. Contrary to rumors computers are a very long way off from taking the place of a Trucker.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

"Do what you love, and everything else will fall into place."

double-quotes-end.png

I love that post.

-Guyjax

Thank you. That was my Mamma.

Anyway I am on track to gross over 54k this year. My friend makes 3 to 4 times that much. You know what? He wishes he had my job! I have way less stress and I am much happier than he is.

-Guyjax

I think happiness must be factored in to your career decisions.

Most of the time, these guys not only have a sizable income, they have an expensive lifestyle. They have to "live large" in order to succeed in their environment. When they lose-out financially, or the market turns, they feel it, big time because they have more at stake. Therefore, if we keep it simple, we can live rather comfortably. Some of the stress factors that guys (and their families) like your friend have to deal with (keeping up with an image, maintaining an exorbitantly expensive wardrobe, etc.,) are way too much for me. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy life's luxuries but not when they become necessities.

-mountain girl

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Can you imagine making $150-200k and living paycheck-to-paycheck. I've seen it. I know people like this. I think it would be awful. I would bet that people who are happy in their profession but make less, probably save more, in the end, anyway.

-mountain girl

Page 1 of 4 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:

Becoming A Truck Driver Changing Careers Older truck drivers
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