Everyone Thinks I'm Crazy.

Topic 690 | Page 1

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Yvonne S.'s Comment
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Not in general, just for wanting to drive a truck across country.

I have been driving a school bus as a substitute this year. I've really enjoyed this! I love being behind the wheel and snickering inside when someone says it makes them nervous to parallel park or back up their personal vehicle. On the outside, I just encourage them to practice more often if it makes them nervous. Same thing I suggest to other bus drivers.

I'm moving to SC at the end of this month. I'm finishing out the school year here. My hope is to be hired on by a company that will pay for schooling up front. I simply do not have the money for schooling otherwise. I have a CDL-A Learner's Permit and a CDL-B from my state plus all the endorsements I can get on one or the other other than HAZMAT which is not transferable so I will need to get fingerprinted and take the test once I'm down there.

I really would like to be OTR for at least a year, but if I can't get into a school, I'm going to have to take whatever work I can get in the meantime. My biggest concern is that I have a patchy work history. I was a stay at home mom for 7 years before I was diagnosed cancer six years ago and was able to beat it back, but my husband left me at the beginning of that time and left me with some large bills to. I probably should have declared bankruptcy, but I am a little stubborn about paying what is owed even when someone else incurred the debt in my name. When I was able to find work, I did and worked as a "customer service associate" (aka cashier) at a grocery store for a year and a half. At that point, I went back to school for awhile and then went on to get training as an EMT although I am not certified. Shortly after my classroom training was complete, I started training as a school bus driver. I've volunteered consistently over the years and run my property as a farm, homeschooled my children and run a couple of businesses, but...

It doesn't look good on paper. There are gaps. If you look at just "Employment History" and don't take into account my volunteer work and schooling, it looks like huge gaps. I'm worried. Of course, that may just be me. I like doing what I'm good at and if I'm not good at something, I work on it till I am. I'm really good at worrying.

So this weekend I'm packing and applying for every company paid training program I can find because I would much rather be packing my bags for school in a week than sitting somewhere else worrying and applying for less interesting careers.

Thanks for reading my not so short intro. :)



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.


Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations


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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

On a side note, let me first say you have a heck of a life story already! A lot of ups and downs I see, but it seems you're not the type to let hardships stop you from building the life you want for yourself so that's really inspiring to hear!!!

It's also cool you're running your home as a farm and home-schooling the children. I raise chickens, turkeys, beef steers, and this year I'll be adding pigs - all on a small scale - and I have a huge garden. So I dig it. And the public schools are a complete waste of time. I'm sure your kids will learn a whole lot more from you at home that will help them in their lives later on. smile.gif

As far as the job history, I don't think it will be a major problem. There are various ways to prove what you have been doing. Different companies will accept different types of proof but usually you can have people sign paperwork saying you were working for them or volunteering for them or whatever you were doing. You can show you were home-schooling the children I'm sure so that will count also.

What they fear more than anything is people who simply don't do anything. It's not that you have to have this stellar, impeccable employment history. But they want to see that you've been active, and they need proof of some sort. Once you begin speaking with recruiters you'll find out some ways of proving the various activities. It will be a bit of a hassle gathering up some paperwork here and there, but nothing monumental.

And the fact that you have some experience driving school buses is going to be a huge help. That's a biggie.

But I wouldn't sweat it. Your work history isn't going to hold you back much, if any at all.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Yvonne, we don't think you're crazy, we understand it. I think you'll do just fine at this, and I love your intro - the people I know that have overcome adversity and difficulty are the most interesting people I know, and they always seem to be blessed with an abundance of character. Well, now that I think about it may just be that the people with lots of character are the ones that handle most of life's curve balls.

Best of luck to you! Keep us updated as you can.good-luck.gif

Ozzy's Comment
member avatar


I think alot of people think we are a little crazy for wanting to drive a truck. I have run into alot of criticism from my side of the family about it, but none of them have ever driven for a living so I don't think they know where Im coming from or why I love it so much.

As far a schooling, it can be very expensive because alot of school want you to pay the $5,000 it costs before you graduate, but if you look around you can find a school that offer actual financing, like the one I found. I only had to put $400 down payment and then they financed the rest. My payments dont start until 60 days after my first day and then they are $167 a month. The company I went with is TMC and they tuition reimbursment up to $6,000. They are going to give me $100-200 a paycheck extra and it is up to me to pay my loan with that extra money.

Keep us updated, I know you told me in another thread that you are moving to Lexington; I will be in Barnwell, about 30 minutes away.

BuckeyeCowboy's Comment
member avatar

Yvonne, I'm inspired by your story. I am in the same situation you are where I can't afford it. Here in Ohio we have the WIA program where the county will pay for your school if you are considered low income. Here that is about 33k. I didnt know it exsisted till I met with a rep at the trucking school Im attending. Im sure they have something like that in your neck of the woods. Take care God bless.

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