My Journey To A New Life As An OTR Trucker Begins

Topic 758 | Page 1

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:
Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to be a truck driver more than I have ever wanted any job before in my life. For the first time ever, I have a crystal clear vision of what I really want as a career. I have been dreaming about it for years. At 58 years old, some may think it is late for that perhaps, but I say better now than never, and now I am ready with nothing to hold me back. No marriage, no kids, spotless driving record, no criminal history, decent health, with nothing to keep me from a new home on the road, I hope. I have been reading this forum for a couple of weeks now, and have been fascinated. There is so much great information here, and valuable assistance in helping one to make good decisions and to help get folks off on the right foot. I have decided to do like others and document my experiences in order to give a little back and help others.

My first steps have been to do research. I read Brett Aquila's book several months ago, along with a couple of others. Recently, I discovered this web site among others while continuing the research. It is now a go. I began working on the High Road CDL Training Program, and will test for my Texas CDL learners permit as soon as possible.

While researching, I was on the Swift website, and noticed they were offering full scholarships for veterans for their training program. I also looked at other opportunities with other companies like Schneider and Prime, and also driving schools, but I am somewhat in dire straits being currently unemployed and low on funds, I need to get to work quickly. Swift appears to have a good reputation for a starter company, with good equipment and fast paced training. With virtually no cost to me, Swift just looks to me like a winner. I contacted a recruiter at Swift, and after talking, he believed based upon what I told him about myself, that I would be an excellent candidate. I put in my application today. Hopefully, I will hear back from the them soon. I also paid a visit to the eye doctor to get new glasses to ensure my vision is corrected to 20/20. My other main worry is my hearing, but I have hearing aids to correct that on order through the VA arriving on 8/5. I hope by the middle of August, I am in Corsicana, TX for Swift training.

I will keep ya'll 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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Traffic Jam (SunnyWalker.'s Comment
member avatar

Dear Tim L.: Corsicana, TX? Cool, right near Huntsville, TX. My ole "company" stomping grounds. If you get time go down to Huntsville and go through the Prison Museum. Also right downtown, across from the courthouse is the greatest cafe. Old town. You'll enjoy it. I used to work for TDCJ and just retired after 20 yrs., and about one month. I have met some Swift drivers around here and they all told me their experience was positive and they were driving. They all had good attitudes. Just to be clear-I am not a driver yet and will be starting training this Mon 6/10/13 in Midland, TX.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Tim - I'm really looking forward to following along with ya! Definitely work hard at trying to complete the High Road CDL Training Program. Believe me, you'll be sooooooo glad you did. Starting your trucking career is simply information overload. They cram as much information into your brain as they can in a short amount of time, and they leave out quite a bit that they should be covering. So our CDL test preparation course, The High Road, goes a long ways to helping you learn the materials thoroughly, prepare for your CDL permit exam, and get a huge head start on the rest of your training class.

Never hesitate to ask us anything. We're always happy to help out! smile.gif

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

Dear Tim L.: Corsicana, TX? Cool, right near Huntsville, TX. My ole "company" stomping grounds. If you get time go down to Huntsville and go through the Prison Museum. Also right downtown, across from the courthouse is the greatest cafe. Old town. You'll enjoy it. I used to work for TDCJ and just retired after 20 yrs., and about one month. I have met some Swift drivers around here and they all told me their experience was positive and they were driving. They all had good attitudes. Just to be clear-I am not a driver yet and will be starting training this Mon 6/10/13 in Midland, TX.

I was in Huntsville a few years back, and also spent time on the lake nearby. Thanks for your reply, and good luck in Midland. I hope you will keep us posted.

Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Tim - I'm really looking forward to following along with ya! Definitely work hard at trying to complete the High Road CDL Training Program. Believe me, you'll be sooooooo glad you did. Starting your trucking career is simply information overload. They cram as much information into your brain as they can in a short amount of time, and they leave out quite a bit that they should be covering. So our CDL test preparation course, The High Road, goes a long ways to helping you learn the materials thoroughly, prepare for your CDL permit exam, and get a huge head start on the rest of your training class.

Never hesitate to ask us anything. We're always happy to help out! smile.gif

Thanks, Brett. I plan to finish all the High Road CDL Training as soon as possible, and get my permit. I am going to be so busy in the next two months. I am also busy taking care of my mother's estate, and also working to get myself into better physical condition. Swift sent documents by email to be electronically signed so they can get started with background checks, etc. I should not have any problems with that, at least none that I can think of, as I have kept out of trouble, and I was honest on my application. I actually have a lot of questions, but I will research more of the forum for the answers so you are not repeating yourselves.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

You'll find most of the answers to any questions you may have in our Trucker's Career Guide or here in the forum. But never hesitate to ask us anything. We might point you to a link on our site because you'll get the best answer that way, or we might answer it straight up. But we love helping out any way we can and we'll make sure you get your answer one way or another.

Randy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I am doing the same thing I am 51 and never driven before but always thought it would be what I wanted to do and if my day job ever went south I would be driving. Well still have the day job (31 years same place) but going to do the career change anyway. The online CDL test preparation course they have here helped me get my CDL permit for Illinois, just took the test yesterday. Best of luck and hope it all works out for you. Randy

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.
Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

I am doing the same thing I am 51 and never driven before but always thought it would be what I wanted to do and if my day job ever went south I would be driving. Well still have the day job (31 years same place) but going to do the career change anyway the online course they have here helped me get my CDL permit for Illinois, just took the test yesterday. Best of luck and hope it all works out for you. Randy

Thanks, Randy. Failure is just not an option. Absorbing the lessons all these folks are willing to share, both from the forum and High Road, has taken the apprehension away as far as passing the test. I am still worried somewhat about passing the physical because of some hearing loss and BP issues, but I think I will make it. As for the driving, I intend to do just as advised here. Go into it with a good attitude, and listen and learn.

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.
Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

Spoke with my Swift recruiter today. He sounded very upbeat, which made me feel good. He is sending more information, and instructions about going to the next step....some online stuff. Will keep you posted.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Have you been sending out applications to various companies? I always recommend rifling off applications to as many of the trucking companies that offer paid training as possible. You might get on with Swift right away, but in case it falls through you'll have other options lined up.

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.
Page 1 of 5 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

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