Career Change?

Topic 7729 | Page 1

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Charles G.'s Comment
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I am currently in the military and have 22 months left on my current enlistment. I a, considering getting out and am looking at truck driving. I have a family of six and just want to know can and is it likely I will make enough driving a truck to support them. I am also curious as to where to begin I would like to hae things lined up before getting out.

Charles G.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome 6 days and no replies, well atleast from reading other people's post I can see that a career change from military into trucking shouldn't be too hard and possible to support my family of six. Looks like in 22 months I will be attending a driving school.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry, Charles. I saw this after you first wrote, then it got pushed down the list. Happened to me a coupla times.

I don't have quite the family responsibility you have, but I did quit one job, went to truck school then started working for Swift.

A few schools will pay you during school, but its going to be subsistence wages. Swift doesn't pay you to be in school.

After finishing school & getting your full CDL-A, you need to get hired. Now you should get slightly more than subsistence pay. During Road Training (6 or more weeks with one Mentor driver) I was taking home less than $500, paid on my driving and duty hours.

So, generally speaking, be prepared for up to 2-3 months without much income.

Have you checked out Trucking Truth's resources?

Truck Driver's Career Guide

High Road Training Program

Truck Driving Schools

Company-Sponsored Training

How To Choose A School

How To Choose A Company

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.

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.

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.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

First let me apologize, I know that it's never anyone's intention to overlook anyone. No excuse some of us only read the first page of questions and if it was a busy day new questions get buried. I can tell you that there are many opportunities for veterans. Most trucking companies have programs that give extra perks to vets. The question of supporting a family of six ? ( god bless you ). Depends on how much you need to make. I would recommend looking at Prime Knight and Roahl. When I did my research they seemed to pay the best to start. I am at prime and couldn't be more happy. I think they have a veteran program that pays 800 a week during training.

Barbara C.'s Comment
member avatar

I know a man works at Covanent and supports his family of 14. with no stae aid.

Cody B.'s Comment
member avatar

Charles I myself just got out of the military and used my GI Bill to go to CDL school and just finished class last week and a lot of the bigger companies will over OJT Which is on the job training for everything you are a solo driver your first year, it takes one month of benefits and you get a check for about 1,200 depending on the amount of benefits you have left and what percentage of benefits you have. If you got any question just shoot me a personal message

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.
Cody B.'s Comment
member avatar

Charles I myself just got out of the military and used my GI Bill to go to CDL school and just finished class last week and a lot of the bigger companies will over OJT Which is on the job training for everything you are a solo driver your first year, it takes one month of benefits and you get a check for about 1,200 depending on the amount of benefits you have left and what percentage of benefits you have. If you got any question just shoot me a personal message

Everything= every month

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.
ChaseOne's Comment
member avatar

I am currently in the military and have 22 months left on my current enlistment. I a, considering getting out and am looking at truck driving. I have a family of six and just want to know can and is it likely I will make enough driving a truck to support them. I am also curious as to where to begin I would like to hae things lined up before getting out.

Charles, First I want to say, Thank you for your service. Second, You are in a unique position where if you can swing it, the government will train you to drive a truck and you could have all your training done before joining the civilian ranks once again. Make some inquiries into changing to the transportion branch or even have one of the guys train you in off hours. Third, If that doesn't work, when you get out you will be able get funding from the gov to receive your training. From my research, not experience, I have seen pay ranges from (low) $30,000 (which is $10,000 more than I make at my current job), up to $80,000. Everything depends on experience and the company you work for. The first couple years are the learning stages and you expect to make anywhere from $30,000 to $36,000 the first year and 40 to 50 the second. The 1st year is trucking bootcamp the second is rookie ville. Start saving your money now to have enough buffer for the first 5 months of real low pay.

James U.'s Comment
member avatar

I myself went to a private trucking school got my class a and was also working as a house framer then went to prime did 40000 miles with a trainer it took 8 weeks went home 2times during that time one of them was for a week for the first 3 weeks they pay 600 a week or .10 a mile which ever is greater then the rest of the time you are out it bumbs up to 700 a week or .10 a mile which ever is greater now its a guarantee pay so even if your trainers truck breaks down you still get that money

Charles G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice and info. I have been saving my pennies and have plenty saved so 6 months to a year of low wages I do have a buffer. The option of re classing to a truck driver in the army for a few years is an option on the table in a few months, I will keep researching and looking. Driving a truck has always been something I wanted to do so I am seriously interested and going to continue to pursue this change.

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