What Did You Do Before Becoming A Truck Driver?

Topic 7924 | Page 3

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Monica M.'s Comment
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Mail clerk in the U.S. Army (loved that little hard-top Jeep and trailer), then taught history in public high school for 20 years. Will soon join my husband in OTR as team drivers for Schneider. Looking forward to the companionship and open road. We can't afford the retiree "RV" lifestyle so this is the next best thing! We're too young for that, anyway! This is an interesting thread. I really enjoy hearing everyone's story.


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.

Rob's Comment
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Did my stint in the Navy first, then college with a degree in criminal justice. In 2000 I took a sales director gig with a major software company thinking i would just use it to pay for law school or until i found out what i "really wanted to do". I also had this overwhelming passion for trucking and always found the lifestyle exciting. Anyway, i never intended on a long term sales career and ended up spending the next 12 years *****ing about how I hated sales but i had everyone telling me I'd be stupid to give up, what would end up becoming a multi 6 figure a year job. So i gave up the idea of law school and put my "obsession" with trucking to the side all in the name of the mighty dollar. I DEEPLY REGRET THAT and still beat myself up everyday for not following my heart back then. So, i stuck it out till 2012, did just enough to not get fired, collected my commissions, ****ed away most of my money on cars and motorcycles, took a beating on my house because the economy crashed, until i finally said enough is enough and resigned in sept 2012, determined to finally be a trucker. That got delayed, unfortunately, because of a long drawn out battle with my bank over my house which just finally ended in october. Currently "tinkering" around in real estate and getting ready to attend a CSS but now just have to convince the wife, hence the real delay. Anyway, i spend every day wishing I had become a trucker. Never intended on a sales career. I hate salesmen.

Well, thats my story and im sticking to it. The moral of this story kiddies is " do what your heart tells you". Money is great but it definitely doesnt bring happiness. Take it from me..........ive spent 15 years in a career I despise, sales, all because i listened to other people who said go for the money. I shoulda been a trucker. My beard would be down to my knees by now.

Whewwww, it actually feels good to get that out there. Never realized how miserable i really was until i typed it all out. Think it's time to tell the wife she is gonna have to accept the fact sales is over for me. It's time to stop "planning to be a trucker" and just become one. K......carry on. :).


Operating While Intoxicated

Craig T.'s Comment
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Burnt myself out in High School doing International Baccalaureate and went straight into college anyway like a sucker. Didn't take long for me to realize it was a mistake for someone like myself but, I don't like to quit so I sucked it up until I got my BS. Vowed to never go to grad school and looked to do some honest work - like helping people instead of going into Business (I majored in Business and boy did my professors make me cynical in regards to the bottom line.)

From there I worked my butt off doing the graveyard shift at a private drug rehab center while going to EMT school, joining the municipal Search & Rescue team, and getting my foot in the door of the Fire Department. Did that for about 2 years before trying out as a Fire/Medical/Emergency Dispatcher. 6 months into that and my faith in humanity dropped to an all time low. So I quit everything and took a break from civilization.

Upon my return, I stayed low key and took a job as an out-of-state delivery driver for a pet food distribution company. I drive a box truck around moving thousands of pounds of dog food by hand and help out the warehouse guys when I can. Meant to use this job as a platform to really think about a career I could actually see myself doing for the rest of my life. Took awhile for me to realize that it's right in front of my face. I'm done with fulfilling other people's expectations of what I should be doing as if I'm better and need to make 6 figures. Honest hard work that takes me all over the place is what gets me up off the floor (I sleep on the floor instead of a bed.)

I want to be a trucker. Going to give Prime's PSD program my best - starting next month.


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.


Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Rick S.'s Comment
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Navy 79-81 - Electronics Tech.

Got into computers after the Navy - went out on my own doing consulting/sales/service for the Law Office market.

34 years doing this - I want to put a shotgun in my mouth every time some retard calls. Not that I'm not grateful for my skillset - but I AM OVER IT.

Went to CDL School for 9 weeks, a few years ago - never used my CDL/PTX endorsed, TWIC , Med Card - kept everything current.

Trying to wrap some business things up - sell off all my crapola (so I can go "homeless for awhile) and do a refresher.

Time is flying by this year - but I'm looking at getting into an orientation - probably early summer and GTF on with my life.



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.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Jopa's Comment
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OK, my turn:

Right out of high school (1969) everyone was going to Viet Nam or Germany - the draft ... all my aged family menfolk went, along with my best friends - one cousin was an F-4 Phantom back seat driver and was killed on his first mission - shot down with a full compliment of ordinance ... left a big hole in the ground, ME? An unwilling draft-dodger (Orange County, CA) as my oldest sister hid my draft notice from me for a year - long story ... meanwhile I was in the United Steel Worker Union making good money in a factory job in Torrance, CA. When my two best friends got back from Nam and out of the army all three of us moved to Truckee, CA where I still live today ... worked in the woods worked as a plumber, cut firewood, was a chain-ape, worked at the local saw-mill, drove local construction dump-trucks, did whatever it took to raise two kids . . . got divorced and moved back to Orange County to start the first ChemDry Carpet Cleaning franchise there, gave it back to my ex-father-in-law since he paid for it, then started college as a 32 year old freshman in Information & Computer Science at UCI (University of California, Irvine) ... spent almost 8 years there cause I was trying to work and go to school and the math was WAY over my head so I left without graduating . . . went into IT with a large banking firm (GlenFed Mortgage) who closed their doors after 2 years there, became a computer consultant for Price-Waterhouse for two years, moved to the bay area to run one of 22 companies owned by a guy from Chicago where we did industrial cleaning (like sewer lines, sewer plant, refineries, etc.) where I trained my guys how to drive the 10-wheelers that had the equipment built on the back, worked for another, smaller computer consulting firm in the bay area, moved back to Truckee to be operations manager for an environmental company doing UST upgrades, moved on to national company doing the same thing at Nuke plants and military bases, went back to Truckee and started cutting firewood with my son, worked as a house painter for 2 years, worked a time-share condo maintenance guy for 18 moths, took a job with a start-up software developer in the slot machine business, got fired for being the "old fart" at 62 among a bunch of 20-30 year olds (first one hired but also after 13 months and the new "medical insurance" was being purchased, they saw that I was REALLY expensive) so then what does a useless old fart do to make a living?? He goes to Prime, Inc and gets trained as a TRUCK DRIVER, that's what. Whew, that was a lot of stuff ...



David L.'s Comment
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Graduated HS in 1970, so I'm 62 this year. I started as a fast food manager in 1972 when most of the food was "real". Joined the USAF in1973 and spent 20 years as an intel analyst. Duty in Japan/Okinawa, Italy, NSA, and HQ in San Antonio. Retired in 1993 and as peace had broken out could not find a civilian slot. I backed my way into IT before certification was the holy grail and worked for state agencies in TX and FL. I did a two year stint as manager for Luby's cafeterias when all the food was from scratch! Finally did seven years with a hospice software company before "retiring" again. The last several years were miserable due to lousy management in our section. Found out recently that a couple of real good transfer opportunities were blocked by the former CEO. She would not release us to take hospice IT positions. I might still be doing that if I could have transferred. Anyway, I was leaving the first of this year with my wife's blessing. My eldest son had started a new career in trucking and we got to talking about teaming. Short version is that I'm mid-way through my mentor training with my son and Swift. It's challenging and I'm looking forward to the next few years.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
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David, I sent you a PM.

David L.'s Comment
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David, I sent you a PM.

Got it and replied! Small world!

Brian M.'s Comment
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I was Vice President of a company that specialized in the precious metal industry (don't kill me) I was a part time lobbiest for the same industry.

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Make it short n sweet lol massive chrome plant in El Monte Calif. auto polishing dept. Only white guy who stuck around, learnt spanish training newbs the job. Ran dept somewhat lol our boss did his 20 reitred @ 40 , he was a tax evader guy,. Buddy got the spot, so was no where for me to go up, 7 years I just up quit. Trash truck mechanic where dad worked, in Baldwin Park, Cal. 1 year on lube rack, then to floor doing in-frames and all repairs as needed, later bought by Waste Management. Stayed there 7 years, then took a spot @ Pepsi Cola, worked there between 2 locations 9 months, then back to Waste man. for a $3 hour raise. 1 year later got hooked up on a waste oil tanker outfit in Los Angeles, boss and I kept fleet up and running, he was old trucker, taught me about the log books kinda, updating permits n tags etc for rigs. Job was rocky cuz owner had a coke problem. So saved n sold and moved here to Arizona, w/ a gf and our 3 kids. Worked for Ford Dealer 5+ years, Dodge dealer 1 year. Ended up kids teenagers went to moms n her hubbies in Cali, got rid of the GF haha. Stayed here 3 years longer, after dad died and mom could get soc sec. 57 too young it seems for spouse, when she hit 60 and got that, back to Cali I went 2001, worked small independant shop auto repairs and u-haul rentals + repairs, road service for U Haul. Nissan forklifts '06-'08, cerified learnt sumpin new. Moved back to Arizona when my mom got diagnosed with cancer, she died 5 days before I got moved here, been a lil stuck here since, now broken leg at job, still dealing with that 6 months later, and been researching trucking 8-9 months since I found this great site by accident! Wheeewwwww anways I been a round a bit, just hoping this leg thing don't kill my shot at the open road, career change. Now ortho doc's talking a plate n screws since shinbone shows no progress! I told him months ago "let's just wrap a beer can around it, a few screws, and call it a day! I'm tired of it he laughed......Anyways thats the shortened version minus boring micro details lol

Stevo :)


Driving While Intoxicated

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