What Did You Do Before Becoming A Truck Driver?

Topic 7924 | Page 33

Page 33 of 34 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Although I'm not a trucker yet, just recently obtained my CDLs(yesterday). But I was driving taxi before I decided to finally switch to trucking, which I have thought of for awhile now. Before taxi driving, I did a lot of freelance programming work online.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Interesting how many IT and car sales people are here, as well as law enforcement, cooks, etc.

I am 58, not a driver yet, but 98% sure that is what I will be doing in 6 to 9 months. I have to close down my business and then my plan is to go to school (probably Sage, anyone have anything bad to say about them?), get my CDL and hit the road.

USMC right out of high school as an aviation electronics tech. Worked as security guard and McDonald's as side jobs while in.

Exterminator, promoted to asst manager and sales after first year.

Construction, mostly carpentry, but we did everything from digging the footers with a backhoe, to the roof, except electrical and plumbing, and I was assigned as their helper, so I have a really good education in building. Ran my own company for a few years after my boss went out of business.

Sold cars for about 8 months and was promoted to sales manager, then finance manager. Finally one day I couldn't force myself to turn into the parking lot any more I hated it so bad, so I quit. While working there, I was the guy to fix all the computers because they were my hobby.

Started my own PC repair business, and sold fences for a friend's dad's company while I grew my business.

I have been running my PC business for 12 years, and it has started to slow down, and I am starting to hate it anyway, and on top of that, NY is a horrible state to do business in. If my wife weren't from here, I would move back to my farm in Tennessee. So, once I close down my business, I will start the next chapter of my life.

I think I got the bug when I was 8 and a construction company left an ancient double stick parked beside the road by my house while they paved the dirt road I lived on. So, yes, I knew what a double stick was, just had no idea how to use it. :)

But that didn't stop us from playing in it and pretending to be truck drivers. LOL

If I weren't married, I would sell everything and go OTR. As it is, I hope to get something local, but if not, I am looking at Maverick's glass division to get experience, then switch to local for more home time, at least until my wife gets sick of me and tosses me out. :)

I am not sure if I can handle tarping glass though, my ankle still gives me pain, along with a bad back, gout, etc. The 6 months is to close my business, try to get in better shape, and give my hair time to grow out due to using medical marijuana. I read the thread about hair testing, and for the record, not everyone uses to get high. In NY, it isn't even weed, it is a pill or oil that has the chemical that makes you high taken out. Unfortunately, it is apparently not THC that gets you high, as my pills had THC and they did nothing to get me high. They also did nothing to either help my pain, or put me to sleep so I couldn't feel it. Had I not paid $600 for two bottles of pills I would have just tossed it, but I am a cheap a**, so I finished all of them. Had I known of my career change, I would have tossed them anyway, but it is what it is.

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.

OTR:

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.

Lucky Lew's Comment
member avatar

Interesting to read about all of the diverse experience that everyone had before becoming a truck driver. I spent over 30 years managing other people. First in a restaurant and later in a hospital. Pay was good, but the stress level was sometimes just too much. I have been driving a couple of years now and plan to retire from my current company.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Roy1024's Comment
member avatar

"Before" is a long path to here: started with a degree in Physics from an elite West Coast school. Learned the steel fitter's trade while going to college. Tried to join the Naval Air Corps, but was 4-F, excluded from going to Nam in the late '60s. Fell into programming, became Director of Information Technology (there was a different name then) for one College, then moved and continued as IT Director for a different College. Then joined a NASA contractor, worked on Space Shuttle software and the Landsat project for a decade, in between working on designing computer systems for military, aerospace, and petroleum extraction applications in places as diverse as Saudi Arabia, the North Sea, and elsewhere in Europe and across the U.S. Two million miles later, switched to sitting in an office, designing computer systems for telephone switching equipment. Got tired of all of it and spent 20 years dairy farming, even went back to steel fitting for a while (and quickly got asked to be shop foreman, which I declined). Finally switched paths again, have spent the last 9 years being a college student, getting a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.S. in Genetics (from an Ivy League School). Started working on a Ph.D . in biomedical engineering, then realized that farming had spoiled me to not being inside, staring at a computer screen 12-16 hours a day. So after 9 years, I walked away from the opportunity to finish my Ph.D. work with faculty from some of the top research Universities in the U.S., after I accidentally came across a YouTube video series done by lady in Poland who had walked a way from what looked to be an opportunity for a successful career in a traditionally female profession, and had become a trucker. Her comments on her travels, her descriptions of the diversity of what she has done, her love of the freedom and the challenges, resonated with me. If she could drive flatbeds on the Ice Road, and doubles in the oil fields of northern Canada, under some of the most adverse conditions in the world, and apparently love it, (and do it with amazing poise and grace), I am confident I will be able to do those things, too, and love every minute of it (well, almost every minute). I am looking forward to not being behind a desk any longer. The science I did was interesting and intellectually challenging, but at age 70, I am really ready for something totally different. But it will also be an extension of my years farming; during those 20 years I pulled a stock trailer, or 22' flatbed equipment trailer, about 250,000 miles- just never with a big rig. Late this month (September) I will (hopefully) find a company that will give me the necessary training, and hire me, in spite of my age. I've passed the DOT medical, drug test, have updated my passport, and my TWIC card is in the mail. It has been a long time since my last traffic stop, and I'm drug-free for life. The only thing I am worried about, as I have posted elsewhere, is stuff that I don't know is in my background check (there are several minor errors in my credit report - I'm worried that other data collection outfits have made worse errors, due to me having such a common name). I sure don't want to be sent home for "lying" about my background, and it turn out to be something I did not know was there, or a traffic stop 50 yrs ago that I have long since forgotten - so I'm working on solving that puzzle. I would really like to run flatbed, but the companies I have looked at so far all want big strong guys who can throw 100+ pound tarps up on the deck. That's not me (I'm just a fairly small guy who is not overweight and never been into building muscles). Will cross that bridge if I progress far enough in this business to get to it (but there must be a way, as I have seen women no stronger than I am running flatbed). I read about all the difficulties new truckers have with being away from home, but my wife has stood with me through the last 40 years of craziness, including the 10 years I was always travelling, sometimes for many weeks at a time. Neither of us have any "family" to potentially divert our attention or time, and she is all in on this latest right-turn in our lives. I hope to meet some of you all someday.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

TWIC:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Omar C.'s Comment
member avatar

For the last 24 years I have been a bail agent in California. My brother and I ran an office in Pasadena. Unfortunately the great state of California has decided that commercial bail is in constitutional and they are on a full court press to put bail agents of out business. My brother is still giving it a go, as bail is still allowed but by 2020 the state will be running things LoL... Good luck! Speaking of luck! I decided on trucking. I did watch a bunch of videos on YouTube and was almost discouraged seeing all the videos on how bad companies are. Luckily I found this forum and stopped watching negativity on YouTube. I went through the Knight squire program and I have meet nothing but great people at Knight.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Bumping this one up. We have quite a few people now who probably haven't seen this and we enjoy hearing everyone's stories.

Christian F.'s Comment
member avatar

My story is I was a paid firefighter/EMT for 10 years (loved it), got hurt went to Dispatch police for 7 years. Left working for the police to go to the State and worked in the Records Department for the Department of Corrections (dealt with all paperwork coming and going about the inmates...ie..sentences, legal updates, intakes, releases.... Hated that and chose to get into trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Charlie T.'s Comment
member avatar

I was a Maryland State Trooper retired after 30 years of service in 2005. Worked two years after that in a small town police department and just finished 9 years as a District Court Bailiff. Time to travel and look forward to a career in trucking.

Jeff Rockholt's Comment
member avatar

Tour Bus driver for 11 Western states and school bus driver. Whenever I had a nice couple days to dead head to where I had to pick up a tour group, I was sad that the solitude would have to end and I'd be with 50 foreigners for 2 weeks. Tips were great, but being "on" all day dealing with people in addition to driving and giving tours in places even I'D never been, got to be exhausting. I've adapted to OTR , and there are many differences but enough similarities to not be a complete shock. Even when I have a blow out or breakdown, I feel thankful I don't have 50 paying customers looking at me, wondering what we're going to do, while I deal with an already stressful problem.

OTR:

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.

Brian W.'s Comment
member avatar

Construction worker. Tired of getting laid off and being at the mercy of the economy. No kids or wife. I’m ready to roll

Page 33 of 34 Previous Page 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 Military Veterans In Trucking Older truck drivers Truck Driving Lifestyle Truck Driving Stories
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