What To Do While Waiting Until I'm 21 To Become A Truck Driver?

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Car Washer Mac's Comment
member avatar

Hello, all. This will be my first post on not just this forum, but any forum, ever. First, a little background on myself: I'm 18 years old. Im a student attending university (liberal arts major). I work at UPS part time in the evenings as an Unloader, making $11 an hour. I live at home with my parents. I want to leave school because I'm spending $4500 a semester of my moms money and I havent learned all that much. I have no idea what I will do with a degree that interests me, and it is uncertain that I even will get a job once I finish college, now that everyone and his brother has a degree. I want to stop before more damage is done.

I am seriously interested in trucking as a career and I have spent months reading forums and watching YouTube videos about the trade and the lifestyle. So, I'm informed, I just need to act. The only problem is my age. I can get a CDL at 18, but I have a very small chance of getting a job until I turn 21, and even then it's slim pickin.

What should I do until then? I have reservations about staying at UPS because I make less than $1000 a month and I'm afraid I won't be able to support myself in the meantime.

Any advice or perspective you guys could lend would be great.

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.
Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi package handler it sounds as if your committed to this lifestyle already. I myself wanted to live the dream for since I was young unfortunately it took me till I was 48 to act on it. Your research has proved valuable so far and continue with what your doing. First I would stay at your job at ups until you find a job that you can support yourself on. You may find a better paying job on a sight called indeed. Just make sure it's something that you want to do until your 21. Jumping from job to job isn't going to help you when the day comes and you want a trucking job. As far as school I suggest trying to tough it out. I like yourself found myself not really stimulated with college. What I learned later on in life was that I wouldn't have traded those experiences. College is where you find out what you want to do in life and if it leads you to truck driving, then you'll be an educated truck driver. I understand how much it stinks to wait but you'll be surprised how quickly time will fly

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You might inquire into local jobs like pepsi or coke or restaurant delivery like Sysco.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Local companies as were mentioned would be a great starting point and who knows, you might enjoy it so much you stick with it for a while. Not to rain on the parade but liberal arts and philosophy will really only qualify you for a career as a barista at Starbucks. Once truck driving gets in your blood, it's pretty much there to stay. Good luck, stick with it and welcome to the site.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

If you want to end up over the road. I would suggest getting a job as a trailer mechanic or diesel mechanic for a bigger company in your area... JB Hunt is hiring for one in San Antonio right now... Just go tell them that you want to become an otr guy and that your not old enough. you already have your cdl (get your cdl) and that you want to learn everything about the trucks. how many guys have sat on the side of the road because their fuel filter lol. you would know to carry an extra... if you had to bypass something ;) you would know how to do it instead of waiting on the side of the road. plus its not bad money while waiting to drive. some would even argue the money is better... and once you go over the road if you dont like it... you are more versatile less expendable. and if you want to go local... you can up end being a heavy equipment mechanic and a driver delivering the excavator and fixing it if it breaks but mostly routine maintenance and delivering the wide loads... you have a thousand options. but thats what I will always suggest to the one that has to wait but wants to learn. youll know the pretrip better than anyone if you have to fix the everyday. except for daniel he has a masters in the pretrip.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

Local companies as were mentioned would be a great starting point and who knows, you might enjoy it so much you stick with it for a while. Not to rain on the parade but liberal arts and philosophy will really only qualify you for a career as a barista at Starbucks. Once truck driving gets in your blood, it's pretty much there to stay. Good luck, stick with it and welcome to the site.

AMEN Brother ... if you are going to spend the time AND money for school, dump the "Liberal Arts/Basket Weaving" and take something meaningful ... Math or Real Science are going to be the least "indoctrination" -centric type of studies ... do some IT "Problem Solving" classes (skip the "How To" classes like MS Word or Excel and go for programming concepts - these will actually tune your mind up for you) ... HOWEVER, your question was about what to do re: Trucking in the meanwhile while the wetness behind the ears evaporates ... good suggestions here about finding work ancillary to the ole' truckin' world ... keep looking and keep asking until you find something that keeps you at least NEAR the game until you can get into the game ... use your imagination ... meanwhile, do you realize how many young people you have PASSED UP by showing a mature assessment of your future and wanting to so something about it? Maybe those ears are drying up faster than expected ... personally, I recommend you make a private study about the world of policy and politics while you have the time as this part of your life will become more and more important as you age and acquire a family and responsibility ... and DO NOT neglect getting to know the Creator and His Son ... that's the most important thing you can do ...

Jopa

smile.gifsmile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

You've already got your foot in the door @ UPS, might wanna check into it there, put in the time unloading, and move up. My brothers driven for UPS 32 years(well 28, 4 he did what your doing) Went in to package delivery 14 years or so, then moved up to big rigs. He makes over $30 an hour, not counting overtime! 60 hour weeks, all local, within 200 miles. He got our family friend in 2 years after he was there, now he has done his 30th year at UPS and also drives the big trucks! Both started about your age, give or take a year or so. My dad' buddy was the 7th guy driving , when UPS started, how my bro got in. I applied, but let's just say the interviewer, was racist

Jopa's Comment
member avatar
I applied, but let's just say the interviewer, was racist

... or he didn't like air-cooled VW's - ya never know ...

Jopa

shocked.pngrofl-3.gifsorry.gif

Car Washer Mac's Comment
member avatar

If you want to end up over the road. I would suggest getting a job as a trailer mechanic or diesel mechanic for a bigger company in your area... JB Hunt is hiring for one in San Antonio right now... Just go tell them that you want to become an otr guy and that your not old enough. you already have your cdl (get your cdl) and that you want to learn everything about the trucks. how many guys have sat on the side of the road because their fuel filter lol. you would know to carry an extra... if you had to bypass something ;) you would know how to do it instead of waiting on the side of the road. plus its not bad money while waiting to drive. some would even argue the money is better... and once you go over the road if you dont like it... you are more versatile less expendable. and if you want to go local... you can up end being a heavy equipment mechanic and a driver delivering the excavator and fixing it if it breaks but mostly routine maintenance and delivering the wide loads... you have a thousand options. but thats what I will always suggest to the one that has to wait but wants to learn. youll know the pretrip better than anyone if you have to fix the everyday. except for daniel he has a masters in the pretrip.

That's a good idea! I could use this time to learn about the trucks. That would put me ahead of the pack when the time comes to start trucking. Do the companies usually train diesel mechanics or would I have to go to a vocational school? I have no experience whatsoever with fixing things, but I'm definitely willing to learn. I want to go OTR eventually (I have the traveling bug). So I would only work for UPS until I'm old enough to do that.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Some places will do ojt and let you work your way up. You'll start out on the lube rack and your motivation to move up will most likely be recognized. Talk to the techs, get to where one will take you under their wing and teach you. Either that route or you can do a vocational school or both by taking night courses.

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