Unfortunately

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Lawrence K.'s Comment
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Unfortunately, it appears that my truck driving "dream" has been shattered. Because of several factors, company-sponsored driving schools are not available to me, and I cannot finance community college. Before you ask, Yes, I have looked into all the retraining, loan, etc., options and nothing is available to me. I even thought of a novel way to raise money, but I received total scorn for it.

It's been a long time since I felt like living (no, I am not going to end my life), and that feeling is now gone. Eeyore is full of hope compared to me.

Thank you all for your support while I searched what options are available. And thank you, Brett, for this great site.

Lawrence Now "Off Duty"

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Now wait a minute. The only thing standing between you and a new career in trucking is a few thousand bucks for school? Heck, you could work a part time job at McDonald's or a grocery store for a few months and raise that kind of money.

From the movie "Red Tails":

Nothing’s difficult, everything’s a challenge. Through adversity to the stars. To the last plane, to the last bullet to the last men to the last minute, we fight! We fight! We fight!

Awesome Movie Clip from Red Tails

You've gotta have some fight in you if you want to make this happen. You've gotta find a way. There's definitely a way. If you went blind or lost your legs then I might say it's time to look for a different career. But not being able to afford a few thousand bucks for school? You've gotta find that determination inside yourself to make that happen.

You must have seen this list about Abraham Lincoln and the setbacks he overcame through the years to eventually become President:

1831 - Lost his job 1832 - Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature 1833 - Failed in business 1834 - Elected to Illinois State Legislature (success) 1835 - Sweetheart died 1836 - Had nervous breakdown 1838 - Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker 1843 - Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress 1846 - Elected to Congress (success) 1848 - Lost re-nomination 1849 - Rejected for land officer position 1854 - Defeated in run for U.S. Senate 1856 - Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President 1858 - Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate 1860 - Elected President (success)

Now you may say you choose not to pursue trucking at this point and nobody will question your career decisions. But I can't imagine that having to raise a few thousand bucks would keep you from making this happen. If you want it, go get it, and don't stop until you have it. smile.gif

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Wow, I really was not expecting that. Sir, you can't just give up so easily. We always say "roll with the punches" on TT and that's exactly what you have to do in this situation. Listen, Kathy on here was wanting to go to school, but she couldn't because she had to sort out some things at home first. And that's where you stand. You want to go, but you just have to do a few more things. In this case, save up a little. It's not a giant obstacle to overcome. When I was wanting to go to school I had a lot of debt. Let me be specific, about 5,000$ dollars worth. I had my own apartment which all the bills fell on me because my wife lost her job. And I was making 9.00$ an hour. Life wasn't good and I couldn't do what I wanted because of my situation. I had no money for anything! But here I am now at 6 months experience. I overcame it and so could you. I honestly don't see how you're just giving up man. You have got to be extremely stubborn and when you want it you have to have it. When I wanted to go to school I didn't let anything get in my way even though I had 20 problems.

Put off trucking for now. Earn some money and save up and you'll make it in a few months. Or you can get two jobs and get a taste of what our lives are like every week :p Honestly, since you been wanting to do this for awhile I don't think you should let this stop you. It's simply another obstacle and you will love this job if you're right for it. That saved money you'll have will be worth it in the end. Besides, run hard and you'll make it back in no time.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Lawrence, I agree wholeheartedly with these folks comments. Determination is a wonderful thing to possess. I was personally rejected three different times in my efforts to get in this industry, but it was something that I knew I wanted to do, so I just kept on trying. I hit a lot of brick walls and it cost me way more money than most people have to spend to break in, but I got in and I'm loving every minute of it. Don't quit so easily, start working on another plan of how you can do this. That's the way a good truck driver thinks anyway, he's always having to adjust his plan and strategy of how he's gonna get the job done. I remember as a kid watching my parents work two or three different jobs because they wanted to accomplish something bad enough that they made the sacrifices necessary for it to happen. That old saying of where there's a will there's a way is still true today.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't quit so easily, start working on another plan of how you can do this. That's the way a good truck driver thinks anyway, he's always having to adjust his plan and strategy of how he's gonna get the job done.

These words are so true! That is how my night is going to be tonight. Nothing ever goes as planned in trucking so you are constantly changing your plans and developing backup A, B, C plans.

Don't let this hurdle get the best of you. You'll be proud of yourself even more when you get that CDL in your hand. (Best feeling ever by the way)

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.
Lawrence K.'s Comment
member avatar

I really pondered replying or not. But as you see, I have decided to do just that.

I was surprised at the tone of the comments, I truly expected them to be more supportive, even to the point of suggestions; but that was not to be. One member of the forum DID take the high road, however, by emailing me privately, asking a few questions, and stating that he/she may have an option I had not considered before. It was a good option, unfortunately (there's that word again) I did already consider it. I was very appreciate of his/her gesture.

The main term that was used in the responses was "determination," or its derivative. The main point was that I was not determined.

Well, I don't know if I am or not. However, it did take me 14 years to get my Bachelor degree. I have been married for 36 years to the same woman. We do have a 33 year old son who is disabled. Four years ago, he married a gal he had known for a couple of years, and after getting married, found out about her emotional problems. I have spent numerous hours helping him and her to HAVE the determination to get through this. I have also worked for my father-in-law twice! :) The last job I had (I quit in September 2012, and have been looking for work since), I was there almost 6 years. Most people do not last 6 months! In fact at my 6-month anniversary, there were only 4 of the 22 who started when we did that were still there! And that was unusual that 4 lasted 6 months. Like I said, I worked there 6 years.

One thing that I learned by raising a disabled child is reality. Oh, it is nice to say you can do whatever you want, you need to be more determined, etc., but the reality of life is that those platitudes do not always work. My father-in-law told my son he could do anything he could set is mind to. Well, no, he couldn't. He could never play a clarinet regardless how much he wanted! He could never play sports regardless how much he wanted. But what he *could* do, he did well. He has his MBA in Business Marketing.

The reality of my situation is that I am out of options. Oh, ya, I forgot, get a job at McDonalds! Like I said, I have been unemployed for 9 months. I have applied there, and many other places, with only ONE interview, and no job offers. I was so determined to get that job, that I purchased, with non-discretionary funds, new clothes to make a decent impression. That set me back in my finances for an uncomfortable time.

I was so determined to attend CDL school, that I spent months working to that end. On unemployment, I receive $900/month...about 1/4-1/3 of what drivers make a week. My rent is over half that....and the apartment is in the low rent area of town. I also spent $100 to reserve a seat for this fall quarter. That is non-refundable. And I still have not recovered from spending that money. I have had several utilities threaten to be turned off. It will probably be about another three months to get stable again.

As I stated above, I have spent months working towards finding training. I have traveled to private schools, I have worked with company-sponsored schools, I have, as I already stated, put a down payment on community college. Many/Most company-sponsored schools declare that they do not discriminate, as they are directed by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Liberties Act, but they do. And I am the one discriminated against. Oh, they say, if you weren't ___________, we could accommodate, without even realizing that they were/are breaking the law.

So, it finally boiled down to Community College. I have worked with WorkSource and several other agencies to see about funding, but nothing is available to me. Because of defaulting on my student loans from 1973, I am not eligible for student loans.

Truck driving WAS going to be my solution to unemployment! But now, it appears totally out of reach. As wrote in my original message, I even considered some novel ways of raising funds, and was thoroughly scorned about it.

Well, probably this tome can probably be shot through with another Now Wait a minute! If anyone does have some constructive ideas, I am willing to consider them.

Lawrence

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.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Lawrence, it's interesting that you refer to the "tone" of the comments and that we were not more supportive of you in your situation. Brett made it clear that if you had just said you chose not to pursue this career no one would have questioned you about it, but that's not the way you presented it to us. We all tried our best to encourage you to keep at it and don't just settle in believing that your options are all used up.

No one here knew your situation, and I dare say that even if we had it wouldn't have changed our remarks - we simply didn't want you to give up so quickly. Seriously, we were trying to encourage you. Without going into my personal history, I just want you to realize that everybody has got troubles. I think that is part of what was so encouraging about Brett throwing out those facts about Abraham Lincoln. The thing about trouble is that it can sometimes turn our thought processes into little self destructive land mines that we end up stepping on every time we try to get out there and improve our lives, or we can train ourselves to let adversity make us better and stronger or maybe even more "determined". Lincoln had every reason in the world to give up and feel sorry for himself because he was a "loser" no matter how hard he tried. But low and behold it was those very troubles that became stepping stones into producing such a great man and leader.

Lawrence, we support you no matter what you choose to do, but choose your destiny, don't allow it to be forced upon you - that is a mindset that has helped me survive my own personal troubles and succeed in my personal pursuits.

And, you know after reading your last comments I couldn't really tell if your son kind of still needs you around or not, but if he does trucking may not be the best career choice for you.

You can hold your head high in here with us, we're not ashamed to have you as our friend and we only wanted to help you break into a career that we love and enjoy.

Best of luck to ya!good-luck-2.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I was surprised at the tone of the comments, I truly expected them to be more supportive, even to the point of suggestions; but that was not to be.

In all these years you're certainly the first person I can remember that has ever accused us of not being supportive enough. That's all we've done is been supportive. Short of paying for the schooling for you, I don't know what you expect us to do. We've told you every option we know of - company-sponsored training , grants, loans, borrowing money from friends, or coming up with the money somehow to pay for schooling. We've encouraged you to keep trying and to face this challenge head on with strength and determination, but....

The main term that was used in the responses was "determination," or its derivative. The main point was that I was not determined.

Well, I don't know if I am or not.

...and therein lies the real problem. So let's be honest with ourselves. If you don't know the answer to that question, then I certainly do. You're not determined enough to make this happen. If you have to even ask that question, then the answer is automatically no. It's like being in love - if you have to question whether or not you're in love with someone, then the answer is automatically no.

You've said "It's been a long time since I felt like living" and "I don't know if I am (determined) or not." Nobody likes to hear that someone feels that way. We're all behind you 100% and we're all hoping you'll get this figured out. But you have to understand that this industry is for people who are very strong-minded, fiercely determined, and incredibly resourceful. If landing a part time job somewhere to come up with a few thousand bucks to go to school is more than you can muster, I'm going to tell you with all sincerity and for your own good that the trucking industry is going to chew you up and spit you out in a week. And I'm not saying that to be nasty at all. I'm saying that because I'm honest with people and the reality is you're going to face challenges on a daily basis out on the road that are ten times more difficult than figuring out how to pay for school. There's no chance you're going to survive and thrive in a brutally tough industry like trucking without the will to live and a fierce determination to be successful in this career.

Honestly, without that determination and desire there isn't anything that any of us can do for you. Everything it takes to be successful begins in your own heart and mind, and right now you don't sound like you have the heart for it. If I won the lottery tomorrow and gave you the money for truck driving school I'd feel like I was doing you a great disservice by feeding you to the lions.

I'm afraid at this point the answers to this conundrum can only come from the man you see in the mirror. We can teach you how to choose a school or a company, shift a truck, do a logbook , and talk on the CB radio but we can't fill your heart with the determination and fight you'll need to survive out there on the road. If you want it badly enough you'll find a way to make it happen and we'll certainly do all we can to offer ideas and encouragement. But you have to find that courage and determination within yourself before anyone can do anything to help you.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Have you looked into WIA? (Workforce Investment Act)

BuckeyeCowboy's Comment
member avatar

Lawrence, I don't know if you are a man of faith. If you are, search your heart. If this is something you really want, and God is okay with it, then He will make a way. If its not, then He won't. Just please don't give up without seeking His guidence first. If you are not a man of faith then really search your heart. Find out what makes you happy and do it. Don't let anyone stand in your way. Brett is right, if this is something you really want, you will find a way. I work a part time job after going to school all day and my wife is working a fulltime job and a part time job to help me realize my dreams. I am on the verge of loosing it all just to follow this dream. I don't know what will happen, and not sure I will make it. Good Lord willing I will. But don't go down without fighting. The great British poet, Dylan Thomas, said: "Do not go gentle into that good night, rage! rage! aganist the dying of the light." Don't give up. Vince Lombardi once said, "The difference between successful people and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will." This just doesn't go for truck driving, but all of life. Figure out what makes you truly happy, and go after it with all your heart and never give up. Just something to think about. Oh, not sure if you thought of it, but a yard sale might get you to your goal too. Take care and God bless.

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.

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