Frustrated

Topic 8709 | Page 1

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Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar

Hello!

I have recently started making the first steps to getting into the industry and have shared this news with my family and friends. Some are really supportive, but my family seems to be really concerned about this decision (the frustrating part). They have said that this will be a hard life for me, especially as a woman in the industry, and that many of the drivers (though how many they know personally, I'm not sure of) have had negative experiences. I am not opposed to a hard life, which in many ways I already live (not complaining or trying to gain sympathy). I'm just looking for some financial stability (I need about $38k minimum to survive/per with benefits) and a reliable industry to get into and stay in (minimal layoffs). So my questions to you are:

If you had it to do all over, would you get your CDL and drive? What would you do differently in your career path? Do you feel as though this industry has provided you with financial stability that is worth the sacrifices you make every day (being away from family, sleep schedules, etc)?

I'm in the process of getting my permit, physical, and pre-hire letters. I have researched a couple schools in the state and have started doing comparisons. I have spent time in the forums (though admittedly have had limited time to scour and read Everything). But before I commit to this as a career path, I'd love your feedback.

Thanks for reading such a long post and for your honesty.

Melly

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.

Dm:

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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

I beg to differ. I've met plenty of lady drivers and they can hang with the best of them. As far as safety and security, situational awareness is the key and that goes for everyone, not just the ladies. It's not the easiest life but once you get the hang of it and decide exactly how you want to run, you can make it work to your favor. Good luck and keep us all posted !!

Bart B.'s Comment
member avatar

I beg to differ. I've met plenty of lady drivers and they can hang with the best of them. As far as safety and security, situational awareness is the key and that goes for everyone, not just the ladies. It's not the easiest life but once you get the hang of it and decide exactly how you want to run, you can make it work to your favor. Good luck and keep us all posted !!

I want to add to that, you're not alone in that situation. For some reason, my family thinks after surviving 2 wars, 3 conflicts and a terrorist attack, that somehow I'm going to snooze and drive off a mountain. Remember your family's concerns, while not necessarily logical, come from a place of love.

Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

I am also a female that's going to get into the industry. My mom has tried every word in the dictionary to deter me. I think she's just worried about possible wrecks, the cold, and creepers at stops. But, this is how the conversation went last time "I do not look like a victim. I plan on driving like an old lady. The trucks are like tiny well equipped tents with electricity, heat, and a/c. This is something I want to do for my financial well being as well as my want for challenge and adventure. I will never be able to see the USA on my pay now, I live paycheck to paycheck, and I'm tired of not being able to afford things I want or need." She usually settles after that. Give your family the positives of your possible new life. How cool things will be, the skills you'll learn, how cool you think living in a trunk bunk is going to be (even if that's not necessarily true :P). And, be patient with your family. They care about you. People have built stereotypes of truckers and sometimes, they might be true but, you need to hold yourself high as a strong woman and get the job done!

Besides, you aren't doing this to make them happy. You are doing this for you and your life, gotta make your own choices and mistakes sometimes. Good luck.

Bart B.'s Comment
member avatar

I am also a female that's going to get into the industry. My mom has tried every word in the dictionary to deter me. I think she's just worried about possible wrecks, the cold, and creepers at stops. But, this is how the conversation went last time "I do not look like a victim. I plan on driving like an old lady. The trucks are like tiny well equipped tents with electricity, heat, and a/c. This is something I want to do for my financial well being as well as my want for challenge and adventure. I will never be able to see the USA on my pay now, I live paycheck to paycheck, and I'm tired of not being able to afford things I want or need." She usually settles after that. Give your family the positives of your possible new life. How cool things will be, the skills you'll learn, how cool you think living in a trunk bunk is going to be (even if that's not necessarily true :P). And, be patient with your family. They care about you. People have built stereotypes of truckers and sometimes, they might be true but, you need to hold yourself high as a strong woman and get the job done!

Besides, you aren't doing this to make them happy. You are doing this for you and your life, gotta make your own choices and mistakes sometimes. Good luck.

Applause.

Hammer St. James's Comment
member avatar

Besides, you aren't doing this to make them happy. You are doing this for you and your life, gotta make your own choices and mistakes sometimes. Good luck.

Like Jimi says, "I'm the one that has to die when it's time for me to die... So let me live my life the way I want to".

TorqueSide's Comment
member avatar

My family worries about me getting into the industry and I'm a young man who's proven to take care of myself on the outside and inside alike. No matter what you'll always be precious cargo to them so make it clear that this is what you want to do and eventually they'll accept it.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Hello!

If you had it to do all over, would you get your CDL and drive? What would you do differently in your career path? Do you feel as though this industry has provided you with financial stability that is worth the sacrifices you make every day (being away from family, sleep schedules, etc)?

Yes I would get my CDL and drive.

I can`t think of one thing I would do differently.

This is a difficult question to answer because my sacrifices and financial needs/wants are likely different from anyone else`s. This is a hard life, but, I have found myself a niche that suits my personality and ability to disappear for weeks at a time. The pay is definitely not where it needs to be for the day to day we deal with out here, but, it could be a heck of a lot worse.

You are already on the right path by gathering all of the info you can about this lifestyle. It still amazes me to see the variety of people and companies out here trying to earn a buck. There are several articles and resources here for you to check out that may give you some insight on what to expect.

As for the family concerns and what not, this is your life to live as you see fit.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all so very much for your encouragement, insight and the belly laughs. I've worked as an ironworker, concrete finisher, auto maintenance tech, massage therapist and now clean houses. All industries that come with a certain amount of risk. This has been the first time that I've gotten such push back from my family members so it can be hard to remember that they are coming from a place of love, so thank you for the reminder. Today, I received a welcome packet from one of the schools I'm considering and will spend the evening reviewing the chapters that I'll be tested on for the permit and taking the practice tests. And yes, I'll keep you posted smile.gifsmile.gif

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Just tell them that your cb handle will be Rubber Duck and all is well.

CB Handle:

This is the nickname people use on the CB

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