Considering Making The Jump To Trucking At 45

Topic 9180 | Page 1

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David W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone my name is David from Missouri. I've read quite a bit in the forums so I've already got my question about being 46 and starting out driving not being that big of a problem. I'm interested in hooking up with a company (after I'm got my cdl of course) and doing long haul instead of regional or local. My son is almost out of school, I'm single and the idea of traveling has always appealed to me. After 20 years in finance and 5 years as a barber I'm looking to do something I think I'd enjoy and making decent money for retirement. Could anyone give me the name of a good school ...would like to stay in the general area of Missouri or within 1 state...Missouri, Ky, Tn, Ark etc etc and possibly names of some trucking companies that do long haul to the west coast and maybe more southerly if possible. Generally how long is school and driving with another person before I'm off on my own? Roughly how much can you expect to earn in your first year average? Sorry for so many questions....just now started looking into this and I'm still a bit green and don't want to make a mistake with the wrong school, wrong company.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Gary J.'s Comment
member avatar

You might be a Prime Inc. candidate. Lots of guys on this forum work for them. I'm sure they will chime in. Prime is based out of Springfield MO.

I'm going to get my CDL though Roehl Transport out of Marshfield WI. I start July 20.

I too live in Missouri, up in the northeast corner and am 45, starting a new career.

Good luck and welcome!!

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.
David W.'s Comment
member avatar

Ty Gary J. My dream route would be a steady route from like Memphis to the west coast.... I know there are companies that do that. I'd also like to find someone to drive with possibly.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey David. What you should do is go through our Truck Driver's Career Guide from beginning to end and follow all of the links you come across. That will give you all sorts of information on getting your career underway including how to choose a school, how to choose a company, what materials to study, and a whole lot more.

That will answer most of the questions you have and a whole lot you haven't even thought of. We'll be glad to help you sort through your options as you go.

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.

Darren R.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm doing it at 42 brother. I spent 23 years in the tech industry. I always told myself that when I reach retirement age, then I'm going trucking instead of waiting to die. But after moving back to northern Utah to be closer and help my family for various reasons, I figured, WHY NOT NOW!. I have 1 month left on my CDL school.

For me, I chose to hook up with my local community college that provided a specific course. I looked into to other CDL schools, but chose the one I'm in for a few reasons. The course was organized, outlined, and the school provides recruiters from the major companies and, in return, the school has a very good history of providing qualified divers. Another reason was cost. I'm in a 2 month course that covers everything and few students so the one on one time with the driver trainer is HUGE. The other CDL school was twice as much money, its only a month long, and they push 15 to 20 students at a time, no one on one time.

The other thing I'm finding out, is that major trucking companies have tuition reimbursement programs for students who put themselves a "qualified school" .. This is important. Be sure to check with perspective companies as to their qualifications on what schools they will provide this reimbursement for. For example, Melton trucking requires the CDL course to be at least 160 hours before they will provide the reimbursement. The school I'm attending is 300 hours. Plus I've already logged 500 miles of drive time, and that's only after 2 days of actually training with my driver trainer. I still have 4 weeks of driver training! The 1st month of this course was all book work. I passed the test, and now me and my other 2 classmates get to spend 4 weeks of doing nothing but driver training.

I cant provide you with school info in your area, but hopefully I gave you a few considerations to keep in mind? Watch out for those private schools that want to take 5 grand from you, push you through a 1 month crash course with 20 other suckers, and kick you out on your own..

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.
David W.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett: Thank you Brett, yes I'm in the process of reading the guild as we speak. I appreciate it.

Darren: Thanks Darren that sounds like exactly what I'd like to do....I'd like to get out there pretty quick but not at the expense of not knowing what the hell I'm doing. A course with a ton of one on one sounds like the way to go. Thanks for the info...

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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