A Teacher, A Writer, A Philosopher, Now A Truck Driver!

by Philosopher Paul

The things we do for love. This was my first week of CDL training. I'm 44 years old and I've never sat in the driver's seat of a big rig my entire life. I remember being 19 and telling my Dad that I wanted to be a truck driver. After he almost had a heart attack, he told me to talk to a friend who actually owned a medium sized trucking company. I had been imagining this great job where you get to ride on top of this giant rig, rolling down the freeway in pure bliss. My Dad wanted me to see the reality of the situation.

The Truth About Truck Driving


He took me to his friends' house and opened up the conversation. "Tell Paul about truck driving" he said. The owner of this trucking company, my Dad's friend, had nothing but BAD things to say. He said "It's a hard life. You always get the bad end of the stick." Then he said "The pay is bad. You will end up with all kinds of health problems." To finish off, he said "It's very dangerous. You will work long hours and you will never get to see your friends or family." So, at the young age of 19, I had heard it from the horse's mouth. I figured I didn't fare to well in this business and I decided to listen to my Dad instead.

I went off to college but I still couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life. What does a truck driver study in college? Guess what,…. I took up philosophy, the study of "thinking to yourself." My Dad was probably still wondering what the heck was wrong with me. I carried it on for 6 years without any real plan of what I was going to do after graduation. Any truck driver who has been driving around the USA for 6 years could probably say that he had the equivalent of a "Master's degree in philosophy." He could also probably make the same kind of money as I did with that degree.

I Became A Teacher

The truth is, I loved to think to myself about all kinds of things but I never made much money doing it. I knew all along I could never be a lawyer so I became a teacher instead. I made $22,000 for several years teaching "Behavior Problem" kids. These are the bad kids in school who get put in the special class. Many of my friends have actually come from those classes but I ended up being the teacher. I liked it because the principal never came in my room. As long as I could keep the kids from killing each other, he was happy. After several years of making next to nothing, I decided to take up freelance carpentry instead. I built the playgrounds at the schools instead of being the teacher. I liked working by myself; that was for sure. When I finally realized I was never going to make any money in the USA, I moved away to the Philippines at the ripe old age of 37.

I scratched my head for several more years, but one thing was for sure, I loved it in the Philippines. Everything there was cheap and the people there were extremely friendly. Don't even talk to me about the girls! I met another driver while I was at the driving school this week and, when I mentioned Filipino women, he knew right away what I was talking about. This guy was from Nigeria and he said "Filipino girls are the best in the world." Take it from a Master of Philosophy; this guy is correct. He gets an A+ on his test for female assessment. I will never go back to American women again.

In the Philippines, I was finally able to stay with one girl for more than just "one or two short years" and, for those of you truckers who are having trouble with your American sweethearts, save a few thousand dollars and take a two-week trip to the Philippines. You will find yourself returning each year until you finally decide to move there forever or bring a girl back to ride along with you in the sleeper. Filipino girls are the best in the world and no warm blooded male could say he was sorry that he went to the Philippines.

Returning To The Promised Land


Anyway, the story returns to me and my truck driving when, after working as a freelance writer in the Philippines for several years, I had finally enjoyed the 5 best years of my life. Why did I come back? My sweethearts' dream is to move the "promised land." That's it. She wants the glorious USA and my friend from Nigeria also told me. "Now I know why you are here at truck driving school" he said. "A man will do anything for a Filipino girl." So I am the guy who is supposed to make her dream come true. With my temporary CDL in hand, I'm ready to take on the roads of the USA.

The recruiter at my school promised me "$42,000 a year gross pay" and even said "maybe more." Maybe I am being tricked, I don't know or really care. I told him "I really like to be alone for the most part" and asked him "Do you think you can arrange that for me?" He laughed and said "Yes Paul, I think I can get you ALONE." I guess I will be asking a lot of stupid questions in the next few months but that's the price of love. I'm going to learn about the truck driver's life and there's no turning back from here.

Finally Becoming A Truck Driver

So that's my story. I'm just at the beginning and my fiancée, Jennet, is waiting for her VISA. It will likely come in 6 months to a year but it isn't always the easiest thing to bring a foreigner into this country. I know it will all happen soon enough. In the meantime, that puts me behind the driver seat of a giant 18- wheeler in about 4-6 weeks. Even though this 44 year-old wishes there was a better way, the 19 year old inside me is grinning from ear to ear. He finally gets to live out his dream of being a truck driver and he can't wait to get behind the wheel of that big 18-wheeler!


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
by Brett Aquila

Related Articles:

Our Trucking Adventure Begins

by Cathy Rubens

Becoming a truck driver is a big decision, and Steve and Cathy decided to the time was right for Steve to begin his CDL training. Here's how it went.

Becoming An American Trucker

by Rick Huffman

Becoming a truck driver was something I never considered until my 20-year journalism career became a rut. Here's where my trucking adventures began.

Attending Truck Driving School Part I

by Rick Huffman

The beginning of my truck driving adventures started here with cdl school where I met an incredible variety of people looking to become truck drivers

Finding A Career I'm Passionate About

by TaoTrucker

Becoming a truck driver was something I wasn't certain about until I started believing it could really happen. That's when things started rolling.

A Trainer's Perspective On Teaching Students How To Shift

by TruckerMike

I recently became a certified CDL instructor and I was given my first students to train on shifting gears. Here's the story, and some advice for newbies

CDL Testing Day From A Trainers Perspective

by TruckerMike

After four weeks on the road with my student, it was time for him to take his CDL exam. We were both very nervous. Testing day is incredibly stressful.

Why Do People Decide To Become Truck Drivers?

by TruckerMike

Becoming a truck driver is a dream for a lot of people. Others find it a necessity when life takes an unexpected turn. Here's the story of how I got started.

CDL Training Has Begun For 'The Blue Hills Trucker'

by BlueHillsTrucker

After earning a college degree, being a stay-at-home dad, and then a substitute teacher, it was time for a career change. Here's how CDL training began.

Truck Driver Training: The Beginning

by BlueHillsTrucker

Getting started with CDL training meant a ton of bookwork in the beginning, working outside in temps below zero, and busting up some drivetrains.

Company-Sponsored Training With Swift: My First Hand Experience

by Dave

I recently completed Swift Transportation's company-sponsored training program and here's what the experience was like for me.

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