Hello all. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to check out my first blog here at Trucking Truth. I hope to have many more after this one, and I hope you enjoy them all. I guess I'll start with a little about myself, and how I came to want to become a truck driver.
I am 27, and i guess you could say I am at a crossroads in my life. I am an Army Infantry Veteran, with a tour in Iraq under my belt. I loved the army. Joining the army was the best decision I have ever made. The friends, experiences, and places I've been will stay with me forever.
After my enlistment was finished in early 2008, I came back home to GA to work at my buddy's auto shop. I was in a good position. I had a nice paying job, still had a little cash in the bank from my vacation in Iraq, and time was something that i could waste. Until...
Well, first, my sister and brother got laid off in the same week in January. Ok, I had some extra savings, I made good money, and I had a three bedroom finished basement they could stay in. I could even lock the door at the top of the stairs when their kids were running around like the little heathens they are (I say this with affection of course).
And it was a nice setup. They had to count on unemployment for a while, and I watched my savings slowly draining, but I was by no means struggling. And then.....
I walked into work one day, and was called to the office of my friend Tim, who owned the shop. I had been there for about a year, so I was hoping this was about getting the raise I had been promised at my one year mark. Right away I knew something was wrong. You come into work seeing your boss packing up his desk with deep circles under his eyes and you know you not about to get a raise. Well, long story short, the economy strikes again. His main business is through insurance companies, but most people in this economy would pocket their claim checks, and not come back after the initial appraisal. Regretfully, he could no longer compete with the bigger companies in the area. I was to receive a month's pay for separation, and I could pack all my stuff. Thanks for all your hard work.
Ok, at this point I was stressed. I went home and broke the bad news. Thank God I learned my bro-in-law had found a new job - and on the same day! So maybe we could squeak through this. Ok, I am bad about ranting and drawing a story out, so what happens is; since January both my sister and brother-in-law have found jobs, I watched my savings dwindle, and I have struggled to find a job with so many out of work.
And here I am now, all the bills are taken care of, so I can sleep without much worry. But here i am, at my crossroads. I have my Montgomery GI bill, and now would be the time to go to college, and get some job security. Ok, but what do I want to do? The thought of getting a nine to five office job makes me shutter. You would have to know me to understand - I would go insane. So any degree where I would be cooped up doing monotonous things day after day is out the window, which is most of the degrees that lead to making good money. Ok, well, there are still other things I can do, right? Sure, there are plenty of degrees out there where you can work outdoors, or see the country. But after researching careers in different sciences such as horticulture, forestry, and such, I knew none of them offered me what I wanted.
I had always considered a career as a truck driver, even before I joined the army. Though I knew the army was something i had to do for myself, a trucking career was something I had always known I would enjoy, though I kept putting it on the back burner. Why do I want to be a truck driver? Well first, I love to travel. Though the only places I have traveled has been for the army, I could never get enough. Second, after reading this website, and talking to many truckers, I find they have some of the same camaraderie I miss from the Army. Third, well, i just hate the idea of sitting in one place too long. I have done it for the last year, and it's just not for me. So why not start a career making good money doing the things I love?
Why not indeed!
So here I am. I fell in love with this website since the first time I read the blogs. And as I start the first steps into this new career, I hope to add my own experiences for those who are wanting honest opinions. Well, I guess that's me in a nutshell, and I will end this blog here. I will start my next blog soon, having to deal with my experiences in putting in applications with different schools and trucking companies. I wont name any names, but I will go through some of the differences I have noticed. To anyone out there thinking of coming into the trucking companies, I offer you this advice now - go to the websites of the trucking companies and schools now. Fill out the applications. Call them after about 48 hours. If you are serious in your requests and taking the time to follow up, you will be considered. I already have three companies offering me a pre-hire. My next step is sorting out which one to accept. More on this later. Thanks everyone for reading, and to the Trucking Truth family, I love your blogs, and please keep them coming. You have helped me out so much.
Till next time, stay safe.
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.
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.
Driving While Intoxicated
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
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.
CDL training will test you in so many ways, and it will go far beyond your ability to drive a truck. It will also test your patience and perseverance.
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.
Home time is precious to an over the road driver and their family, and it's painful when it gets cut short by an unexpected call from the company.
Getting started with CDL training meant a ton of bookwork in the beginning, working outside in temps below zero, and busting up some drivetrains.
So how does a new driver survive their hectic, stressful, tiring, demanding, and incredibly challenging first 6 months on the job? Here's my advice...
The CB radio is a legendary part of being a trucker. But nothing is funnier than being a rookie and soundling like a nerd amongst the smooth talkers.
by Old School
As a rookie truck driver you're going to face enormous challenges and be tested continuously. I learned a great lesson about how tough CDL training can be.
by Becky Prestwich
It seems like life on the road throws you one curveball after another sometimes. This winter has been tough, with some parts better off forgotten.
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