Advice for new drivers

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by ztrill1, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. ztrill1

    ztrill1 Bobtail Member

    Sep 24, 2021
    I’m 21 about to get my cdl my goal is drive and save and invest but I wanna know could I still go to school for auto mechanic or motorcycle mechanic I wanna fix on cars or bikes as an hobby and be a truck driver is it possible
    D.Tibbitt Thanks this.
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  3. LoneRanger

    LoneRanger Road Train Member

    Jun 3, 2018
    only way is being an owner op and fixing your truck as you drive gives you a lot of knowledge. I gained a ton by asking and looking. I also worked in a mechanic shop for 2 years so it helps. A mechanic school requires hands on training and all the books and videos you read and watch means nothing until you do it yourself.
  4. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2020
    GOAT watching
    You won't have the time to go to school and work. So no.
    nredfor88 and Suspect Zero Thank this.
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Where is your location?
    Maybe get a local truck driving job and study at a tech school for auto/motorcycle mechanics on weekends.
    Some young drivers like to travel and run long haul for awhile before settling in for local jobs.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
  6. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Gettin' down westbound
    Mechanic is a good gig . atleast u can be home everynight.
    nredfor88, Puppage and TripleSix Thank this.
  7. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    One or the other. You're 21, and the allure of the open road( more like traffic pileup) is appealing, but look to the future. Naturally, seeing what's happened to the trucking industry in the last 20 years, I have a jaded view, but the future is in repair, not driving. I say, get the mechanical training, and maybe driving down the road, but you'll make twice as much, have a home life, and employers are BEGGING for qualified mechanics. Remember, generally, truck driving today caters to the folks that have no other options or special abilities. If you are even considering a mechanical career, it tells me you are better than a "mere" truck driver. Best of luck.
    MACK E-6, nredfor88 and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
  8. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    You are only 21, so to me, the important thing would be to find something that you can make a good living doing something that you enjoy. You don't want to spend the next X years and find that you just hate going to work every day.

    As far as those auto and motorcycle repair schools, beware. Do some real research and find people that went to those schools that are actually working in those fields because they did. I personally know 2 individuals that completed a course in a motorcycle mechanic school in Phoenix (MMI) that never did get work in any bike shops. One ended up in the oil fields making money but doing something he hates. The other is doing good in a specialty machine shop and loves it. But both were on the hook for a $30,000+ student loan the the school assisted them in obtaining. And still are.
  9. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    I would go to school to be a mechanic first, then get the CDL. Knock out the harder stuff while you're young. You can be certified to drive and work on trucks. That way, you'll always find somewhere to work, and passing the CDL exam will be so much easier going that route.
    homeskillet and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
  10. b61mack

    b61mack Light Load Member

    May 18, 2010
    port murray nj
    Go to diesel mechanic school
    homeskillet Thanks this.
  11. homeskillet

    homeskillet Road Train Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    Dayton, OH

    I don't doubt you, but I gotta ask "why" did they not get motorcycle mechanic jobs?

    I'll grant you during the 2008 economic downturn, motorcycle mechanics might not have been in high demand. I got laid off from an RV dealership back then.

    Last year I went down to MMI in Orlando, just to check it out.

    I stopped at some Harley dealers on the way back to get a feel for the job market.
    All of them said they need like 5 more techs yesterday.

    I told the shop boss in one dealership that I was a transit bus mechanic for 8 years, and he asked me if I brought my tools with me, when I said no I didn't, he replied that was too bad, he woulda paid me for a half day of oil changes which would've taken some pressure off his other two techs. I started to laugh and he said, "No, I'm serious. Take a look into the shop."

    Bikes all the way to the back wall, waiting to be worked on.

    Sorry, OP. Not trying to hijack your thread.

    Go to mechanic school, diesel or motorcycle or auto, whichever floats your boat.

    There's too much electronics involved in today's systems to just "pick it up on yor own" anymore. Yes, school involves books and videos, but also hands on.

    The difference between a mechanic and a parts changer is that a mechanic understands how each individual system is supposed to work, then how the vehicle systems work together, and how they communicate. Then works systematically to locate and resolve the fault.

    A parts changer knows where the most failure prone sensors are, and replaces each one in turn until the fault clears.

    Takes common sense, too. If a truck has a puddle of diesel under it, first check underneath to see where it's coming from, before you fire up the laptop.

    Trucking will always be here later. Go to school before you get tied down. Good luck!
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