Am I completely foolish to think of starting a career in trucking now?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by october, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. october

    october Bobtail Member

    Jan 22, 2010
    Jacksonville, FL
    Recently laid off from an insurance job, and am strongly considering going through CDL training at Jacksonville, FL's FCCJ. I'm 34, in excellent health, have clean driving/criminal records, and have always dreamt of being an OTR driver, despite having never been behind the wheel of a truck.

    I've read a number of posts, regarding the current state of the industry, and am curious to know if I've any hope of making a living driving, or if I'd be better off turning my attentions elsewhere.

    Any advice you might grant would be greatly appreciated!

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  3. Wiseguywireless

    Wiseguywireless Road Train Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Petoskey, MI
    If you hate being home, Don't expect time off. Love working 70 plus hours each week. Add up the hours you work and divide it by the Min. wage and you realize that you make less, and it is still OK, then it is a good job for you.
  4. U2Exit

    U2Exit Road Train Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    WA and VA
    Not alot of companies hire drivers out of Florida... more freight going in than coming out.

    There are a lot of postings from individuals that go to CDL schools in FL only to find out no one will hire them OTR simply because they live in Florida.

    A couple guys have moved or set up residency in neighbooring states just to get a job.
    october and JustSonny Thank this.
  5. IronRydr

    IronRydr Light Load Member

    Dec 1, 2008
    I can't speak to getting hired in FL, but I was in similar circumstances to yours and decided to go into trucking. I finished school a year ago in December and started driving in January, 2009. I read all of the same negative posts, heard the same negative comments, etc., that you have come across. Becoming a trucker required a huge adjustment in lifestyle, etc. I am happy, however, to report that one year later, I'm thrilled with my decision and I'm making more money now, annually, than I did in my previous 20 years in sales and insurance. You need to do some research and pick the best job offer available to a new trainee. Your first position won't likely be your best, but it will get you the experience you need to get to a better carrier and better pay.
  6. JustSonny

    JustSonny Big Dummy

    Oct 22, 2009
    Troutman NC
    Welcome to the forum October! You are already experiencing one of the benefits of being a member here, i.e., the willingness of members to answer questions. From my experience as a wannabe, I can share just this one piece of advice: Dig deep into the threads and posts here, consider what is said in light of your own personal circumstances (family, goals, aptitude, attitude, etc.), then go for it if you feel it's right for you!
    RACEFAN and october Thank this.
  7. Wiseguywireless

    Wiseguywireless Road Train Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Petoskey, MI
    Keep your record clean while driving for that first co. You don't want them to put a bad mark on your record. You will win the battle if you just keep your speed down and your log book legal.
    october and JustSonny Thank this.
  8. RickG

    RickG Road Train Member

    Jul 22, 2008
    Owensboro , KY
    Do you have any hope ? Some . Would you be better off turning your attentions elsewhere ? Very likely .
    What you don't want to do is follow the herds to the carriers constantly hiring from the CDL mills . They have no concern or rspect for drivers . In another thread I pointed out SafeStat data shows the number of drivers at U.S. Xpress hasn't changed in the past year and a half . But they are constantly running new hires through orientation .
    Check with smaller carriers in your area . Check online employment sites like . I just looked a Monster and Snapple is looking for a driver in the Lake City area to deliver vending equipment . No , you wouldn't be Billy Big Rigger running across the country but you'd have more job security and be treated with respect , probably with good chance of advancement .
    october and JustSonny Thank this.
  9. socal

    socal Medium Load Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    Forget about it, go do something easy like a Crab Fisherman in Alaska or something.
  10. Rollover the Original

    Rollover the Original Road Train Member

    Jul 1, 2009
    I'd try for a job flipping burgers! The pay at this time is better than driving and paying STUPID money to a driver mill!
    october Thanks this.
  11. Donnyh

    Donnyh Light Load Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    ricks advise would be the best one to check out as far as finding a solid company in your area. on the bottom of this page there is a box that you can open that has names of quite a few companies that you can go check out their websites and a lot of them will show the areas that they hire from. good luck friend and welcome to the forum...
    october and JustSonny Thank this.
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