Plus a bennies package.
Truck driving has never been any picnic but what other job under the sun is even easier that pays what driving pays?
Most other jobs in that pay bracket are labor intensive and/or college-textbook intensive. Many jobs take a long time in their respective fields to achieve that income level.
Unlike IT/computers, one doesn't need a long list of technical certs and/or bachelor/graduate academic degrees to make it in freight hauling. An associates is helpful though for working in a non-driving occupation as management, logistics, dispatch, load planning or driving trainer with a freight motor carrier. I already have an AS in computers/IT.
I gather company freight driving, OTR, pays from 40-80K a year.
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The job itself isn’t that hard. Yes there are hard moments or moments where you really gotta analyze the situation before you make your move, like anything you do a lot of dumb stuff at first, learn and get better.
The reason it should pay more is the BS you have to put up with on a daily basis.
some have VERY high deductibles, some have spending limits, some just do not cover everything under each doctor, like maybe you have to pay HALF for xrays or no eye glass coverage, just the eye doctor's exam, and "some testing"...
401 plans may NOT be what they once were. some companies matched your contributions "up to" a certain dollar amount.. some companies may not match.
so there are varying degree's of pay, and benefits packages.
as for vacations, same thing, some companies you get 1 week off right away when you start, some companies you MUST work 1 full year to get ONE week off. many companies have a "graduated vacation plan", where you work x number of years, and you EARN x number of weeks, "up to thier limit"
many companies DO NOT roll over your vacation time into the next year, if you do not use them. at the end of the year, you lose what ever you did not use.
the job of driving in NOT easy, when you factor in the laws rules, regulations, time schedules, and the varying array of things that pop up every few minutes or so.
you can be just as dead if you screw up, others can be just as dead by your screw up as well, or even if you are "innocent", you will STILL HAVE TO LIVE with he fat, that someone died, in an accident YOU WERE INVOLVED with...
so no, it is not, nor ever been a "picnic job"
This topic interests me personally b/c I feel I may be a living example. I've been in IT support work for 20 years. I earned an associates degree in programming back in the late 90's and went to work initially during the Y2K issue. Over the years I've picked up a fist full of certifications typically at $200 - $500 a pop b/c the general ethos in the field is that's what you have to do to stay current and relevant.
HOWEVER, none of that prevented me from getting laid off three times in '08, '14 and the last time in May of this year, 2019. Each time I reached what I considered a "comfortable" pay level in the $55k - $65k range the companies I was working for literally outsourced the entire department twice to India and this last time to Mexico. It seems most companies are always looking to downsize and outsource that type of salary load for cheaper labor in countries w/ lower labor standards and overall lower cost of living than the U.S. as a whole. Each time I was able to find another job in the industry it was for less than I had been making at the previous job.
In June when I started looking for a job after the last layoff yet again I was truly disgusted and pretty much sick and done w/ the whole industry so I was open to a career change and different opportunities. I did find another IT job but it pays about 2/3 of my last gig and I have no confidence in how long this will last either so I kept looking at job postings. As I was looking through job postings on the regular job boards - Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. - I couldn't help but notice all of the CDL jobs that were posted. I've always been a gear-head and had a passing interest in trucks so I decided do a deeper research dive on trucking and what it takes to get into the industry?
This is when I found I could take CDL classes at my local community college for three months, get my license and endorsements and likely land a job as a first year driver making $45k - $50k if I chose the right type of job and company. They had a six week option but I couldn't make that fit w/ my current work schedule I need to maintain plus there was a waiting list so I will be starting this coming Monday finally. Ultimately I'm leaning heavily toward doing regional tanker work so I'm hoping to find something where I'll be out 5 days and home on weekends. They say the toughest part of becoming a a trucker is getting used to the lifestyle being away from home and the isolation but I've spent the last 15 years working nights, weekends and holidays in my IT support career so my work schedule has always been opposite of my wife and we never saw much of each other during the week anyways and we don't have any kids.
Frankly I can't think of any other line of work where you can do the training for as little as 2-3 months, possibly get a company to pay for it, and start of making close to $50k w/ significant potential to go up from there if you stick w/ it for a few years. I'll be finishing CDL school in December which means I should be driving hopefully by January. If I make $50k next year I'll be way ahead of where I am now and totally ecstatic!
You don't necessarily need to go to College to get the license. MANY companies pay to train you. Well, you pay them, and after a year they begin paying you back.
Others like FXF, have dock to driver programs.
Where they hire you, to work the dock. Train you while you work for them and help you get that Class A. There are options.
And some of the regional tankers will do the same. Hire you, train you and keep you.
Man, you sound just like me, only coming from a different field. I started in printing in '03 and have gone through 3 companies (fired from one for a ######## reason, laid off from another). I love what I do, but the work culture just sucks. After 16 years experience, I'm not even clearing 35k. My problem is compounded by the fact that my experience doesn't carry over to anything outside of the printing industry.
I've been looking for something else pretty much since the beginning of the year, put in some apps hoping I could get on somewhere based on the skills that I have obtained over the years, but have yet to get a single callback.
I've always kinda considered trucking as I'm a bit of a gearhead myself, but more than that I love being on the road and behind the wheel (thanks to my dad dragging us along on family trips every summer growing up). My original plan was to wait until my kids were grown and get in a truck and just disappear into the system with my wife, but I can't keep doing what I'm doing for that long. So now I'm just gonna get in a truck and find something with decent home time and get 9-10 years under my belt, downsize the homestead, and go O/O and just live out the truck for a couple months at a time.
Trucking has attracted so many people from all types of jobs. I know a lot of people must think truckers are dumb butttts that can't do any other work, but it's just not the case. Dealing with traffic and shippers/receivers and HOS is the worst part of the deal, a balancing act.
The best advice I think anyone on here would give is go through the schooling and then get your 1st year in being as safe as you can with no accidents or incidents. Then you can look for a different company if need be. Remember the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but once there it may be brown real fast. Companies bounce between wanting solo's or team's and preferring one to the other on loads.
Don't expect to be home every weekend, I doubt if there are that many companies who get you there. Makes it rough if you have family and young kids.
Stay away from the real bad companies, read all you can on here about them.
Everyone bad mouths some companies worse than others. Prime is one that is always being harassed on the road because of their speed, but there are other out there who are also governed. Prime has been good about getting hubby home when he has needed to be home. Our kids are grown, so we don't have to worry about that now, just the grandkids. He stays out about 3mo at a time usually. There have been ups/and downs on loads sometimes, but somewhere it works itself out in the balance. He is lease, some say a glorified company driver, but it does give him a little more freedom compared to company. He is 68 and really doesn't need to worry about being a total owner. Lease out the truck for 3yrs, they do the warranty work or at the dealer, then start over again.
He started out on the bottom totem many years ago, but has always been involved in electrical mostly. He worked for Jesco, Brown & Root, and others doing electrical wiring and shutdowns on plants. He has also been plant manager, maintenance superintendent, new build consultant for catfish feed mills in the south. But eveyone is replaceable by a younger, less paid person and this is what happened to him in 2005. This profession gives a chance for anyone to try.
And remeber if you are always at home, the pay rate drops considerably in the long run.
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