First of all I want to thank all of you on the road during this time and for keeping America running even at the best of times.
So here is my situation and I am looking for some honest advice from those of you out there experiencing it.I am 29 currently (will be 30 in July yay dirty 30 haha) and for the past 8 years of my life I have worked in an office. Leading up to this post I have done a lot of research and I know you have seen a lot of posts just like this one but I really just wanted to reach out and get some advice for myself. So here is some info about current job and lifestyle to help with that advice.(sorry if this post is long getting to this point has been a journey of its own)
I am a Quality lead at a software company. I have a degree in IT and green belt in six sigma.Basically I make sure processes within the company are efficient. The catch is that my title is not quality lead or quality manager . They have me as just a lead so that based on the payscale they are using they don't have to pay me much more. I am making 43.5 K a year after giving 8 years of my life to this company and to be honest while I am humble to make what I make I am also just burnt out. I asked what I could do get in a better spot at the company and I was told to get my six sigma certs which I did. Following that I have built multiple teams. Refined multiple processes and even ran multiple people through getting their own certifications. After all this it came time for raises and they were only going to put me to 45K because they were giving all leads at the company an even raise not based on performance. They had to revert it however due to the pandemic which I understand the need for doing so.
With all that said this is why I want to be a trucker.
1.I love driving and seeing new places.(even if its just views from my windshield)
2. To destress from my office job I play american truck simulator with a full wheel and shifter set up. I know driving a real truck is not nearly the same but I have hundreds of hours invested into it so I think the real deal I would at least enjoy a little bit
3. I am not married and pretty much am a loner. The hardest part being forced to stay at home for me is not being able to drive my Camaro everyday. Though I have driven a few times just around the block to get out.
4.I have done hours of research,watching videos,checking forums and I haven't been turned off by much. My only concern is that I have a cat so I would just need to figure out her care.
Any suggestions or advice is appreciated. I know with my qualifications I could probably get a better office job but I am afraid to repeat this same cycle and be back at this decision loosing more money starting out and alot older. I also know ultimately only I know if this will be right for me but your input will help me with that decision. Thank you and may you all have beautiful upcoming days on the road.
I want to get into this career/lifestyle but is it right for me
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as you said playing on a SIM is not the same as the real thing, and that's the truth.
if you want to get into this, my best suggestions would be to get a student loan on your own, and DO NOT go for company paid training. even if a company offers reimbursement, you still have to stay with them x amount of time, to get that money.
DO NOT FALL PREY to ANY LEASE purchase deals...!!!!!!!
stay a company driver for 1 to 5 years, save up your money and THEN decide if you want to be an owner-operator,
get all the CDL endorsements, such as Haz-mat, doubles-triples, tankers. this will make you more valuable as you get your experience.
your health is a big issue, if you cannot pass a DOT physical. so if you are over-weight, get on a diet. get some exercise as well, cuz this job can be at times, physical.
You mentioned destress.
HA. Nothing is further from the reality of trucking. You are going to be functioning as a blind man in a forest without quality information at times.
Stress is the one thing that should have killed me a thousand times over. It finally shows up in blood pressures considered by some Physicians Assistants too scary to touch without a absolute assurance from me to proceed with the procedure. One day it will kill me in my sleep probably, but trucking to me is something I committed to long before I got old enough to go do it. Its what I am. Nothing more really. I need the ice, snow, filthy weather, time dispatch fuel problems, weight issues and all of that to occupy my bored mind. Leaving out the drama and everything else including some urban threats around the USA due to the nature of what I hauled. (High dollar medicines.)
You also are exposed to financial risks. Get caught too heavy in a state that tickets you personally for that violation because you failed to spend 11 dollars at a cat scale (For which you will be paid back, usually...)to ensure that your rig is legal and if necessary returning to shipper to rework the load or arrange to divide between two trucks tail gate to tailgate. And then there is the Computer enforcement, ELD etc. You might have a parking space 5 minutes away, it might as well be on the moon for all the good it does you legally.
If you have a good body and are fit you can move up to 48500 pounds in a few hours bending over to the floor or reaching 9 feet up a few thousand times if necessary. And then drive 600 miles overnight and unload same the next morning, skipping meals because you don't have time for that.
If you thought being chained to a server room is bad. HA... wait until you are boxed in a space smaller than a walk in closet for weeks at a time.
You also appear to have ambition to be a Boss. Drivers are just DRIVAHS. Humans who are in the way and underfoot. Something to be disposed of ASAP. If it was that bad why do I even do that? Dunno. Its what I do. If they ordered a trailer load of toilet paper and I show up when I am supposed to the least they can do is unload the #### thing fast and be on my way with signed bills. Anything else is a potential liability and financial loss against you or the company.
Your first year in this industry is your most dangerous. Rub a telephone pole or get stuck in mud gets you dismissed. Several of those you find yourself excluded from the industry just as easily as a server admin bans online people. Finally but not last. You need to be free of drugs and alcohol. The intolerance and testing in this industry is obscene. If you had ever a whiff of pot in your system and they catch you with a hot positive, you are finished at the federal level vs the Clearing house system.ThatGuyInk Thanks this.
You can start by typing bad company in the TTR search box. These forums contain millions of experiences written well or badly. When you understand just how bad things could get, add a couple more problems. =)
In computer terms nothing survives a format or edpart process and start over with a reimaged system in a hour. But trucking? There are going to be people less interested in your eventual success than they are in getting out of there at 4 PM to get the tyke to the ball game with family.
Commit to a length of time you can handle, say 6 to 12 months. Then go try it on. The hardest is training. You'll never know until you get out there. Some don't make it through training. Many dont make it past their first year.
There are a lot of different types of driving jobs. Research and then investigate the types that interest you. Then research and investigate the companies that offer that type of job. Some companies are better than others.alds Thanks this.
be mindful to take anything good or bad, with a dash of salt.
drivers that feel they have been cheated (and apparently there are a few BILLION) will mouth off badly about a company. (IE, SOUR GRAPES)
drivers that speak overly highly about thier company, can either be "brown nosers" or just trying to mislead you into their fold, to suck the blood out of you later.x1Heavy Thanks this.
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