It's great that you love to drive.
You'll get lots of it. 500-700 miles day after day, in the most tortuous weather extremes you can dream of. Your butt has never clinched until you're on ice and a gust of wind hits you broadside.
You're a Loner. You better be.
The only people that spend more time alone are Crypt Keepers and Tibetan Monks.
You're intelligent. That'll help.
This is not the mindless job many assume it is. You'll use all your "learnin' " in this trade.
You're not married. That helps somewhat, because you won't have that gravitational pull to get back home all the time.
Very few women can handle to solitude that we dish out to them when we hit that On Ramp and leave. It takes a Special Woman.
You'll at least MATCH your current income in your first year.. probably top it.
Be vigilant, and mindful of safety, and you'll be able to explore much better financially rewarding positions with some experience under your belt AND a clean record. Those guys are in demand.
I want to get into this career/lifestyle but is it right for me
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Where is your location; state & nearest city/town?
May be some drivers on this forum that are familiar with the area and can give you some ideas as to high paying companies in your area.
This way, you can start researching ahead of time.Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
An old man once told me two kinds of men fail at this job, the ones that can't drive and the ones that can't handle living in the truck.
Single and a loner are a good start.
See if there is a weekend school nearby so you don't have to quit the current job before you get your CDL
I'm like you in that I'm a loner and single, so I can come and go as I please. I think it's a pretty cool job, and the stress is pretty much two main things: relying on GPS, and dealing with the shippers/receivers. There will be a lot of other things that piss you off, like bad drivers, but you expect that I'm sure.
Two solutions I'd suggest is to invest in a trucker GPS like Garmin Dezl, and always compare its route to Google maps route, and never fully trust either of them. Combine the two to come up with the best route. All of this needs to be done before you hit the road of course.
Secondly, ask a coworker or another trucker at the truck stop if they've ever been to the place you're going. They can tell you which gate to pull in and especially where NOT to go. Don't hesitate to call the shipping office at the place, but don't expect them to answer, return your call, or be helpful though.
I was just like you. I hated my office/field work, making $38,000 a year with the county (full time with benefits). I felt it was a dead end. I'm a loner. Friend jokingly suggested I be a truck driver. I tried it, as I thought it would be fun and I would make a lot of money and see a lot of the country... I love to travel / drive. Initially I was excited to start this new career. I was ready 3/4 way into my trucking school... started with 1 of the companies that came to recruit at our school... HUGE MISTAKE (never go with those blood suckers that prey on the innocent). Being trained was a nightmare. I drove/shifted better than my 9 month experience trainer with May Trucking who were always desperate for trainers... they start to recruit trainers after 3 months?
After 3 months, I realized I made a big mistake. Kept seeing the same views... had to follow the book and deal with company policies... so much for freedom. The pay was ####. I quit after I found out about zip code milage page... ended up driving 3 hours or 150 miles for free. I went through 4 other companies in 4 months before finally finding a decent company to work for. I ended up quitting after a while as pay was crap but now I'm back... and I'm preparing for the worst.
Don't burn your bridges... you'll want your old crappy office job back. I haven't had a day off in 3 weeks. I miss driving my sports car.
You're right. The writer of this post should know that truck driving schools get you your CDL, but don't train you to be a truck driver at all. This causes a lot of stress for new drivers.
Also, some companies use the same travel lanes all the time, so if you want to see the country, don't take a job with a dedicated route, and ask, or better yet, so out a company that goes all over.
I hope he reads this.
Chinatown Thanks this.
I’m of the opinion that during “these uncertain times,” you might want to go to company-sponsored training, even if you have to sign a year contract.
I paid cash for my CDL. $5000. But right now, out of my area in Florida, I can’t even get on with Swift, Werner, or Trans Am. If you make it through their CDL school, you’ll at least have a job.
Worse case scenario, you take that money you would have spent on private CDL school and buy out your contract, assuming they don’t greatly over-inflate the value of their school.
Just an idea. Hopefully, you live in a better area and will have more options.
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