New to Canada and thinking about driving

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by BigSaus, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. BigSaus

    BigSaus Bobtail Member

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    EDIT: I posted this on the Canada board but thought I would post it here too.

    Hello everyone!

    I have to change my career (I'll mention why in a minute) due to medical reasons and I have decided to narrow down to two fields, IT/Computer Science or Trucking.

    Why? I was in the military and due to a few injuries I had to be shown the door, it is what it is. It's nothing that should medically keep me from driving. So basically I've had to hit the reset button on my life at 30, which I'm excited about.

    I wanted be a trucker and become and owner operator when I was younger. I've liked trucks since I was little, love driving, and loved the idea of running what would essentially my own business. Anyway, priorities changed and I joined the Army. The reason I've thought about trucking again is that during a tour in Korea I ended up driving a large transport truck with a trailer a lot. I loved it, the travelling, the driving, and seeing a country a different way. I think I could do well at this whole trucking thing since I ended up driving through Seoul during rush hour a few times and didn't kill anyone.

    I've done a lot of research in the past, but that's while I was still living in America. I have a good idea of what kind of companies I should avoid, but I'm lost about what I should I do up here in Canada. From what I've gather there a few I should look at and ones I should avoid. I was thinking of Schneider since they offer CDL training. Has anyone here gone through that route? What companies are good for a newb?

    I've read a lot of drivers in Canada think American drivers are run too hard. Does that mean in Canada a driver can expect to be out less? I would love to have home time (who doesn't?). My dream would be able to be out for 3-5 days a week, is this possible to do if I run regionally? I would like to end up in flatbed or hazmat, how could I end up doing that?

    I'm married with an awesome wife (the Canadian of the two of us) who has a stable career and whats me to pursue whatever I like to do. I've told her that in the first 2-3 years of driving I could be gone a lot and she is okay with it. We have no plans on having kids either. We are currently in the Ottawa area.

    I would love hear any advice you could give me. What should I look out for, companies, schools, etc. Any advice is welcome with open arms.

    After I get a few years under my belt I would like to go the O/O route, I'll ask about that down the road if I end up trucking since that's a whole other can of worms.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. aussiejosh

    aussiejosh Road Train Member

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    Yeah if its PTSD as is very common these days and understandable given the conditions a soldier is put in as long as the condition does not effect your driving ability i can't see an issue with you getting into the transport industry. Canada like the USA has a huge need for new drivers to take up the slack left behind by retired drivers and other drivers who've decided driving is no longer there career goal. Your only hurdle will be having to pay for any tuition as if you can't afford it you'll be forced to sign up with some company that will cover your costs and then you'll have to pay them back. Anyway hope it all works out well for you and happy trails.
     
  3. BigSaus

    BigSaus Bobtail Member

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    Nov 23, 2018
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    Thanks for your input! I went to a school today to check it out and liked what I saw. Say what you will about a drivers shortage but I found a lot of it to be true today.

    I can cover it no problem, I have money saved up anyway so I'm set to go. For some people its good but I don't like the idea of being tied to a certain company because they paid for my ticket. I think its great but for myself I'm not comfortable with it.

    I was discharged because I messed up my hip. Climbing up and down helicopters day in and day out for years will do that too you. It shouldn't be an issue as long as I'm not flat bedding. I can do what everyone else can (minus running a long distance), but doing what a soldier does.....not so much.
     
  4. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    Well, first off. Anyone who can get through Seoul Rush Hour can drive anything you want. Have at it.

    Second off, your hip. I am pending a total hip replacment in a couple weeks so my story might be influenced excessively by a lifetime working that clutch. If that hip really bothers you, make sure you deal with a automatic THAT HAS A MANUAL mode. tractor trailer. You will buy yourself years of life for your hip by avoiding the manual transmission trucks. My problem is directly to the left leg via degenerative arthritis from literal wear and tear in trucking. It is not a problem as in boo hoo and all that. Oh no. They drop a new joint in and I should have 20 more years out of it.

    If that's all that bothers you, try to consider flatbedding as well as strictly drop and hook. If you still love to haul trucks, tanks and whatever other iron you might be happy in heavy haul because we have alot of those here, particularly for the Paladins going to Oklahoma etc. And quite a bit of scrap armor coming back from ports to be rebuilt from being used up in overseas combat. That might give you a taste or a advantage to stick to what you know.

    If you have VA service connected disability and ability to go into any VA center Bobtail, you have a huge advantage. Both in accessing medical care anywhere and also financially. My spouse is a former Marine Sgt and was shown the door on her knees after they failed on a 9 mile march. They first laughed and gave her a hard time, but it was rapidly apparent that yes they did in fact fail. Surgery restored them somewhat enough to actually get into trucking. We were attacked (Invaded actually) by a sexual predator in Jackson Tenn. At the TA during her time out with me on the road and that probably was one of the things that caused a little bit of a problem. (I took on the predator who saved his life by fleeing. I was too intent on killing to actually call the law and have them go after him. So it is what it is...)

    You can do this. Hip and all. Just avoid early on the usual traps of lumping freight in a cold storage or grocery. Tanker is another good thing for you.
     
  5. Jazz1

    Jazz1 Road Train Member

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    You won’t have to stay out for weeks on end. That’s only in USA where they get trapped in interstate trucking
    For a Canadian OTR 10 days is a long stretch. When I did OTR into USA I averaged 4 or 5 days

    As far as IT depends on where you work. My bud at Goldcorp said they could not fill 8 IT positions at mine that paid $130k. Not all IT jobs pay that well. Do your DD
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  6. Jazz1

    Jazz1 Road Train Member

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    IMG_3079.JPG Trucking companies also require mental health specialists and according to the trucking' industry only a 2 day workshop to determine if employee is suffering,,yes 2 whole days and you expert.
    We have a HR health specialist, looks like HE is about 70 lbs overweight and promoting healthy eating:rolleyes:
    Welcome to the industry, i'm sure you can find something that fits your lifestyle
     
  7. BigSaus

    BigSaus Bobtail Member

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    Nov 23, 2018
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    Thanks for some solid advice, input, and sharing your experiences.

    I can commiserate with your wife completely. I had back pain while I was in Korea, it was pretty severe and I was limping for a bit, but got better over time. Doc just kept sending me to physical therapy. About a year later my doc is starting to PCS and I get a new one. New doc finds it odd that I'm still having pain in my back and decides to get an X-Ray done. Turns out I had compression fractures in three vertebrae, but for a year my old doc told me I damaged a muscle. I wanted to throw a few four letter words at my old doc because he was out-processing and I would seem him time to time. But, I was an E-5 and he was a Major, that wouldn't have worked out well for me. I was fuming for a solid week.

    There is a regional tanker here that does Auto and Aviation work. Great equipment and I would be regional. Fingers crossed. Like I said, I want to do specialty stuff to try and make a few more bucks. I'll look at flat bed too. I don't think there are any in my area but I'll keep an eye out.


    Thanks for your advice and input Jazz1.

    I like playing with computers (typing this on one I just built not too long ago) and have thought about IT for a long time. I have friends that work in IT or are Software Engineers and their work just seems fascinating. If you work at it 130k is easy to come by have a degree and a few certs. I'm surprised your buddy hasn't filled those seats.

    When I was 19 I worked at a Psych Hospital (the stories I could tell) and from that I really learned how important mental health is. People shouldn't be afraid to get help, especially in this crazy and complex world.

    Everyone goes through rough patches in life, sometimes someone needs more help than others and that's okay. A two day course for mental health first aid may not be the best, but hey, it's a start. It makes me happy to see mental health is taken more seriously in modern society.

    Edit: If anyone is going through a rough patch and happens to see this, go get some help. Its easy and it makes you brave. Get off the road and focus on fixing you. You wouldn't suck up a broken arm would you? If you have no idea how to get help I'll give you a hand. PM me and if you want you can send me your name and number and I'll help you out or at least give you an ear.

    Your HR rep is either delusional or his boss has a sick sense of humor.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    25(2)+2 and x1Heavy Thank this.
  8. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    I build very good computers. But I cannot serve the witches and warlocks comstantly demanding service in IT very long at any pay. I'just stick to building a good computer once in a while. One has exceeded 70K CPU hours and holding and this one is going on 21000 CPU hours already.
     
  9. BigSaus

    BigSaus Bobtail Member

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    Nice! I finally built my dream computer for sim racing. I have a ####pit with VR and its toooo much fun.
     
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