Newbie question - please be gentle!

Discussion in 'Canadian Truckers Forum' started by flagrunner, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. flagrunner

    flagrunner Bobtail Member

    Nov 11, 2020
    Hi all

    I realize this is just another 'trucker dream' thread, but I need to make a decision in the next month or so and while my circumstances make it difficult to pursue my dream career as a trucker, I could really use some guidance or advice as to whether it is time to give up on my dream.

    Long story short, I moved to Canada from the UK in January. My career history has been office based, accounting. I was lucky to find a job in Edmonton to help me transition to Canada but I spent almost all of my savings making my dream move to Canada so I'm really reliant on a constant source of income in order to remain in the country. Given the nature of my work, I'm required to sit a 3-year course starting in January. The total cost is c.$16K and, whilst my employer will pay, I will need to repay this if I leave my job within the next 6 years so I'm at a point of no return, come January.

    It has been my dream for many, many years to be a professional long-distance driver. I've always taken the safe path, using my education and skills to keep a secure office job. But it doesn't make me happy and the older I get, the less I care about making a great deal of money. I've been 10+ years in my profession and whilst I have earned a comfortable salary, I can't say I have ever been happy in my job. The thought of doing my job for another 30+ years (I'm 35) really depresses me.

    I'm happiest when I'm driving. When in the UK, I would take at least a few trips to Canada and the US every year and do 3,000-4,000 mile road trips each time. I just love being on the road.

    So, my problem is that come January, I will be committed financially to staying in my job for at least another 6 years. This is the make or break time for me to make a complete career switch if it is ever going to happen.

    I've done extensive research into the courses I require to sit but I just do not have the money at present to sit all of the courses required and support myself whilst I do so.

    Is there likely to be any company that would support a new driver through the courses, perhaps whilst doing non-driving work? I've spent hours and hours looking at trucking jobs and companies, and most require at least a couple of years driving experience. I'm willing to go back to square one provided that I earn enough money to support myself whilst I do the required courses. I have c$9K in savings since my move but once that's gone, I have nothing other than anything I earn.

    If I'm being completely unrealistic then I would appreciate honest feedback. I just feel that this is the last possible chance I have to pursue a dream career in a new country before I'm forced to become financially indebted to my current employer for several years to come. I saw Canada as an exciting fresh start but I've slipped into the same old job and due to COVID, I haven't felt able to pursue a new life - it's all about keeping a job right now, which I'm really grateful to have. But my fresh start is starting to pass me by.

    Sorry for the novel. I really don't have anyone to speak to about this. But if I could give up all that I've built up to start a new career as a truck driver tomorrow (warts and all) I absolutely would. I don't need to be rich. I just want to have a happy career.

    If you've read this far, thank you! Any advice, positive or negative, I would really appreciate.
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  3. B77

    B77 Light Load Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    Tell your story to the big companies. Someone will give you the chance. Just make a deal for 1-2 years. But do it , otherwise you will regret it for a long time.
    Just passing by Thanks this.
  4. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Gettin' down westbound
    Go for it man. Sounds like u love to drive . Thats what it takes to be out here. Theres plenty of mega companies that will have u in orientation next monday morning. @Chinatown might be able to help
    Just passing by Thanks this.
  5. OldeSkool

    OldeSkool Heavy Load Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    Go for it!!!! Many companies offer paid training. They may not be the best to work for, but in a couple years you can move on to better companies and make a great career of it. Wish you luck!!!!
    Just passing by Thanks this.
  6. Phantom Trucker

    Phantom Trucker Light Load Member

    Jan 11, 2016
    Calgary, AB
    Reach out to some LTL (less-than-truckload) trucking companies to see if they’ll put you to work on their cross dock then eventually in a truck.

    If you’re in Edmonton, J&R Hall, Caneda Transport, Rosenau, Manitoulin, Kindersly are all LTL trucking companies in your area. Good luck.
    Just passing by Thanks this.
  7. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    Rosenau seems like they run decent equipment. Any of their trucks/trailers that come by our yard look like they're maintained.
    magoo68 Thanks this.
  8. flagrunner

    flagrunner Bobtail Member

    Nov 11, 2020
    Thank you guys so much for your support. I wasn't sure what kind of responses I was going to get! I have taken a look at the various trucking companies mentioned and I am thinking of taking the following approach:

    1. If there is an office job vacancy, I was going to apply for the job but stress in my cover letter that my end goal is to undertake the necessary training to eventually become a driver. Hopefully my office background would mean I could bring some skills to an office role which may mean a reasonable interim salary.

    2. If there are no relevant vacancies, I will email my resume and a cover letter outlining my story (basically what I have said here).

    Does that sound like a good approach? Or would an in person visit be more effective? In the UK you would never show up in person but I understand things can be different in Canada when it comes to job-hunting.

    Thanks again!
  9. MBAngel

    MBAngel Medium Load Member

    Apr 1, 2018
    Tucson, Arizona
    I wonder if @Chinatown has any suggestions for Canada jobs. I wanted to drive truck my whole life. Kids are finally grown, im 55 and hubby and I are having a blast traveling the country on the company dime. Many trucking schools have payment plans. In the U.S. we have community colleges with loans and grants. There may be help at the unemployment office, even if you're not unemployed. You have options. Go for it!
    Just passing by Thanks this.
  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Not familiar with that subject for Canada citizens.
    Maybe @not4hire can help.
    Try to hang on to to your 9K savings account and find a trucking company that has their own cdl training.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  11. mpd240

    mpd240 Road Train Member

    Sep 17, 2011
    It’s America. You can pursue your dreams here. Oh that’s right your in Canada. Your ####ed eh!
    skipgears Thanks this.
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