After ages of being laid off from a 20+ year on-and-off job as an electrician, I am looking at a career change to driving.
I know, I know... bunches of people are going to tell me to stay where I'm at and wait it out, right?
Well, the thing is, although it was good money, (when I had work... ) it was never anything I really cared much about. I realize that most people don't have the luxury of "loving their job" and that's ok. However, I have been laid off for over 2 years and I'm pretty well sick of it. I mean - what good is $30+/hr if you only work once in a while..?
Anyway, I talked to a local driving school today and am seriously looking at attending. I have a class A but I will probably take the whole course anyway just so I know I am up to snuff on everything.
In doing some research and looking at some different companies, I noticed that Roehl had a slip-seat program where you would work 7 on and then have 7 off. I thought, "Great! That would work well for me since I mostly need supplemental income (my wife also works) and don't really want to be gone for weeks at a time. What's more, I farm a little on the side and would hate to not be able to see to that.
So - I'm all gung-ho for the 7/7 deal with Roehl and give them a call since I see where they do hire students.
No dice... They don't offer the 7/7 deal in my area. (central Iowa) Here, they only offer a National plane of 14 out and 2-3 home because, apparently, they don't have a drop yard around here.
I understand the downside(s) of slip-seating (slobs, smoking, pets, etc) but some things might be tolerated to find something more conducive to my home-time needs, :smt057 so...
Anyway, sorry for the mini-novel here...
What helpful suggestions can anyone offer?
Are there other companies out there that offer similar deals to Roehl's 7/7 plan?
PS: I considered some of the local yocals but they all want you to do local pickup and delivery around the city and you would handle all your own freight. That's not really what I had in mind...
Opinions, Advice, and Suggestions...
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First off, welcome to the forum! Now for the nitty gritty!
I don't sugar coat any info I give because I want it to register. For some reason the newbies just don't quite understand even when you tell them flat out. For those who know absolutely nothing about the industry its hard to fathom that there is a lot more to this career than just holding the steering wheel, driving from point a to point b.
If you have a family, especially kids, I highly recommend you do something else. All this mumbo, jumbo you hear about 7 on 7 off or 10 on 10 off is a bunch of crap! Even if it were true, trust me, you don't want to do it. But why? Well you get paid by the mile. You aren't going to make any miles in 7 days. If you breakdown (which happens frequently) or need work done to the truck, or you get sick or your loads get delayed, cancelled or whatnot then you are screwed. You just spent 7 days away from home and didn't make a dime! The other big part of that scam is that the drivers that do want to be home all the time are treated like crap and are used for the sole purpose of doing the grunt work. Your job will be to pick up loaded trailers, drive 50 miles and sit for 8-10hrs while they unload you. Then you will take that empty trailer drive 50 more miles and sit for 8-10hrs while you wait to get loaded. " But that load goes cross-country" you say! Yep, sure does. Your job however will be to take it to the drop yard 20 miles away and swap trailers with a driver that stays out for two months at a time. The drivers that stay out and don't get home get the good loads. They are dependable and their dispatchers don't have to spend their day trying to schedule everything around their home time.
Are you pickin up what I'm puttin down?
You aren't going to make any money unless you are staying out for a minimum of 6 weeks at a time. Another thing is that every time you do go home your pay gets screwed up for 3 weeks! The week you are trying to get home is slow. (Why you ask? Because when you are ready to go home they don't just send you home. You will run a whole series of loads in order to get you to deliver your last load as close to your house as possible so that the company isn't paying out of pocket for fuel to get you home. It would be very costly company wide to do that! Say you live in FL. You are in GA. They may send you to TX then to IL then to TN to MO to pick up a load to go to FL!)
Now back on topic, the week you are home you won't be getting paid, and now the week you go back out will be slow going in order to get you back in the freight lanes.
When my wife and I were over the road we would stay out for 3-4 months at a time. It just cost us too much to come home. We did own our truck though so our expenses were more than a company drivers.
Now you say you could just go regional or local right?! Well right now its hard for experienced drivers to get those gigs. Is it possible? Sure. Takes some luck though. I would hate to see you pay $6000.00 for school and then not be able to get a local gig and are forced to go over the road to recoup your losses. Now you hate it and have to stay out away from your family!
Whatever you do, really give it some thought man. The chances of you being gone from your family for long periods of time is going to be very likely. So think it over good. The money is going to be the same as if you had two jobs at home and slept in your own bed.
Hope this doesn't sound negative, just want it to register and hopefully save you lots of time and money. Feel free to pm me if you got ?'s
You might check out Schneider National. They have "flexible scheduling" out of some Op Centers. The posted job listings on the website I looked at did not have any flex schedule jobs, these were around Omaha, C.Rapids, and Maqueketa.(sp.) A Scheinder locator site shows an Op Center in Des Moines. Maybe they have flex schedules out of there. Hey...it's a lead.
GO HAWKS!!!! Hope you're not a Cyclown fan!? Panther fan...ok.
Regards and good luck.
Didn't seem like it was so hard to give a helpful reply without being all condescending and talking down to the other person...
Wish more people would do that.
Seems some can't help but talk to others like they're stupid.
In taking a look at Schneider, it appears that I am only about 30-40 minutes from their Des Moines hub so I will certainly be checking into them further.
As for your your misguided sports preferences...
I'm afraid I can't help you there. It's been my experience over the years that Hog-eye fans are beyond the help of others. Much like someone with a drug addiction, you can't do it for them. It's only when they see the light and decide they have had enough that true change can occur.
Knight used to advertise a similar deal like Roehl, also consider commuting from your house to Roehl's yard in Wi. The problem with 7/7 is it's hard sometimes to stop/start your 7 on, 7 off schedule. You're ready to come back from your 7 off, but there's no truck available at the moment, so you're sitting in the terminal waiting, waiting, waiting.....Then when you're ready to begin your 7 off,, dispatch has to co-ordinate your truck with your home etc. A lot of companies do "outbound runs" and then get their trucks back to home base asap, because they have accounts that need to be serviced. Try a smaller operation there in Ia. that does this. Decker in Ft. Dodge comes to mind.
I didn't think about Decker...
I looked at their website and it says their requirements include a min. of 1 yr experience or 100,000 verifiable miles so that's probably out... at least for the time being.
The deal is... I don't have to make top money overall. If I found something part-time or something where they only needed someone to run a few days a week, it would still be OK. I realize that is a bit unorthodox but that is the essentially the spot I am in ATM.
Nonetheless, I'm guessing that what I am going to have to do is just get on with someone like Schneider and get a year or so under my belt. Then maybe I can look at a location change to better suit my needs..??
You can 'live' somewhere other than where you actually do - where Roehl is concerned. If you're willing to travel to a location where they offer the 7/7 or some other schedule you're interested in, (such as a town close to an Interstate, like Blairsburg, IA - zip 50034), then they may have more opportunities for you.
To get an idea of what Roehl's schedules are like, take a look at this thread or this thread.
Hope this helps.
Wow, free, truthful advice and all i get is "condescending".
Give us a holler when you are out in the real world and let us know how that works out for you!
Should have charged you for that advice cause you aren't going to get a more truthful answer than what I gave you! Good luck!
Why do newbies ask questions and then refuse to believe you?
"Hope this doesn't sound negative, just want it to register and hopefully save you lots of time and money. Feel free to pm me if you got ?'s"
Posted this at the end of the post as a disclaimer to purposely not offend. Then offered personal consultation. What more does one have to do to help someone and not offend them?
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