Shut Out of Trucking - Where to Turn?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Retired In Nevada, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Retired In Nevada

    Retired In Nevada Bobtail Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Due to both personal desire and financial need, I am trying to break into trucking at age 57. I have applied with all of the usual starter company suspects that hire CDL school grads from my area (Las Vegas). So far, I have been turned down by all of them except Swift, from whom I have a pre-hire letter.

    I will need state grant funding to attend CDL school because I suffered a total financial wipeout two years ago from a Ponzi scheme similar to Bernie Madoff. The state agency here that provides grant funding for CDL schools requires a pre-hire letter from any OTR company other than Swift. Why not Swift? The agency told me that they have had too many problems with Swift issuing pre-hire letters, then not hiring the CDL school grads.

    Right now, I have applications with Stevens Transport and Werner Enterprises under review.

    I have no criminal record whatsoever. My driving record is spotless except for one DUI in early 1996. The first thing that I mention to every company that I apply with is the DUI. They all say no problem, it's long enough ago, go ahead and submit your application.

    I have pretty much been retired for the last 6-1/2 years and scratching by on a small pension from my last employer (the information technology field as a computer programmer) for the last two years since the financial wipeout. I tell every company this right up front and tell them that I can supply all of the documentation that they might want to prove what I have been doing for the last 6-1/2 years.

    Look, folks. I'm an intelligent, honest, hard-working guy who suffered a financial disaster two years ago at the hands of a thief. I'm looking for a company that will give me a break and a pre-hire letter so that I can attend CDL school.

    If Stevens and Werner turn me down, any suggestions as to where could I turn to break into this industry?

    Before you tell me to relocate, financially, I cannot. I am stuck owning and living in a property for which there is no market here in depressed southern Nevada. The CC&Rs here prevent me from renting it out. I simply cannot bear the cost of maintaining two homes.

    And before you tell me to try to find a job in the IT field or related field, I have been trying since the financial wipeout, to no avail.

    I have even applied for jobs at the local fast food joints. No luck there, either. Seems like nobody wants to hire a 57-year-old.

    And one more word about Swift. While talking with the instructor at the CDL school I wish to attend (a local community college; a thorough 240-hour course), he said that I probably wouldn't want to drive for Swift because many of his recent graduates who are driving for Swift are reporting paychecks of only about $200/week.

    Swift drivers: What have you to say about those reports of $200/week paychecks?

    TIA, all, for your forthcoming replies and input.
    lupe Thanks this.
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  3. walstib

    walstib Darkstar

    Have you tried the WIA program?...I know with me they didn't require a pre-hire letter and paid for the schooling as a grant, not a loan...I lost my fortune the same way except the ones running the ponzi were politicians that created policies that destroyed my company...I feel your pain and wish you the best of luck...
  4. Gitty

    Gitty Medium Load Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    in my truck
    Try Covenant, Pam, Prime, England, Celadon, Don't know if Crete hires students but theres a few.
  5. landy77

    landy77 Light Load Member

    Sep 18, 2010
    Biloxi, Mississippi
    If y ou are just looking for a pre-hire letter try werner. You are not obligated to go with the company you are pre-hired with. Also try US Xpress or USA Truck, Reohl or May Trucking.
  6. wulfman75

    wulfman75 Road Train Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    Athens, GA
    Both Swift and Stevens have their own schools. Could look into that.
  7. cagey53

    cagey53 Light Load Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Huntsville AL
    Prime and Roehl also have training and pretty much guarantee if you graduate their program you get a job. Con-way will set you up at Crowder College in Missouri, a top quality program for only $1000. I'm also 57 and got approved to all of those, so it can be done. I've decided to attend a local community college program so I won't be beholden to a particular company and I'm fortunate that I can pay my tuition myself. But if trucking is what you really want to do, you might think about alternate ways to get your training.
  8. CarolinaCatJack

    CarolinaCatJack Light Load Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    Travelers Rest, SC
    I'm going with US Xpress. Leaving Sunday to start orientation Monday in Chattanooga. They've seemed pretty straight-forward with me so far. No BS....yet. If you're looking into breaking into the trucking industry at your age, my advice would be to NOT look at CR England, Werner, or Schneider. They're huge companies and they'll take advantage of the fact that you're a student and because of your age. They'll make promises that they have NO intention of keeping. Pay, benefits, equipment.......Don't count on any of it being good. At least, not to begin with. Swift is a decent company. A lot of guys go on and on about how crappy they are, but I started my career with them back in '02. Good folks and I was lucky enough to be assigned one helluva DM. He kept me out on the road and got me home every now and again.

    Just do your research. The right outfit is like the right woman. When ya know, ya know. Keep the shiny side up, drivers....
  9. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    Go over to 4204 Arcata at Anderson and Sons and they might help you. It's not the greatest job but you can work up and get experience hauling triples. If you get on what we used to call the loop you can make out ok. That's LV -Reno-STL-LV. It takes three days and you can get twp a week. Now it's been along time since I've been there so they might not even be in business anymore but if they are they might give you a shot starting on the dock and working up.

    It's off of Craig rd just past the R/R tracks heading towards Mt Charleston. Pass Loosee rd and it's on the left. I think the road you turn into is Gowan but not sure. The building is behind all the others and the road snakes into their terminal. Go in and see if they can help.
  10. Retired In Nevada

    Retired In Nevada Bobtail Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Thank you, all, for your replies. Keep them coming.

    I did receive a pre-hire from Werner Enterprises today (second try; first try two weeks ago resulted in a rejection -- WTF??). But with all of the horribly negative stuff that I have read about Werner here and on other truck driver message boards, I am going to proceed with caution.
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