Thinking about Truck driving in Washington state, Seattle area

Discussion in 'Trucking Jobs' started by wetsand, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. wetsand

    wetsand Bobtail Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    Hi all:

    been lurking a few forums for a while contemplating the idea of becoming a truck driver.

    I don't have a family so being gone for long periods is not an issue for me.

    like i said, i have been lurking these boards and others for a while, while being a couple of years and seen the ups and downs of the industry as drivers post, and i never was serious enough about becoming a truck driver to pay close attention to the details.

    from what i've gathered , the area you live in plays a big role on whether a company is likely to wanna hire you or not based on their ability to give you home time (that's assuming if they're even hiring in this economy in the first place).

    So before i start looking into Truck driving school, be it at the local college or an independently owned school, let me ask this: What's the industry like in Seattle Area? economy aside, has this area been known to be over saturated with drivers and not enough business in the past?

    i'm trying to come out of full Disability after 4 years as i have almost fully recovered and wanna start working again (i'm only 37 btw not an old man hehe). i won't have a problem passing a physical.

    also, with truck driving schools, is there a benefit to taking the course with a 3rd party and having your CDL before you apply to a company? would it be better to look for a company who does the training?

    Your input is much appreciated.
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  3. Lilbit

    Lilbit Road Train Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Let me check my logbook
    The only question I'll touch is that going to a third party school does not tie you to a company for a year or two for your education. If you go through a company school, you will have to work for that company for a year at least, or you will have to pay them back for your education.
  4. wetsand

    wetsand Bobtail Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    thanks lilbit.

    anyone else with any words of advice?
  5. ironarmadillo

    ironarmadillo Bobtail Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Living in the North West you will need to prepare to chain up a lot in the winter if you ever what to get home.
  6. LVNV 6 of Spades

    LVNV 6 of Spades Bobtail Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    Yes if you train with a compnay, your forced to sign with that company for 1 to 2 years. These schools are usually "license mills", they make you memorize just enough to get your CDL and then throw you the keys to the big rig and say "Merry Christmas". If you goto a 3rd party education, i reckon you'd learn more of the stuff you need to know, plus some employers will reimburse you for part of your training costs (again with signing a contract, but this way you can pick & choose a lil bit). You can in some areas even take truck driving as a college semester course and you get college credits, some college schools, not only teach you how to drive them and get your license but they go over basic mechanics too (which is a big help and money saver out here)

    Theres a lot of companies based in the NW, you got Gordon Trucking out of Pacific and Interstate out of Tacoma. I always see Oak Harbor rigs and Haney trucks out there. Theirs tons of companies that all they do is run I-5 from Seattle to LA primarily, like Sorenson, A&M, RCT, Northern Refrigerated gees there's a lot of them.
  7. jwalker

    jwalker Bobtail Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    I would go to a third party school that has an approved coarse, at least 120 hrs. 160 is better. Check with the trucking company you want to go with. Gordon Trucking is a good company. I worked for them three months in 07 but I had personl family problems to take care of so I had to quit. You run hard and take care of your dispatcher and they will take care of you.
  8. wetsand

    wetsand Bobtail Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    i spoke with a Gordon recruiter and they said they're not (or they would not at this time) hiring student drivers.

    my research shows that the only accredited school near me (for whatever that's worth) is western pacific in Kent,WA.

    spok with them and they said that werner and systems (comprised of 3 companies) hires their students right out.

    my cousin has been driving since 92, he was O/O and went to walmart in 99 and boy does he love it hehe.

    still on the fence about the whole thing, don't even know if i should get in it, i'll have no problem hacking it but i'm just not sure if I'll be throwing money away at school and end up chasing pocket change at a company.
  9. Alabamaspirit

    Alabamaspirit Light Load Member

    another thing, you will need a stash of cash, just to get started. I am new to all this myself, start training in March. Things I have spent money on so far.. DOT physical $45, CDL learners test $25, CDL learners license $23,+ driving an hour (one way) to take the exam. This is 3 months before school, not a cheap career to get into.:biggrin_2554:
  10. 4campbells1

    4campbells1 Bobtail Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    I live in Olympia and have been driving for 10 years now; I went to school at Trans Union Truck Driving School in Tacoma off of River Rd. across from the Puyallup River. They are a good school and very nice people. Also if you graduate from there if at anytime during your career if you need a job they always welcome you back to see what jobs they have listed.

    I have also heard that CDS (commercial driver services) is a good school; and I think they teach drivers how to drive a dump truck but if I was just out of school I'd be driving for a few years before driving a dump truck as it's a whole new ball game; I just started driving for the Teamsters in Aug. 2008 driving belly dump and it's very different from freight hauling; it's like 4x4 a semi truck on the dirt; very bumpy and you really have to pay attention to what is going on at all times especially if you're doing road work like me.
  11. basspro

    basspro Light Load Member

    Oct 28, 2009
    Modesto, CA
    I can't seem to find anywhere that has a list of I-5 corodoor trucking companies. I may just be looking the wrong way. as I can't seem to find a web site for sorenson or A&M. Do you have any other names...or possibly phone #'s please.

    I live in Modesto, CA, & running I-5 would be perfect for me.
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