Thinking of being a truck driver some questions?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by rdutch, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Lilbit

    Lilbit Road Train Member

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    A lot of the schools can finance your training, even with not so great credit. You probably will be paying $150 or more per month for the payments, but if you don't have much else in the way of bills, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. It will also help you build/rebuild your credit.

    There are companies out there that will hire someone with 3 months or so of experience. My hubby did his training and first three months with Werner, and then moved to Celadon. Good pay, good miles, killer vacation package (every 30,000 miles you get a week off paid at $1,000 - first 30k you only get the $1k not the week off.).

    Back in 1999 I took my training with Swift and then ended up going local for several months. Just remember, you can ask for a new trainer if you have a major problem like I did with mine. I'm female, and he didn't think us girls should be driving truck. I dealt with that attitude for 4 weeks, and finally had to ask for a new one. I gave him a chance to change his attitude as I got my wheels under me, but he didn't. My second one was great. My hubby got lucky with his trainer at Werner. He was a gem, and my hubby did the whole 6 weeks instead of breaking it up.

    Good luck with it, and learn as much as you can. You will always be learning something new!
     
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  3. rick263

    rick263 Bobtail Member

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    where in Florida are u located Dutch? south of I-4 (orlando area) makes it tough to get home for OTR driving, sometimes 14 plus days out on the road.
     
  4. Lilbit

    Lilbit Road Train Member

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    I can attest to that one. I lived in Bradenton for awhile (just south of Tampa), and it was tricky for me to get home too.
     
  5. Iwanttobeatrucker

    Iwanttobeatrucker Light Load Member

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  6. itsapartydude

    itsapartydude Bobtail Member

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    Okay so, I wanted to become a truck driver b/c:
    1. I can't seem to find an IT job even though I have 20 years of experience and my Bachelor's degree and
    2. I heard truck drivers make fairly good money, about 37k first year. At least that's what the school and companies are telling me. And
    3. If I get my CDL I will never be unemployed again

    Well, I'm 2 weeks into Roadmaster driving school and having second thoughts about continuing to pursue this career due to the fact that I have a 4 year old son and a 6 year old daughter who both love their daddy. Now I find out that most of the companies want you (make you) work 3 weeks straight without a dayoff, which is very disconcerting to me. Also, I don't want to drive past say 8 o'clock at night.

    I'm wondering if I should drop out?

    :biggrin_25510:
     
  7. Paddington

    Paddington Medium Load Member

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    Less than 6 bucks an hour to start.
    The reason you can make $30k your 1st year is that you're regularly clocking in 80+ hour workweeks (with no overtime after 8/40).
    Getting home is a roll of the dice.
    Worthless bennies with high co-pays.
    No friends, family, or social life whatsoever.
    Poor diet + lack of exercise will take a toll on your body (median age of death of truck drivers is 61 years old...16 years less than the general population).
    Exorbitant truckstop prices.
    If you don't hit anything and are able to put up with the low-pay + BS for a year or two you might land a somewhat better paying job.
    That is, if the company doesn't trash your DAC of some petty reason.

    But the odds aren't good...roughly 85% of trucking jobs are grind jobs.

    And now you know the rest of the story...
     
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  8. Jimbo60

    Jimbo60 Medium Load Member

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    No .... don't drop out. Finish your program and get the license. You may never use it but don't quit in the middle.

    Having said that, do some research on the forum here and get a handle on what OTR life is really like and, understand that the atrition rate for new drivers (all companies inclusive) is about 95% over the course of one year.

    Also understand that most large carriers consider 100% annual turnover to be acceptable.

    Most people can't adapt to the OTR lifestyle. One reason is hometime. One day at home for every six days out is the industry standard. So ...gone for three weeks and home for three days.

    Another is money. As a raw trainee you will make about $350-$400 per week, pre-tax for the first four to six weeks. Your net will be about $290-$325. Take at least $100 for road expenses and your net take home during the training phase is about $200 +/-.

    Now besides low money for the first year, how do you feel about living three weeks at a time in a space smaller than a walk in closet? Using public restrooms all of the time? Being in unfamiliar surroundings? Having to communicate with your family electronically for 20-30 days at a time? Lonliness? Is that a factor? Maybe you only get a shower every other day - is that OK? Restaraunt food? Fast food? Lack of real exercise? $3.50 + to do a load of laundry?

    Do it or don't but..... go into it as aware as possible and if you do do it try not to become a statistic.


    ................. Jim
     
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  9. Merlin1477024

    Merlin1477024 Light Load Member

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    Jul 30, 2010
    Katy, Texas
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    I have talked to a recruiter for C1 Trucking School in Ft. Worth. If the school is prepaid (paid by me in advance), there are several companies to talk with. Only a couple if training is financed.

    Also, if school is prepaid, a private room at the hotel instead of sharing.

    Several companies will reimburse your schooling at a set amount per month if the school meets their requirements. Not all schools do, so be sure to check.

    Best!
     
  10. Jimbo60

    Jimbo60 Medium Load Member

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    High desert CA
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    One other thing .... forget about the not drivng past 8 o'clock at nith deal.

    You drive when you need to, in order to get to the receiver on time and within what your hours will allow.

    Example - you sit off duty for a day and at 6 p.m. your dispatcher gives you a pick up.

    You probably have some hours left to drive. You go fetch the wagon, plan your trip and go.

    Besides you can usually make the most miles at night.
     
  11. itsapartydude

    itsapartydude Bobtail Member

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    Aug 7, 2010
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    Well, I can drive at night, I'm just not going to drive all night and into the wee hours of the morning, forget it.
    Another issue of mine is recurring back problems, I used to lift weights and it's taken a toll on my lower back.
     
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