Trucking A New Career 1 Drivers journey

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by Big Papaxx, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Big Papaxx

    Big Papaxx Medium Load Member

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    So I am starting this thread as an accounting of my experience coming into the trucking industry. I will document from selecting a cdl school to becoming a professional driver. I was actually going to start a blog but after months of research and spending time on these forums I wanted to first start a thread here. If the feedback indicates that this thread may be useful information then I will continue posting in this thread of my experiences. I will start off not using the names of the businesses as to try to keep the information unbiased and on point. But if the time comes that it becomes more beneficial to list the names. I will have no problem doing so.

    I want to make it very clear I am in no way recommending or endorsing any company or encouraging anyone to follow this path. I realize that the trucking industry ( primarily drivers) is a very passionate group. I want to also make it clear that while you may not agree with my experience or the way I have written something please understand this is how I have experienced it. Also please voice your questions concerns advice disagreements etc. But just because we may disagree I will always try to respect the industry and the people that may disagree with my account.

    One final bit of information.. I have chosen to follow the path of anyone who is coming into this industry without any or limited experience. From choosing the CDL school to the company I have chosen to drive for. I feel that is the best way to get the knowledge and experience I will need in the future and in some cases the most challenging. I have chosen the school I will attend and my start date is the 7th of December. Being from Illinois it was best to attend a school in Illinois as CDL's from other states do not always transfer to Illinois and I would have to retake all the tests (skills and written) again in Illinois if I acquired an out of state cdl. I also have chosen and have a pre hire letter from the carrier I will drive for and lease from right after graduation..

    Yes I did say lease from.. Now before anyone loses there mind on me let me explain. I have read and seen all of the pit falls and failures associated with the lease programs. I understand there is (depending on who you ask) between 77 and 94% failure rate among drivers who lease. I also understand they are written and designed in most cases for the driver to fail.. I am doing this not because I want to just give away money but because I happen to be in a position that I can not be hurt by a lease failing and that allows me to go into this with an ability to give an unbiased accurate account of what it takes to be successful or even if that is possible.. I believe that just maybe by having an accurate account of this process including leasing maybe it will help.. I also know that many people coming into the industry like me end up getting sucked into a lease and that is the only way to give accurate information is to go through a similar process. I do feel that having my background in business and my life experiences will assist me in succeeding but at the very least it will be an accurate account of what I have to do to make money.

    Lastly I want to be clear this will not be just the good or fudged numbers for mileage or income so that everything looks good. This will be the good the bad and the ugly all of it how I am experiencing it.. If you do not think this would be useful or is a waste of time for the forums then please say so.

    So if you would like to comment ask questions give advice please do.. As Einstein said "The only source of knowledge is experience".
     
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  3. BuckeyeKev

    BuckeyeKev Light Load Member

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    Following! (8-12 seconds back of course!)
     
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  4. CJndaTruck

    CJndaTruck Road Train Member

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    Leases are doable. I finished 2 and moved on to buying. Wish you the best of luck.
     
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  5. Puppage

    Puppage Road Train Member

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    Best of luck. Out of couriosity, how would naming the companies be biased? It would just add more fact to your story.
     
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  6. FuzzFace2

    FuzzFace2 Medium Load Member

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    First I wish you luck in your new adventure.

    Maybe start with a little of your back ground like age, jobs you have held up to this point, what experience you have had with trucks and/or trailers i.e.; p/u & 21’ camp trailer.

    I would also like to know what position you are in where you say you can lease a truck right off the bat? You have a lot of money put away to fall back on that makes it so and this was something you wanted to do is drive a big rig?

    BTW I have been out of school a year come Dec. I went to upgrade from class B (got back in 1983 but only drove that summer) to the class A as a change of careers. I have driven many different cars, vans, P/U trucks & tow trucks pulling just as many different trailers from small pop ups to a 2 car trailer for racing. I also getting back into this at 55 years old, so no young chicken.
    I worked as an HVAC tech in a hospital for 15 years the last 10 as foreman, 15 years in computers: break fix/help desk & desk side support. so this was a big change for me.

    Again good luck
    Dave ----
     
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  7. Big Papaxx

    Big Papaxx Medium Load Member

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    Chicago, Los Angeles
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    I meant more bias from a judgement of the companies. the school. I will add the school once I arrive and then the company once I graduate and start with them.. Thanks
     
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  8. Big Papaxx

    Big Papaxx Medium Load Member

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    Chicago, Los Angeles
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    A little about my background. I am 47 years old. I was the US Director for an Equipment Manufacturer for 25 years and then the Majority owner for the North American Distributor of there equipment. I have a MBA and have certifications to operate everything from Forklifts to Heavy Equipment and up to 300 ton overhead cranes. I have dealt with International and Domestic Logistics in the shipping and receiving of equipment. I have done every facet of this business from service and installation of equipment to project management sales and customer service..

    To answer @FuzzFace2 question. I was very fortunate in that the distributorship was very successful and it was purchased 5 years ago. I was retained as a consultant and that contract was up in October. Actually my first thought was to buy a truck and trailer but having limited experience in this industry I discovered very quickly that I wanted to go through the process and learn the industry. Down the road I may very well buy but I think first I need to work and I wanted to find out about the lease and what it really takes to make it work and share the experience.
     
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  9. Pintlehook

    Pintlehook Road Train Member

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    @Big Papaxx I've read some of your comments on here, they're very articulate and to the point. Your business background will no doubt help you in your new adventure, just remember ALL of the details contribute to the bottom line. Be a forward thinker, don't live in the moment - plan, plan, plan. Exercise safety and, more importantly, common sense at ALL times. Document everything and refer to the documentation frequently because you never know when you may forget something. Understand that NOTHING in this business (or ANY business for that matter) is perfect, you WILL have setbacks and days when you ask yourself why you did this in the first place. Bring along your best attitude at any shipper or receiver(this may be the most difficult thing to do, lol), it will go a long way in some cases. Finally, leave some time for fun. The first year will have a HUGE learning curve, but taking a few minutes for yourself on a restart goes a long way for mental health.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  10. Big Papaxx

    Big Papaxx Medium Load Member

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    Thank you @Pintlehook .that is greatly appreciated.
     
  11. Big Papaxx

    Big Papaxx Medium Load Member

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    Chicago, Los Angeles
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    I will add as to my background I have 2 grown son's 1 in college 1 running a small business in technology. I am divorced. Both of which allows me the flexibility to stay out which I believe will be key to operating successfully. I also have submitted all of the necessary fees and documents to obtain my own authority.. Not that I will need or use it starting off but some of the documents can take some time to be processed. So I thought it couldn't hurt to have it..
     
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