I've been a member here for awhile, but I've been doing more reading than anything due to the fact that I had no experience in this industry.
That being said, my family does, but I'm not one to ride coat tails.
I've wanted to go otr for years, but it was just never the right time. My children were home, and regardless of my situation, I just couldn't stand to not be there when the little things came up. All four are either in college now or will be soon. And since they're moving out of state, I see no reason why I can't pursue another career path.
I'm spoiled for sure, I work for the State of Texas right now on a 4on 3off schedule. It doesn't pay the best, but it afforded me the time that I needed to raise my family, and this life is all about priorities.
Funny thing is my username has Texas in it, and I never imagined I'd leave this great state, but my wife has family in Missouri and after getting up that way to visit them, it's a beautiful state. I was pretty much sold when she told me that her family lives in Texas County, Missouri. Lol
I don't plan on leaving right away, but I signed up for ATDS out of Elm Mott, Texas, starting September 17'th. It's 10 weeks of weekends Saturday and Sundays which works perfect for me because I'll still have Fridays off.
Life constantly brings changes, and nothing is guaranteed, we haven't even decided for sure to move yet, but it's pretty obvious I can't keep working for the state of Texas if we do decide to move a little further north. No matter what, I believe that having a CDL is almost a surefire job no matter where you end up. I see this as being a valuable addition to our options.
Thank y'all for your time.
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If you’re thinking of getting a CDL just to have it in your pocket I’m not sure that’s a good investment as some companies want you to start using it right away and if you don’t they might not hire you if it’s been X amount of time
Seems I’ve read comments from others who got it and waited and then had to redo the course
Might get info from @Chinatown
No disrespect intended for anyone else, but I got my CDL in May of 2017.
Then later, I started driving for Schneider (my first CDL gig) in March of 2019.
Thus, I would submit--if you play your cards right, your CDL won't go "stale".
But...as suggested above....other companies may frown on such.
Total disclosure: Schneider may well have given me the nod because I also had ALL the endorsements, plus a TWIC....plus a US passport....when I signed up with them.
As long as it remains to be a driver's market--I predict you could experience similar.
I'm originally from Texas, down on the coast between Houston and Corpus Christi. Understand the appeal of the state. However, I'm a poster child for a hippy liberal and didn't mix too well there. My parents knew from when I was like 8 years old that I'd probably move away once I grew up. And, after high school ended up joining the Air Force and basically only go back to visit family on occasion.
Anyway, there are definitely some similarities with how it happened with me. I lived in Arizona and worked for the Federal Government for many years. But, when I completed 30 years with them and eligible to retire, I was seriously needing to do something different and still had about another 8 years, at the time, until I was ready to actually retire. I took about a year off and even had a job in my old career field for several months. But, after that, being a driver had been my plan B for a long time and situations bumped it up to plan A. So, here I am. Beem driving almost 3 years and it's working out. Not perfect, but the pros outweigh the cons. I 'lurked' here for several years too. I joined here in 2012 and didn't become a driver till 2019. It was really helpful. Gave me a good idea on what being a trucker was and wasn't and gave me some realistic expectations on what I was getting myself into and helped me evaluate if this was something I could actually do and enjoy. In my opinion, too many show up at truck driving school without much clue what this occupation really is, the demands it has on us and the uniqueness it possesses.
It's also a fairly diverse career and many different paths available. I was kinda lucky I think. I ended up, pit the gate, falling into the niche that I think suits me best. I'm a West Coast reefer jockey. Only thing that's changed since I started is going from running all 48 to just the Western States. And, everytime I evaluate it all and consider going a different route, I end up right back where I am. I'm happy running reefer, staying in the West, driving for the company I do. I just don't see the grass any greener, for me, elsewhere.
So, lurk away!!! Ask stupid questions (only stupid question is the one not asked). From my experience it will definitely increase your chances of getting this all to work out and being content with the choice!!
I was recently applying to companies after years of not applying. What I noticed is how many job apps ask about how much CDL driving in the last 3 years. I don't remember that being asked 5 or more years ago as I saw recently. There are companies that view not driving for 30-90 days as needing a refresher before they will hire you. It's not very common, but there are companies like that. I would NOT get a CDL just in case. I guess having a stale CDL is slightly better than just getting your CDL 10 days before you get hired for your first job. I would not start CDL school until I had found and researched the exact job and exact company I wanted to work for and easily met their requirements to get hired, if not had some sort of agreement to work for them once I got my CDL.
I can't wait until I need a job before I start my training. I've not spent a single day unemployed since I took my first full time job at 16. I've always had somewhere else to go before I quit. I realize that if I quit and signed onto a company sponsored CDL situation I wouldn't technically be unemployed, but I refuse to subject myself to one year of indentured servitude. I'm not saying anything against people who choose that route, because everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for someone else. It's just that I've always been fortunate enough to be able to plan my departures.
If I have to start with a trainer later because my experience doesn't transfer, I'm fine with that. Because I'm going to need it honestly. Getting my license doesn't mean I'll understand every aspect of this industry. But what it will mean is I won't be contractually bound to anyone.Sirscrapntruckalot Thanks this.
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