Considering changing careers 2
Thank you for the reply. I personally don't know any truck drivers to ride with. My uncle was a truck driver and terminal manager for a trucking company years ago.* He is in his 90's now. Years ago when I was just out of high school I asked him for a job and he wouldn't let me apply. He wanted me to go to college. I have always been interested in trucking and would like to try it. I am married but no children are at home. I have my wife's approval also. I have been looking at your website. It is very informative. The best I have found.
Response from Vicki:
Given the additional information you shared, here are a few ideas for your consideration:
* Since you don't know anyone personally who would let you ride in a truck, see if you can connect with someone near you through a trucking forum. (We trust you know how to interact with folks through such a venue.) One of my favorite forums (whose RSS news feed I subscribe to) is http://www.truckingboards.com/. Some experienced drivers there don't mind being frank with newbies about the pros and cons of the industry.
* To get your feet wet (so to speak), you may consider doing courier work on the weekends (assuming you have any time left over from your teaching job). Picking up and delivering packages locally can give you a feel for the type of job responsibilities you will face as a driver of a big rig.
* Visit a truck stop near you and talk with drivers. Offer to buy them a meal and ask to pick their brains for a few minutes. You may be surprised by what you hear. Don't put too much stock in the positive or negative things said by any one driver (as there are obviously biases), but rather get a general feel for what they have to say about the industry and lifestyle. Of course, you want to pick your potential contacts carefully. A lot of drivers pop into truck stops only long enough to get fuel, get a shower and hit the road again. You may not know which company the drivers drive for, but if you can, talk with drivers with a number of different companies.
* It's great that you have your wife's approval on this potential transition. Back in 1992 when my husband Mike was looking at going into trucking, we went together to an event hosted by J.B. Hunt in Columbia. There, we met a recruiter for a truck driver training school in Charleston. We arranged to meet with him at his office (another trip to Columbia). While we were there, he asked with a straight face if I was going to drive too. We were absolutely astounded! Who? Me? Drive a truck? The recruiter said that if my feet could touch the pedals, yes, he could envision me driving a truck. (I didn't know then that lots of women do.) However, this paradigm shift in our thinking led us (through much prayer) to have both of us go to truck driving school. We never went to work for J.B. Hunt, but the trucking school contact we made at their event was life changing. So... If your wife has any desire whatsoever to be with you on the road, please consider the pros and cons of both of you going to school, graduating and then driving team together. It is hard work, but it can be very rewarding in numerous ways.
Thank you again for your compliment on our site. Your words of praise mean much.
Please stay in touch and let me know how things go for you.
* This follow-up was originally sent as an email. To protect the writer, we have changed the name of the writer, and omitted the name of the trucking company and its location.