Trucking With Collin
Way back in the seventies I learned to drive a truck on local farms for summer jobs before I actually had a driver’s license. Then as one of my first jobs I took off truck driving with an older buddy. I loved it and felt free as a bird. Although I grew up in a military family and traveled a lot of the country this was seeing the sites in a whole new way.
Several of the companies I have worked for over the years put my driving skills to use doing deliveries in a big truck so until 2000 I maintained a CDL. Now with the drastic downturn in the Printing industry and me wanting to keep working I have decided to go and drive for real. I live alone (with my dog) and have no real ties to keep me here in this little dairy town in central Ca.
I really wanted to make certain I had the best qualifications and would be prepared to offer myself to prospective companies with the best possible skills. As my past years have been in printing rather than trucking I looked at different ways to renew my license. First was to take the written permit test and borrow a truck from a friend to drive for my license. Affordable but not really piratical in the job hunt market as I said above no real documented experience even though I am completely comfortable with my driving skills.
Next was to look at trucking companies that put you through their training a then on a truck with their company. I looked at many, Swift, Schneider , England ; Pride just to name a few. All of these companies have good websites with a lot of information. However, in talking to the recruiters I got the feeling there was just something missing as they were all a little on the apathetic side, probably due to all the calls they must get from looky lews. The cost seemed a bit high for the training. I’m talking several thousand dollars to be deducted from your pay over the following months of employment. And of course there are the stories I have read about people that have gone this route and felt slighted or stuck for various reasons.
Third option and one I would recommend anyone who is exploring driving to seriously, look into is the local community college or the state employment offices. In my case as I left my last job in April of this year training was available at very little cost to me through a state sponsored program at a local driving school with connections to many large companies taking on driving school grads. Now there’s a thought, school to brush up on my skills and bring me up to date on all the laws and regulations I may have missed out on over the years and some job placement assistance.
So this is what I am doing. A local driving school with a good program approved and sponsored though the state. The contract with me, the state and the school outlines start and stop dates, what you will cover in the course of the school and job placement assistance to put me on the road. First day of school is Monday the 15th and I will post a daily account of my adventure.
I suppose it should be said that I am the type of person who researches things as best I can before I jump into them. I have learned quite a bit on the internet, that’s how I found your site, stopping and introducing myself to truckers and visiting a few of the local truck stops and such. Hey, I want this to be my last job search and I want to be the best I can be at the job. Rich with information is the best way to start.
Collin transitions from printing into the trucking industry
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Collin will be making blog entries about his journeys into trucking after leaving the printing industry as a result of downsizing because of the state of the economy. Feel free to comment on his blog entries or ask him questions about what he writes in his journey into life as a trucker.
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