Washington Bus Driver making a trucking career change - any advice

by Rich Ross

My name is Rich. I have had my class A and all endorsements, except hazmat for the past 9 years. I gave up my hazmat because my current employment does not require it.

My experience is this, I had driven tractor/trailor for about 7 months right out of trucking school. The company I worked for then didn't pay much so I left there. I was offered a local position with a city bus driving job.

I already had my passenger endorsement so I thought I would try it out. Well I have stayed there now for the past 8 years+. It has been a good job as far as staying local and making a good income. But as of late the company is barely staying running.

Also I have kept thinking in the back of my mind that I do want to go drive truck again. So with my short experience as a trucker. I realize I most likely need to go get some refresher training.

My thought is this. Do I go find a local school for this? Do I look to get some training from a large trucking company that offers regular training for inexperienced.

The bonus is that I already have my class A anyways. What should I do? Also a few years ago I got married and we have some young children now. But my wife is very supportive on what I need to do. As long as the pay keeps coming in we'll be ok.

By the way what kind of pay is out there now and what can I look forward to on a income? Right now driving a bus I bring home at least 1500.00 every two weeks. I need to make a change soon. Please let me know what you think. My email is rsross1970@yahoo.com

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Oct 28, 2011
raw uncut truth about the transition from another career to trucking
by: hervy

Rich, you may be able to convince someone to consider your experience in driving high dollar freight for a little experience. (people is high dollar freight).

Generally speaking though they are going to see you as a newbie, rookie. This unfortunately means you are likely to take a cut in pay for the first year. Your pay may be closer to $30,000. Plus being on the road adds expenses to subtract.

As far as training, yes you will probably be asked to attend a refresher course.

Your wife may be supportive now, but it's a different ballgame when you get out on the road so role play for 3 weeks as if you are not there just so you can more accurately identify all the issues that might need to be worked out.

Just in case you have been lied to, let me tell you, for the first year, expect to be on the road for 3 or 4 weeks at the time. You may luck up and get a company and dispatcher who gets you home a little more often.....

but don't make the move expecting to get there more often.

3 0r 4 weeks away for new drivers is much more common.

It sounds like you are in pretty good shape for the transition and you are doing your research.

If you can deal with what you find out, do know that this is a great career and it will work in your favor if you plan for what you want.

With wife and kids, you may not want to be a trucker forever so consider going for the big bucks as soon as possible and stack.

FYI heavy haul can allow you to make extra money to take care of fam and stack (save). See about getting into it if you want to drive for a while and transition into something else back at home later. If you don't look at it and plan this way, you may find yourself wanting to get out of trucking but unable to down the road.

You can't go straight into heavy haul, but flat bed will put you closer to it.

heavy hauling

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