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

Follow Collin's Trucking Adventures on His Blog

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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Trucking School ends with the DMV Drive Test 
I did it. I took my driving test at the DMV the other day , passed with flying colors and was awarded my Commercial Drivers License with all the endorsements, …

Almost Done 
Well the days are ticking past and they have been busy. The routine at Truck Driving School has been pretty much the same for the past two weeks. First …

We are driving at trucking school now 
Yep, now I am out driving. I will post some info on what we are needing to learn as we prepare for the DMV driving test. But consider the things that …

Jan 15, 2008 
Yes, I've been quiet for a few days but I thought to save up a little so as to have something to give you instead of just logging in to say "Hi went driving …

Week of Jan, 5, 2009 Air Brake System 
Sorry for my absence these past few days things have been a little hectic for me. I will now try to bring you up to date on what's been happening at Truck …

New Year week at trucking school 
Not much to report. That's why you haven't heard from me in a few days. Tuesday was a half day and yesterday started out as one but to my surprise I got …

AH! Monday after Christmas.  
Well, back to it today, and a very positive day it has been. Everybody had a great Christmas and the spirit is still with us. More of the same today, …

Trucking School Class half day Wednesday 
I don't think the Instructors wanted to be at the school this morning but for me and the one other guy that showed up it was great. I had several instructors …

Hey Tuesday 
While many people are turning to thoughts of Family and friends for Christmas, those of us at Truck driving school are pushing ourselves to get our skills …

Monday Week #2 at Truck Driving School 
You can follow my first week at the first link and I promise to be more positive and not put such a negative spin on my experiences. I'll bring you the …

Collin start's his blog about becoming a trucker for week 1 click here 
After thirty years in the Printing industry, which is going away, I am changing and going into trucking. I did maintain a CA class A for many years and …

Collin goes thru his Pre-Trip Inspection Not rated yet
The pre-trip inspection is probably one of the biggest challenges in getting your CDL. It's a little less intimidating when you have the truck in front …

Driving and Driving Not rated yet
In town, out in the country,even on the freeway, but I really only get about an hour a day. The school puts two to four students in the truck with the …

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