I began my journey into this amazingly satisfying CDL big rig truck driving business in late August, 2015.
My business partner and I were creating a car buying and car leasing smartphone app CarCzarPro.com and I truly expected that app to take off (millions of cars are bought and leased yearly, and consumers are punished for their lack of negotiating skills daily in dealerships across America) so I fully expected to need just a few months to start helping consumers negotiate car loans and leases full time.
My plan B was to find a reasonably good paying gig that allowed me to NOT be working in the car business due to the obvious conflict of interest I now had, and to at least make 5K-6K monthly while the app ‘got legs’.
I was doing research, and CDL truck driving came across my view for the ability to make that ballpark of money, and even more with experience.
I then did what I normally do, and I researched options on how to get my cdl, what requirements were needed, and what type of freight I wanted to pull.
I have a travel center near where I live in Lake Norman NC, a small Pilot over in Troutman, NC right off 77 North.
I drove over to it and from my car first watched drivers walking in and out of the building, and drivers at the fuel pumps.
I was paying attention to how they looked, the quality of their tractor trailers, and the general demeanor they exuded.
I selected a few drivers after about 20 minutes of observing, and then walked over to the pumps, and asked them if they would have a few minutes to give me some information about the business.
Not one driver was rude or obnoxious to me, and all except for 1 (he was short on drive clock but we talked on the phone later) gave me about 10-15 minutes of their time to lay out their path into the business, and their thoughts about getting into the business as a new driver.
The common theme I heard was the business was a commitment of time and energy above and beyond a ‘normal’ 40 hour week job, but the ones who loved it, loved it.
Most of the successful drivers I spoke to said they would do nothing else, and they couldn’t ever imagine going to an office job or factory job.
All of them said just be aware of the time away from home factor, unless I found a cdl local driving job, but all pretty much said the local jobs that paid well would take a year or two experience on average.to get.
Most of them told me to focus on getting miles and a good cents per mile wage the first year or two, and then worry about specializing in what type of freight to pull.
Their reasoning was that if I chose to focus on pulling a freight that was tougher on pay the first year or two, I might never make it through those years and I might possibly quit due to the income not matching my effort.
They all, pretty much to the person, spoke of the rhythm of the lifestyle and the freedom that came with it.
I went home and began my research in earnest of the process, requirements, cdl schools, potential employers around the Charlotte area, etc.
I was still a bit skeptical of this CDL truck driving business, especially after having watched some youtube videos of truckers, but I believed what the experienced drivers had told me.
I also believed like everything else I had done, I could break down the journey into smaller segments, and learn quickly.
I was right.
(c) 2018 Red Viking Trucker