So, you know you want to become a truck driver.
You know you need to get a CDL.
But how do you do it and what happens next?
In this video, I share the story of how I got started in trucking and why I wanted to make these videos in the first place. Press PLAY and enjoy!
WATCH: FAQ - Where Do I Start with my CDL?
Q: How did you get started in trucking?
A: There's always just been something that has drawn me to large machinery. I wanted to understand how it works and how to operate it.
In 2013, I finally decided it was time to get my CDL. As most people do with anything now, I started doing my research on the Internet. The first place I ran across was C.R. England. I really just didn't feel comfortable with them and they seemed kind of pushy during the recruiting process.
And then I found Driver Solutions. They had me complete an online profile and then it was on me to call the recruiter. I actually liked that it was up to me and that the ball was in my court to really WANT this trucking career.
I trained at C1 Truck Driver Training in Ft. Worth and then went out with my company trainer for about 5 weeks. I have to say, getting started and the whole training process was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life - but I did it!
Q: Why did you want to make videos on YouTube?
A: When I was delivering with my trainer at a Campbell's soup plant in Ohio, I remember seeing the sun shining through the trees, it was snowing and just beautiful. I remember it vividly and thinking I need a camera and I need one right now.
After I got upgraded, I took some time off, went to my parents house in New England and bought a camera. Once I got back out on the road, I started filming right away.
There are so many things out here that just need to be filmed in some way. So many experiences that need to be documented. I remember, when I was first thinking about getting my CDL and getting into trucking that I turned to YouTube. So, I only felt it was right to pay that community back a little bit by sharing my insight into trucking through my videos.
Q: Where has your trucking career taken you?
A: When I first started with USA Truck, it seemed as though there was this imaginary line at Denver, Colorado and I never went West of it. In my first year, I drove all over the East coast - covering a lot of states in very little time.
Then I signed on to do flatbed with CRST in a private Owner Operator scenario and that tragically ended...probably for the better. Let's just say, it's very hard to do flatbed and run a YouTube channel at the same time.
After that, I went on the Jim Palmer Trucking where I pull refrigerated trailers with Prime Transportation. I have finally been able to head further West and through California. I have now done all 48 states in less than 6 months.
This trucking career has literally taken me all over the country. I have been able to see all the pretty places in the country...and all the ugly ones too! Who gets to do this and get paid for it?! It's great.
Listen, I never would have been able to do any of this working in a call center my whole life. It is so so rewarding if you keep your eyes open and look.
Sure, it's tough on those people who have families with tight knit relationships and feel like they really miss out on things. I don't really have that, so this career is one big adventure for me.
Q: I want to get my CDL. Where do I start?
A: If you are interested in getting into the trucking industry - do your research. Do your research. Do your research!
I found with Driver Solutions that they had a ton of trucking resources on their site and I just ate that stuff alive. They had lists for preparing for CDL training and study guides that were super helpful.
The key thing here is that you need to make sure you find a company that fits your needs. Everyone is different and there are a lot of companies out there. You need to find a company that is going to do good by you. Don't just jump with the first company that takes you on.
And finally, if you really want to make a career out of it - put that first year in! I can't tell you how important that really is. Sure some really good local truck driving jobs want 2 years of experience, but after you get that first year in some great doors will open up to other opportunities.
Remember, don't ever let your fear decide your fate. There were times when I was really nervous getting my CDL license. TImes when I was doubting myself with backing up this truck.
You aren't going to get rich immediately. Do trucking because you LOVE it and the MONEY will follow.
About The Author
Allie got her start in trucking by going through the Driver Solutions company paid CDL training program. Since getting her CDL, Allie has been able to travel through all 48 continental states! She has advanced her trucking career while building thousands of loyal followers along the way. Join Allie on her journey for a behind the scenes look at life on the road!