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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2004, 08:04 PM
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Am I Crazy!?

Ever since the end of my 8th grade year and up until now in my freshman year of high-school,I wanted to go to NADC,(Nashville Auto-Diesel School in Nashville,Tennessee),and get certified in Automotive and Diesel engine drivetrains.It's always a dream of mine to be working on a big rig in a shop,having a blast.But,this week...Something else hit me.

A little background...Pretty-much my whole family was involved with a big rig somewhere down the line.My grandad drove an old Autocar gravel truck from the time that he was 23 till he retired at 64.My great uncle drove a Peterbilt 379 for General Transport,based in Akron,Ohio for 28 years,etc.I've been around big rigs all of my life in some shape,form,or fashion lol.

So,this week I kinda changed my mind.Now,I want to drive a truck instead of working on one.My current plan is to still go to NADC as planned,then graduate at 19,get my Class A CDL,and start driving for a local company to get some experience.Then when I get 21 or 22,start driving for a bigger company going over-the-road.Then,if truck driving didn't work out for me or if I decided that I wanted to start a family somewhere down the line and didn't want to be away from them,I could drop the truck driving and start working on them in a shop.

For some reason,I love being out on the road.I've had tons of rides in trucks and I love 'em .Personally,I think it's worth a shot.Like I said,I know that there's alot more to it than driving.You have your log to worry about,scales,inspections,etc. etc. etc.The list goes on and on..But,it still seems like it would be worth it to me.

I would really like to be an owner/operator when I become experienced,but that's still something that'll have to work out along the way.I've still got 3 1/2 years of high school left before me for now lol.But either way...

I did want to ask a question though...In your opinion,which is better,Peterbuilt,Kenworth,or Freightliner?

I love all of the 3 and it's a hard pick.Any of you on here used to or drive a truck now?Which is your favorite?I'm a sucker for a Pete 379,KW W900,or a Freightliner Classic XL ...

It seems that Peterbuilt's and KW's hold the best value and have excellent looks,but Freightliner looks like they have more for the money.But,I hate seeing those older Freightliner's running around with faded and peeling paint when Pete's and KW's of the same model and even owned by the same company look pretty-much brand new.This is a toughie...

Thanks for letting me vent on this.I hope that ya'll don't think I'm crazy.I'll end up doing one of the two ideas mentioned above I hope lol...

Nightrain

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Old 02-18-2004, 09:33 PM
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Go live your dream. if you don't at least try it, you will allways
wonder what if.

all I know about Freightliner is that it's made by Dimeler-Benz.
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Old 02-18-2004, 09:53 PM
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My brothers son went to and graduated from Nashville ADC.....2002 with the additional High Performance and Fabication courses.

Have you seen about tution costs? Well over 20 grand a year ......

He cannot get a decent job...and he graduated......The man who works the parts counter at the local dealership here graduated from ADC.........and he works the parts counter ? ....like Joe Smuck who walked in off the street?

I know of 5 - 6 fellows who went and graduated.........and are doing no better, some cases less, than the fellows who just went on and went to work.

I believe that Nashville ADC is real good at 1 thing........getting you to PAY them.
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:55 PM
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I can't offer any valuable advice about where to go to school, or which brand truck to go with. I'll say this though it's nice to see someone who has found a career that they believe they will very much enjoy. One more thing, it seems that truck drivers are always under more pressure to drive more than would be realistic or legal, and that they aren't paid as well as they should be. If I read correctly your a freshmen in highschool, over the next four years it wouldn't be unusual for your career interests to change. Good Luck

Mike
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FASTCHEVY
Go live your dream. if you don't at least try it, you will allways
wonder what if.
Copy that .

Quote:
Originally posted by Deuce
My brothers son went to and graduated from Nashville ADC.....2002 with the additional High Performance and Fabication courses.

Have you seen about tution costs? Well over 20 grand a year ......

He cannot get a decent job...and he graduated......The man who works the parts counter at the local dealership here graduated from ADC.........and he works the parts counter ? ....like Joe Smuck who walked in off the street?

I know of 5 - 6 fellows who went and graduated.........and are doing no better, some cases less, than the fellows who just went on and went to work.

I believe that Nashville ADC is real good at 1 thing........getting you to PAY them.
Yeah,it costs WELL over $20k per course.We had a recruiter come down to our school and talk to us.Seemed interesting.I had my eyes set on Wyotech,but NADC seemed better.If I do go there,before any money is laid on the line or any dotted lines are signed,they are going to guarantee job placement.For that much money,it should be the law.

Quote:
Ghetto Jet
I can't offer any valuable advice about where to go to school, or which brand truck to go with. I'll say this though it's nice to see someone who has found a career that they believe they will very much enjoy. One more thing, it seems that truck drivers are always under more pressure to drive more than would be realistic or legal, and that they aren't paid as well as they should be. If I read correctly your a freshmen in highschool, over the next four years it wouldn't be unusual for your career interests to change. Good Luck

Mike


I try to do my best to stay focused so I'll have something to look forward too.I've always been around big rigs and it just makes my heart rumble everytime I have a ride in one,stand next to it,etc.It's just something that is interesting to me.Pretty much everyone around me at school has big plans of going to college,graduating,and having major success all of their life.I can't see myself doing that.I don't want that.

No,trucker's aren't the best paid workers in the world.I think the highest company driver rate that I saw while looking on the net was by J.B. Hunt and it was $.42 per mile.Not the best.Owner/Operators usually only rake in $.90-$1.00 per mile.That's not bad money,but you have to consider that you buy your fuel and you also have to keep the truck in good enough shape that it can make a weekly run to Los Angeles or wherever.Parts for those rigs don't come cheap.

Yeah,my career interests will probably change,but I do know that it will remain in the automotive/diesel engine field,none-the-less.Who knows...The diesel engine may be extinct in the next 4 years.I sure hope not though.

Thanks for the advice guys.

Nightrain
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:59 PM
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I tell ya,those Freightliner's are growing on me lol.I've been looking at them on their website and printing PDF documents on them.The two main ones that I'm interested in are the Classic XL and the Argosy.The Argosy is a COE,(Cab-Over-Engine),but it looks promising.I don't see many around here,but some guys that I've talked to have said they're worth their weight in gold.No engine tunnel running through the cab,Silent-Cab technology,and enough room to stuff one of those Caterpillar C15 ACERT diesels under your *** .Can't beat that.I'm thinking of calling my local Freightliner dealer to see what each of these trucks would run.I don't want to pester them about it.I'm just going to call and be straight-forward.That seems to be the best way to go.I'm thinking that they'll run anywhere from $100k-$150k each.The Argosy seems to be nicer than the Classic XL,but then again...I don't know.Some of those guys also said that rough-riding COE's are a thing of the past.That would definitely be a plus.Also,you don't have a 6-foot nose sticking out in front of you,obstructing your view and causing turning problems.Of course,that nose is what makes the truck ...

Nightrain
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:21 PM
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Growing up, I had some friends who's fathers drove trucks. I never really noticed how much they were away from home. I loved listening to their stories. I dreamed of driving one of those rigs. After the military, I got married and never tried it because of the family. At 45 years old, I decided to try it. I told my wife that the kids were old enough to take care of themselves, and I wanted to try something different. I drove just over 250,000 miles in just over 2 years. The first year I was home 6 times in the last 6 months. The last year or so, I was home every other week-end. I only travelled east of the Mississippi except a few trips to Texas and Oklahoma. I did enjoy the travelling and meeting the other drivers. Being away from the family was hard. I really wish I had done it when I was younger and single.

As for the trucks, it depends on your taste. I drove Freightliners and one Mack. The Freightliners are relatively inexpensive to buy and maintain as far as trucks go. They are not as flashy as the Pete or KW, but flashy is expensive. Most of the larger companies run Freightliners because of the deals they get on them buying in quantity. If you are considering the idea of being an owner operator, don't even consider buying a NEW truck. Most O/O that start out with a NEW truck, go under because of the high payments. You should have atleast $10,000 in the bank and a good truck. Since they are usually just breaking in at about 300,000 miles, buying a used one that is dependable, and at a good price isn't that difficult. If you buy one that has been used for over-the-road, they will have been better maintained.

Hopefully, by the time you are ready, the fuel prices will have dropped down some, and the pay will have gone up.
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Old 02-20-2004, 11:00 PM
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Thanks adtkart.That helps.

The only thing that I don't like about the Freightliner's is the fact that most of the older ones have dull and faded original paint.Of course,this could've been the way that they were treated down through the years.

Yep,a new truck is too much for someone just starting out.Freightliner has their SelecTruck Program which is used trucks that pass a multi-point inspection by Freightliner.Most of them come with warranties and you could get them easily if they didn't.If I do drive,that'll be the first way that I go.I can buy a new one later on.

Hopefully the fuel prices will go down some at least.Of course,we don't know what kind of fuel will be in our tanks by the time that I'm 21.I still think that there will be diesel engines,but then again,I'm not sure.Hopefully they'll still be around though .

I know that this sounds crazy to top it all off,but I was talking with my dad about this.You just have to know how we stand.We're more like brothers than father and son.Anyway,he's worked in a local factory for almost 27 years.I was talking to him about this because I've always known him to want to drive a rig and figured that this would be an opportunity of a lifetime for him.Plus,since my parents have been divorced since I was in the 3rd grade and I only see my dad on weekends,it would be some good,quality time for us out there on the road together as a team.He doesn't have a high school diploma though,so that could present a problem.

Anyway,thanks again for the reply.In your opinion,would you say that the Argosy is a good buy?Their vaules aren't the greatest and you can pick up a used one fairly reasonably.

Nightrain

----------

Check out this bad boy .I might call them tomorrow if they're open just to see how much that dude is.

Nightrain

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Old 02-25-2004, 09:57 PM
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Truck driving is a career that you can start at anytime, after you are of age, of course. As for your dad, a high school diploma is generally not required. It may be a good idea for him to wait until he retires from his other job, if that is possible. Starting pay for drivers is not that great. It takes a few years to get the pay into a reasonable range.
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:55 AM
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Training Schools

I was surfing around trying to find out what training programs are best. My son will graduate highs chool in May and wants to attend a training school for high performance/chassis and customization. Wyotech and NADC seem to fit the bill. I have heard good and bad about both and apparently they cost about the same. Are there alternative programs out there we just can't find or we should we just pick one and go with it?

A friend went to NADC got picked by BMW for more training after graduation and now travels all over and loves his job. He liked the school and seemed to have no problems with employment. Does it have more to do with skill than where you graduated from? Is my son going to have a harder time being employed if he does not go straight auto tech or diesel?

The Wyotech rep kept mentioning those in "the top of the class" like that was the key. If your not in thetop of the class has your money been wasted? It sounds like you on this site may have some input for us. Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:50 AM
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it would seem to me...

Top of the class would get the choice of job placement. The other guys get zip!! I would want to be assured of job placement on my completion of school. Some schools have job placement counsels to help graduates get jobs so find out from the recruiter how your expected to get a job if they school won't help you find leads.


Tazz
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Old 11-29-2005, 12:56 PM
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Just tossing in a link Having your CDL and some over the road experience can help you in future employment. Diesel mechanics and machinists who are good are in demand as well..

Check out any school for their placemant record..certain schools have a good record as the employers know which schools are more likely to give good training and the better schools have placement offices that help their graduates get jobs..

Good luck

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Old 11-29-2005, 01:11 PM
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I like the old late 70s COEs from all of them, the 'long nose' (old school looking) Petes and Kens, Freightliner had some nice ones too, and old macks seem to me to have more of a off-road gravel truck look which is cool.

Those Aussie road-train trucks are sweet, read up on them... hehehe...

Freightliner used to be on its own, then DC bought em out, and they got Detroit Diesel from GM.
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:27 PM
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Tech schools

Thanks for the input. Wyotech and NADC both promise 90% or better placement you just wonder what placement consists of. I have seen in the varios forums guys who graduate from either school and have jobs changing tires and oil. We have a meeting with NADC admissions tomorrow so I guess we will know more. We have already met with Wyotech and UTI has called. I guess these schools really scramble for students just like higher Ed.

NADC said theat grads got a 133 piece tool set from snap-on. I guess that is a good incentive to. They also have an ACT requirement which no other schools have. The admissions guy said they just revamped their curriculum starting in August after getting input from the industry.
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