All News & Blogs
Big rig drivers are in demand.
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 1/27/2013
"We've challenged the rule because we believe there's no scientific basis for the change and that it will have a harmful impact," said McNally, who added that some groups don't think the rules are strict enough.
These days, many of the people entering the truck driving field are veterans taking advantage of the "Troops to Trucks" program, a joint effort of the federal government and the Virginia Department of Transportation, or career switchers like Platnum, the former landscaper and bus driver.
His fellow students at CDS Tractor Trailer Training include Nicholas Baker, a self-employed bricklayer who saw demand for his skills decline along with the housing boom, and Ed Bailey of Calvert County, Md., a software engineer whose contract ended in December.
They're looking for a steady job that can't be outsourced and could provide a gateway into a business of their own, said Balleh.
"It's like flipping a light switch," the CDS president said. "Today you're unemployed and have lots of bills. If you want to be in a different place, trucking can do that for you."
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407