I am 51, and have my az but no real practical driving experience. Any pionters? Thank you.
I'll be honest with you: it's not going to be easy. Most carriers are demanding a minimum of two year's experience. Some will hire with only one year, but they're rare. And to be honest, you might not want to work for some of the carriers who would hire you with no experience. Some of those guys play fast and loose with the rules, relying on drivers who are just grateful to be working to do things more experienced (savvy) drivers wouldn't do. They're not all like that, but checking out the carrier's safety rating might tell you a thing or two about how the carrier does business.
The only advice I can offer is to keep calling carriers and asking if they will supply integration training for new drivers. There are a few carriers who do this, but they usually have deals set up through local driving schools to hire their students.
And that would be your next option: call a few driving schools and ask if they can recommend a carrier that has an integration training program.
You age might be a stumbling block, as well, but it would be worth reminding the carrier that you're willing to work for your keep, and be ready to work part-time hours, or what ever it takes, to get started.
I know that doesn't help much, but this situation isn't a easy one to work around. There are lots of drivers like you out there, and as long as carriers remain unwilling to make an investment in human resources, they'll continue to have difficulty staffing their trucks.