Hardest Part About Driving A Truck.

Topic 21329 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
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Initially the mechanics of driving and backing is a challenge. Add-in clock management and it's easy to understand why the attrition rate is so high.

Once past the initial 3-6 months; it's patience and anticipating what other drivers intend on doing. Space management is a very important skill to understand, master, and never forget that will keep you out of trouble.

Unholychaos's Comment
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Personally, I'd say backing is the hardest part. Driving is easy, traffic is easy if you have patience, trip planning gets easier. But with backing, every situation is different even if you're backing into the same exact spot, tandems are in the same exact place. The differing factor is you. You may begin your setup ever so slightly more forward or backward, moving slightly faster, turning your wheel at a different speed. Then throw in the fatigue factor, other drivers trying to rush you giving you dirty looks or showing you you're number 1.

But that's just my personal opinion.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

So far for me, it is adjusting to the somewhat erratic sleep patterns, and driving between 2am and 4am. Those 2 hours are really hard for me, and it seems that I am always on a load where those hours are smack in the middle of my route plan, when my delivery times don't have a lot of wiggle room. So far, the few times I needed to stop and take a small cat nap, my DL worked it out accordingly.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

So far for me, it is adjusting to the somewhat erratic sleep patterns, and driving between 2am and 4am. Those 2 hours are really hard for me, and it seems that I am always on a load where those hours are smack in the middle of my route plan, when my delivery times don't have a lot of wiggle room. So far, the few times I needed to stop and take a small cat nap, my DL worked it out accordingly.

thats good. keep in communicatiom on the QC and knowing your body limits is awesome for a new driver. you will build up stamina over time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

This is a great conversation. As you can see, no one who has any experience really thinks that handling the rig itself is the hardest part of trucking. In fact, after you've been driving for a year or so handling the rig really isn't much of a concern. In the very beginning, though, backing up that rig is going to be the most difficult challenge for most people.

I did a podcast called Three Problems Rookie Drivers Often Fail To Overcome and you'll find that interesting.

In my opinion, the two things that cause a ton of problems out there are:

1) Patience. There are a thousand things that will happen in any given day that can frustrate you and Pianoman did an awesome job of listing some of the most common ones. I'll put them here again as a reminder:

  • Waiting to be given a load and working with dispatch. You should be proactive by all means, but sometimes you're still going to have to wait.
  • Waiting at shippers and receivers. Being polite and courteous instead of yelling and threatening, like many drivers do
  • Keeping that left door shut! Sometimes it's really tempting to stop at every other truck stop because you're tired of driving, your back hurts, you're hungry, etc. It takes discipline and patience to just keep driving.
  • Being courteous on the road, where people do the most atrocious things because they're anonymous to you. When people cut you off, back off. Take your time going through towns so you don't end up accidentally running a red light. Don't ever be in a hurry.

Becoming impatient can hurt you (or others) in so many ways. The circumstances out there change constantly, and so do the circumstances within our own lives. You simply can't allow yourself to lose your patience. The risks are too great.

2) Remaining focused at all times. Most of the worst wrecks I've ever witnessed were in ideal conditions. It was a sunny day, light traffic, in the middle of the summer. A beautiful day and the perfect conditions to relax, listen to some tunes, and enjoy the scenery. Unfortunately if you let your guard down for even a moment disaster may strike.

We're all on high alert in stressful situations. The hard part is remaining on high alert every moment you're behind the wheel.

Great answers from everyone! I think I'm going to turn this conversation into an article and quote everyone on this. Keep em coming!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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