Is Trucking Worth It Anymore?

Topic 8519 | Page 2

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Bill G.'s Comment
member avatar

Heavy C, thanks for the advice. I understand what you mean about the negative comments vs. people commenting on the good. I have been doing a lot of homework on various companies postings online for jobs and I am matching that against my "wants list" in an employer. I just thought some personal insight from people who like there company might be beneficial. I'm excited about getting started and I really appreciate the feedback I'm getting from you folks. Thanks again!

Nick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello TT, my name is Nick I joined today and I am here because I am interested in trucking. I am surprised by all the new drivers and drivers to be that are here and all the information the veteran drivers share and offer to the new drivers.

I'd like to start off with my driving exp and then follow up with some questions. My primary MOS in the Army was 77F10 (petroleum supply) but it was actually two MOS's in one. The 77F was the petro supply part and the 10 was the truck driving school. I went to truck training at Ft. Leonard Wood. MO. . There we spent a lot of time in the classroom and also got to drive a variety of Army vehicles from a Chevy Blazer up to a tractor trailer!. I only got to drive the tractor trailer once at the school before going to my regular duty station. Once there I drove the hummers all over the place but also was the only one in my platoon that was qualified to drive the 5 ton. I drove it a lot. After awhile it wasn't as intimidating and I started liking to drive it. So in a nutshell that's my big truck exp. Hope I didn't bore you.

Questions, I have a lot but I'll start with these two.

I will be 49 this year and don't want to leave my current job because of the time I have invested so how old is too old to consider driving?

The other question is what's the stress level of an operator?

thanks for reading my post.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Nick, welcome to the forum!

I started trucking as a second career at the age of 53. The week I got hired there was another fellow there who got hired at the age of 73! Since then I have met three different drivers out here on the road in their eighties. Trucking will always be here, you can get started when ever you are ready.

Your question about stress intrigues me because what stresses one man out completely may not bother another man so badly. Some will say that the stress level is high out here, while others will tell you that it's not so bad. I've seen trucking described as hours of pure pleasure interrupted by moments of sheer terror. It can be stressful at times, but if you are the type of person who enjoys being challenged then you will be able to handle the problems associated with the job.

Hey, we're glad you are here, and hope you will feel free to participate in the discussions in the forum.

And finally, we sincerely thank you for your service to our nation!

Joel M.'s Comment
member avatar

Well let me start with ive been driving since 1981 have never had an accident or a ticket as a driver knock on big wood . Here is my delima as I said I've been driving for a long long time and I've been thinking about buying a tractor trailer for the first time and getting ready for retirement in a few years but all my experience has been driving class B till the last few months and because I was smarter than most people out there trying to get into trucking and just went out and got my class a license without going to one of those schools ain't one company out there will hire me this industry is so much bull**** at times if you are really thinking about this you better think long and hard! Now I just have to go out and get my own authority and tell the rest of them to go f themselves because as a driver I'd put my driving record up against anybody's out there after logging over 3 million miles and not one incident in 35 years I think there insurance companies are messed up obtw I drive a tractor trailer as good as I did a straight truck

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joel M.'s Comment
member avatar

Well let me start with ive been driving since 1981 have never had an accident or a ticket as a driver knock on big wood . Here is my delima as I said I've been driving for a long long time and I've been thinking about buying a tractor trailer for the first time and getting ready for retirement in a few years but all my experience has been driving class B till the last few months and because I was smarter than most people out there trying to get into trucking and just went out and got my class a license without going to one of those schools ain't one company out there will hire me this industry is so much bull**** at times if you are really thinking about this you better think long and hard! Now I just have to go out and get my own authority and tell the rest of them to go f themselves because as a driver I'd put my driving record up against anybody's out there after logging over 3 million miles and not one incident in 35 years I think there insurance companies are messed up obtw I drive a tractor trailer as good as I did a straight truck

oh and I almost forgot did I mention according to all of the people I've talked to ahhh I don't have any experience what a joke till next time safe driving and keep it between the white lines

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Seppo's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

If you're considering a career in trucking or you haven't begun just yet, what are the major factors in making your decision?

First, thank you Brett and the others who maintain this website. I'm giving serious consideration to a career and it's been an invaluable source of information as I research my options and try to decide whether or not I want to take the leap.

I've always wished for a career that would just let me drive. I find some of the times I'm happiest are long days when I'm out behind the wheel with nothing but music and my thoughts and open road ahead of me. I get a huge feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long day when I find myself in a completely different part of the country. It seems the biggest concern most folks on this website who are considering the lifestyle have is getting home for home time. I have no wife/fiancee/girlfriend and no children. My parents and a few friends are in my city of residence, but aside from that the rest of my family and good friends are scattered across the country. I'm certain I'll have to get back every once in a while to attend to business and whatnot, but beyond that I don't imagine myself racing home every two weeks for home time. As a matter of fact, the allure of the job would be to live a bit of a nomadic existence - go hard for three, four, five weeks at a time, then rent a hotel or find a campground and throw up a tent wherever I end up, maybe rent a car and explore. Figure I won't have to keep a residence if I can live like this, which will save money on home/rent payments.

I've been wondering if this would work in my favor if I decide to make a go of trucking. I've had some questions regarding drops yards versus transportation terminals. Are you expected to live near a terminal location? Do you have to end your runs at a terminal location before you take time off? Or can I kind of just end up wherever when I decide to take my days off? Is this more beneficial for my dispatcher and company, if they don't have to worry about getting me to a specific home location? I know certain companies will only hire from certain states - is this a legal thing? Or is that based mainly on the difficulty of getting people home? Because as far as I'm concerned, I can make my home base absolutely anywhere.

Also as Jeremy mentioned above and I believe Brett touched on in his book, I like the idea of being able to take a month or more off if I so choose. I think Brett said with a bigger company it's as easy as going in, turning in your truck, and them saying "OK, let us know when you want to come back." Not looking to just be lazy and take huge stretches of time off, but I like the prospect of working hard for a while and being able to take a month every year or so to catch up with loved ones and maintain my sanity. Figure with minimal monthly bills and no family to support I can save up enough while I'm working that money won't be a huge concern. Wondering if this type of setup works in the eyes of some of the vets here? I have to imagine if you do this with a major company you're not technically an employee while you're gone, so you wouldn't receive insurance and other benefits while you're not on the road. Is it better to work for smaller companies if you want to run your career in such a manner?

Another random question I don't think I've seen addressed in these forums is Canada. In looking at the reviews of all the available companies, one of the factors always listed is whether or not a company runs up there. Is there a major concern with going into Canada? Or is it just the issue of having a valid passport and naturally being further away from home when home time comes around? I like the idea of going north of the border, more places to explore...should I have any concerns with it?

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Chris the stick slinger's Comment
member avatar

I know this is not the lifestyle for most. As a twenty year factory worker I can tell you its a much better fit for me.

Go to most big distribution centers and see how 90% of the office people never smile and are going to be doing the EXACT same job they hate tomorrow reminds me of why I took this chance.

JJ's Comment
member avatar

I cant quite figure out the quote thing on here but cracked up laughing about old schools comment about hours of pure pleasure interrupted by moments of terror. rofl-1.gif ....great question brett and i'm looking forward to hearing all the good and bad that can go with the career. I am currently in school for cdl while working my grocery clerk job full time .i have been thinking of driving truck for about ten years now and have researched it through the years by asking drivers questions when unloading there trucks at the store and asking the people i know questions when i hear there truck drivers, recently i found trucking truth and thank everyone for there input here ,I have learned a lot since finding this site. Im going into this career because I like to drive ,I have always wanted to see our great country more,even if its looking out a window doing 62 down some highway , i can take my days off somewhere other then home too I hope. I cant wait to try new cuisine from other parts of country , i don't mind being alone either plus the money sounds like it can be good if you are willing to hustle which i am. my kids are grown up now and i don't have a wife so no problems having to be home..I scheduled my test at the end of may but cant really start a new Job till middle of june . hopefully i can be on the road by july...OOOHHHH YAAA

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Yes.

-mountain girl

smile.gif

Nick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Nick, welcome to the forum!

I started trucking as a second career at the age of 53. The week I got hired there was another fellow there who got hired at the age of 73! Since then I have met three different drivers out here on the road in their eighties. Trucking will always be here, you can get started when ever you are ready.

Your question about stress intrigues me because what stresses one man out completely may not bother another man so badly. Some will say that the stress level is high out here, while others will tell you that it's not so bad. I've seen trucking described as hours of pure pleasure interrupted by moments of sheer terror. It can be stressful at times, but if you are the type of person who enjoys being challenged then you will be able to handle the problems associated with the job.

Hey, we're glad you are here, and hope you will feel free to participate in the discussions in the forum.

And finally, we sincerely thank you for your service to our nation!

kk

Thank you Old School, I wasn't sure if there was an age criteria and that makes a lot of sense about the stress levels. One thing that seems stressful is getting the load to where it's suppose to be on time and driving the truck around in heavy traffic. I think if I could go slow and steady then I would be comfortable but if I had to drive hard against the clock to be somewhere then that's where I could see myself stressing.

I expect there to be stress involved but if it's all the time I don't think I would do good with that. I've driven cross country a few times in U hauls and my own car once and the best times were between cities. One of my favorite parts of the country is New Mexico to California in the desert. I always enjoyed that part the most.

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