Profile For David D.

David D.'s Info

  • Location:
    Iowa City, IA

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 7 months ago

David D.'s Bio

"What a long strange trip its been." --Jerry Garcia

As I come to this site and this stage of my life, I have to think that this is where I have been headed all along. I was born the son of a nuclear metallurgical engineer in the heart of blue collar country (now known as The Rust Belt), Pittsburgh PA. I was raised in upper-middle class style with "professional" expectations so my bias was that any job that required you wear a tie was a good one. On the other hand, I grew up next door to and was playmates with a truck driver's kids. I knew lots of truckers and auto workers and steel workers but I never saw myself AS a trucker....until I figured out how much I like to drive! I spent 23 years as an outside salesperson, covering my territory in my car and every time I got pissed-off about something in my job, the idea of trucker came up. I went through my first marriage, a bad divorce, a change from advertising sales to insurance sales (after some stumbling around in the restaurant business), continuing to drive to my customers' homes to do business. Bedford, PA has a history as a trucking hub and a few of my customers were truckers. The concept kept fluttering around in my head. And then, 8 years into my 2nd marriage, I pulled up stakes with my wife and son in tow and moved to Iowa City where I settle into a job as a pizza delivery driver. Make whatever judgment you like about that but it suited me for 16 years. Then circumstances changed and, at the age of 60, I find myself unemployed with at least 7 years to fill before retirement. That's where I am now and I finally am giving in to the urge.

If you want to know more about me, I invite you to my profile and forum entries at ExperienceProject.com. I've been writing there for a couple years about subjects WAYYY beyond trucking! On EP you can look me up as icDavey.

Page 1 of 3

Go To Page:    
Next Page

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

The decision: It's not for me.

Well, truth is, I don't know if it is for me but I have decided not to risk it. Given my sensitivity to sleep deprivation and the focus/concentration/distractibility issue with my ADD, I've decided to take a job with the frozen food delivery folks who drive much smaller trucks that do not require a CDL. I wasn't so sure that my creaky old brain could absorb all of that new information either. In the end, I backed off from the challenge. And I am OK with that.

As for the role Trucking Truth played in my decision, I will say that this site does a good job of promoting a sober-minded approach to the decision to be a trucker. I would describe your approach to be 20% promotion, 80% caution. Of course, I tend to take things a little too seriously sometimes, but over all, I was impressed with the brutal honesty of your presentations. It really brings home that, in the end, trucking is just another job but with more hazards and aggravations. You de-romanticize it very well.

Thanks again, friends, for being here to hold my hand through a difficult period in my life. Facing unemployment at age 60 was pretty scary. Let me take this opportunity, though, to toot the horn for my home town. Iowa City, Iowa is an amazing place! This town has managed to keep itself economically healthy enough to provide opportunities for anyone. We have an unemployment rate of about 2% and employment across a wide gamut of industries. If you are looking to start over, I would recommend our little town, Home of the Hawkeyes!

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

A month of trucking with Daniel B.

<

Folks, this is exactly how it goes if you do it right. They give you a tough load, you don't complain and just do it and do it perfectly. They give you a shorter run, and as repayment they give you a sweet load like this one. This load wasn't given to me for no reason, I earned it. You work hard, have a great attitude, make all your appointments on time - and you'll be treated like gold.

After I celebrate receiving this load, I take off!

Sorry if I missed an important point but.....why are we celebrating? What is so special about a load of potatoes? Was it the timing of the pickup? What?

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep issues - part 2

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Terry- I'm trying to follow your story and having a hard time. Why didn't you have time to nap (drive Indy->truckstop - 457mi 5a-2p - nap 2p-6p -> drive 2.8mi 6-7pm)? It doesn't really matter because I can see that trip planning and log book maintainance are something I have to learn. Thanks for the illustration.

double-quotes-end.png

I went in to sleep aids a little bit because of what happened. When I arrived at the truck stop near my delivery I did have time to nap and tried. I only managed about an hour of sleep. Then I tossed and turned for another couple of hours not really sleeping. My problem is stress and the way I deal with it. I was so stressed about messing up my trip plan that my mind was racing not allowing me to take a nap during the hours I had at the truck stop. Another thing is unlike yourself and Jopa, I cannot sleep on the drop of a hat. I'm a habitual sleeper and my body/mind does not slow down and relax until It's my normal "bed time." So taking naps for me is very difficult. Man I wish I could sleep at a shipper receiver during loading/unloading but I don't want to sleep through the phone call telling me I"m empty/loaded. Or miss the call on the CB telling me I"m done. That little tid bit drives me insane, having to listen to my CB for my door/name to be called.

When I first started driving in the 90's I was in my twenties and sleeping was a bit easier for me. Not only that but there were no elogs and I used to keep 2 log books so I could drive 14-16 hours a day. So I'd drive to the point of exhaustion. It burned me out so much I had to quit driving after 6 years. I only came back into trucking again because its so highly regulated I knew I wouldn't be pushed so hard. I'm here to admit that the OTR driving lifestyle is NOT for me. It's a means to an end for a year until I can get enough "recent" experience to get a local job near my home and I live in a not so good location for trucking jobs. They are few and far inbetween.

I'm not trying to imply that you're going to have as hard of a time as I do. I do want to point out (as Jopa and Old School did better than I it seems =) ) that OTR driving is highly unpredictable and is going to mess up your natural body sleep cycle. There's no way around it. I hate to see anyone struggle as hard as I do to maintain this lifestyle.

double-quotes-end.png

That last line really gets to my concern and thank you for your frankness. I can handle a challenge but I don't want a day-to-day struggle against my basic instincts and drives. I'm beginning to think I'll just go drive a local route delivery truck. Schwan's is looking better.

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep issues - part 2

double-quotes-start.png

Hey there David, let me throw a couple things your way about sleep cycles out here on the road.

I'm 44 years old so sleep is one of my most coveted things in life. I'm the type of person that needs AT LEAST 8 hours sleep to be able to function the next day. Most of the time I get that out here but there are times it just doesn't happen. For example.

I picked up a load in Joplin MO and drove it 2 days 946 miles to Auburn, IN and delivered on the 8th at 1630. I had used most of my 14 hour clock that day so I headed to a truck stop to get my 10 hour break. I get my next load which picks up the 9th at 0430 which was 2 hours away in Indianapolis. I made a critical mistake in planning my trip here as the load delivered the same day 457 miles away in London, KY. It delivered at 1900 but when I looked at the delivery time for some reason I thought it was 900 PM (2100) so I planned to drive near delivery and sleep for 8 hours, wake up start my clock and deliver with plenty of hours. I didn't catch the actual delivery time until I made my pick up at 0430. Too late now.

I drove to the nearest truck stop near my delivery which was 2.8 miles away. Only got about an hour nap during the 6 hours I was at the truck stop. I tried to sleep but it was the middle of the afternoon and couldn't fall asleep. I tricked my Qualcomm and drove to my delivery without showing on duty time. I emptied at 2130. While I was at my delivery I got my 10 hour break on so I had fresh hours.

I then get my next load which was 2 hours away and picked up at 0400. Now I started my day at 0230 that day so I had been awake for over 18 hours with only an hour nap. I was way too freaking tired to drive over 2 hours in the middle of the night to my pick up. I messaged my dispatcher and explained what transpired over the last 24 hours and that I couldn't make that pick up window and that I needed to have at least an 8 hour sleep before I drove to pick up. He managed to get the pick up time moved to 1000. Giving me enough time to get my sleep. He didn't make me drive, although he wasn't happy with my planning mistake. Either way he understood I was making the call not to drive exhausted and moved things around.

Having odd hours between pick up and drive times really throws my body for a loop. Most of my trips are 2 to 4 day trips so I plan my trips as much as possible to wake up and go between 0300 -0500, just too make sure I get to a truck stop before 1700. Because after that parking becomes a real hassle. Most of the times it works out, but at least once a week, I'm forced to drive a shorter day than I want, sacrificing time and miles just so I can try and keep the hours of driving I like. But one thing I won't do is drive tired.

Lastly if I'm feeling tired I'll drink a 5 hour energy. It's the only energy drink I'll take cuz it doesn't make you crash when it wears off like red bull or the others. I only drink those sparingly because I don't want to get dependant on those things.

There's going to be times where you're going to have to drive and sleep odd hours. How you make yourself sleep is up to you. I can't tell you to take a sleep aid as they're as pretty big no no when driving a truck. In my experience those odd hours come along at least once a week. On average. Hope this odd the insight you're looking for.

double-quotes-end.png

Terry- I'm trying to follow your story and having a hard time. Why didn't you have time to nap (drive Indy->truckstop - 457mi 5a-2p - nap 2p-6p -> drive 2.8mi 6-7pm)? It doesn't really matter because I can see that trip planning and log book maintainance are something I have to learn. Thanks for the illustration.

Another thing I actually have going for my. It is a rare occasion that I cannot sleep if I want to. With 12 hours awake, that nap at the truck stop would not have been a problem for me. Thanks again.

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep issues - part 2

Hey there David, let me throw a couple things your way about sleep cycles out here on the road.

I'm 44 years old so sleep is one of my most coveted things in life. I'm the type of person that needs AT LEAST 8 hours sleep to be able to function the next day. Most of the time I get that out here but there are times it just doesn't happen. For example.

I picked up a load in Joplin MO and drove it 2 days 946 miles to Auburn, IN and delivered on the 8th at 1630. I had used most of my 14 hour clock that day so I headed to a truck stop to get my 10 hour break. I get my next load which picks up the 9th at 0430 which was 2 hours away in Indianapolis. I made a critical mistake in planning my trip here as the load delivered the same day 457 miles away in London, KY. It delivered at 1900 but when I looked at the delivery time for some reason I thought it was 900 PM (2100) so I planned to drive near delivery and sleep for 8 hours, wake up start my clock and deliver with plenty of hours. I didn't catch the actual delivery time until I made my pick up at 0430. Too late now.

I drove to the nearest truck stop near my delivery which was 2.8 miles away. Only got about an hour nap during the 6 hours I was at the truck stop. I tried to sleep but it was the middle of the afternoon and couldn't fall asleep. I tricked my Qualcomm and drove to my delivery without showing on duty time. I emptied at 2130. While I was at my delivery I got my 10 hour break on so I had fresh hours.

I then get my next load which was 2 hours away and picked up at 0400. Now I started my day at 0230 that day so I had been awake for over 18 hours with only an hour nap. I was way too freaking tired to drive over 2 hours in the middle of the night to my pick up. I messaged my dispatcher and explained what transpired over the last 24 hours and that I couldn't make that pick up window and that I needed to have at least an 8 hour sleep before I drove to pick up. He managed to get the pick up time moved to 1000. Giving me enough time to get my sleep. He didn't make me drive, although he wasn't happy with my planning mistake. Either way he understood I was making the call not to drive exhausted and moved things around.

Having odd hours between pick up and drive times really throws my body for a loop. Most of my trips are 2 to 4 day trips so I plan my trips as much as possible to wake up and go between 0300 -0500, just too make sure I get to a truck stop before 1700. Because after that parking becomes a real hassle. Most of the times it works out, but at least once a week, I'm forced to drive a shorter day than I want, sacrificing time and miles just so I can try and keep the hours of driving I like. But one thing I won't do is drive tired.

Lastly if I'm feeling tired I'll drink a 5 hour energy. It's the only energy drink I'll take cuz it doesn't make you crash when it wears off like red bull or the others. I only drink those sparingly because I don't want to get dependant on those things.

There's going to be times where you're going to have to drive and sleep odd hours. How you make yourself sleep is up to you. I can't tell you to take a sleep aid as they're as pretty big no no when driving a truck. In my experience those odd hours come along at least once a week. On average. Hope this odd the insight you're looking for.

Terry- I'm trying to follow your story and having a hard time. Why didn't you have time to nap (drive Indy->truckstop - 457mi 5a-2p - nap 2p-6p -> drive 2.8mi 6-7pm)? It doesn't really matter because I can see that trip planning and log book maintainance are something I have to learn. Thanks for the illustration.

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Trucker pay has fallen when adjusted for inflation

Nothing but a pathetic government and greedy corporate leadership. If the government did their job and slowly raised min wage to keep up with inflation other wages would of gone up with them.

The really tragic thing is there is no quick way to fix it. Inflation must be lowered as a minimum wage increase at this point will cause inflation to spiral out of control.

That is an absolute myth! There is no sign of inflation in our economy to speak of. A higher minimum wage will not procuce any new monetary supply pressure on inflation. It will merely redistribute (yes, I said the R word) existing monetary supply.

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Trucker pay has fallen when adjusted for inflation

Brett, throwing out the data... Cool. I am glad you included that the real numbers are worse than what is presented by the Government. That is truth.

I can easily blame the baby boomers for this crap, or, blame my generation for being apathetic towards politics and morality and watch the politicians turn the people in this country into a bunch of whiny, politically correct, well... sheeple. I`m not going to though. It is good to know how we got to this point so as not to repeat it. I am going to focus my energy on making it right again for my, and your, kids and grand kids.

I will no longer demand "something change" because of emotion that is being stoked by some talking heads on TV. I believe making laws, or regulations based on emotion are always wrong. Good intentions without any forethought to the long term effects.

I will Work my ass off with an ethic that puts me in the position to get that higher pay. Where is the incentive for the evil corporations to pay us more? Right here.

Think about it. Generations before ours were hard working, gritty and resourceful. Nowadays we have technology pushing that mindset out under the guise that it is making our job "easier". Bulls**t.

That`s just me though

Here`s to a great new year for the trucking family

One has to admire the determination and positive motivation but it has been that psychology that has cleared the way for the 1-percenters to fool us into thinking it is our fault for earning less. We're lazy. We aren't making the most of our opportunities. We're expecting more than we have a right to. The fact is that 95%....yes, 95%...of all new income created in the American economy goes to the top 1% of earners. I think that is the $250,000 crowd. That is just plain wrong!

Posted:  9 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Trucker pay has fallen when adjusted for inflation

I don't want to get completely on my soap box here, but you left out one big word that explains why wages across all industries are stagnating while corporate profits, corporate liquid assets (cash), and corporate executive salaries are all at record highs: greed.

The moderator will probably edit me out for this but I must point out that the problem could be easily solved with tax increases (or mandated wage hikes) to suck that corporate cash out of their coffers and back into the economy. Just sayin'.

Posted:  9 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep issues - part 2

My first post on this topic (me and my hypersomnia) didn't generate much attention. But I'm trying to get a truly realistic view of the attentional and sleep-shifting demands of this career. I know how my brain reacts to various stressors so let me try this:

Can you help me picture what I am up against? It has been suggested that an 18-hour continuous car drive doesn't begin to stack up to two 11-hour days in a row. That doesn't seem like that big a deal. I've done that delivering pizza. I know every day is different but can you lay out a likely scenario for a week? Can you make one kinda typical and one like "a week from hell"? I'd like to hear that from everybody in the forum.

Posted:  9 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep Issues

The other thing that you need to consider is that if you are in an accident and someone gets hurt or worse, it can seriously change or ruin your life. The driver that hit the Tracy Morgan bus is being sued as we speak. Do you think he can pay off any award? The guy is probably out of a driving job for life.

Also think how your mental health would be if you were to kill someone. That will stick with you the rest of your life.

Be responsible with your decision but if you can not truly say you can give it 100% of your attention because of fatigue or otherwise then you need to think this over carefully. 18 hours in a car is nothing compared to back to back 11 hour days. I have driven a u haul for 24 hours but I would not do it again.

Can you help me picture what I am up against? Two 11-hour days in a row doesn't seem like that big a deal. I've done that delivering pizza. I know every day is different but can you lay out a likely scenario for a week? Can you make one kinda typical and one like "a week from hell"? I'd like to hear that from everybody in the forum. Maybe I'll repost this so it gets seen more outside of this thread.

Page 1 of 3

Go To Page:    
Next Page

Why Join Trucking Truth?

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training