Profile For Lucky13

Lucky13's Info

  • Location:
    Berwyn, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    10 years, 10 months ago

Lucky13's Bio

Experienced driver. Started out OTR, now driving local intermodal. Been driving for 3 and a half years now and still mostly love it. I enjoy helping new drivers and students learn about trucking and life on the road.

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Posted:  9 years ago

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Trucking

As long as you can pass your DOT physical, background checks and have a decent driving record, there's a job in this industry that can fit anyone's needs/lifestyle - regardless of their age, sex, marital status... You just have to get your experience before a lot of those doors will open up for you. No, 35 is not too old.

I totally agree. If you're in good enough shape to pass the physical, 35 seems actually pretty young to be in the driving profession. Many people have started a career driving in their 50's and they do great. No worries, kid! I'll be 50 this summer and I'm still rollin'!

Posted:  9 years ago

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Pheonix AZ traffic

FYI....winter is snowbird season in Phoenix, so traffic is heavier there in winter months. My wife and I were there on vacation in December and experienced some pretty heavy traffic. They just had a Super Bowl there too, so add for that too. After Spring Training is over, say late March, traffic will drop off dramatically. Until then, hope you can find safe places to park. I tried Walmart or shopping malls if there were no spots at a truck stop.

Posted:  9 years ago

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Good words from my DM

Heh. You get a screen full of compliments, then a crappy load for the weekend. Isn't that just like a dispatcher? That really gave me a chuckle. But seriously, if your DM is asking you to train, I would go for it. It will help your company to have a good trainer on board, but more importantly, it will be helpful to you. You will probably learn even more than the drivers you are training. By taking responsibility for training another driver, you will reinforce the aspects of driving that helped you become a successful professional. You will become more aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. It is undoubtedly a challenge, but one well worth accepting. In my current job hauling intermodal freight, I have trained several drivers now and I learned something by training each one. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out. I have to admit though, I have no idea what a PSD or a TNT trainer is. Can you fill me in?

Posted:  9 years ago

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Swift Enclosed Auto Transport?

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I didn't think cabovers were still being made.

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Freightliner makes them still butt just not in the US. I would love to have a cab over condo. Would be alot easier dealing with tight parking places.feb-05-freightliner-argosy_9a47d.jpg?i

I would love a cabover for intermodal work. City driving, tight corners, and crowded railyards would be a lot easier in that rig.

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Advice, owner operator?

Sorry, I think my reply was directed more at Karl, but anyway, if you're a new driver, especially one in training, stay the heck away from company lease programs. It's the absolute worst deal out there. The payments are usually impossible to make unless you run teams, and even then, the numbers are not in your favor.

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Advice, owner operator?

Ricky, the best advice I can give you after driving for 3 plus years is.....wait. That may not be easy to do, but I can match every rose-filled picture that a lease operator tells me with a horror story. A truck is a big expense, and it takes big dollars coming in to keep those wheels rolling. Most lease operators have to drive team with students or they won't be able to make those weekly payments. In the time I've been driving, I've thought about owning my own truck. Owning, not leasing. For now they are just thoughts, and maybe that's all they will be. There's a good bit of cash to come up with when you want to own a truck. After that, there is the risk of starting a new business, and the headaches that come with it. Many drivers at the company I'm with have sold their trucks and gone back to being company drivers because the hassle and expense of ownership wasn't worth the extra money. Keep in mind they were owners, not lease operators. Leasing a truck from the same company you get your loads from is the worst deal in trucking, no matter how good they make it sound. The payments are so high you have no choice but to keep driving team or you will constantly be in the hole. Your best course is to learn trucking and to survive your first year or two. At that time, you will have gained more knowledge and experience, which will be a great aid to you in making an informed choice. Good luck in completing your training. After you're done you'll be assigned a truck that the company will maintain for you. They'll buy all that fuel too....and the tires, the repairs, the license plates, the insurance....etc. Have them pay all of those big bills so you won't have to.

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Still rollin' after 3+ years

Hey everybody! Been thinking about checking back in after being away for awhile. Glad to see so many drivers and soon-to-be drivers using the forum. I think this is still the best place to get the straight up info if you're considering a career in trucking. Even after I had been driving a bit, the study questions here helped me pass my hazmat endorsement test. I've been driving for about 3 and a half years now. At the present, I drive local intermodal in Chicago for a small, family owned company and it's been going pretty good. I'm glad to say that I still love the trucking lifestyle. Yes, the hours are still long, the job is still hard, but not nearly as hard as it was starting out. I'm home every night, and the pay sure ain't bad. I have to say I'm a lucky man to have a wonderful wife, a happy home, get to sleep in my own bed at night and never be far from a hot shower. Sometimes, though, when I'm driving in tight Chicago traffic, the old romance of the road comes calling. When that happens, I just want to just put the truck on I-90 and keep going until I get to South Dakota. Maybe someday I will get to do that again. Until then I'm still happy to get up when it's still dark and put the big truck out on the highway. I love the sound of that big motor running, the tires whining, and seeing those white lines go ticking by. Thanks to everyone at TT who keep it a great place to come back to. I'll try and come back more often. I enjoy helping new drivers out. In the last couple of months I have been asked to train our new drivers for intermodal work. Some training days are a rewarding experience☺ Some other days, not so much.😨For those who have never driven intermodal, it's a whole world apart from van freight. First, you have to find the dang railyard, and that can be a feat in itself. I'll try to write some about that. I'll close by wishing all the drivers and students a happy and SAFE holiday season. Keep on truckin'!

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Hi, I'm Ryan and I'm new here.. Should I go over the road?

Well Ryan, it sounds like you have a big decision in front of you. All I can add is that from my year and a half of OTR driving is that it was one of the greatest adventures of my life. It was also one of the toughest. Trucking is just like that I guess. It's a paradox of sorts. Sometimes you love it and can't imagine doing anything else. Sometimes you ask yourself if you are absolutely nuts for doing what many people are not capable of doing. If I were a single man I would hit the road again starting tomorrow, but alas, I am not. I love being home at night and the happy home I am lucky to have. I'll close with this: Have you ever seen the sun rise over the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah? Ever drive through Flagstaff on I-40 and see the beauty of the desert? Ever cross the Mississippi on your way into Memphis at midnight and see the moon's reflection on the water? Do you want to do any of that? If your answer is yes, then I can tell you that an adventure is out there waiting for you. You will see all kinds of places and meet some very unique people, plus you'll get paid to do it. The experience you gain will have tangible value. Sometimes Ryan, you will never know until you try. Good luck!

Posted:  10 years, 6 months ago

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Going down a new road....again

Hey everybody! Seeing Jakecat back kind of makes me feel like it's "old home week" here at TT. I think I joined just after he did. Anyway, I've been driving for 2 years now. I was OTR for a bit over a year, then went local since last November. About 2 months ago I was ready to go back to regional. Driving nights from 18:00 to 06:00 every day was getting to me. Fortunately, the manager switched me to day shift, which was a lot better. Still, I felt that better opportunities were out there, so after doing some research, I decided to go with a smaller company here in the Chicago area. I'll still be driving days, though now it will be local Intermodal. The company I left had 15,000 trucks. The new place has 50. What a change that will be. They are also a family-owned company that is a whopping 10 minutes from where I live, so I'll be laying out a lot less dough at the gas pump. I went through the interview and passed the road test, so now I'm just waiting for the drug test to come back so I can train for 2 days. It will be helpful I'm sure just to learn the equipment and getting in and out of the rail yards. I'll also need to get my HAZMAT endorsement, which I've already started studying for here at TT. I'm glad that TT has something here for experienced drivers looking to learn more as well as plenty of material for new drivers just starting out. I know I've said this before, but hopefully I'll come back a bit more often with updates and to offer some help to new drivers if I can add anything that is useful.

Posted:  10 years, 6 months ago

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What's up? Long time....

What's wrong with swift? and may I ask why you are leaving them, again and for good?

Sorry, They were just on my radar...

I just thought that I should clarify my comments. I drove for Swift for 2 years and for that period of time they were good for me, and I was good for them. I went to Swift Academy and had a Swift mentor that was pretty good as trainers go. I wouldn't turn any new driver away from them. I just think that as an experienced driver, there are many more options available for me that offer better pay and better equipment. For new drivers, those opportunities are not yet available. Many small to medium sized trucking companies now will not hire drivers with less than 2 years experience. Therefore, new drivers simply have fewer companies to choose from when starting their careers. That doesn't mean that Swift or any other company that trains new drivers are bad companies. They're not. I just felt personally that I had gone as far as I was going to go where I was, and was ready to move on. I'm glad I'm doing that. At the same time, I'm glad for what I learned and grateful that the folks at Swift treated me well. When you feel like you're traveling down the same path over and over, it's time to find a new one, so that's what I meant. Hope that makes what I said a little clearer.

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