Profile For Zen Joker

Zen Joker's Info

  • Location:
    Waukesha, WI

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 10 months ago

Zen Joker's Bio

In 2002 I had a brief brush with the industry when i tried it out at CRST. The trainer was a total dirtball and was unsafe so I left...but the urge to go trucking never really did...

Currently I work from home for a mortgage company and I work for a great company, but the insurance is off the charts if I need it. Trucking has been on and off my radar for a couple years as my family has battled some health issues and in the process we have taken a battering financially. Trucking would provide us with good insurance and an income to make a living . Trucking has ALWAYS been my dream but at present (2014) it is not the right time as I have a 2.5 year old daughter. Trucking will be my goal in 10-25 years by choice and for now remains a plan B if employment/financial circumstances dictate. Until my time comes, I hover in TT once in a while and fall asleep to the imagination of sleeping in a sleeper of a Freightliner Cascadia driving refrigerated for Roehl :-)

Thanks for reading and Take Care, Zen Joker (Andy)

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Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Anybody left a higher paying job in corporate America for trucking? How did it work out for you?

Sue D., Old School and so many other, thanks again everyone who has contributed a response! We'll see how things shape up in my current career. I will jump in the pool at some point. Though it may be the sooner of when my daughter is grown or something changes at work. Appreciate everyone's dialogue. I will keep lurking the forum in the mean time....thanks again!!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Anybody left a higher paying job in corporate America for trucking? How did it work out for you?

Thanks Rainy D!!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Anybody left a higher paying job in corporate America for trucking? How did it work out for you?

Yawn's reply is fairly accurate picture of corporate America. What I should also mention is that I have inherited some of the key responsibilities of my old boss being the central contact when a branch has issues and have taken on the responsibility of on-boarding new branches for half the salary they were paying him. My base salary s $66k (the other $4k or so I make on personal loan production which corporate makes double that for loans I write). So to be assigned six figure salary responsibilities I would expect a little patience and the opportunity to talk through the issues so I can learn the most from them. And regardless, giving someone a performance review and turning a miscommunication within an email with a branch into me recklessly taking executive authority 2 hours before the Thanksgiving holiday is very poor.

If I didn't have a 4 1/2 year old daughter this would be a no-brainer. And I still plan to put my best foot forward and tighten the screws with the hopes of taking a secure job I can be successful at with me back up north. And it is yet to be fully determined if I am a good fit for the job, that will depend on how I do moving forward and how they view my progress and value. I am just weighing options at this point in case something goes south down the road. Thanks again!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Anybody left a higher paying job in corporate America for trucking? How did it work out for you?

Want to thank everyone for the replies. Please keep them coming, very useful perspectives all around.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Anybody left a higher paying job in corporate America for trucking? How did it work out for you?

You will get plenty of advice here of the tru king world, but why don't you seek out you're same career with a different company?

That is a good question, unfortunately moving back to where my family needs to be, that is really not practical. And honestly when I'm being truthful I don't think my heart is really in it anymore.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Happy Thanksgiving all. If anyone is in southern WV and nowhere to be you are welcome in my home.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Anybody left a higher paying job in corporate America for trucking? How did it work out for you?

...I should also mention in talking to the wife, I kind of miss the blue collar. Life seemed simpler to report to one person, take a reasonable amount of training and do my best with it., and work around real people. Thanks!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Anybody left a higher paying job in corporate America for trucking? How did it work out for you?

First off....Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Here I am again (as I seem to re-appear every 6-12 months), the man infinitely on the trucking fence.shocked.png

So I moved back to the corporate office for the mortgage company I work at after working from home and starting a family in beautiful northern WI 5 years ago. I took a higher paying position with salary, commissions, and bonuses of around $70k, benefits are average. My colleague who pulled for me and got me the position back here died of cancer this fall, I report directly to the president who yesterday basically gave me a performance review 2 hours before the Thanksgiving holiday. When he started out "I'm don't want to distress before the holiday BUT.." I know that wasn't good. My job is not on the rocks but I lately am stressed to the point where it is affecting me physically (sleep and appetite). Problem is my deceased boss left no notes and I have a boss now who doesn't really mentor me much but is happy at any time to tell me how I have disappointing the company that I've worked for for 9 years. No mentor, no real training, and made some honest mistakes in the 7 months I've been down here.

Anyways, the wife keeps saying she gives me her blessing to go truck driving. She hates it down here and wants to move back up north. The company approved me moving back next year , but since I have dropped the ball on a couple things without any real supervision, I can see their tone changing and frankly it has me worried. I'll shovel Sh*t in the furnaces of hell to provide for my family and taking a $20k paycut ($40k first year) is not practical on the surface, but I ask myself what the long term cost is to my health and sanity? I realize trucking is no vacation, but a long term , long distance career which would present me with a whole new set of stresses an challenges. At least I would answer to one person the dispatcher, have one core function and getting trained at Roehl or Schneider after CDL school would put my in a position to be successful. I just need to be showed how, the will is there. Roehl and Schneider offer regional which would get me home every week and after year one would hopefully yield $50-55k a year.

Things could get better at my current job, they hired another Manager for my dept, but I was told he will be focusing on growing the company and I shouldn't distract him too much (wonderful, considering I had less thean 45 days training with my old boss before he went down, and I have been in the new area of Business Development for 7 months). If I continue to grope in the dark and keep getting pulled into senior manager's offices for making errors, this will not look promising for me to move back up north and work from home next fall.

I know the quality of character of most of the members in here and many will disclaim "Only you know you". I realize I assume full responsibility for my decisions. Just wanted some input from some industry professionals who are walking the walk and may have left a higher paying job or anyone that wishes to share their thoughts.

Thank you!

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Flatbed & pre-existing back problems

I think I have the feedback that I need. Thank you all for your comments.

Take Care, Andy

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Flatbed & pre-existing back problems

Hello All,

Realistically I have about a 50-60 lb. lifting limit. In recent years through therapy and yoga I've managed to get my back problems under control.

QUESTIONS:

1) In your opinion, if I were to make the change and start trucking, would the extra income for flatbed be worth the risk of re-injury?

2) If yes, I assume there are training tricks and ways to manage the tarps, straps, etc. that make it practical for folks with lifting limits to do it safely if done properly?

Not afraid to work and endure crappy weather trying to tarp or tie down a load, just pondering whether or not over the years my back could tolerate it. Appreciate any feedback...everyone have a good day! smile.gif

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Good Companies (Southern Florida)

Hello,

Does anyone know of any good companies in Southern FL that accepts student drivers (or drivers with 3-6 months)? I know Schneider offers OTR & Team but wondering if there are any regional gigs down in FL? Can't be flatbed. Wife and I might be relocating possibly next year.

Thanks!!!

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Home Time - Quality of time & Earnings vs. Frequency

Just wondering anybody's thoughts on Home time (Regional vs. OTR minimums).

I was looking at regional positions at Schneider and OTR at Roehl. Roehl has an option of 3 days home after 11 days out. I read in a reply to a prior post that sometimes regional gigs can cut into the time EX: Get home Saturday and leave Monday AM. whereas OTR home time is a bit more structured and solid. In considering this as well as the obvious fact that you can make more money being out 11 days vs. 5.5. plus 5.5, I wonder if the better option for the quality of family time would be the 11-3 OTR at Roehl vs. what may be an abbreviated 1-2 day break at home via regional? Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated!

Thank you all and stay safe!!smile.gif

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Realistic Expectations for Regional Position at Schneider

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I work for Schneider NE regional, which is likely to be different. But the recruiter told me what I would make per mile and what my raises would be the first year and how many miles average I could expect, and I've been getting more miles than they said, so if you find out what they say for your region you can do the math. From what they told me, I don't think the raise they promised for the first year will make a huge difference in what I make the second year, and I've found with the "home every week" plan i'm running up against the limit of what can be done in 6 days. At least in my region, where the average run is probably 350-400 miles.

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I'd specifically ask what regional means. Some people think it means local.you can be out just as long as OTR the only difference is the area you run. My ex is regional yet ran 32 stat3s

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I drive OTR for Schneider and regional DOES NOT stay out as long as OTR unless you want to.

Regional for Schneider means you go home each week. However, if you don't get home until Saturday you will still be expected out Monday. Versus OTR where if I am supposed to be home for two days and I don't get home until Saturday, I come back out Tuesday.

Regional may pay much different than OTR. You may get paid for stops and other things whereas I count on miles for my OTR pay.

I've been very happy with Schneider the past 18 months and The Recruiter's promises came true for me.

Good luck.

Thank you everyone so far for the responses!!! Please keep them coming and be safe out there.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Realistic Expectations for Regional Position at Schneider

Hello Everyone,

Well I moved my wife and daughter back down to the city and the wife HATES IT!! Need to prepare to move back up north possibly in a year and ONCE AGAIN trucking is on the radar. You would think for all the times it keeps coming up I would just quit my white collar job and do it already!!dancing.gif Now the wife says "GO TRUCKING, JUST GET ME BACK UP NORTH! Working away from home has become the norm so a regional gig may be a viable option to get us back up north and finally scratch a decade long scratch to be one with the road again.

ANYWAYS ON TO MY QUESTION:

Schneider is advertising regional positions in Wisconsin listing "Up to $55k per year". I realize that figure is based on the top 5% of drivers near prime freight lanes. Realizing year 1 will be stunted pay as I would learn the ropes, is there any reason to believe I couldn't make $45-50 k regionally year 2 and moving forward? Anybody currently drive regionally in the Midwest? Appreciate any feedback...BTW you can reply "Hey Jack*** just go trucking already!!!" rofl-3.gif

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Modern Tractor Ride Quality

Zen, I feel like we aren't looking at all the situations here.

As you know, you'll have to do team driving before you get your own truck. With Prime you'll be team driving 6-8 weeks. Now while I think you'll be fine in the drivers seat, what about laying in the bed while the trainer is driving.

I train students right now so I actually have been teaming for 1/2 year now, and I can tell you from experience that you feel those bumps a lot more in that bed. There is nothing there to truly absorb the impact. The only thing I can tell you is to double up on mattress toppers to help you but I'm convinced that you'll have back issues while teaming. It's very rough on your body especially the construction zones.

Just a diffrrent perspective and something else you might not have thought about.

Thanks man!!! Good points here (as usual)

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Modern Tractor Ride Quality

Hey Zen. Love your profile picture. I wonder how many people actually know where that came from?

Spielberg was 19 when he directed Duel. Good catch Tonya!

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Modern Tractor Ride Quality

Thank you Brett!! :)

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Modern Tractor Ride Quality

Hello Folks,

Need to make my annual post in here smile.gif

So I have decided to postpone my trucking career to years from now to stay with my family until my daughter is older. Quick shout out again to Brett, Old School, Daniel B and all of TT for helping me make an informed decision last year to stay the course in my current job for the foreseeable future.

So this weekend in speaking to my father in law, I told him maybe 10-20 years down the road I would consider pursuing the challenge of OTR truck driving. Explained to him that I can no longer consider flat bed as I have back problems and can't really lift over 50 lbs. So I explained that Van or Reefer would be my choice. And since he needs to shoot down everything I ever propose to do (he even thought marrying his daughter was a bad idea LOL!!) he said "Your back won't tolerate all the bouncing". Now I sit 8-10 hours a day right now, and that actually is what my back prefers vs. standing.

QUESTION: Modern tractors have decent suspensions and unless you are on really crappy roads all the time and/or driving a very old or poorly maintained tractor, it should not be a major factor, would you agree? Or is my father in law correct to advise me this is a pipe dream and I will be bouncing for 8-10 hours a day.

Your feedback is appreciated!! Thanks!

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Sleeping at a truckstop

Sleep is one thing that can save your life whether you are driving an 18 or 4wheeler. Now four wheelers its a bit easier to get rest b/c they can just rent ahotel or a motel room. Truckers obviously use a truck stop or a rest area. My questiob is at the truck stop woth all noise from the APUs, idling trucks, random honk, Lot lizards, how do you sleep with all the noise? Do you use ear plugs, ear buds with music, or do you get use to and it becomes a white noise like the sound of a box fan? I know everyone has there methods. Soooo...I'll hang up now and listen your response.

Another possible aid if you can't get "The brain to shut down" may be to take a very small supplement of Melatonin 30 minutes before you hit the bunk. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone. It is synthetically manufactured and is cheap, non-habit forming with no side effects.

IMPORTANT:

1) Do NOT use unless you can commit 6+ hours for sleep (otherwise you may fell groggy in the AM)

2) 1/2 mg would be where you would want to start. If not sufficient, try 1 mg.

The supplement basically tells your brain it is night time and is time to shut down for rest. It won't knock you out cold to where you are sleeping obliviously to any interruption, but should get you over the "hump" of getting to sleep. Ear plugs and white noise machines (as aforementioned are excellent too.

Good luck and take care out there!

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider must not be hiring right now :-)

Thanks guys

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