Cordes Junction, AZ
I joined this profession after 28 years in another profession. Knew it was getting time to retire, and started a skills assessment. What did I do daily that I could do when I grew up? Well, sarcasm and profanity aren't really marketable skills in the private sector, but DRIVING? That I did pretty much all day, every day. Didn't hurt that I had a brother doing this for over a decade that said "Hey, you could always drive a truck. I mean, if I can do it... "
Worked about a year and a half doing OTR regional, home every weekend for 32 hours (add in one hour each way to terminal). Learned. A lot. Missed my family. A lot. Got paid by the mile, NOT a lot. Ended up finding a gig with a company that hired me for local driving, home every day, paid by the hour, tractor and trailer shop on site for prompt and effective repairs. Jumped at the chance and haven't looked back. After two years of local work, I climbed back into a sleeper, and am running OTR Regional Midwest pulling intermodal and dry van loads. Happy as a clam again.
I do dabble a bit in training drivers that come over to our company, as a polisher / finisher for folks that need some extra one on one training time to get them fully smoothed out and ready for solo.
The outfit I work for is G&D Integrated, based in Morton, IL with terminals in Joliet, Morton, Champaign, Decatur, and Montgomery, Illinois, with additional footprints in Georgia, Indiana, and South Carolina. No job or outfit is perfect, but I've been with these folks for long enough to know it's where I will finish out my career, as they're a good outfit.
After about 8 years in the driver seat, I was forced to retire from driving. Three titanium spacers where disks used to rest and a sensitivity to vertical vibration resulting in gradually increasing nerve pain in the left arm resulted in my Neurosurgeon telling me I should find something else to do, as the vibration was going to hasten the degeneration of the other disks in my cervical spine. Paralyzed / lack of control of the arms vs. doing what I really like to do? I opted to give Mrs. Curmudgeon her due - and not intentionally cause injury to myself so that I could keep driving.
We moved out of Illinois to Arizona, and are happy living in the country.
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