Why Are Some Drivers So Miserable?

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Tyler Durden's Comment
member avatar

While researching my potential careers change into trucking I talked to many many drivers for insight and advice. Most were always friendly and truly seemed to enjoy there job and driving.

But then there was the others......

What happened in the last 5, 10, 15 or 20 years that has caused some drivers to just become so miserable and such hatred towards driving. Some have absolutely nothing good to say about driving, yet they still drive. As one put it "don't do it. You can make more money flipping burgers"

Another person told me this word for word:

Here is my advise. I don't know what you have been researching, but throw it in the trash. It's worthless. 5 week truck diving school is a joke. What ever these trucking companies tell you is bull ****. You will learn enough to get yourself or someone else killed. For the most part, you learn after when your on your own. Use common sense and learn to read a map. Don't blindly follow a gps. Learn how to say no. The day you know it all, park the truck. Don't rush. There is no luck involved. And **** don't just happen. Watch for the 5 year I know it all's"

The guy above still drives but not sure he is a happy driver.

So what happened that some got so miserable?

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Tyler, this is a high pressure career. I can't tell you why you get that response because I am not one of those drivers.

Unless you want to dive into the psychology of every negative individual that chooses this carrer, I would suggest you listen to the ones who give the positive advice... They are doing it right.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Tyler Durden's Comment
member avatar

Tyler, this is a high pressure career. I can't tell you why you get that response because I am not one of those drivers.

Unless you want to dive into the psychology of every negative individual that chooses this carrer, I would suggest you listen to the ones who give the positive advice... They are doing it right.

I have found more positivity then negativity from people by far. I am just curious why some are miserable and feel such disdain for driving.

My only thinking is it is due to regulation changes of some sort. But I don't know what's all changed that has changed the mind sets of some. I mean they had to have liked it at one point or they wouldn't have gotten into in the first place

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Pick/Grin's Comment
member avatar

A man does it for thirty years and his family grows without him. He can't do anything else for work because his skills only apply to one specific industry. He could go local, but his family is too rooted in an area where there aren't any positions. He didn't expect the economy to go to crap so many years later and never saved up to retire so he's gonna have to work til his last day.

From what I've heard from older guys. I don't wanna be like that...

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Tyler and Pick, you have a good conversation going.

A suggestion for when you ask an old trucker, especially one of those "miserable" ones, some questions. Do not use the term "paper logs" unless you have a half hour to kill.

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Tyler and Pick, you have a good conversation going.

A suggestion for when you ask an old trucker, especially one of those "miserable" ones, some questions. Do not use the term "paper logs" unless you have a half hour to kill.

smile.gif

HAHAHA! Hell, I would tell them about the good ole days... That were a couple years ago. Love me some paper logs.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It's not just truck drivers. Dispatchers, shippers, receivers, clerks, waitresses and many others are just as miserable. These people would hate any job they do. It's not the job but the attitude that makes you miserable. A better question would be "why does truck driving attract this personality type"?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.
Terry C.'s Comment
member avatar
A better question would be "why does truck driving attract this personality type"?

I'd like to field this question if I may......I'd like to point out first that I myself am one of the "glass half empty" type personalities. It's taken me a great deal of effort to try and not be but unfortunately I still have a ways to go. So in short I'll admit I have a bit of a negative personality type. I wasn't always like that though. My youth was full of positivity and happiness. "So how'd you get there?" you ask? For me it started in the military. I seemed to be a victim of railroading by a racist squad leader whom also happened to be a Mason along with my First Sergeant and Company Commander. I was an exemplary soldier my first couple of years, making rank as fast as the Army allowed (E1 to E4 in about 12 months) Battalion soldier of the month twice and Battalion soldier of the quarter. My moving thru the ranks made some guys a little angry so I was called a brown noser and much worse. When I got a squad leader that didn't see my promotions as going to someone that rightly deserved it, things began to change with my attitude. Then came a day when I was given a punishment for being 30 seconds late to a PT formation. It was an extremely unusual punishment that was not used much in the Army because it was very degrading. Being marched in my full battle gear everywhere on post by this squad leader. Anyway when I tried to repeal this punishment and the Mason supervisors whom I mentioned earlier took this guys side it changed me. I saw that I was fighting a battle I could not win. From that day forward I harbored animosity and things other people do to others out of spite.

Now we go into my post military days. Shortly after my honorable discharge I got a CDL and had a job as a Bottled water delivery guy. It was a 100% customer service job. Most of my customers were friendly hard working people. But I had a couple of routes in wealthy areas where people were very inconsiderate of "blue collar" workers and treated them (and me) with disdain. I couldn't voice my dislike to these people or I'd lose my job and those type of people that treat others like crap know this and take full advantage of it. After 2 years I had enough and wanted to get as far away from customer service as I could. I had a CDL so the next thing that came up was truck driving. In my mind I wouldn't have to deal with many people. It would just be me and the open road and very little human contact. And I think this is where the mistake in thinking happens with the negative personality type. You may not have direct contact but you're surrounded by people in cars (and other trucks) ALL DAY LONG! And now here's where things start bothering me again. When people are behind the wheel, they tend to feel like they're in this protective bubble that shields them from the outside world. People driving cars don't want to be behind these big slow trucks and treat those trucks with total disdain. They don't see a person driving it, they see the object. You get cut off in traffic, or pulled out in front of, flipped off, brake checked all of this rude and bad behavior ON PURPOSE or out of ignorance on a DAILY BASIS. If you hold on to grudges or let the actions of others bother you it's extremely difficult to let go of. If you can't let it go you stay sour and negative. It can be all consuming. Until a day comes when you either get out of driving all together. Retire or make the decision to stop the negative thinking. In my case I've decided to try and change my thinking.

So you can see a common denominator with truck drivers and the people that deal with them on a daily basis. Getting stepped on and taken advantage of by others that do it without fear of consequence. IE people in their cars that keep on driving down the road after brake checking you, never to be seen again. Waitresses or desk clerks at the truck stops that just had to deal with an angry truck driver that is taking his anger from the above mentioned people out on another service worker. The dispatcher that has 70 guys (many of whom are angry) that he has to manage everyday. Shippers and Receivers that deal with angry truck drivers all day. Do you see what I'm getting at? If you don't understand how there can be so many truckers that are so negative then count your blessing my friend. Count the blessings that you are a type of personality that doesn't hold on to grudges. For that (in my eyes) is very much a blessing.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Dm:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Hey Terry, I hope this comes off right.

We all have the choice on whether we will be happy or not. I could very easily have been a negative guy, in fact, I was for a while pre-trucking. I had, and still do have, major problems that appear seemingly out of nowhere. We all do. The difference between you and me though is I chose to look at problems like thry happen for a reason. Maybe being stuck behind the little old lady on a two lane road for 20 miles kept me from broadsiding a car with kids in it because mommy was texting. Who knows?

Having this way of dealing with problems has turned things around in my life. I am happier than I have ever been. Being positive even when it seems like the world is against you is hard to do, but, it also pays off. I have dealt with shippers, border agents and you name it. A few were mad at the world but I walk in with a smile and polite hello even when they get snarkey with me. Most are joking around with me by tge time I am leaving. Attitudes are contagious... Good and bad.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Rolling Thunder has it. You choose how you want to see the world. Consciously or subconsciously.

Being one of the Trucking Truth Old Farts, I'm entitled to tell the same story more than once. Here is my Fable. Rolling Thunder will understand where this idea comes from:

Once there was a truck mechanic named Ty Changer. Ty has been working on 18 wheelers almost since tandems were invented. He spent his days servicing OTR trucks that stopped in.

One day, while changing oil on a Freightliner, the driver asked Ty, "I've been thinking about switching companies to QuikTrans Trucking. You talk to your driver customers, have you heard anything about how they treat their drivers?"

"Let me think." Ty replied. "Say, how does your current company treat their drivers?"

"That's why I want to move on. There's all these rules we need to follow. I can't get the home time I really need. And they force dispatch New England all the time."

Ty looked at the driver, and stroked his chin. "From what I've heard, QuikTrans is a lot like that. But you need to make your own decision. Here's your truck keys. Thank you for your business."

= | = | = | = | =

Later, another driver stopped in. He needed new steer tires on his Kenworth. Ty was happy to oblige. The second driver spoke up, "I've been thinking about switching companies to QuikTrans Trucking. You talk to your driver customers, have you heard anything about how they treat their drivers?"

"Let me think." Ty replied. "Say, how does your current company treat their drivers?"

You know, my company has a set of rules for drivers. The rules help to keep us safe, make our jobs consistent, and we all understand what's going on. I get home every couple of weeks, but the rest of the time they keep me driving. Every once in a while I get sent to New England, even New York though. It's really not a bad company but the QuikTrans terminal is right near my house.

Ty looked at the driver, and stroked his chin. "From what I've heard, QuikTrans is a lot like that. But you need to make your own decision. Here's your truck keys. Thank you for your business.

Question for you: Which driver would be happier at QuikTrans?

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

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