I Hope To Start My New Carrer In This Industry Soon .... But Am I Too Darn Young?

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Troy Y.'s Comment
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Hello! I am trying to get into the trucking industry and am currently waiting until I turn 21 in April so I can start filling out those applications, Prime seems to be the best choice for me due to their training program. Its almost free and you get a job right off the bat in a primarily OTR company, OTR being the type of trucking I wish to do.

I mean the trucking lifestyle seems to be just the thing for me. Here is a list of how I view the pros and cons.

Pros

-Isolation? Great! I am clinically antisocial. I am perfectly happy alone. (Or with someone I really like)

-Challenges every day in a job where no two days are ever the same? Great! I hate monotony and love overcoming challenges.

-Driving around for eight to twelve hours a day? Great! I love driving, it is oddly engaging and entertaining for me.

-Living in a closet? Great! All I need is a good laptop for games and a tempurpedic mattress and I am happy as a clam. (maybe I can even fit a desktop, most of the trucks at prime have APU's)

-The rumored political incorrectness? Perfect! No explanation needed.

-Fast food? Oh yah baby! I work out enough that I have a right to eat whatever the heck I want. Diets are for hippies.

-Bad roads? Pffffffftttttttt! The only thing Michigan roads lack in the difficulty department are ....... well I can't think of anything, maybe mountains?

-Working every day? Good! I get paid for those miles, and as long as I get a little time at the end for a good book or some of "those darn vidga games"[hank hill quote] I will be perfectly relaxed.

-Everything on the road wants to eat your limbs? Alright! I can keep my cool in just about every situation.

-Waiting around hours on end for your load? Ok! I am very adaptable and I posses a good amount of patience.

-Have to unload what you pulled yourself? That's fine! I was raised on a horse ranch, so work is not foreign to me.

-Your on your own? Great! I detest working directly under someone. Third party, like a dispatcher , is fine however.

-You have to drive around a great leviathan of absolute power and stately grace? Yessssssss! I love the idea of driving around heavy machinery, something about the thought that this giant thundering THING is under MY control is so ..... satisfying. Heck I LIVE in it!

Cons

-I will not have many opportunities to work out. I have a pretty rigorous regimen, 2 body groups per day, six days in a row, with a two day break. and I really do not want to lose my gains.

- I have never driven something with a trailer. My mother always drove our seven horse/living quarters trailer around and she was a freaking jedi knight with that thing. I think I can learn pretty fast however, I mean I have an IQ of 133 and am currently applying for MENSA, I can figure it out. (and here I am going to drive trucks ... funny how that happens)

-I need at least eight hours of sleep or I simply cannot function at my full capacity. No ifs ands or buts about it.

-If someone does somehow manage to enrage me I can REALY can lose my cool. For instance if that same car cuts me off for no apparent reason for the sixth time I think I might seriously consider making it a new hood ornament.

-I am absent minded and tend to forget things if I do not pay close attention to it, otherwise its close to eidetic. With the DOT and all their paperwork this might be a BIG problem.

-I really want to go to college for a Bio-mechatronics degree. I really don't need to explain this one.

- I am young and inexperienced at pretty much everything. But you have to start learning somewhere.

I hope this list gives you a little view of my mindset and enables you to give better advice curtailed to me about how I am to go about trucking.

However my main issue is my age. I have no criminal or drug history and my driving record sparkles its so clean (I have had it for about five years now). I am going to be the minimum age going in (this being 21) and I have no idea if this is going to be as big of an issue as I think it is. I know the industry needs truckers pretty bad right now but .... am I just too darn young?

Another problem I have is what I stated above, I am inexperienced at life itself, getting applications and all that stuff is very new to me and if someone tells me to fill out a 401k or something I might die.

Feel free to point out anything that you think might give me trouble on the road (or even enjoy!) and other advice you think might be important to a young fella like myself trying to start out not only in this career but in life itself.

P.S. I am new to this forum thing so if this hurts your eyes or something, sorry!.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Troy Y.'s Comment
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Oh on another note I have been around the site a good deal and most of the info I have is from here! I have to say if this was a textbook everyone would get As

Errol V.'s Comment
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Well, Troy, that's a pretty good resume. Comes to about 80% in my estimation.

Your novice enthusiasm will carry you far enough to figure out your version of the Truck Driver's Career. You didn't mention, have you read Brett's Book?

Here's some negatives, I feel:

* Hood ornaments: it's a waste of time to send those kinds of signals to 4-wheelers. Your best bet is to stick to your job and don't try to teach lessons or communicate displeasure.

* Fast Food: if you are concerned about body building, you know better. Most drivers end up fixing their own meals. It's healthier and cheaper.

* Bio-mechatronics: there's a degree for that? You want to build the Six Million Dollar Truck Driver?

* Absent minded vs eidetic: contradiction in terms. Or is that a symptom of your absent mindedness? Wool Gathering is not good for an operator of a "great leviathan of absolute power and stately grace".

* MENSA: been there, done that. Your Mensa card and $2.35 will get you a cup of coffee at any Waffle House in the USA. You won't have time for meetings or even most online discussions. I dropped my membership.

But if you are a quick study (eidetic memory and everything) you could start now on the High Road Training Program and ace all the endorsements the first time.

Nobody's perfect, the saying goes, but it sounds like you're ready to rock and roll! Welcome to the Trucking Truth forums!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks Errol, I have read most of that actually (wish I found that disambiguation page however) and I am going to read the parts I missed, its all very good advice. The only thing I have to do if 21 is not too young is reach that age in the first place. Darn age limits *grumble grumble*

And yes there actually is a degree in Bio-Mechatronics, my girlfriend Claire is actually on her way to get one. I plan on driving for a good long while, then seeing if I can't save up to take that program, it is actually one of my life's dreams to build biomechanical constructs or to meld flesh and steel together. (While this degree's main use if for prosthetics, with the knowledge I will gain I hope to be able to pioneer it myself! Young dreams awayyyyy!)

And I just noticed the contradiction .... oops. I guess what I was trying to say is that I can remember information with ease from a book or a documentary but when applied to real life terms (see finding keys or remembering dates) I am hopeless. Claire caught me one day putting the milk on the coat rack and my coat in the fridge before I realized what I was doing by seeing the look on her face.

And if MENSA is really that lame then darn, I was really hoping it was going to be useful. I already went through a couple of those groups and I thought this one would help me with my employability with a shiny "your not that dumb card", my bad.

The rest is irrevocably true, I am a bad man.

Oh and on a side note I have no idea of the dimensions within a sleeper cab, I am 6'2" and Claire is 6'6"(yes I know) and will the bunks be too short for either of us to sleep in? She may want to ride along at some point so if it is good for me but not for her we can work something out otherwise there is going to be a big problem.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Sleeper beds: your in luck there. The official size is Twin XL. Regular twin sheets are to short. The mattresses are 39x80 inches!

I think Mensa is into other things. Wearing that Globe/Man humunculus badge just helps edify yourself. I'm not knocking Mensa. I think their secret agenda includes eugenics!

rofl-3.gif

Troy Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh thank goodness. I was worried I was going to have to sleep in the fetal position.

Breeding humans like racehorses MENSA "A better future, tomorrow."

Miss Red's Comment
member avatar

I think their secret agenda includes eugenics!

rofl-3.gif

rofl-3.gif

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