No BS Truth About Trucking Video

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Gordon C.'s Comment
member avatar

Every once and a while I find a really good video about trucking. This video, "The no BS truth about trucking" is worthy of a watch. This guy, I think lays it on the line for someone who wants to get into trucking. He's down to earth and tells it like it is/will be.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Well I got about half way through it and I get it. I've heard "slave labor" and "indentured servant" and all that same crybaby garbage for 20 years now. That guy tells part of the story but he doesn't truly put it into perspective. He doesn't include enough context to compare it to anything so we really know where truck drivers stand. Let's do that...

Trucking is hard. No question about it. But I have old photographs of women from my great grandparent's family working the farm fields with hand tools, in 90 degree heat, with infants strapped to their backs during the Great Depression. My ma's first home was a small farmhouse without plumbing of any sort - no running water, no toilets - nothing. They went to the well for water, they went to the outhouse to use the bathroom, and my Grandma went and grabbed a chicken from the coop when it was time for dinner.

And they felt lucky to have anything at all because a lot of people were starving.

It all depends on your outlook. In my mind I see it like this:

We're Americans at the start of the 21st century. Poverty in this nation means a computer, two televisions, two cars, and 3 bellies full of food every day. "Slave labor" means driving around in a $100,000 climate-controlled, air-ride dream. It's a navigation and communication station on wheels - cell phones, GPS, wireless internet, satellite Qualcomm , satellite television, satellite radio, a refrigerator, and electricity. You're getting paid $40k-$55k a year to navigate this beautiful country, meet interesting people, challenge yourself in countless ways, and drive a big ole American big rig.

You wanna cry about trucking cuz it's too hard for you? You have every right. I won't stop ya. But I won't listen to you either. I was out there for 15 years and I know how hard it is. I also know what a blessing it was.

Generations of people before us suffered so that we can have the dream life we live in this country today and I know that a huge portion of the world right now is continuously suffering through disease, poverty, and war. And I'm not. And neither are the crybaby truckers out there singin the blues.

I'm sorry but I understand the history of human suffering. I understand what people endured to make life easy on us. That's lost on some people, but not on me. There isn't an hour of any day that goes by that I don't think about the fact that I didn't earn the dream life I've been handed. I'm reaping the rewards of generations of suffering and sacrifice in sweat shops, farm fields, coal mines, and battlefields. People suffered and sacrificed so we could have all this. People died so we could live like we do.

You want to cry about it? Go ahead. But I'd like to see the look on your face if the generations of people who truly suffered so you could have this dream life could hear you crying about your climate-controlled, air-conditioned "problems".

Take a trip to Syria and help them clean up the children's bodies from the chemical weapons attack. Take a trip to Iraq and help them rebuild their nation after decades of war. Or hop on a ship and drag your family to a foreign land where nobody speaks your language in hopes of building a better life for future generations like most of our ancestors did a century ago.

Driving a rig isn't for most people. But if you think that's truly suffering you're disrespecting the untold millions of people who truly suffered and died so we could have it this good today. Millions of Americans died in past wars so we could have the freedoms we do today. I guess that includes the freedom to complain all you like if you don't have the wisdom to appreciate what you have.

This country is soft. We're like spoiled little marshmallows.

My father and a lot of his co-workers passed away over 20 years ago from lung cancer they got working 50 hours a week for 18 years in a steel mill so I could have the greatest childhood any kid could ever dream of having. My grandmother was barely 5 feet tall but worked a rivet gun on fighters in a factory during WWII. My grandfather was a mechanic. My other grandfather was a Golden Gloves boxer and a steel worker. My mother worked full time our entire lives, never missed a ballgame my entire life, and endured the loss of two husbands from cancer. Stood by their side every second and never wavered. The greatest women I've ever known. She of all people didn't deserve that kind of suffering.

Because of them I've had the easiest, most wonderful life imaginable. It's been nothing but a dream from day one. That's the kind of stuff I think about every day.

I don't know what makes people feel so entitled to everything - easy money, an easy job, and respect they haven't earned. I don't know where that comes from. Because in my mind none of us earned any of this we have before us today. This was handed to us by generations of people who took big risks, worked their hands to the bone doing dangerous jobs, fought in wars, and died young so we could have soft hands and grow old fishing and watching sunsets.

If driving a truck in 2013 is so gruelling that it's more than you can bear then count your lucky stars because you never would have survived in truly difficult times. If you think this is slave labor, imagine how it must have felt to be an African American working the cotton fields and getting whipped by a bull whip in 95 degree heat in Alabama in the middle of the 19th century.

I'm just sayin.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Just watched the video.

I have to say. If someone is riding the fence about coming into trucking, that video will sure put them on the side that says STAY AWAY!!

It was almost all negative. Yes, there are many down sides to trucking. But there are many up sides also.

There were a couple of points in the video that need addressed. He said you will drive at least 600 miles a day. And at least 11 hours a day. I take it by that statement, he is running paper logs.

With the electronic logs that most companies are now using, you won't be driving "at least" 11 hours. You better drive ONLY 11 hours. Or less.

And with the way the trucks are governed. If you get much more than 600-650 miles in a day (and not everyday) you will be very lucky. And if you drive many mountainous areas, you will be lucky to get even close that.

While trucking doesn't give you tons of time to "site see". With having to take down time if you run out of hours. And home time. And vacation time. And the required stops one has to take. No, you might not be on vacation and out seeing all the sites. But there is no reason you can't enjoy yourself from time to time.

The only positive thing I got out of that video was that he LOVED trucking. Which that is great. But if that is the only reason you are driving a truck. If the only reason you drive a truck is because you Love driving a truck. I do feel sorry for you. There is much more to driving a truck than just driving a truck.

A beautiful post here at TT mentions about "An Office With A View". Call me a skeptic, but I don't think there is anything more beautiful than driving down the road, you pop over a hill and there is the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen in your life.

And how many times a week do you see that. Being a trucker, you can see that just about any time. Any day of the week. Shoot, you might see that every day of the week from time to time.

Your job can be breath taking. And yes, it can upset you and turn you inside out. And make you so tired sometimes you want help getting into your sleeper. (Since I am not a trucker yet, these are things that I have been told by other truckers).

But do you do it only because you love the job?? No, I really don't think so. I think you love everything about it. The job. The sites. The peace and tranquility (at times). The freedom. And that is just naming a few.

I am not driving yet. And I watched the video just for curiosity. But, if I had not already made up my mind to go into trucking, that video might have just turned me the other way.

Was a lot he said true? Sure. I have no doubt about it. But to me, it was all cynical. It was all the down side. And not all of it was totally accurate.

Keep it safe out there. Joe S

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

PR aka Road Hog's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Ok, well, from my limited newbie perspective .....

and, far be it for me to disagree with the experienced driver's but here is my take on the video.

Sure, he said a lot of 'down' things about trucking, but for me anyway, it was more of, 'this is what you can expect' as opposed to, 'I hate this job because'.

He says, you're gonna run 70 hours a week, check. You're gonna drive 8-11 hours per day. check. You're gonna work 14 hours a day, check. You're not gonna get rich, check. You're gonna have break downs, and wait time, check. Basically, it's not just about driving and nothing else, which is pretty much the same thing everybody on here says, ie, it's a lifestyle. Check.

From a newbie standpoint, he didn't come across as hateful, but more like a dutch uncle, saying, look here greenhorn, driving ain't as romantic as it sounds, it's hard work, and here's what you can expect. Check.

Not everyone is cut out for this lifestyle, as everyone on here can attest, but if you are cut our for it, it can be a great thing and an enjoyable experience. In other words, it's about you and your attitude.

Check.

As far as the whole 'indentured servant' thing, wikipedia describes 'indentured servant' as 'debt bondage'. And to me that seems fairly accurate. The company trains me with ~$3500 worth of knowledge, and in return I 'owe' them 1 years worth of driving.

Which, oddly enough, sounds an awful lot like an apprentice program I went through many years ago.

I suppose the kicker comes in when you consider that the company is going to pay me while I am under contract. Still, indentured servant doesn't seem to be too far off the mark, though it does have a negative connotation. I much prefer 'apprenticeship'.

Now as far as slave labor, thats a different subject entirely, and one I do not agree with. To be slave labor, there would be have to be no pay, no heat/air, verbal abuse, forced to load unload etc etc. None of that here.

I guess to me, indentured servant and apprentice are kinda like granny apples and golden gala. There both apples, and its just a matter of preference and taste. Personally, I prefer apprentice. either way, I'm going in with eyes open, and giving 110%. Will I like it, love it?? I really won't know for sure until I get out there. What I do know is I'm not going to make up my mind in the first week or the first month.

I'm going in with an open mind, and with the intention of keeping an open mind for at least one year. Then, I will decide if I like it, and if I like it enough to keep doing OTR. I might decide to look for a regional or local gig, I might decide to stay OTR , or, I might decide to get out altogether. Regardless, I won't make that decision until after my 1st year, and maybe not until after my 2nd year.

The bottom line is, I am making an agreement with a company. They will train me to drive, and in return I will drive for them for 1 year. Nobody's twisting my arm, nobody's holding a gun to my head. I am making this choice of my own free will.

Just my perspective, not that it means much to anyone else other than me. smile.gif

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Just watched the video.

I have to say. If someone is riding the fence about coming into trucking, that video will sure put them on the side that says STAY AWAY!!

It was almost all negative. Yes, there are many down sides to trucking. But there are many up sides also.

There were a couple of points in the video that need addressed. He said you will drive at least 600 miles a day. And at least 11 hours a day. I take it by that statement, he is running paper logs.

With the electronic logs that most companies are now using, you won't be driving "at least" 11 hours. You better drive ONLY 11 hours. Or less.

And with the way the trucks are governed. If you get much more than 600-650 miles in a day (and not everyday) you will be very lucky. And if you drive many mountainous areas, you will be lucky to get even close that.

While trucking doesn't give you tons of time to "site see". With having to take down time if you run out of hours. And home time. And vacation time. And the required stops one has to take. No, you might not be on vacation and out seeing all the sites. But there is no reason you can't enjoy yourself from time to time.

The only positive thing I got out of that video was that he LOVED trucking. Which that is great. But if that is the only reason you are driving a truck. If the only reason you drive a truck is because you Love driving a truck. I do feel sorry for you. There is much more to driving a truck than just driving a truck.

A beautiful post here at TT mentions about "An Office With A View". Call me a skeptic, but I don't think there is anything more beautiful than driving down the road, you pop over a hill and there is the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen in your life.

And how many times a week do you see that. Being a trucker, you can see that just about any time. Any day of the week. Shoot, you might see that every day of the week from time to time.

Your job can be breath taking. And yes, it can upset you and turn you inside out. And make you so tired sometimes you want help getting into your sleeper. (Since I am not a trucker yet, these are things that I have been told by other truckers).

But do you do it only because you love the job?? No, I really don't think so. I think you love everything about it. The job. The sites. The peace and tranquility (at times). The freedom. And that is just naming a few.

I am not driving yet. And I watched the video just for curiosity. But, if I had not already made up my mind to go into trucking, that video might have just turned me the other way.

Was a lot he said true? Sure. I have no doubt about it. But to me, it was all cynical. It was all the down side. And not all of it was totally accurate.

Keep it safe out there. Joe S

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Well I got about half way through it and I get it. I've heard "slave labor" and "indentured servant" and all that same crybaby garbage for 20 years now. That guy tells part of the story but he doesn't truly put it into perspective. He doesn't include enough context to compare it to anything so we really know where truck drivers stand. Let's do that...

Trucking is hard. No question about it. But I have old photographs of women from my great grandparent's family working the farm fields with hand tools, in 90 degree heat, with infants strapped to their backs during the Great Depression. My ma's first home was a small farmhouse without plumbing of any sort - no running water, no toilets - nothing. They went to the well for water, they went to the outhouse to use the bathroom, and my Grandma went and grabbed a chicken from the coop when it was time for dinner.

And they felt lucky to have anything at all because a lot of people were starving.

It all depends on your outlook. In my mind I see it like this:

We're Americans at the start of the 21st century. Poverty in this nation means a computer, two televisions, two cars, and 3 bellies full of food every day. "Slave labor" means driving around in a $100,000 climate-controlled, air-ride dream. It's a navigation and communication station on wheels - cell phones, GPS, wireless internet, satellite Qualcomm , satellite television, satellite radio, a refrigerator, and electricity. You're getting paid $40k-$55k a year to navigate this beautiful country, meet interesting people, challenge yourself in countless ways, and drive a big ole American big rig.

You wanna cry about trucking cuz it's too hard for you? You have every right. I won't stop ya. But I won't listen to you either. I was out there for 15 years and I know how hard it is. I also know what a blessing it was.

Generations of people before us suffered so that we can have the dream life we live in this country today and I know that a huge portion of the world right now is continuously suffering through disease, poverty, and war. And I'm not. And neither are the crybaby truckers out there singin the blues.

I'm sorry but I understand the history of human suffering. I understand what people endured to make life easy on us. That's lost on some people, but not on me. There isn't an hour of any day that goes by that I don't think about the fact that I didn't earn the dream life I've been handed. I'm reaping the rewards of generations of suffering and sacrifice in sweat shops, farm fields, coal mines, and battlefields. People suffered and sacrificed so we could have all this. People died so we could live like we do.

You want to cry about it? Go ahead. But I'd like to see the look on your face if the generations of people who truly suffered so you could have this dream life could hear you crying about your climate-controlled, air-conditioned "problems".

Take a trip to Syria and help them clean up the children's bodies from the chemical weapons attack. Take a trip to Iraq and help them rebuild their nation after decades of war. Or hop on a ship and drag your family to a foreign land where nobody speaks your language in hopes of building a better life for future generations like most of our ancestors did a century ago.

Driving a rig isn't for most people. But if you think that's truly suffering you're disrespecting the untold millions of people who truly suffered and died so we could have it this good today. Millions of Americans died in past wars so we could have the freedoms we do today. I guess that includes the freedom to complain all you like if you don't have the wisdom to appreciate what you have.

This country is soft. We're like spoiled little marshmallows.

My father and a lot of his co-workers passed away over 20 years ago from lung cancer they got working 50 hours a week for 18 years in a steel mill so I could have the greatest childhood any kid could ever dream of having. My grandmother was barely 5 feet tall but worked a rivet gun on fighters in a factory during WWII. My grandfather was a mechanic. My other grandfather was a Golden Gloves boxer and a steel worker. My mother worked full time our entire lives, never missed a ballgame my entire life, and endured the loss of two husbands from cancer. Stood by their side every second and never wavered. The greatest women I've ever known. She of all people didn't deserve that kind of suffering.

Because of them I've had the easiest, most wonderful life imaginable. It's been nothing but a dream from day one. That's the kind of stuff I think about every day.

I don't know what makes people feel so entitled to everything - easy money, an easy job, and respect they haven't earned. I don't know where that comes from. Because in my mind none of us earned any of this we have before us today. This was handed to us by generations of people who took big risks, worked their hands to the bone doing dangerous jobs, fought in wars, and died young so we could have soft hands and grow old fishing and watching sunsets.

If driving a truck in 2013 is so gruelling that it's more than you can bear then count your lucky stars because you never would have survived in truly difficult times. If you think this is slave labor, imagine how it must have felt to be an African American working the cotton fields and getting whipped by a bull whip in 95 degree heat in Alabama in the middle of the 19th century.

I'm just sayin.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
PR aka Road Hog's Comment
member avatar

AMEN BRETT !!

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Well said Brett.....You are truly an insightful man...and a proud mother's son.

Well here's my 2 cents on the you tube whinery....I've spent over 15 years otr , and quite a few years instate driving log truck, pole truck, cattle truck, farm trucks..if it rolled, I'd drive it. And I haveta say...that little whipper snapper couldn't keep up with what I did driving instate truck..he's a wuss...I didn't know trucks had AC until 1996, when we bought our first one !!! And power steering was a dream for those old logging and farm trucks...you better have a good set of abs if you wanted to steer and gear those old toads... So Mr. You Tube Whiner...you stay where you're at...and leave the REAL truckers all alone. You're kinda embarrassing to the real asphalt cowboys, white knights of the road, and yes...even us Lady Truckers....I bet your mama is ashamed...

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

This country is soft. We're like spoiled little marshmallows.

...and some of us are those big marshmallows you use when making smores over a campfire (I haven't gained any weight since starting, but there is a lot of big 'ol guys out there driving)

I won't watch the video. I won't listen to all the drivers out there complaining about their company, about their dispatcher , about the customer -- complain complain complain, just go with it and be thankful you have a paycheck or grab that sign and stand on the street corner. If you want to work, you can find a job. Everyone one of us here in the USA needs to be thankful.

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.
Charles S.'s Comment
member avatar

Watched the video as I do with a lot of youtube videos. Have definitely seen a lot of videos with some driver complaining about his pay, don't work for this company, this job sucks, etc. I really didn't see anything negative about the video, but I guess its all in how you look at it. I thought the driver was simply laying it all out there for the inexperienced person (like me) for them to understand what its really like out there. I am sure way too many people get into this job not taking any of the things into consideration that he mentioned and it causes them to give up. Several times in the video he did state that he loves the job and is happy with who he is working for, just that there are some negative sides of the job just as with any job.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I really didn't see anything negative about the video

He said you'll be "an indentured servant" and truck driving is "slave labor". I'm a really optimistic guy but I'd have to say that sounds pretty negative. I didn't hear him say one single positive thing about it. Of course I only got half way through the video so I didn't get through enough of the complaints to hear him say he loves it.

Nothing like complaining for 15 minutes about something before saying you love it. If he's married, his wife must enjoy the heck out of his Valentine's Day speech:

Well, you're really a pain. You aren't the prettiest thing I've ever seen. I get sick of you within 5 minutes of waking up each day. I feel like I'm trapped in some hellish marital prison and after we got together I lost all of the good things I had in my life. But I love you.

confused.gifwtf.gif

Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, I also agree with you. I watched that video a while back, and did not finish watching it, and it was those same comments he made that put me off as well. "Indentured servant". Baloney I says.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PR aka Road Hog's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Ok, well, from my limited newbie perspective .....

and, far be it for me to disagree with the experienced driver's but here is my take on the video.

Sure, he said a lot of 'down' things about trucking, but for me anyway, it was more of, 'this is what you can expect' as opposed to, 'I hate this job because'.

He says, you're gonna run 70 hours a week, check. You're gonna drive 8-11 hours per day. check. You're gonna work 14 hours a day, check. You're not gonna get rich, check. You're gonna have break downs, and wait time, check. Basically, it's not just about driving and nothing else, which is pretty much the same thing everybody on here says, ie, it's a lifestyle. Check.

From a newbie standpoint, he didn't come across as hateful, but more like a dutch uncle, saying, look here greenhorn, driving ain't as romantic as it sounds, it's hard work, and here's what you can expect. Check.

Not everyone is cut out for this lifestyle, as everyone on here can attest, but if you are cut our for it, it can be a great thing and an enjoyable experience. In other words, it's about you and your attitude.

Check.

As far as the whole 'indentured servant' thing, wikipedia describes 'indentured servant' as 'debt bondage'. And to me that seems fairly accurate. The company trains me with ~$3500 worth of knowledge, and in return I 'owe' them 1 years worth of driving.

Which, oddly enough, sounds an awful lot like an apprentice program I went through many years ago.

I suppose the kicker comes in when you consider that the company is going to pay me while I am under contract. Still, indentured servant doesn't seem to be too far off the mark, though it does have a negative connotation. I much prefer 'apprenticeship'.

Now as far as slave labor, thats a different subject entirely, and one I do not agree with. To be slave labor, there would be have to be no pay, no heat/air, verbal abuse, forced to load unload etc etc. None of that here.

I guess to me, indentured servant and apprentice are kinda like granny apples and golden gala. There both apples, and its just a matter of preference and taste. Personally, I prefer apprentice. either way, I'm going in with eyes open, and giving 110%. Will I like it, love it?? I really won't know for sure until I get out there. What I do know is I'm not going to make up my mind in the first week or the first month.

I'm going in with an open mind, and with the intention of keeping an open mind for at least one year. Then, I will decide if I like it, and if I like it enough to keep doing OTR. I might decide to look for a regional or local gig, I might decide to stay OTR , or, I might decide to get out altogether. Regardless, I won't make that decision until after my 1st year, and maybe not until after my 2nd year.

The bottom line is, I am making an agreement with a company. They will train me to drive, and in return I will drive for them for 1 year. Nobody's twisting my arm, nobody's holding a gun to my head. I am making this choice of my own free will.

Just my perspective, not that it means much to anyone else other than me. smile.gif

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

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