Trucking Isn't For Everyone.. But

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Daniel B.'s Comment
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Every week there are thousands of drivers going into trucking, most won't make it. Most go into this industry not having a clue about it. A big mistake that I saw as an Instructor at Prime was how the older folk usually underestimated the challenges of the job, they compared their previous life experiences with trucking and thought "if I did that in my life then this will be nothing". I don't care if your age can be compared on a graph to the old age of the trees in Yellowstone National Park (looking at you OS), or you're a kiddo at the young age of 21 going into this industry - you will struggle.

Which brings me to my point, its not for everyone. Over-the-road is a nomadic lifestyle that is extremely rewarding for the right individual, but can be a nightmare to someone who isn't after that. Bob and Bobby can go through the exact same scenarios but Bob can end up loving it, meanwhile Bobby can hate it.

We simply don't hear enough success stories because Bobby usually voices is opinion louder than Bob can. You see, Bob is too busy earning a living, meanwhile Bobby quit and is now home, frustrated, and wants revenge. He voices his strong opinion about trucking loud and clear, blaming both the company and the job for his mess.

When I got into trucking I was struggling with life. Still without regret, I married my fiance at the young age of 20 and we both moved out immediately. We were both working full-time and we just put $2,000 on the credit card for furniture. Unfortunately, the very next day she had lost her job. Here I am, just married with my own place - single income of $9/h with an hour commute. You can spell out the rest, we weren't making it. Life was giving me a harder spanking than my dad ever had. I got a new job paying $10.50/h working night shift and that still didn't help much. Trucking was always on my mind, but I didn't believe in myself that I could do it. I even talked to my dad about it at one point and he shut me down, stating that I was too young and immature for trucking and I simply could not do the job. Being an electrician was his chosen profession for me, however that wasn't mine.

We moved back to my parents house and I felt like a complete loser. Overdue bills were still floating above our head like a rain cloud. This was my best chance.. trucking was my best chance.

I went to school with motivation and confidence to both re-obtain my Man Card and to get my own place again for us.

To read about my schooling experience, Click Here!

Then I switched to Prime Inc and had a great time there. To find out how much I made my first year, Click Here!. I have no thread of it, but I net 49k at Prime which was my second year of driving. For some reason, some folks have a hard time believing that I made that much but I can assure you guys, I know the difference between net and gross - and I net 49k at Prime my second year of driving. My third and final year of OTR was a lot better, but I won't post it because no one will believe it.

I have seen so many beautiful places in my life, I feel like I can write a book about it and still not run out of stories. I have made so many friends our there and on this site that my contacts page has tripled on my phone. OTR was amazing for me, it put me out of debt and gave me financial stability in my life. It showed me just how beautiful and awesome life really is and how fast it can be taken away. I walk differently, I talk differently, I think differently, trucking made me grow up. We bought a second vehicle and our bank account has enough in it to make me proud. And with hard work and patience, I finally landed a job where I'm home every day and that I can stay at for a very long time driving this beast

20160213_070820_zpsfsoqwcnh.jpeg

In conclusion, trucking isn't for everyone. We read a lot of negative views about trucking, too many if you ask me, but here's a positive one. This is what trucking did for me! Boy, it sure was a God-send to me!

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.
murderspolywog's Comment
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Well put. I am nomadic, always have been. I have a wife and kid at home and have thought about going local. Right now I am driving 6 western. And thinking of going out back to long haul because, it's to confining doing 6 western. And I seem to get better quality home time on long haul then I do now. I came from a job as a manager for 13 years, I make a better income and am happier doing this job then I was doing what I did be for, also work about the same hours. Good for you Daniel on the local. Bet your wife will like having you home more. My wife knows I won't be happy driving the same route all the time.

6 string rhythm's Comment
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Congrats "Bob." You're the one that made it work and became successful.

You've got a great, positive message to share with would-be drivers. You can also be a refreshing breath of fresh air for stale veterans of the industry. You definitely did it the "classic" way, where you went OTR first and then landed your local job. If I was younger and single, I would've enjoyed giving OTR a shot before going local, but I don't regret my decision. I do wonder sometimes what kind of experiences I missed, but I always remind myself that I have plenty of experiences being at home where I'm needed for my family. I scratched my travel bug in my twenties, I just wonder what it would've been like in a big rig. I'll live vicariously through other OTR drivers on here.

I'd like to hear more about your tanker gig. Looks like a great rig! I'm very happy for you brother. You've been blessed, thanks for giving back.

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Very well said my friend, as usual. You are wise beyond your years. Nice ride your moving into. A quick piece of advice. Put a plexi glass cover over those placards. I use them and keeps them from degrading and disappearing. Friday is my last day pulling a tank so if you need some I'll send you mine. I landed a flatbed job and will be home every weekend and wed night from now on. Be safe with the tank. It should be a 3 compartment so the slosh wont be as bad but still there. Enjoy life my friend it's way too shortπŸ˜€πŸ˜€

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
's Comment
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Well said brother.

G-Town's Comment
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Good post Daniel. Love the rig, we do not have a configuration like that in the east. Be careful with the tanks. A whole lot of "serious" going on behind you.

Good luck with the gig.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep! Thanks for everything.

I often wonder why people can't do this job, but I guess that's what makes us different and there are certainly jobs I like to think I could do, but probably couldn't.

Good luck and congratulations!

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Steve wonders about some people:

I often wonder why people can't do this job, but I guess that's what makes us different and there are certainly jobs I like to think I could do, but probably couldn't.

Steve, first think of the basics of a "regular" job:

* 8 hours a day, 40 per week.
* Home every night, and two days off.
* Work with co-workers and/or the public.
* Home for most meals, and showers when you want them.

Now think of a trucking job:

βˆ† A 24/7 schedule. Only limited to 11 hours driving daily, and 70 hours total in any 8 days.
βˆ† Home roughly 2-3 days in two or more weeks.
βˆ† (non-team) You are mostly alone all day. (team) You have to live very close with another person. Very close!
βˆ† No home cooking, and showers are harder to come by.

That's some of the sacrifices & choices you make as a trucker

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Well put. I am nomadic, always have been. I have a wife and kid at home and have thought about going local. Right now I am driving 6 western. And thinking of going out back to long haul because, it's to confining doing 6 western. And I seem to get better quality home time on long haul then I do now. I came from a job as a manager for 13 years, I make a better income and am happier doing this job then I was doing what I did be for, also work about the same hours. Good for you Daniel on the local. Bet your wife will like having you home more. My wife knows I won't be happy driving the same route all the time.

Its not always exactly the same route everyday. We are usually within 1 hour of Sacramento but there are a dozen Racks (loading sites) that we go to, and we service just about every gas station in this huge city - so plenty of places we go to. Plus, loading the tanks, splash blends, and a whole bunch of unusual tasks seems to be keeping it interesting for me.

Congrats "Bob." You're the one that made it work and became successful.

You've got a great, positive message to share with would-be drivers. You can also be a refreshing breath of fresh air for stale veterans of the industry. You definitely did it the "classic" way, where you went OTR first and then landed your local job. If I was younger and single, I would've enjoyed giving OTR a shot before going local, but I don't regret my decision. I do wonder sometimes what kind of experiences I missed, but I always remind myself that I have plenty of experiences being at home where I'm needed for my family. I scratched my travel bug in my twenties, I just wonder what it would've been like in a big rig. I'll live vicariously through other OTR drivers on here.

I'd like to hear more about your tanker gig. Looks like a great rig! I'm very happy for you brother. You've been blessed, thanks for giving back.

Family always comes first sir, and I applaud you for sticking with them! About the job, right now I'm still in training but its pretty straight forward it seems. The tank on my truck is a 4,000G safe-fill capacity tank and my trailer has 3 compartments (2,000/1,500/2,000). The truck drives great and has almost nonexistent off-tracking. It also has 2 pivot points (a semi only has 2) so this thing is a pain in the ass to back up. My ego took a huge hit when I found out I couldn't back the truck into a spot and had to let my trainer take over, I can't back it up to save my life but that will come with time.

Very well said my friend, as usual. You are wise beyond your years. Nice ride your moving into. A quick piece of advice. Put a plexi glass cover over those placards. I use them and keeps them from degrading and disappearing. Friday is my last day pulling a tank so if you need some I'll send you mine. I landed a flatbed job and will be home every weekend and wed night from now on. Be safe with the tank. It should be a 3 compartment so the slosh wont be as bad but still there. Enjoy life my friend it's way too shortπŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Life is indeed too short, pretty soon folks will be calling me crusty and I'll be forced to take over the forum because Brett will be too old.

Good post Daniel. Love the rig, we do not have a configuration like that in the east. Be careful with the tanks. A whole lot of "serious" going on behind you.

Good luck with the gig.

Now when my wife calls me crazy I say to her "I know I am, I drive a bomb for a living." Then she looks at me with a blank face and tells me that she doesn't want to hear that part.

Yep! Thanks for everything.

I often wonder why people can't do this job, but I guess that's what makes us different and there are certainly jobs I like to think I could do, but probably couldn't.

Good luck and congratulations!

There's not enough room in this thread to list all the reasons why someone would struggle at this type of work, I will admit though, a lot of times people are their own worst enemy

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Steve wonders about some people:

double-quotes-start.png

I often wonder why people can't do this job, but I guess that's what makes us different and there are certainly jobs I like to think I could do, but probably couldn't.

double-quotes-end.png

Steve, first think of the basics of a "regular" job:

* 8 hours a day, 40 per week.
* Home every night, and two days off.
* Work with co-workers and/or the public.
* Home for most meals, and showers when you want them.

Now think of a trucking job:

βˆ† A 24/7 schedule. Only limited to 11 hours driving daily, and 70 hours total in any 8 days.
βˆ† Home roughly 2-3 days in two or more weeks.
βˆ† (non-team) You are mostly alone all day. (team) You have to live very close with another person. Very close!
βˆ† No home cooking, and showers are harder to come by.

That's some of the sacrifices & choices you make as a trucker

It's practically a walk in the park compared to my Navy days...except when it's EXACTLY like my Navy days. :)

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