Starting To Doubt If I Should Continue Pursuing Trucking As A Career

Topic 13695 | Page 1

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deezo's Comment
member avatar

I have been going through Prime's Student Driver Program and I am not so sure if trucking is for me, I am just confused at this point. Any comments or advice are appreciated to help me find some direction. I came in knowing next nothing about trucks and how to drive them, I just knew I enjoyed my time driving alone in my car with my music and my thoughts and figured trucking would be a good fit for me. I just got off my first truck (my first part of my training) and am now testing for my CDL , I felt I can drive the truck decently and back decently but I am finding out that I am maybe not as good as I thought. Maybe I'm not meant for this... I passed my pre-trip 100% first time, failed backing twice before passing (barely), and failed the road test this morning. I am always stressed out when behind the wheel or even around trucks now and I am not sure if it because of my trainer or I just don't have an aptitude for this. I have taken the test 3 times now, tomorrow will be the 4th. I haven't gotten a full 8 hours of sleep since I started a month ago, driven at least 5 hours a day unpaid, done all the paperwork, trailer hooking/unhooking, been practicing my backing and driving 13-15 hours a day for going on 4 days now and I am just burnt.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

Why are you donating 5 hours a day? Why are you working more than DOT allows? Are you losing sleep because of stress? That's not apt to change for awhile so you need to learn how to cope. I think this is from Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

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.

deezo's Comment
member avatar

Why are you donating 5 hours a day? Why are you working more than DOT allows? Are you losing sleep because of stress? That's not apt to change for awhile so you need to learn how to cope. I think this is from Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

I just did what I had to do, I can't exactly contest what my trainer does. I was just planning to fly through the training as fast as possible and get my own truck, but if I am going to be tired and stressed constantly like this I don't want to do it.

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.

Shawn 's Comment
member avatar

How are you driving 13-15hrs a day ? I had to ask. Sounds like you are worrying so much that you are putting undo stress on yourself. One of the first things you need to do is relax. Going through training is one of the most stressful events, followed up by the first few months of being solo. Use every day as a learning experience and dont get over stressed. You can do it, everyone started out with the same problems. Make sure your trainer has you doing all the backing. Anyone can drive down the highway at 60 mph, but being able to hit the dock is the money maker.

deezo's Comment
member avatar

How are you driving 13-15hrs a day ? I had to ask. Sounds like you are worrying so much that you are putting undo stress on yourself. One of the first things you need to do is relax. Going through training is one of the most stressful events, followed up by the first few months of being solo. Use every day as a learning experience and dont get over stressed. You can do it, everyone started out with the same problems. Make sure your trainer has you doing all the backing. Anyone can drive down the highway at 60 mph, but being able to hit the dock is the money maker.

I haven't been driving 13-15 hours a day, I have been doing a mixture of backing practicing and driving around town for that amount of time for the past 4 days.

Last Shadow's Comment
member avatar

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How are you driving 13-15hrs a day ? I had to ask. Sounds like you are worrying so much that you are putting undo stress on yourself. One of the first things you need to do is relax. Going through training is one of the most stressful events, followed up by the first few months of being solo. Use every day as a learning experience and dont get over stressed. You can do it, everyone started out with the same problems. Make sure your trainer has you doing all the backing. Anyone can drive down the highway at 60 mph, but being able to hit the dock is the money maker.

double-quotes-end.png

I haven't been driving 13-15 hours a day, I have been doing a mixture of backing practicing and driving around town for that amount of time for the past 4 days.

Wait, your already with a trainer in a company, or are you in CDL school? because if your driving 13-15 hours your trainer is doing you wrong and your company is probably not aware of it, in any case you should know you have a 14 hour clock and 11 of those is the max that you can drive every 24 hours, the other 10 is for you to rest mandatory not negotiable, if not you will pay the price with real money.....out

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.
deezo's Comment
member avatar

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How are you driving 13-15hrs a day ? I had to ask. Sounds like you are worrying so much that you are putting undo stress on yourself. One of the first things you need to do is relax. Going through training is one of the most stressful events, followed up by the first few months of being solo. Use every day as a learning experience and dont get over stressed. You can do it, everyone started out with the same problems. Make sure your trainer has you doing all the backing. Anyone can drive down the highway at 60 mph, but being able to hit the dock is the money maker.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

I haven't been driving 13-15 hours a day, I have been doing a mixture of backing practicing and driving around town for that amount of time for the past 4 days.

double-quotes-end.png

Wait, your already with a trainer in a company, or are you in CDL school? because if your driving 13-15 hours your trainer is doing you wrong and your company is probably not aware of it, in any case you should know you have a 14 hour clock and 11 of those is the max that you can drive every 24 hours, the other 10 is for you to rest mandatory not negotiable, if not you will pay the price with real money.....out

Bad choice of wording in the post my bad. I am doing Prime's sponsored CDL program, I am still with my first trainer, the trainer that teaches me to drive the truck. After I pass my CDL exam I move to a company trainer. I was out with him for 3 weeks before we decided to come back for testing, during the 3 weeks I have been driving around 5 hours per day, plus the paperwork, etc. The past 3 going on 4 days we have been testing and practicing both my backing and driving, basically only stopping to eat and sleep. Almost entirely backing but an hour or 2 of driving around town as well.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Deezo, you're going to be just fine. If you've made it this far then you're certainly capable of doing this. You're just stressed out and tired like everyone is most of the first 6 months of their career. After that you'll be slightly less stressed and exhausted.

smile.gif

But keep pushing forward and make this happen. You can always walk away someday if you feel trucking isn't right for you but you haven't experienced enough of it yet to know that. The first 6 months of your career is by far the toughest part. You have to fight through it. If you walk away now you'll be wondering for the rest of your life if you gave up on it before you got to the good part. And I'm hear to tell you that you are indeed giving up before you get to the good part so don't let that happen.

In fact, your struggles are nothing compared with some of the people that are out there right now making a great living and enjoying their career. A lot of people fail multiple tests, get rejected by several companies, and go through all sorts of problems before things finally smooth out for them. So your struggles may feel monumental to you but your situation is nothing unique.

Stay with it. Keep working hard. You'll get there.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

You failed... so what? I failed backing once and got it right the second time. I failed the road test twice for stalling and impeding traffic... even though I had the best scores of the week. I still got my CDL in the end. Now I'm in my own truck.. and guess what my trainer did all the backing so now I'm out here solo trying to learn the backing on my own.

Take a few deep breaths and try to relax a bit. Tnt for me was much worse than psd. I hated it but got through it. I wanted to quit several times. But... now I ha e my own truck and honestly not only is it less stressful than training... but it's less stressful than the postal job i had for the last 18 years. If you love to drive do not give up until you are solo. When YOU are in control things will be much different. Now I only worry about which teuck stop o want to eat and shower in ;)

Good luck

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.

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Dutch's Comment
member avatar

Deezo, you will begin to settle down eventually. However, you can never let your guard down, when you are sharing the road with the public, or just simply rolling through a parking lot. In reality, this is one of the biggest reasons truck drivers make above average money. If it were as simple as driving a car, anyone could pull it off, and then the pay scale would be close to minimum wage.

The problem right now, is that you are having to multi-task a lot of different things, and it is difficult for most people at first. Once you have done these things over and over, the multi-tasking will seem a little easier.

Remember, repetition is the mother of skill.

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