Dilemma

Topic 13980 | Page 1

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Belluavir's Comment
member avatar

I'm sure this isn't a unique issue. Trucking has been on the top of the maybe pile for a long time. It scares me honestly, but at the same time I can't let it go, when I think I have, it pops back up on the top of the pile again.

I live in Springfield IL, the middle of the state, the closest big city is 1 and half hours away. There just isn't much opportunity here, I look and I see part time jobs, jobs that pay less than what I am making now (about 22k a year), jobs that look better but I'm unqualified for, or jobs that have better pay, I'm qualified for, but I would hate (like sales jobs). I'm pretty lonely, no friends, I have a husband but we're not too close, I have no hobbies other than an MMO that I play. I think often that I'm giving up on something by going on the road, but what I think I'm giving up aren't things that I'm actually doing at the moment, things that I want to do but I can't because I'm stuck here.

I look at trucks rolling down the road and I get this covetous feeling and I can almost see myself gliding down the highway in one, watching the sun rise in one place and set in another. I love driving, I don't what it is about it, but even when I was a little kid I would hold up a frisby or something and pretend that I was driving around. I was driving interstate road trips with my family before I got my license, I'd drive for 8 or more hours at a time no problem.

It doesn't make much sense but something that is holding me back is that I don't think I want to drive trucks for the rest of my life. I'd like to become a master electrician and start my own business. Assuming that I'd make more than 22k a year trucking, I figure I'd be able to save up enough money to pay for relocating and the costs of the apprenticeship. I could skip the trucking part, maybe six more months and I could save up the 1500 or so I'd need, but I'd end up stuck here in Springfield for five years after I got hired. That's not an appealing prospect... but besides that the road is calling to me... I sort of feel like trucking is an experience I need to have. I'm not sure why exactly, when you get down to it it's just a job after all and thanks to this site I feel I don't have unrealistic expectations of what it'd be like.

I feel very reluctant to get the ball rolling, I don't have any roadblocks standing in my way now like poor driving record or work history and I can pass a hair test, so what's left are the roadblocks in my mind. When I rationalize my reluctance I find that the rationalizations fall short, the potential benefits seeming to outweigh the costs by a wide margin. But perhaps the feeling of reluctance is what I should be listening to.

Will my lack of certainty set up me to fail? Should I forget about the whole thing and keep trying to find a better regular job?

I'm sorry this is so rambling, had a lot to get off my chest and I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read it and I would also appreciate whatever thoughts you've got on the matter.

Thanks

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Will my lack of certainty set up me to fail?

Confidence and commitment are huge factors when it comes to being successful at anything, but especially at something difficult, dangerous, and complex like trucking. You can't go into something like this with one foot on each side of the fence thinking, "I'll just try this for a short time and if I like it I'll stay, if not I'll quit" because it's so difficult in the beginning that you'll find yourself walking away in no time.

But at the same time there's nothing easier than walking away from trucking. No one is holding a gun to your head and telling you that driving is your life for the next 20 years. If you want to walk away you can at any time and no one will really even notice. No big deal.

So I feel like you really have to commit yourself to trucking for one full year and stick it out no matter what if you really want to know if trucking is for you. You can't always tell how much you'll really like trucking during those first few months. It's so overwhelming, so exhausting, and such a radical change in lifestyle that it takes time to absorb it all and become proficient enough that you'll enjoy it as much as you had hoped.

I've never really liked being in limbo. I'm always happiest when I'm on a mission of some sort. When I'm not sure what direction I want to go in with my life I don't sleep well, I'm frustrated, and I tend to obsess about it until I make a decision. Once I make that decision it's like someone flipped a switch and suddenly I'm so fired up that once again I can't sleep for all of the excitement! I love being on a mission. I love having a challenging path to follow. It's what I live for.

I think one of the best examples showing the power of committing yourself to something is ChickieMonster's.

Read this one first:

I Have A Serious Question

Then read this one:

And We're Off!

Her story is as enjoyable as any you'll find here because her enthusiasm is contagious. She made the choice to go with a particular company but started having serious doubts right away about being in the wrong place. She had one foot on the bus going home but we were able to convince her that she could have all the success in the world right where she was at. Once she made the commitment to sticking with that company and giving it everything she had you could instantly feel her energy change. She suddenly went from shaky and nervous to being filled with excitement and passion for the challenges she was about to face. She attacked her training with vigor, spent a short time on the road with a trainer, and just announced that she successfully passed all of the testing and has been upgraded to a solo driver position.

I think it's easy to say that her high level of commitment to the path that she had chosen was just the spark she needed. When you commit hard to something and you refuse to settle for anything less than success it changes most of that uncertainty to enthusiasm. Your fears dissolve as your entire focus turns toward doing the things you have to do to get down that path. You're so busy learning the ropes and preparing for the next step that you simply don't have enough time to worry about what might happen if things don't work out.

From what you've told us I think you would probably have the same reaction ChickieMonster had when she committed to being successful on the path she was on. If you decide to go for it, everything will change. Just be determined to get to that one year mark no matter what and by then you'll know if trucking is the path that's right for you. Knowing that you'll have a year of difficult challenges and exciting adventures ahead of you will light a fire under you in a big way. But in the back of your mind you know you can walk away at anytime and that should take a lot of the fear out of starting down that path.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Belluavir, you've been a TT member for a year and a half, and you've made over 100 posts yourself. So you've probably gotten a good idea of the TT version of a trucker life style.

Now you've written out most of you're thoughts. This does help settle your choice.

I've been driving for over one year (not counting school/ training time). No one on TT can make your decision for you. But here's some thoughts:

I'm sorry you feel lonely both socially and personally. Springfield, IL, is not a small town. Maybe your circle of friends is smaller than you like, but that's up to you. Maybe your marriage situation, also isn't what you thought it would be. That is something you and your husband need to work on, if you decide to.

Are you looking at truck driving as a way to escape your current life? You will certainly be alone in your truck. If your goal in life is to be an electrician, I suggest you focus on that. If you believe you can make and save up money for your future career by driving, well that can be done, but I doubt the average truck driver is able to do that.

Belluavir, I don't know how old you are, but if you're under 30, you still have the big part of your life ahead of you. (I'm 65, so my scale if time is a different perspective.)

As someone who doesn't know you, my suggestion is to work more directly on saving up your $1500 for your dream job without taking the huge diversion into trucking, which will cost about $3000 you'll have to pay one way or another anyway. The path to a master electrician will take a lot more time than you expect.

Get a student loan, apply for an apprenticeship soon, and make the sparks fly.

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