How Long?

Topic 14652 | Page 1

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Gladhand's Comment
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How long did it take for you guys to get comfortable with being solo? Lately I go from loving it, to hating it, to wondering why I am even doing this.

JakeBreak's Comment
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How long have you been solo? I felt like that the first 3 or 4 months and honestly I still have days where I think I should go find another line of work. But the good days always seem to out number the bad and as long as do I'll keep on trucking.

Gladhand's Comment
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How long have you been solo? I felt like that the first 3 or 4 months and honestly I still have days where I think I should go find another line of work. But the good days always seem to out number the bad and as long as do I'll keep on trucking.

Only 7 days. Still dealing with doubts and stress.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

It won't start leveling out for awhile. I've been out nearly 2 months and I still have days where I question why I'm doing this.

But good days? They are beyond amazing! Those days where it's just driving and peaceful, THAT'S why I keep pushing through the bad ones!

But it gets easier Devan. Each day that goes by you will be more and more comfortable. I used to white knuckle the steering wheel every time I had to go thru a city. Now I'm actually calm enough to give a running commentary about the crazy people around me!

Hang in there man! Find the joy and beauty in your surroundings, in the scenery, and just being able to cruise the highways in one of the coolest pieces of machinery on the road!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It won't start leveling out for awhile. I've been out nearly 2 months and I still have days where I question why I'm doing this.

But good days? They are beyond amazing! Those days where it's just driving and peaceful, THAT'S why I keep pushing through the bad ones!

But it gets easier Devan. Each day that goes by you will be more and more comfortable. I used to white knuckle the steering wheel every time I had to go thru a city. Now I'm actually calm enough to give a running commentary about the crazy people around me!

Hang in there man! Find the joy and beauty in your surroundings, in the scenery, and just being able to cruise the highways in one of the coolest pieces of machinery on the road!

Very true Chickie. I love those days on the open road with good music, but the delivery/pick up days can be hell. Thanks for the words of encouragment. I think i am just feeling homesick today too.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I 100% agree Devan! Delivery and pickup days are the hardest. Because you never know what you are going to be faced with.

A tip for you: I always look up my shippers and recievers on google satellite view. At least then I have some sort of idea what I might potentially be facing when I get there.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Jeremy G.'s Comment
member avatar

I have been solo for 3 months and I actually enjoy it. I am a loner I guess. I have a guy I talk to daily that I went to orientation with and that helps pass the time. But think of the good parts of the job. That's one thing you have to deal with, you have plenty of time to think. I just try to challenge myself to get to where I am going early. To make me stay more focused on what I am doing.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Trucking never gets easy. It's gets a heck of a lot easier in some ways, but the long days, the constant scrutiny, the traffic and road conditions, the risks you take, and the tight schedules you have to run if you want to make good money never change. It's always hard.

The first six months it gets easier by the week because you're learning so much so quickly. From six months to a year you keep learning at a pretty fast pace. From about 1 - 3 years into it you'll keep learning but it's at a much slower pace. You've already learned quite a bit at that point. I'd say from 3 - 5 years and beyond you're always trying to improve at everything you do but at that point there aren't too many situations you haven't faced and you've been running the gauntlet for quite a number of years already.

To me, so much of the skill set you develop and the enjoyment you get out of it comes down to your attitude toward everyday life out there. If you continue to make strides improving your skills and you learn to enjoy each moment as much as possible while letting the small stuff (which is most stuff) roll off your back you're going to be ahead of the game in every way:

  • You'll be more relaxed
  • You'll be more alert and aware of your surroundings
  • You won't get tired as quickly because you won't be wearing yourself out emotionally
  • You'll make fewer mistakes
  • You'll get more enjoyment from your encounters with the people you meet
  • You'll get along with and get treated better by dispatch and others at your company

Every facet of your life will be affected more by your attitude in the long run than by anything the job or other people you deal with can throw at you.

Here's something I think about quite a bit - it's something I refer to as "finish line syndrome":

Often times we'll tell ourselves "I'll be happy if......" or "I'll be happy when...." and it's always followed by some condition we're looking forward to - arriving somewhere, seeing someone, having something - some condition in the future. When you reach that 'finish line' you'll be happy. Problem is there's always a new finish line further out in the future before you ever reach the one you're chasing.

In trucking there's nothing but finish lines, right? The next few hours, the next delivery, that next paycheck, the end of this storm, the end of that traffic backup, getting to see your family, getting this freight unloaded - you can do that to yourself all day, every day. It's always easy out there to find 100 things to be aggravated about, whether it's your dispatcher or Obama or the weather or whatever.

But you'll notice that it's pretty common to meet veteran drivers that just seem to be so calm and relaxed and pleasant that it lightens your mood just being near them. They just have this pleasant demeanor like everything is just fine in the world. Well for some, that's something they're born with. They just have that personality. But for most it's a learned trait. It's something you practice. It's something you learn the hard way for a while by handling everything the wrong way and then over time you come to realize that being able to enjoy each moment of your day is something that's almost 100% in your control - it's a decision you make. Having a good day isn't something that happens to you. It's something you create first in your mind and then it manifests itself in the world around you. LIke I said above - people treat you better, you make smarter decisions, you have more fun with the people you meet, you make fewer mistakes.

Keeping a clear mind, having a friendly demeanor, and learning to enjoy the little stuff while letting the negative stuff roll off your back will go a long way toward making a better career for yourself out there. Everyone will get better at backing, navigating, and shifting. But not everyone will go on to have a long, successful, and enjoyable career out there. Learn to enjoy each moment. When you catch yourself venting about something you're aggravated about while looking ahead to the next 'finish line', be aware of what you're doing to yourself and snap out of it. Don't let yourself stew over something. Instead, count your blessings. There's a million of em.

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Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

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.
Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been at it for about 4 months now. I went through a period around 2-3 months where I didn't know if I wanted to do it any more because every week just seemed like a new series of frustrations. I guess I was feeling like it's a game where I have to make all my pickups and deliveries on time and if I didn't, I failed. But, in the job I'm in anyway, they give me assignments with pretty tight deadlines so it doesn't take much for it all to fall apart, and most of it's beyond my control, like. no empty trailer when I need one, or a traffic backup at 11PM when I thought it would be easy going. But when it does fall apart they just rearrange things to fix it. So I'm starting to feel more like it's just part of the game. My problem now is that I stay in the northeast and go over the same interstates again and again, so it's getting kind of tedious.

Is there anything in specific causing you stress?

Interstate:

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

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

I've been at it for about 4 months now. I went through a period around 2-3 months where I didn't know if I wanted to do it any more because every week just seemed like a new series of frustrations. I guess I was feeling like it's a game where I have to make all my pickups and deliveries on time and if I didn't, I failed. But, in the job I'm in anyway, they give me assignments with pretty tight deadlines so it doesn't take much for it all to fall apart, and most of it's beyond my control, like. no empty trailer when I need one, or a traffic backup at 11PM when I thought it would be easy going. But when it does fall apart they just rearrange things to fix it. So I'm starting to feel more like it's just part of the game. My problem now is that I stay in the northeast and go over the same interstates again and again, so it's getting kind of tedious.

Is there anything in specific causing you stress?

Time is one, I haven't been on time at all. I start planning at 45 MPH and I am still not on time. Also just all the things I have to figure out on my own. My mentor was all right, but it was also my fault for not asking enough questions. Lastly I would add Brett hit the nail on the head with the finish line syndrome. I focus too much on the next part of my career that I can't even focus on the present. This also leads to me getting overwhelmed. I just need to relax and take it as it comes.

Interstate:

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

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