The Thoughts From A 75 Yr Old Retired Driver Of 45 Yrs OTR

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Mark F. ( DAYBREAKER )'s Comment
member avatar

Morning drivers, The other day I was talking with my father who drove tankers for 45 yrs before he called it quits. I asked him what he thought and how I thought it would be a cool thing to keep the legacy going. His CB handle was DAYBREAKER. I said what do you think if I kept your handle going? I think that would be cool hah? His answer was this. I missed you guys growing up. I've had 2 failed marriages. I made good money back in the day, but what did it get me? Find another career. Trucking is a hard life and in todays world not worth the money and aggravation. Mind you he is 75 yrs old now. I just looked at him and said you missed the entire message here. He said no you did. That is typical of our relationship. All that did was motivate me even more to be a trucker. I know this sounds sappy, but just thought I would share this with you. The thoughts from a 75 yr old retired driver of 45 yrs otr. Be safe! Mark F.

CB Handle:

This is the nickname people use on the CB

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

My dad drove for 44 years and he would have said something quite similar.

He passed away a few years ago and would be rolling in his grave to know I was driving OTR. Just follow your heart and realize that trucking is a lifestyle not suited to everyone and it's tough out here and you do have to make sacrifices to do this job.

When people asked me what my family thought about me becoming a truck driver after 20 years in healthcare, my reply was this: "I really don't know what they think, because I didn't ask for their permission." In reality my children who are grown for the most part, knew I'd love it out here and were ok with it. I gave up (happily) years of my life to devote just to them. It's my turn now.

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.

Mark F. ( DAYBREAKER )'s Comment
member avatar

Morning Sue, From my experience in talking with old timers is they all pretty much say the samething. I've always wanted to be a trucker. I'm not sure why but it has always been in me to be out on the road going from place to place. Can't explain it really.... At this point in my life, I'm 55 yrs old this yr., been married for almost 30 yrs., the kids are grown and there are now 9 grandkids. All of which are scattered across the country. The wife and I are not the clingy, need to spend every moment with you type of people. In fact we haven't taken a vacation together in more than 10 yrs. When we met I was a helper on a furniture hauling truck and was gone 4 days a week. She put the breaks on that if I wanted her in my life. I reminded her of that recently and she said " lol that was many yrs. ago and I can handle it now". Primarily because she takes off to visit the grandkids for 1 week at a time once a mth. I visit mine in Fl. once or twice a yr. So at this time in our life it would work just fine. :) I am not the type of person that listens much to what others think about something I am doing or want to do. There are always those that have something negative to say about one thing or another. So I make a decision and go with it. I've always been that way. I think things through as thorough as possible, and once I've made a decision I go with it. Good or bad! This is in my heart and blood. I just hope I can jump through all the hoops to get there. My dad asked me why did I want to do this and my answer was to see the country and make a living doing it. He said well son? The best time to drive is at night when the idiots are supposed to be sleeping and you can make the most miles. So when the day breaks ( hence the cb handle) you find a place to sleep and let the idiots do their thing. So you wont see the country from your sleeper or in the dark. Find a different career to make yourself happy. Gotta love it. M.

My dad drove for 44 years and he would have said something quite similar.

He passed away a few years ago and would be rolling in his grave to know I was driving OTR. Just follow your heart and realize that trucking is a lifestyle not suited to everyone and it's tough out here and you do have to make sacrifices to do this job.

When people asked me what my family thought about me becoming a truck driver after 20 years in healthcare, my reply was this: "I really don't know what they think, because I didn't ask for their permission." In reality my children who are grown for the most part, knew I'd love it out here and were ok with it. I gave up (happily) years of my life to devote just to them. It's my turn now.

CB Handle:

This is the nickname people use on the CB

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Mark, when in my early 50's, I finally gave-in to the desire to drive a semi. It was the right time for me. Like you my kids are grown and live in different parts of the country. Since I had reached a cross-roads in my life's career, I took the leap. Look at it this way,...you might get to see your kids more often and actually get paid for the trip.

I can however somewhat relate to the conversation you had with your Grandfather. Two of my closest friends are veteran truckers,...although very supportive and helpful when I was in the beginning of the process, they too are jaded from many decades of driving, pay that doesn't keep pace with current living standards and all of the government intervention where by definition; we are still considered unskilled labor. Even so my trucker friends never dissuaded me from pursuing this. Go figure.

There is indeed a lot of BS, but I still believe it's well worth it and to this day I still look forward to each new load. When it's in your blood, there is no denying it...

Good luck to you.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I must have heard people on the CB a thousand times say, "If my kid wanted to become a trucker I'd kill him!"

Baffling.

I mean, your father was prime working age in a time when you would have your choice of high paying factory jobs that would support the entire family comfortably and get you home for dinner every night. It's not like anyone was making him do it. I wonder what his response would be to that? Why didn't he do something else if it was that terrible?

Baffling.

For me, the biggest thing I was looking for was an adventure. I wanted a job that was unique, interesting, and challenging. Nothing to me is worse than knowing what comes next. To do something that is tedious or predictable makes me want to gouge my eyes out. And yet most people thrive in that environment. Most of my family worked in factories and some still do to this day. They absolutely loved it. I tried it for a bit and all I could think about was whether or not the roof was high enough to jump off of for a clean suicide!!

rofl-3.gif

Without a doubt you have to be the right person for trucking and trucking has to be right for you. I absolutely loved my years on the road. I could make a list from the ceiling to the floor of all of the great times I've had, all of the great sites I've seen, and all of the lessons I've learned from it. By nature I'm the restless type so nothing for me lasts forever. After 15 years I was ready for new adventures and new lifestyles. But those years were priceless.

Mark, keep in mind that you can always give trucking a shot and walk away anytime. I mean, even six months on the road is going to leave you with enough memories to last a lifetime. You'd be telling stories to your Great Great Grandchildren just from that short time on the road. So there isn't a whole lot of risk in giving it a shot if you think you'd like it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mark F. ( DAYBREAKER )'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, I absolutely agree with you. Why on earth would you do something for so many yrs if it were that miserable? I don't get it. But some people are just negative in all they do and are never happy. That however will not change my mind. It just drives me even harder. Be safe. Mark

I must have heard people on the CB a thousand times say, "If my kid wanted to become a trucker I'd kill him!"

Baffling.

I mean, your father was prime working age in a time when you would have your choice of high paying factory jobs that would support the entire family comfortably and get you home for dinner every night. It's not like anyone was making him do it. I wonder what his response would be to that? Why didn't he do something else if it was that terrible?

Baffling.

For me, the biggest thing I was looking for was an adventure. I wanted a job that was unique, interesting, and challenging. Nothing to me is worse than knowing what comes next. To do something that is tedious or predictable makes me want to gouge my eyes out. And yet most people thrive in that environment. Most of my family worked in factories and some still do to this day. They absolutely loved it. I tried it for a bit and all I could think about was whether or not the roof was high enough to jump off of for a clean suicide!!

rofl-3.gif

Without a doubt you have to be the right person for trucking and trucking has to be right for you. I absolutely loved my years on the road. I could make a list from the ceiling to the floor of all of the great times I've had, all of the great sites I've seen, and all of the lessons I've learned from it. By nature I'm the restless type so nothing for me lasts forever. After 15 years I was ready for new adventures and new lifestyles. But those years were priceless.

Mark, keep in mind that you can always give trucking a shot and walk away anytime. I mean, even six months on the road is going to leave you with enough memories to last a lifetime. You'd be telling stories to your Great Great Grandchildren just from that short time on the road. So there isn't a whole lot of risk in giving it a shot if you think you'd like it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I totally "get" that feeling Mark, G-Town, and Brett. At 53 I decided to pursue this because i love adventure and a challenge. I get real "itchy" if I'm in one place too long. For the last 5 years of my healthcare career i worked travel contracts for exactly the same reason but took my kids with me and homeschooled them lol. I love my hometime but after two days i get that itch again and so ready to get back to my truck. I feel at home in my truck, at peace, and love the day to day challenges this lifestyle brings.

Robert M. (Opey)'s Comment
member avatar

Same thing with me my father in law drove for over 30 years and he said almost the same thing to me. Lol

Now my momma always did say I was part gypsy... In the fact that I can't stay in one place to long, guess she was right have thought about driving off and on my whole life never would because of the family. I worked in a factory for 15 years then went to work in state government for 15 years.

Now that my daughter is grown and has a family of her own, and me at 50 years old I'm gonna do what I want to do for me. The woman in my life supports me 110% she has even said that she would take off work from time to time and ride with me.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I totally "get" that feeling Mark, G-Town, and Brett. At 53 I decided to pursue this because i love adventure and a challenge. I get real "itchy" if I'm in one place too long. For the last 5 years of my healthcare career i worked travel contracts for exactly the same reason but took my kids with me and homeschooled them lol. I love my hometime but after two days i get that itch again and so ready to get back to my truck. I feel at home in my truck, at peace, and love the day to day challenges this lifestyle brings.

Sue that's funny, I think we all have that "itch", that thing pulling us back into the cab after a couple of days off. I just came off a four day vacation, my eyes started to glaze-over on day three. Not many people understand this.

Cannot explain it, but I think we all have it.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Yes we do have it, indeed. That's what makes us truckers.

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