Podcast #15: Is Trucking Worth It?

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey everyone, we have another new episode of our podcast "The Road Home" and it's titled:

Is Trucking Worth It?

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Truck driving is an incredibly demanding job that requires a lot of risk, sacrifice, stress, and often times being away from home and family for long periods. The pay is solid and the equipment nowadays is really nice, but is trucking really worth it in the end? We'll take a look at the upsides and downsides of trucking and I'll give you my personal opinion on whether it's worth it or not.

Enjoy!

Is Trucking Worth It?

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.
Don R.'s Comment
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Is trucking worth it??? I think YES even though I am not a trucker yet, I will be entering the field very soon as Schneider is sending me to a 3 day truck refresher school in Minnesota In the first week of May then 18 days of training at Green Bay, WI. at Schneider Co. Starting out at .36 CPM , been reading about some companies will pay .52 CPM if that is true?

Read also that USA trucking raised the CPM rates for their drivers and that Ohio passed a bill to try to get more new truckers trained and hired. A CDL magazine also stated that more drivers are staying with a company longer!

Anyhow, from reading blogs, quotes from this site and other sites be it online magazine articles or what not about life as a OTR driver I am glad that I am single & used to be alone that I feel I can adjust to be gone a lot and not be concerned about "home time" Hoping to drive a lot of miles in a week, then where ever I am at to take the 34 hours reset at the location I am at & sight see it...

Like Brett said he went to games and so on to make good memories and I plan to do the same! The citizens of USA would quickly learn the need for truckers if all trucks stopped for a few days to a week & see how quickly the products are gone from the stores shelves and not be restocked until trucking is re-started!

I learned from reading on "Indeed" or "Glass door" that people who work at Schneider are given a number instead of use the drivers name and they complain about that versus some smaller companies will be "family friendly" and use the persons name. I imagine that Schneider is very big & has a lot of employees that the number system works best for them? I am not concerned if use numbers in place of my name as a future employee.

I was a journey man plumber in Chicago for 15 years before moving to Michigan so my "sweet" ex wife could move to get a job she was offered and at the time the plumbers union in Flint Michigan did not want me to join because the economy was bad and over 100 members were out of work and Michigan had different rules that I could not transfer my Illinois plumbers license to Michigan, so I worked as building maintenance worker a for a while then forced to leave on a "buy out".

Thru a funded job program I went to a six month truck driving school certified by the professional Truck Drivers institute last June of 2016, because of family issues I had to delay applying to truck companies, which is why I have to go to a refresher school before going to training.

The only thing I am concerned about is I have had 3 DOT physicals done so far and each time I had to go to a hearing aid center to use the sound field testing booth because I could not hear the person whisper behind me using my hearing aids, but inside booth I could hear the sounds & pass the sound threshold limit and after the 3 day refresher I will meet the Schneider medical team and odds are be sent to the sound booth again and if fail that then I will not be able to complete the training course, at times I think I should apply for the Federal hearing exemption wavier form? I will wait before crossing that bridge if I need to?

Looking forward to learn about life as a Trucker very soon and will practice safe driving. Be safe everyone & have a great day!

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.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Aaron S's Comment
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Really love the pod cast! thanks for them and keep 'em coming, at your convenience !

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Thanks Aaron!

I learned from reading on "Indeed" or "Glass door" that people who work at Schneider are given a number instead of use the drivers name and they complain about that versus some smaller companies will be "family friendly" and use the persons name

The "family friendly atmosphere" thing is a common myth you'll hear from people. You need a small company to be treated like family, a large company will treat you like a number and they don't care about you. Totally not true at all. In fact I talk about that in a different podcast:

Episode 9: Are Major Carriers Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

With any company you're going to have people you're less than thrilled with or people who hate their jobs, or whatever. The size of the company doesn't matter in that regard, there is no Utopian company and some people are simply prone to large emotional swings or bad attitudes.

But all companies make money the same way - by keeping those wheels turning. If you're a hard working, reliable professional with a great attitude you'll get to know important people in any size company and I assure you there will be plenty of people who know who you are, many of which you may be unaware of.

In fact, I'll give you an example and you'll love it! A guy who worked for Schneider, of all places, got himself into a huge mess and the company had every right to fire him for what he did. I'm not going to give away any of the story, I'll let you read it from him. He doesn't mention the name of the company in the article but it was Schneider, which is what triggered the memory of it.

I promise anyone who fears that these large carriers don't notice a great attitude or don't care about their drivers are gonna love this story:

How Having A Great Attitude Earned Me A Second Chance

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank YOU! I also read about some who got fired for an accident even if not they were not at fault. But if at fault good to know a company could still keep the driver on & give him/her another chance! I can understand taking eyes away from the front for a few seconds might cause a problem like I read about here, hitting the light pole. Reminds me of movies or a TV show in where they actor is talking to the passenger look at the other actor "while driving" Obviously in the show they are looking away longer then normal because they are being towed with a camera on them. Many times i say out loud, keep your eyes on the road dude! I am a happy go lucky type of a guy, good attitude, as some of you have said in blogs/podcast, be positive and have a good attitude! Will do! Be safe everyone!

Thanks Aaron!

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I learned from reading on "Indeed" or "Glass door" that people who work at Schneider are given a number instead of use the drivers name and they complain about that versus some smaller companies will be "family friendly" and use the persons name

double-quotes-end.png

The "family friendly atmosphere" thing is a common myth you'll hear from people. You need a small company to be treated like family, a large company will treat you like a number and they don't care about you. Totally not true at all. In fact I talk about that in a different podcast:

Episode 9: Are Major Carriers Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

With any company you're going to have people you're less than thrilled with or people who hate their jobs, or whatever. The size of the company doesn't matter in that regard, there is no Utopian company and some people are simply prone to large emotional swings or bad attitudes.

But all companies make money the same way - by keeping those wheels turning. If you're a hard working, reliable professional with a great attitude you'll get to know important people in any size company and I assure you there will be plenty of people who know who you are, many of which you may be unaware of.

In fact, I'll give you an example and you'll love it! A guy who worked for Schneider, of all places, got himself into a huge mess and the company had every right to fire him for what he did. I'm not going to give away any of the story, I'll let you read it from him. He doesn't mention the name of the company in the article but it was Schneider, which is what triggered the memory of it.

I promise anyone who fears that these large carriers don't notice a great attitude or don't care about their drivers are gonna love this story:

How Having A Great Attitude Earned Me A Second Chance

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Fire Marshal Bill's Comment
member avatar

Truck driving is like anything else. You get out of it what you put in.

It is a hard and unforgiving job, one that I wouldn't do for a long time. But it is fun driving big rigs.

It gives you alot of time to reflect and plan for your own future.

All companies are not bad contrary to what is talked about on the internet.

Be honest with yourself, be an adult and take ownership/responsibility for your own actions and words, research things in the industry and take alot of truck stop talk with a grain of salt.

Dealing with the people in the logistical business may not be fun. Do your job. Period.

Just do your job 100% everyday and let others slack off. And if you can't.... Be honest and let someone know.

Communicate with everyone and your life will be easy.

Don't be like Jimmy Strothers (know it all trucker) up the street. He's super truck driver.

Make trucking fun and it will be.

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