Old School Responds To Criticisms After Busting The Free Agency Myth

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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The short version: Old School has written an article in response to a criticism regarding a previous article he had written. Here is the new article:

Old School Responds To Criticisms After Busting The Free Agency Myth

Here's the long version:

Old School recently wrote an article called Busting The Free Agent Myth In Trucking where he dispelled the notion that new truck drivers fresh out of private truck driving schools have a rather powerful position as "free agents" in the trucking market.

Well this certainly wasn't the news some people wanted to hear.

We received an email from one person who was particularly annoyed and felt that TruckingTruth is overly negative and discouraging to new drivers. It turns out that some people would prefer to believe false notions than to be given the cold, hard facts. This person in particular came right out and said so:

I understand trucking is a very tough and demanding job but some of it would be better left unsaid and let people learn that on their own.

- Anonymous Emailer

In other words, don't tell us trucking is tough. Allow us believe it's easy and then we can learn the hard way that it's not!

Like they say, ignorance is bliss, right?

smile.gif

Here is the full email from this person. I'm going to keep this person anonymous:

Why are the articles on this site and others always so negitive toward new drivers? [They all say], "You dont know ****, you are not going to get ****, you are ****, expect more ****." If people want to hear more negitive bull**** there are plenty of places to get it, they dont need that from you.

Supposedly there are plenty of trucking jobs out there. People want to find helpful information on a career in trucking. Thats why they come to sites like this. I understand a dose of reality but that's not what we get. It comes across as "I've been doing this for 100 years and it's my way or the highway". Nobody wants to hear that ****. How about some encouragement. How about telling about when companies raise driver pay?

Find a successful lease driver and tell how he or she goes about being successful. I understand a high percentage of lease drivers fail. I seriously doubt its 100% though. Leasing even as a relative newbie is a route people can take. We don't want to hear, "Dont do it." We want to hear, "You may fail but if you want to try, this is what you need to do to be successful."

Instead [of being told], "You are never going to get to be with your family," how about a story about a driver who works his ass off for twenty years but was able to put his children through college?

How about an article comparing starting truck driver pay to starting pay in other industries?

Instead [of telling us] a story basically saying you are an idiot if you think you are a free agent coming out of school in trucking, explain what it means to be a free agent in the trucking industry and the difference between a veteran free agent and a rookie free agent without all the negativity.

Its no wonder the trucking industry is looked down upon. All the negativity only breeds more negativity. I understand trucking is a very tough and demanding job but some of it would be better left unsaid and let people learn that on their own.

- Anonymous Emailer

So check out Old School's response as he breaks down the email and responds to one beautiful little nugget at a time:

Old School Responds To Criticisms After Busting The Free Agency Myth

We'd love to hear your comments!

Colin K.'s Comment
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"I understand trucking is a very tough and demanding job but some of it would be better left unsaid and let people learn that on their own.

- Anonymous Emailer"

I've lingered here for almost two years, researching and debating about going into trucking. I couldn't disagree more with the above statement. I am very thankful for this site, and a few others that I have found, that take the time to try and educate new people about the trucking business. I'm glad they did because, if I had gone into this blind, I'm not so sure I would be able to handle the realities of trucking very well.

You know where I haven't found information that explains the realities about life as a trucker? On the official websites of the various trucking companies. How crazy is that? Yes, they have videos and articles about their company, but it is obvious that they were produced by their PR department. It's all puppies and rainbows.

Yes, they should publicize the good things about their company, but they should also give a potential applicant a realistic idea of what to expect out there on the road. If they did, perhaps their failure rate of new applicants would be lower. That would also save the recruiters some time, and the company some money.

Speaking as someone who used to work in HR for local government, I'd rather have fewer applicants, with a high percentage of becoming a successful hire, than I would to have tons of applicants with a low success rate.

Just my two cents from somebody currently going through the recruiting process.

Stay safe out there everybody! Colin K.

Bill F.'s Comment
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Apparently some still don't understand the meaning of the word truth in this website's name...

Sno-boy's Comment
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I read the original and the reply. I have had my Class A for about 8 months. I can't complain about my treatment so far. I work for a logistics company on call and am paid by the on duty hour not miles. Out over night (my option) as often as I like or many time out and home in my bed that night. I am staying with them as I have learned a lot and this particular company has never so much offered one word of criticism. I have cleared as much as $1200 or as little at $400 in a week. This works for me, others ?? Maybe not. I am grateful to learn at my own pace and if I want, I can go full time with this company upon asking. I am very happy with my company and situation with only being a CDL holder since July 1, 2017.

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.
Nordic Nomadic's Comment
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Old School,

All of you here on TT have been nothing less than instrumental in helping me navigate through this new path in trucking. Thank you sir for all you do.

Lawrence

Diver Driver's Comment
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It sounds like some people are just shopping for answers, and don't care about the truth. I think we're all guilty of it from time to time, but Geeze o Petes man, c'mon.

Didn't we all have that dream of driving that long nose truck down the highway without a care in the world ? We may even had thought about having a pet chimpanzee with us.

I'm grateful for trucking truth being honest. The folks here have given me nothing but great and honest advice.

Wayne R.'s Comment
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This website/blog/tutorial is the best thing to happen to new truckers.

I learned far more from this site than my CDL School. I'm out here for over 5 years now, but from my first year on, I've been able to help others with some of their questions. You'd be surprised how many times I get a driver showing me his CAT Scale ticket and then ask me how the Tandems should be adjusted. Stuff like that.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
member avatar

What planet is that emailer on???? He sure has not followed along on any threads more than a line or two. He probably only looked for something that was a negative to start with. I’ve been on here a little over 4 years now. All be it some gaps of disappearing. But I always have reappeared because this is a place too get HONEST advice no strings attached. Brett you have assembled a terrific group of moderators and all I can say too all of you, Is too please keep it up.

Just my 2 cents

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.

Jrod's Comment
member avatar

It sounds like some people are just shopping for answers, and don't care about the truth. I think we're all guilty of it from time to time, but Geeze o Petes man, c'mon.

Didn't we all have that dream of driving that long nose truck down the highway without a care in the world ? We may even had thought about having a pet chimpanzee with us.

I'm grateful for trucking truth being honest. The folks here have given me nothing but great and honest advice.

I just don't get where he felt all the negative vibes? Has he ever been to another trucking blog or trucking Facebook page or Reddit page about trucking? This is about to most upbeat, supportive place you are going to find on the internet about trucking.

2 More things -

1. Was the email actually anonymous or were you just protecting the innocent? Maybe it was Mr. Barradas from TTR trying to stop you from encroaching on his territory! (lol, I'm kidding!)

2. Diver Driver - do I know you? It's Jerrod from Greater Omaha Express... I remember talking with a really cool driver who was a diver down in LA but I don't think we ever got him on here...

Another greater blog from Old School - thanks for all you do!

Doc's Comment
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Wow - nice job Old School, Random teaching moment - I think not - more like an in your face encyclopedia of real world experiences and sound advice. I haven't been on TT for too long, in trucking for 12 years now, but when our paths crossed last year I sent Brett and the gang an email thanking them for the unvarnished take on so many great topics. We need more light dispelling the BS and misinformation that fills our minds, lives and inboxes, pure and simple. Eliminating (or refraining from) the use of some words in our speech (always, never, everybody) would go a long ways to having a critical thinking discussion, which you guys have done a great service to. In an industry with turnover rates near 90 % at the large cut your teeth carriers we need better more straightforward information up front. The lone article (maybe just the headline) that pops into my mind that I took exception with is "When's the best time to become and owner operator? Never" At the twelve year point I'd say - "Oh that is just flat out wrong IMO" - and have some really hard to overcome arguments about our path. At year one through four I would have said " Here sign on the line to buy my MC number " Easy business to get into, hard (not impossible) to stay into, heavy price to personally pay if your not informed of what it is really like. Knowledge is power - keep learning. In construction it's measure twice - cut once.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

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