How Do OTR Drivers Manage To Stay In Good Health?

Topic 24123 | Page 2

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JuiceBox's Comment
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Most carriers offer 401k programs with some level of matching.

Pensions? None that I know of...

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Matching funds...so every dollar I put into 401, I get back two.

My grandfather got a union pension from Operating Engineers. He put in 15 years as a hard hat on heavy equipment and retired in 1973.

Depends on the company. You'll find that most companies will match up to a certain percent. So let's say they match up to 4% then if you only put in 4% that will be a dollar for dollar match. Obviously, if you put in 7% then you will not be matched dollar for dollar but you will still get 4% matched, if that makes sense?

Todd Holmes's Comment
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Todd, I don't know where you've been keeping yourself, but pensions are a financial tool that very few corporations are using anymore.

I have not worked for a CORPORATION since 1987. And then that was only a burger joint. All my employment since has been military, government and sole proprietors, mom-n-pop shops. I'm not savvy at all about corporate employment.

Old School, how are you now planning for your old age right now? Will you drive a truck 'til you die of old age?

I guess I should just squirrel away as much money as I can while I can. I know how to live a very conservative lifestyle. I want to buy a house eventually and put room tenants in it for extra revenue.

Todd Holmes's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

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Most carriers offer 401k programs with some level of matching.

Pensions? None that I know of...

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Matching funds...so every dollar I put into 401, I get back two.

My grandfather got a union pension from Operating Engineers. He put in 15 years as a hard hat on heavy equipment and retired in 1973.

double-quotes-end.png

Depends on the company. You'll find that most companies will match up to a certain percent. So let's say they match up to 4% then if you only put in 4% that will be a dollar for dollar match. Obviously, if you put in 7% then you will not be matched dollar for dollar but you will still get 4% matched, if that makes sense?

Yes, it makes sense. I better bank on putting as much money as I can in the bank for my old age and take this pension stuff with a grain of salt.

A UNION pension got both my grandpa and grandma by well until they died of old age. They never drew a penny of Social Security though grandpa paid into 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.
Steve L.'s Comment
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I’m sorry, but you seem to be getting way ahead of yourself.

If you have marketable skills, you can make plenty of money in lots of ways. If you have no marketable skills (or they won’t land you the jobs you want), suffice it to say you can make a reasonable amount of money driving a truck and save for retirement. Don’t make it more complicated.

Beware of paralysis by analysis. You can research until you know all there is to know. But, if you don’t ACT, it won’t matter. If you wait for all the lights to go green, you’ll never get to the store.

Grumpy Old Man is right. I lost 45lbs AFTER I started driving. I’ve seen plenty of drivers pass DOT physicals and I don’t know how they carry all that weight around. Seriously!

Get moving man! You’re not getting any younger.

Good luck!

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Beware of paralysis by analysis. You can research until you know all there is to know. But, if you don’t ACT, it won’t matter. If you wait for all the lights to go green, you’ll never get to the store.

This is an excellent point. Think about how much money you're losing every week you wait for this. An experienced, hard working, productive driver will make around $70,000. So it doesn't take long for a little procrastination to become very expensive, and there's no getting that time back.

Another very important trait for almost anyone who will thrive in this industry is being adventurous. OTR trucking is a nonstop adventure. No two days are alike. It's a highly dynamic environment where you're always flying by the seat of your pants, adjusting to ever-changing conditions, and trying to take on challenges as they appear in real time. You can plan things out to the last detail, and usually within a few hours your plans are completely blown up by traffic, weather, breakdowns, schedule changes, DOT inspections, and a million other things.

So if this describes you, trucking is probably not going to be your cup of tea:

  • You like to know what's coming next
  • You like to plan out the details ahead and stick to the plan
  • You like to know the outcome before you even begin the endeavor
  • You prefer to stay in your comfort zone
  • You're very set in your ways

That's just not the nature of OTR or regional trucking. Everything is constantly changing. It's totally unpredictable. You have to be creative, think on the fly, and "roll with the changes" as REO Speedwagon would tell ya.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

The only “Ramps” I have done are at rest areas. Even then I try to get as close to the parking area as I can get.

Brian's Comment
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Wrong thread LDRSHIP. smile.gif

Chiefmac's Comment
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On the subject of health, check out Kevin Rutherford's website Letstruck.com and his show on XM Radio's Road Dog Channel.

Chuck S.'s Comment
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Watch what you eat. Seriously!

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

Here is what I do, YMMV:

1) No unhealthful snacks in the truck - because I can resist anything but temptation. When overweight, carry very little food in general. If snacks are there, I'll eat them....all of them. People who don't struggle with their weight often don't understand this, and they may be better off carrying plenty of food with them.

2) Keep a small supply of healthful food in the truck so that you are never far from something healthy to reach, but don't keep it where you can reach it while driving. In my fridge, I have yogurt, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and some cheese sticks. In the pantry, I have grass-fed beef sticks. If you want to cook in the truck you'll need more stuff obviously, but I don't do that. I just carry some food for times that I have to park where food isn't available. Get a Hot Logic and some disposable cooking pans for it. If you get a restaurant meal, eat half of it and put the other half in one of the pans...put that in the fridge. A day or two later, put that meal in the Hot Logic at the beginning of your shift and have that for dinner at end of shift.

3) If overweight, only eat once a day, and skip some days - IF your doctor concurs. I'm not a doctor, have never even played one and TV, and don't mean to provide medical advice. But not eating is the surest way to avoid obesity. My doctor told me, "the best exercise is to push yourself away from the table". For me, the best way to deal with this is to eat only dinner and skip at least one day weekly. It would be better to have only breakfast or lunch and not dinner, but I can't make that work so I don't.

4) Walk every chance you get. Park far from the doors you need to get to when possible and walk. When you are waiting to be loaded/unloaded, after you do whatever you need to do for trip, get out and walk. In the event of inclement weather, dress appropriately and get out and walk anyway. As the Norwegians said, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

5) Purposefully take a long walk at the end of every drive shift, and/or use those exercise rooms you mentioned that are often at TA/Petro and hotels, some company terminals. Get at least 30 minutes in daily. Yeah, often it may just be around the perimeter of a truck stop parking lot, but it is what it is. Just get it done (avoiding stepping on the shoe people's toes).

6) Once you get in decent shape, if physically able to run, take a run in the evening. Unfortunately, I can't do that due to a spinal issue.

7) Drink a lot of water and not much else. For sure don't drink anything that has calories, and don't drink any sodas whether regular or diet.

Sorry if any of this sounds preachy, but you asked rofl-1.gif

I ask because every now and then I see something on the TV news that truckers have health issues as obesity.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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