Can I Physically Handle Trucking?

Topic 24125 | Page 1

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Cynthia H.'s Comment
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Hello, I have thoroughly enjoyed the wealth of information on this forum. I am motivated when I read Rainey D's comments. I especially enjoyed reading her article CVle about her first year as a driver because I'm very nervous. I'm still considering trucking however I don't want to end up in debt and no job. How soon in orientation do they let you know if you will be able to physically tackle the job of truck driving. I have no upper body strength so I'm worried about moving tandems , cranking look sending gear, etc.

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".

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

When you say you have no upper body strength what does that mean? Are your back shoulders, or arms damaged from injury or disease? If not can you lift a laundry basket to do laundry. Can you load your arms with grosery bags and carry them into the house? The answer to those questions will help us help you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Fitness matters a lot here but you can't exclude 'good will'. Do you have a license?

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Cynthia.

Although not a whole lot to go on here, I can offer a point of hope for you. One of our million mile drivers is barely 5’ nothin’ and has no problem cranking landing gear and slinging reefer bulkheads. I think you might be overly concerned with the amount and intensity of the physical work the average OTR driver performs.

Good luck to you.

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.

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m a 56 fixing to be 57 year old woman. I reach a grand total of 5’3. There are things in trucking that can cause a pause in your day; however u will quickly learn easier ways to do things. Trucking is a very fast growing career for women.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Cynthia H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info. I worked as a ramp agent for the airlines and it was.pretty physical. I'm a hard worker but having to lift 50-75 pounds is not going to be realistic for me. I guess all I can do is go to an orientation and see if i.pass a company physical fitness exam.

Hello, I have thoroughly enjoyed the wealth of information on this forum. I am motivated when I read Rainey D's comments. I especially enjoyed reading her article CVle about her first year as a driver because I'm very nervous. I'm still considering trucking however I don't want to end up in debt and no job. How soon in orientation do they let you know if you will be able to physically tackle the job of truck driving. I have no upper body strength so I'm worried about moving tandems , cranking look sending gear, etc.

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".

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

The only physical CFI uses is your DOT physical. We haul dry van. If you sling luggage, you can handle this. This is the least physical job I have ever had.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Cynthia, the physical is one of the first things done. If you don't pass the physical, you are never even considered for their training program. Therefore you will not be in debt to them for training that you never went through. Ease your mind and start the process, making sure you utilize our High Road CDL Training Program.

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.
Chuck S.'s Comment
member avatar

Depending on the company you choose, some have you walk a short distance with 2 or 3 different sets of weight. the most I was ever required to carry was 75 lbs. and had to walk with it 10 steps. then I was required to lift that same weight from a low shelf to a shelf that was about shoulder height to me.

again different companies do different test.

the only real world test I ever got on a dock was a company I delivered to would only give me a hand jack to unload 1 pallet. Well it just so happened that 1 pallet weighed 2000 lbs. I couldn't move it with my little 240 lbs frame, but I got lucky and Tiny walked by (another driver that had to weight every bit of 500 lbs) oh yea ... we got it out...

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Hi Cynthina! Its so cool to hear how we help motivate others! Thanks for that.

Yes, women can have a harder time cranking landing gear, even a big strong German girl like me. Meat and beer loads can be very heavy. But it isnt load after load after load.

One woman who couldnt have weighed more than 110 pounds told me how she couldnt get the back door shut because the handle would not drop down into place. she held onto the handle and lifted her feet off the ground expecting her weight to get it into place. it didnt. i asked her if she whacked it with a hammer which would have worked, she never thought of that. i have even kicked the landing gear handle with my popeye the sailor man legs. Trailers have high and low gears for the landing gear. On low gear you can crank it but it takes forever. It isnt that you cant do it, but it can be just as exhausting as fighting with it in high gear. For example 10 rotations of low gear might be 1 rotation of high. i just pulled those numbers out of the air, but you get the picture.

i honestly believe cranking the landing gear is the hardest work i do. climbing into a trailer and holding the load locks up for a minute might seem awkward for some people.

So what to do if you cant crank the landing gear? Use the lower gear. Ask a yard dog or another driver. Male bashing feminists think it demoralizing to walk up to a guy and say "Excuse me, i need the help of a big strong man for a minute, and the universe sent you! Please help". Now you stroked the male ego and got the job done. Big deal. To all those men bashers...no, we women arent equal in physical strength. So you have a choice, sit there and be frustrated while hating men and not making money, or ask for help and get rolling aka make money.

problem solved.

Cynthia, you can do this....so get to applying!

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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