From The Corporate Environment To Trucking

Topic 25379 | Page 2

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Steve's Comment
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Brett - after possibly setting the record for long-time lurking (at least 5 years!), this post made me finally register. I was in a corporate environment for over 23 years, 22 of them being in a management role. Without boring everyone with the details, I'll try to give some input that might be helpful.

First of all, I always find it interesting how many people will start talking about the things that are unique to "their industry". I've learned that while there are industry-specific issues, rules, and regulations, its the people who are unique. The challenges are in how people react and adapt to the issues, not the issues themselves. In my specific example, a person who can understand and adapt to the many federal rules and regulations surrounding working as a bill collector would have no problem dealing with HOS. A person who decides to bend or ignore the rules and operate in the "grey" will do so no matter what their chosen profession.

To someone who is considering a transition from a corporate environment to trucking, the only thing they need to worry about is their own mindset. I always found humor in that many of my colleagues were, in my opinion, somewhat elitist. They would avoid places like the employee break room, as they felt uncomfortable dealing with the gripes and complaints of employees. Every industry has their version of "terminal rats". I always felt at home there, and thought it was one of the most valuable ways to spend my time - listening to employees and responding to their issues. So if you are a hands-on manager, you will have no problem. If you enjoy sitting in meetings, writing on whiteboards and sending out directives via email, you may have more difficulty.

Seabee-J mentioned humility. I agree. In my journey, I went from travelling on airlines, driving full-sized rentals, and staying in nice hotels, to riding the Greyhound to share a motel room with a stranger half my age at my first orientation. I won't say that I enjoyed every minute, but I will say that overall, I absolutely loved the adventure. At my low points trucking, like the one New Years Eve I spent parked overnight at a Dollar General distribution center, I sometimes wondered to myself "why did I want to be a trucker?" But that feeling was quickly replaced by me laughing to myself as I drove through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world - thinking about my friends sitting in a windowless conference room arguing over the format of some mundane spreadsheet.

I wish I had found your website before I actually jumped in, but I was fortunate enough to have taken the right route into this new career. I went to a company sponsored training program (C1 driving school in Springfield, MO) and then spent almost 2 years with USA Truck. The first year was OTR , then I got on to a dedicated account and was home every weekend. I then took a local linehaul position. After almost 6 years of running nights, and after this last winter season in Iowa made me dread getting on the road one too many times, I decided to look at opportunities to have a more "normal" schedule that would fit my family life better. I considered working P&D and staying with my employer, but was by happenstance put in touch with a company that had a need for a site manager for a contract with a large distribution center. I now manage a team of shag drivers, but typically still work at least a few hours a day, several days a week moving trailers with my team.

Finally, a huge "thank you" to Brett, all of the moderators, and members for this website. I hope you all understand and appreciate how special this site is. Its not really just about trucking. Its about how we treat, relate, and react to each other. Its about how we accept new challenges and approach the unexpected problems thrown our way. If someone has the right attitude, they will find success in any industry they choose to pursue a career in. If they don't, it doesn't matter what field they go into.

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.

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Hello, Steve! Your comment might qualify as the best first comment ever. Very thoughtful and well written. I sincerely hope it will be the first of many comments we get to read from you. It’s clear from what you’ve written that you have a lot to contribute here.

Steve's Comment
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Thanks for the welcome, Bruce! I'll try to be more brief in the future!

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Thanks for the welcome, Bruce! I'll try to be more brief in the future!

You can write all that you want. It’s obvious you have interesting things to say.

However, you may be held responsible for making Brett upgrade his server space. Lol

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