Can "Mere Mortals" Do Well (Even Excel) At Trucking?

Topic 25636 | Page 1

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Marc Lee's Comment
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Rainy "has always been an overachiever."

Brett is "an elite athlete."

(Paraphrasing, but I think I have it right)...

Sort of begs the question...

(I have always done "pretty well" at things I have "set my mind to"...

Committed fully to this (I think).

Hope I have a realistic chance!

Matthew W.'s Comment
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There is nothing immortal about trucking from my experience. Granted I am a rookie so bare my opinion with a grain of salt. Everything about this job is no different then any other you could consider. It's all about developing the skillset required to be successful in the career you have dedicated yourself to. Every skill needed in trucking anyone can learn, it's just a matter of are you willing to? If you are willing to do it, you will get it done. If not, find a career you are willing to do it for and do that instead.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I am average at best at every pretty much everything i do. My terminal manager and driver manager both said they forget I work there until they see me for my monthly video watching.

I think you will be fine! Especially with all the set backs you have had!

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
PackRat's Comment
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No.

G-Town's Comment
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Old School wrote this a while back...might help you answer the question Marc.

I am a trucker; what’s your Super Power?

Chuck S.'s Comment
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This has got to be one of the biggest obstacles most of us average (down the middle of the road types) people need to conquer when getting into this line of work. Facing the challenges head on is how I started.

First, I told myself failure was not an option. I had 3 kids and wife that had just been laid off, and a house payment all depending on me.

Second, I studied constantly in truck driving school...something I never did in twelve years of regular school.

Third, after I got out on the road I learned from my own mistakes, and the mistakes of others. Knowing that if I continued making mistakes that cost me money or even my career, it wouldn't take long before I would be back home flippin burgers.

There are countless numbers of average folks like you and me that have been able to get through these obstacles, and end up making a decent career out of this job.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
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I am average at best at every pretty much everything i do. My terminal manager and driver manager both said they forget I work there until they see me for my monthly video watching.

I'm with ya there bobcat and I like it that way. The only time I really interact with anybody in the office is in passing (good morning, howre you doing today, etc.) Or if I call asking if they have any busy body work if I have a short day. Staying off their radar is exactly how I like it. Most days I want to be just left alone to do my work. If I need anything we have a tremendous amount of support in the office, as well as numerous drivers I interact with when logging in that are only a phone call away. Other drivers encouraged me to exchange phone numbers in case I'm having trouble staying awake to give em a call and chat, although a short nap is more effective.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Thanks All!

SOooo...

Yes... No... Maybe!

I get it!

smile.gif

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks All!

SOooo...

Yes... No... Maybe!

I get it!

smile.gif

Anybody can be successful at this if they want it bad enough. They must be willing to put in the time to find the ways to be most successful and always have a moment to reflect on what they did and how they can improve. Most people here agree that every day you learn something new.

The mentality of you've done well at what you've put your mind to may be a blessing or a curse. It's easy to be too hard on yourself if it takes you longer than you feel it should. Just remember : the most important thing every day is being safe and not hitting something. Loads can be rescheduled.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Marc,

I am going to weigh in because as someone considering a career, I also want to know if the demands of trucking of trucking can become "manageable."

This is what I think I have learned from this website (I'm sure I will be corrected if I've misunderstood).

1. My first six months in the industry will be stressful because, the trucking companies want to put me in a truck as soon as possible to be profitable. So they will give me the minimal amount of training needed to function as a solo driver. But even then my competence level will be marginal. I will make mistakes early on, but hopefully nothing major. As I learn from my mistakes, I will become a better driver until I reach the point where the demands are manageable. But I have to be careful not to become complacent.

2. Trucking is a mission oriented and performance based industry. My FM will assign a load to me and I have to figure out how to get it there within the time alloted. At my current job, I can be less efficient for a day, but then work really hard the next day to get the work done. Or I can come into the office on the weekend to "make up for time." Or I can ask for an extension of the deadline. In trucking, it is one load after another. I can't go to the park for 3 hours and then drive 90 mph to get to the receiver.I can't take two days off and then drive two loads at at the same time. And if I consistently miss appointments or refuse loads, my FM will assign loads to other drivers first. I will get what's left over. That being said, you have one mission at a time: your current load and maybe pre-planning for the next load (managing hours so you don't run out). You can't drive two loads to different locations at the same time. At my current job, I am interrupted from my current task to get something done that will "only take 5 minutes." Five minute interruptions 12 times a day is an hour.

3. You will get out of it what you put into it. As with any industry, there are people who are driven to work and nothing else. My current career has these type of people. They almost live at the office. They complain when their wife makes them go on vacation. With the GPS tracker on this website I tracked a couple of drivers at both ends of the spectrum: the hard driven, go, go go types, and the seemingly more laid back. From that and what I've picked up weekly miles are 2000 to 3500. At 55 miles per hour that's 40 to 65 hours per week driving. Turtle and Old School mentioned to me on another thread that FMs learn the HOS patterns of the drivers. I interpret this to mean that FMs know who can or will run 3500 per week and they know who can or will run 2500 per week. They assign loads accordingly. So long as you accept a minimum number of miles and be a good dooby (safe driving, DOT medical and regulation compliance, not a problem to your FM or company) they'll keep you on.

4. Truck driving is a lifestyle, not a job. You are away from home and family for weeks at a time. And almost all of that time is spent alone. You live in your truck either driving on the road or at truck stops or rest areas, neither of which are the most alluring places to bed down.

As I said, I weighed in because I had considered posting a thread similar to this. I remain concerned if truck driving will be a right fit for me. But another thing that I think that I have learned from this forum is you won't know until you try.

Good luck to you.

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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