The Freedom Of Trucking: Blessing Or Curse? - New Article By G-Town

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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We have an awesome new article from G-Town:

The Freedom of Trucking: Blessing or Curse?

This article really highlights how some of the most coveted aspects of trucking are also some of the most difficult to manage. You get so much more flexibility and freedom when it comes to doing your job, but without experience it's extremely difficult for new drivers to learn how to manage the huge number of variables involved in making their appointments on time.

A great article with tons of interesting insights and great advice for managing your life on the road.

The Freedom of Trucking: Blessing or Curse?

Rob D.'s Comment
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Read it last night.

Great article.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Just got done reading it and I give it the highest rating. What delights me is when moderators like G-Town relate their struggles as new drivers. Somehow, I think G-Town was never a new driver, knew his stuff from day one.

I know that G-Town accurately describes the learning process. The "freedom of trucking" is one of the only things that can pull a long time self-employed person into a driving career. A truck driver is truly the master of his/her own destiny. And when the driver has the support of a solid company, what is more satisfying?

Rick S.'s Comment
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Good article G-Man.

Making the transition from a work environment where your working hours are managed by others, to one where you are given a task and latitude to get it done under your own time management can be a difficult adjustment.

And as Gary illustrates, close attention to every detail can help see where you're falling short.

Rick

RealDiehl's Comment
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Great article and very helpful for new, and experienced drivers too, I'm sure. Using Google maps is a huge help. For example, today I delivered to a place in Phily. When I approached the gate a big sign said "trucks do not enter. Park on the street and walk your paperwork in." I also saw a sign when I turned onto the street that said "no outlet". Normally my stress level would have hit the roof. "Where am I supposed to turn around to get back into the customer's lot?" Luckily I saw on Google maps beforehand a big circle at the end of this dead end road to turn around in. It didn't help that there were construction vehicles parked around this circle when I went to use it but, I was able barely to turn around without crushing my cab extenders or hitting anything. Thanks for the great article, G-town.

Marc Lee's Comment
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Thank G-Town! Another great effort and read!

Not sure what sort of consulting and IT PM work you did (i.e. "Big Six / Road Warrior" or other) but I was a bit surprised by both that experience and your comments.

In my 30ish years in IT I wore a lot of hats, including running my own company for a while. While I consider the self employment (and current handyman self-employment) to clearly be different, I felt like I had a lot of "freedom" in my IT PM roles as well. Yes we had required meetings, status reports, scheduled conference calls, processes and procedures, etc.. But in a sense, the high-level view was "give me the requirements (or objectives), timeline and budget and I will (successfully) deliver your solution - (ideally 'over-deliver' early and under budget!)" In that sense, it seems a bit like the way my best friend's freight broker client described the job: "pick up my load on time, deliver it on time and don't **** it up!"

While I get that there is much less contact and supervision along the way in driving, at the "20,000 foot view level" isn't there a bit more in common? Perhaps it's a the lack of structure along the wall which makes it so unique?!?

G-Town's Comment
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Marc Lee wrote:

Not sure what sort of consulting and IT PM work you did (i.e. "Big Six / Road Warrior" or other) but I was a bit surprised by both that experience and your comments.

Consulting for mid-tier distribution and manufacturing. Aggressive timelines and cost control. Primarily frontend process automation and efficiency solutions bi-directionally integrating with backend ERP systems. I had cross departmental reporting responsibility; IT, operations and accounting, plus to the management of the consulting company; mostly COO. Profit driven. Which can create conflict and at times unreasonable compromise. The adoption of Agile and off-shoring is what pushed me into trucking full time.

Don’t get me wrong here Marc, I loved technology and innovation; I just had enough of it and the politics. Once you’ve been out here for a while (like a year) you’ll begin to see it. It’s entirely different.

Thanks to everyone who read this. I appreciate all of the comments. Looking forward to reading others experiences along the way adjusting to their new freedom.

And no Bruce, I wasn’t a naturally born trucker. No one ever is. Too funny.

Let’s remember those who died in order for us to have this freedom.

Safe travels, peace.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy 's Comment
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Very good points. I had a friend who used to constantly complain he didnt get enough support and was unaware of our FMs future plans. He wanted an explanation for each load. Seriously he would call the FM on Friday at the end of the day to complain and on Monday would be saying "i need to call him again. nothing has changed".

well duh!!! the guy was off for the weekend.

when i finally said, stop whining. You just want your hand held. he admitted i was right. The freedom is what gave him issues.

Very relatable article. Great job

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.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Great piece of readin, G-Town, with many, tried and true tips and facts. A must read for anyone here.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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G-Town

Very good read! Great pointers and real life situations. I read it twice to make sure I didn't miss anything. As I do with all my dispatches. You definitely nailed it G-Town.

Raptor

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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