At A Crossroad

Topic 2569 | Page 1

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Keith T.'s Comment
member avatar

I've always wanted to drive a truck when I was a kid. I could have gotten started when I was 19 or 20 but I guess fear stopped me. Now hear I am about to turn 49 in a month and I have gotten my CDL class A have been to truck driving school twice. Once to get my CDL and a refresher course this past April of 2013. I now have a wife and 2 kids 14 and 16. Every time I try to get on somewhere something different happens. Anything from a trainer that I'm about put my fist down his or her throat for trying to talk to me like a child or a minor health issue. I know I can drive because I've been told everywhere I go I just need more time behind the wheel. But then fear kicks in every time I turn on the TV I see a semi accident or I'm scared I may make fatal mistake on snow or a mountain. Ive been working in corporate America nearly all of my working life. There is a lot of b.s. with that and I don't make anywhere near what I should but it's safe. And I cant afford to put my family in any more financial ruin by getting paid $300 - $400/wk for 6 weeks. But something is missing. Any opinions out there ? From a guy who doesn't know what to do.

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.

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.

David's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, People like you shouldn't drive truck!

You don't know if you can afford the low pay. You have a short temper with those who train you. You have health issues. Most importantly, you're scared to drive!!

That's a no brainer if I ever saw one...wtf.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Trucking really is not for everyone. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Never drove a car until I was around 21, always took bus and subway. I have a Bachelor's in Economics and Philosophy, tried a few different things after college but didn't enjoy any of them. Figured I would try trucking.

I love driving. I've never had so much fun as when I was over the road , it was only 6 months but I miss it every day now that I am a local driver. Once you get the hang of things, no one tells you what to do, no one "supervises" you. You have freedom, you get the load and deliver it safely and on time. Very relaxing to know you can do things your own way.

As far as "low" pay. Most people make enough but spend more than they should. You have a family to support so I am sure you can easily set priorities on your spending, it just takes discipline.

As far as trainers, you have to understand some of them are good, some are bad, some are on power trips, some want to teach students. You won't be with a trainer forever. Just hang in there for that time and then you will go solo. Or if it is a serious issue, talk to your company and get another trainer.

As far as being scared... that is probably a GOOD thing. You don't want to be one of those guys driving down the highway at 80 mph in a snow storm. The more cautious you are the better for you, your family, and everyone on the road. Any trucking company worth working for will have no problem with a driver who can honestly say, "I don't feel safe driving in this weather, I need to reschedule my pickup/delivery."

Over The Road:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I'm a bit skeptical to jump in here, but here it goes. First age is nothing but a number. I am very new to trucking at the age of 53. I love to drive, in fact its kinda a release for me. I'm new to trucking but not driving for a living. After 27 years in law enforcement i probably have a total different viewpoint. Talking to people is truly an art form. Bottom line is treat people the way you would want to be treated and you'll be fine. Nobody likes dealing with an *******. Trainers are a necessary evil. Some are in it for the right reasons, and others Aren't. Suck it up. In the scheme of things its very temporary. As far as being scared. What can i say. Everyone has there own comfort level. You drive what your comfortable with. As soon as you exceed that you are not only dangerous to yourself, but everyone around you.if you cant measure up the. That is no disgrace, just not a good fit for that situation. You have to be flexible and versatile no matter what you choose to do if you wish to be successful. Just my 2 cents worth.

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

DAVID R......I think you were harsh...REAL harsh....and coming from someone who has never sat behind the wheel of a truck....I will tell you this....If...when you finally get behind the wheel, and you are finally driving that big truck..you aren't scared...Then YOU are the one that I don't want to see on the highway.....It doesn't take a bangin' pair to drive a truck...it takes guts, training, awareness, and pride in what you do. I don't think theres a driver out there that will say they were never scared... I will admit, that not everyone is cut out to be a truck driver. But you will never know until you try.

Oh...and for the record....for the first 6 months that I was driving truck...I lived in ABJECT TERROR that I was going to wreck, run over someone/something...miss a exit, run off a cliff, smear a car all over the road....etc...etc...I lived thru it. and drove OTR as an O/O for over 15 years......so much for not being scared.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah, People like you shouldn't drive truck!

You don't know if you can afford the low pay. You have a short temper with those who train you. You have health issues. Most importantly, you're scared to drive!!

That's a no brainer if I ever saw one...wtf.gif

And its attitudes ;like this we do not need in trucking. The stuff the Kieth T is feeling is stuff we go through every day. Its called being human. Its normal. Things can go bad very fast.

David to sit there and say the stuff you did was ignorant at best. You have never been in a truck but you feel you can criticize someone else who is just trying to look into trucking.

Kieth T is asking the question he feels he needs to and to alleviate some stress from a very stressful process. so lets take it point by point.

1) Low Pay.....Sure you will not get rich but you can make a very good living driving a truck.

2) Temper.....It happens to EVERYONE. It will happen to you also.

3) Health issues....Everyone has something they are dealing with and if you are in trucking long enough you will develop health issues also.

4)Scared to drive....You have not seen the aftermath of what a truly serious truck accident leaves behind. You would be scared also if you had.

See David the thing is Kieth T has healthy concerns when it comes to trucking and rightfully so cause its not just him that he has to look out for. He has a family to look out for also.

Check out the link below of this video from YouTube of a truck accident happening in real time and and then tell me you should not have at least a reason to fear driving.

Video Of Brutal Truck Wreck

A pickup truck slides on a slick highway, veers into oncoming traffic, and gets destroyed by a tractor trailer.

So to discount what Kieth T said make me wonder if you really need to be in trucking at all.....

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I think every potential driver...regardless of class should see that video . It should be a requirement in drivers education. Throw in the 2008 Tractor Trailer wreck on Donner Pass and wake people up..BEFORE they drive .

Keith T.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Yeah, People like you shouldn't drive truck!

You don't know if you can afford the low pay. You have a short temper with those who train you. You have health issues. Most importantly, you're scared to drive!!

That's a no brainer if I ever saw one...wtf.gif

double-quotes-end.png

And its attitudes ;like this we do not need in trucking. The stuff the Kieth T is feeling is stuff we go through every day. Its called being human. Its normal. Things can go bad very fast.

David to sit there and say the stuff you did was ignorant at best. You have never been in a truck but you feel you can criticize someone else who is just trying to look into trucking.

Kieth T is asking the question he feels he needs to and to alleviate some stress from a very stressful process. so lets take it point by point.

1) Low Pay.....Sure you will not get rich but you can make a very good living driving a truck.

2) Temper.....It happens to EVERYONE. It will happen to you also.

3) Health issues....Everyone has something they are dealing with and if you are in trucking long enough you will develop health issues also.

4)Scared to drive....You have not seen the aftermath of what a truly serious truck accident leaves behind. You would be scared also if you had.

See David the thing is Kieth T has healthy concerns when it comes to trucking and rightfully so cause its not just him that he has to look out for. He has a family to look out for also.

Check out the link below of this video from YouTube of a truck accident happening in real time and and then tell me you should not have at least a reason to fear driving.

Things can go bad very quickly.....

So to discount what Kieth T said make me wonder if you really need to be in trucking at all.....

Thank you sir that helps a lot !! So far you appear to be the only one who gets what I'm saying and my concerns ! Hey you can be my trainer or mentor anytime !!!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Keith T.'s Comment
member avatar

DAVID R......I think you were harsh...REAL harsh....and coming from someone who has never sat behind the wheel of a truck....I will tell you this....If...when you finally get behind the wheel, and you are finally driving that big truck..you aren't scared...Then YOU are the one that I don't want to see on the highway.....It doesn't take a bangin' pair to drive a truck...it takes guts, training, awareness, and pride in what you do. I don't think theres a driver out there that will say they were never scared... I will admit, that not everyone is cut out to be a truck driver. But you will never know until you try.

Oh...and for the record....for the first 6 months that I was driving truck...I lived in ABJECT TERROR that I was going to wreck, run over someone/something...miss a exit, run off a cliff, smear a car all over the road....etc...etc...I lived thru it. and drove OTR as an O/O for over 15 years......so much for not being scared.

Thanks !! It looks like you and Guy Hodges understand what I'm going through !! Thanks for your post. You 2 can be my trainer or mentor anytime !!

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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.
Highway Grunt0311's Comment
member avatar

Everyone has that fear, I've been driving two years. All Flatbed experience. Even though I know I am a great driver and I can properly secure my load it doesn't stop me from having the fear. I've seen some brutal accidents with my own eyes, So I know first hand what these machines are capable of. But having that fear will make you focus on your task and keep you from making those big mistakes. It will make you focus on your surroundings . You shouldn't get into driving for the money alone. You wont make a whole lot of cash starting out. You have to pay your do's. Everyone of us went through the first year of low pay. You make more as your experience goes up. I mean depending on what you do is the paycheck you make. You'll make more hauling flatbed than vans. And more hauling over size than Flatbeds. Go and stay with a company for a year and after that first year you will know if this is the life for you or not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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