What Have You Learned From Trucking Truth?

Topic 26005 | Page 2

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Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Stay off parkways, what to have handy in the truck, not to give up.

Parkways! I love Parkways. So little truck traffic.

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∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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Stay off parkways, what to have handy in the truck, not to give up.

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Parkways! I love Parkways. So little truck traffic.

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I am only 12ft, soooooooooo, I might have to try one of them parkways out.

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Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

Clock management is the big one. There are so many other things I've learned here but there isn't enough internet bandwidth to list them all.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Andy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I have learned that company leasing is the devil :)

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

There is way too much that I've learned, but one big one is dont splash in the puddles at a truckstop for many reasons. The moderators and experienced drivers here in this forum have provided so much help I'd never be able to repay them. It's unfortunate that lately drivers who got their start with the large carriers switch to a smaller company and act like their S*** dont stink. Despite the name calling, digging into personal lives of the very people who help get their careers going on the right path the group we have here continues to help anybody without asking for anything in return.

For that, I'm very grateful for all of you.

Jeremy's Comment
member avatar

Humility

Junkyard Dog's Comment
member avatar

Humility

That made me laugh. I've made so many mistakes there's no way I could ever be conceited in this business... things I've learned on this site.

How to use Google Earth... I can't tell you how many times this has saved my behind.

The CDL course, I cruised right through my tests. I went to a Community College CDL School and when the instructors asked the question I always knew the answer... I just wish the driving and backing was as easy as the classroom part was...

As much as I've learned from the mods and the experienced drivers, I've learned more from the rookies on here and their mistakes. Because we all run into those situations being inexperienced. And how one mistake can cost you a career, or a life.

If you get in trouble with a low bridge or getting lost, for god sakes don't plow through it. Stop. Put the flashers on, evaluate the situation, call the police, the shipper or receiver, and get it figured out before you screw up the situation even more. This happened to me today. I was in Milton Pennsylvania going to ConAgra and my GPS took me down the street where I saw a bridge with the height that was 13-6. I was literally one block from the consignee. I called the receiver and asked about the bridge and she said don't go that way. She said it happens all the time. What I thought was really cool about these people, was she told me how to get around it, I was able to do a u-turn very carefully and as I went around the corner there was a guy that opened the side door of the factory, he was in whites so I knew he was a factory worker and he pointed me which way to go... talk about communication... it took me about 10 minutes to get out of my mess and go around the building and they had that guy standing there waiting for me. This is why even though I've been driving solo for a year now still not ready to change my title to experience driver. But then maybe I am... I don't know how I would have gotten out of this 6 or 10 months ago.

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.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You were worried about going under a 13’ 6” bridge? Why? Most of those heaight are measured from the curb, which is at least 6” more allowance

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Im one of those paranoid peeps at a 13,6” bridge too im a slow 4 ways on stop and look dump my bags guy cause i know thats one of those few screw ups you cant bounce back from. Whats worse are the 12,6” bridges in nyc and knowing which ones you can and cant go under

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I've learned something from this site myself.

When I was driving I never kept up with anyone on the road. I didn't have friends that were drivers, I didn't keep up with classmates, I just did my own thing. I've always been a loner so I just traveled around having fun, turning big miles, and mostly keeping to myself.

Now when I was on the road I had quickly noticed that anyone who had been driving for maybe 8 years or more fell into one of two categories. They were either as mellow and pleasant and happy as a monk, or as stressed out, cynical, and bitter as The Scrooge. There didn't seem to be any middle ground. The time you spend on the road is so filled with both blessings and frustrations that after a while one or the other builds up to a very high level.

If you're a positive person you become so thankful that you've had the privilege of leading such a blessed life. You're making fantastic money driving a big, new, beautiful American Big Rig. You're seeing the beautiful scenery across this great land and meeting so many interesting characters out there. It's truly fantastic. Your entire life is like a Bob Seger song. I have always been this type, and I'm still this way. My life has always been truly fantastic and I thoroughly enjoy every day of it. I can't remember the last time I had a bad hour, let alone a bad day.

If you're a negative person the oppressive burden of the mounting frustrations eats away at you like a disease. It breaks you down. The frustrations build, the anxiety goes through the roof. You hardly ever have a good hour, let alone a good day. You feel like the world is spitting on you, treating you unfairly. Your relationships are poor. You're not making the money you had expected. The Government, the DOT , your own company, and the customers are all out to get you, abuse you, humiliate you. The regulations are stifling. You describe the job as "slave labor". You wind up with anxiety, high blood pressure, and ulcers. Your life is an endless misery.

It wasn't until I started this website, and started running a forum about 10 years ago that I began following the journey of drivers from the time they decided to start their career until they had been out there for quite a few years. What I've learned, which is incredibly sad to me, is how many people seem to start off well but quickly become poisoned by the terminal rats of this industry, and God knows they're everywhere:

Episode 10: Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

So many times I've watched people show up here and they appear to be friendly and enthusiastic about getting started in trucking. We tell them to keep a great attitude, work hard, get along well with people, and expect trucking to be far more demanding and difficult than they ever would've guessed. Sadly, it isn't long before they start complaining.

In fact, oftentimes it begins during the schooling phase. They don't like the instructors. They spend too much time in the heat. The food is sub-par. They're not being taught properly. The hotel smells funny.

Unfortunately, it only gets worse. By the time they get on the road, they believe they're working for a bad company. They don't feel their trainer is teaching them properly, they don't like his personality, and they're only being used as slave labor. If they even make it through training, which many don't, they go solo and things continue to spiral downward. They don't get along with dispatch, they don't feel the expectations of the job are reasonable, and they complain incessantly about everything.

As you might expect, these people don't last long. Rarely does someone like this even last a full year and their career is over. They walk away bitter and miserable.

Sometimes this decline takes longer. We've even recently had a few long-time members of our forum suddenly take a dive off the deep end. They were working for large carriers, making great money, being treated really well, and they seemed quite happy with their careers.

But over time the unavoidable and incessant rantings of the terminal rats out on the road starting taking hold on their soul. They started to decline. Their attitude soured. Their anxiety started to rise. They began harboring cynical feelings toward the Government, the large companies, and even to us here at Trucking Truth. They began ranting about the oppression of the Government, the conspiracies of the big companies, and even began questioning our integrity.

We had helped these people get their start in this career. We had supported them unwaveringly for years. They followed our advice and everything they experienced in their short but very successful careers was exactly what we had told them it would be. Yet somehow they got in with the wrong people and they let that negativity eat away at them like a disease. They lost their perspective entirely. They became convinced that the Government, the large carriers, and even we here at Trucking Truth were liars, con artists, and conspirators.

There are a lot of miserable people in this world and the last thing they want to see is someone who is happy and successful, especially when they're in the same career. If you're miserable and I'm happy, yet we're both doing the same job and living the same experiences, then what does that say about us as individuals? That's a question miserable people don't want to face.

They don't want to believe it's their own bitter, sour perspective on life that's ruining their experiences. They want to believe it's their company, their government, their customers, this society. They also want nothing more than to convince you of the same and ruin your good experiences, your happy outlook, your good times. If they can't drag you down to their way of thinking and convince you that the world is unfair and that truckers are getting a raw deal then it calls into question the validity of their own take on things. All of their complainings, blaming, and criticizing might be completely fabricated, unless they can persuade others to validate their claims.

What I've learned from this website is that you can never let your guard down when it comes to maintaining your fantastic outlook on life. You must protect your sanity, give harbor to productive thoughts, and focus on being the hardest worker and the kindest person you can possibly be. You must not let those who have ruined their own lives drag you down to their level, and I can promise you they will never stop trying.

Nick Saban, the Alabama football coach had said, "Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." Remember that. If a person can't find the keys to happiness and success they damn sure don't want to see others figure it out and leave them behind. These types don't know how to elevate themselves to your level, or they're not willing to try, so instead, they'll drag you down with them.

Be vigilant with your thoughts. Be selective about the company you keep. Be aware of the terminal rats who want to spoil the wonderful life you've worked so hard to build and the enormous amount of fun you're having. Live your life to your own high standards and don't let the low standards, the poor performance, or the lousy attitude of others affect you.

Be vigilant. Rise above.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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