Game For Newbies: Why Do You Think Trucking Will Be A Good Fit For You?

Topic 26457 | Page 1

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Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Do you have what it takes to be a trucker? Why do you think trucking may be the right career path for you?

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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While I'm not necessarily a noobie. I am, according to the old timers, still wet behind the ears green horn snot nosed kid.

What makes trucking right for me? Freedom of the open road, being able exercising my problem solving skills, not being micro managed and driving. I love to drive! That's just the short list.

Jay G.'s Comment
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At the risk of over simplifying things, I cant quite explain it, but I just feel a strong calling for me towards trucking. I think trucking will be a good fit for several reasons: first and foremost, it is just an exciting new opportunity that I have thought about for a while. Since I was little with family in both Mexico and Idaho, 13+ hour long road trips happened at least a few times a year. Several family members work in different facets of trucking. I love the road, I love driving, even though I am a family man I feel a bit nomadic.

In regard to if I have what it takes to be a truck driver, at the risk of sounding too optimistic I think that I do. I'm not sure if I am going to sound like a broken record or a cliche, but safety in general is pretty important to me and the opportunity to operate a machine like a truck in a safe manner while also being professional is just...really cool to me, lol (I feel like that sounds lame, but oh well). Plus, it sounds like there is a lot of opportunity to use the ol' noggin for problem solving tons of different situations.

I haven't been this excited about a new opportunity in quite a while. I mean, the prospect of earning more than I currently make (~$36k) is definitely on the list as well. I feel like this is going to open a lot of new doors for me while also being more self-managing.

Also, one of the things I hope to get out of the experience and being away for a while is to appreciate my time with my family more. That may sound dumb, naive, or all of the above, but by potentially being able to provide my wife and kids for a better opportunity at the cost of some time up front is a risk that we feel like we are ready to take.

Anyways, thanks for reading if you made it this far, lol. Just wrapping up a few things before I ship out to Prime in about a month.

Rob D.'s Comment
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I'll take a stab at this because I think a lot about whether trucking will be a good fit for me.

I really like to drive. Most of my vacations involve some element of driving, if not almost exclusively driving. My last vacation was a 5,900 mile, 13 day motorcycle trip through Eastern Canada. I only fly when I travel because of time constraints. If I had the time, I would always drive. I also have great stamina for driving. On my Canada trip, I covered 1,300 miles in 36 hours. On a family vacation, I had not made a hotel reservation on the way to Florida and had to drive the minivan all through the night (800 miles total) until we found a hotel a 5:00 a.m.

I am a loner. Not the guy in a motorcycle club who wears a "lone wolf" patch for image. If you really were a lone wolf, you wouldn't be in a motorcycle club and you wouldn't wear a patch to get attention. Many people don't like Facebook or other social media because of the toxic people. I think that Facebook and other social media are just representative of our toxic culture. My current job involves a lot of toxic people and corporate politics and I hate it. I don't hate people. With the exception of a few close friends and family and as described below, I simply prefer to be alone.

I like adventure and I like to explore. Last night my wife and I discussed all the states we have visited. Of the lower 48, there's maybe 4 or 5 states I haven't visited. I haven't been to Alaska, but I've been to Hawaii. I also traveled to many islands in the Caribbean. I like to hike, road bike, mountain bike, camp, canoe, sail, water ski, snow ski, and scuba dive. I've been sky diving. Notwithstanding that I am a loner and generally don't like people, I like to meet new people and learn about the local flavor from the people I meet in my travels. When we were in Canada on the ferry, we spoke to these Canadians about moose hunting. I like these short conversations because they are more genuine. You don't have the social group drama.

I like challenges. I have ridden several "centuries" (100 miles in one day). I did an Ironman triathlon in 2003. I actually like it when I encounter obstacles as part of my day, because I like the feeling of being forced to evaluate a situation and develop a solution on the fly.

I am self-sufficient. I do my own motorcycle maintenance and most of my repairs around the house. I am pretty mechanically inclined. I can usually figure out most things either intuitively or with minimal research.

I like to trip plan. In 2017 I rode Route 66 from St. Louis to Santa Monica. I planned the entire route turn-by-turn in order to stay on the old road bed as much as possible. When I plan vacations, I create a detailed itinerary. It's a running joke in my family that they have come to expect a copy of the itinerary before the trip.

I am a good employee. I understand that a company has a mission to accomplish and that management is mostly trying to accomplish that mission and I always work cooperatively with management to get that done. I can follow orders. That being said, I will not hesitate to share my thoughts on better ways to accomplish the mission.

Most of all, I can adapt and overcome. With all of my life experience, I have reached the point where I don't stress out about many things. It's not that I don't take things seriously and work hard, but I don't stress out about things that are beyond my control. I don't get upset by stupid drivers. On the way back from my Canada trip, a pickup truck pushed me onto the rumble strip in the left lane. on the highway. After he saw me he dropped way back, I'm sure pretty embarrassed that he almost took me out. I just kept going without very much thought about it. I am anxious about making the leap into trucking, based on what I have learned about it and the toxic people (terminal rats). If I try and fail, I hope that I at least learned something from it. One of my favorite quotes is Teddy Roosevelt's speech "To the Man in the Arena."

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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.

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.

40 Days's Comment
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I am still a PSD at Prime doing my second 2 week permit wait due to changes in Missouri law. Was out with trainer for 2 and half weeks with Missouri permit and licence. Then had to come home and redo permit and get home state license to do PSD again.

Got home at midnight and by 3pm the next day had all my tests passed again and hard copy of both DL and permit in hand and emailed pics to company. Just a bump in the road.

Having a one track unwavering determination to accomplish whatever task is given with a smile is one reason I believe I have what it takes. I see everything as another opportunity to prove myself not just to my employer but mainly to myself. Always compete with yourself because then even if you rise to the top among your peers the competition will always be fierce.

Unlike most jobs trucking provides another opportunity to prove it to yourself with each load. You are on your own to manage planning your trips, managing hours of service, and using everything in your power to constantly improve your efficiency. Held a class B cdl for 10 years I smell an upgrade! The road has been calling! I have good hearing so believe me I am picking up what she is putting down.

Once a driver always a driver just always try to be a better driver which is what I believe I am doing.

BTW glad to see you on here Rainy. You, Turtle, and OS have always inspired me to pursue this career.

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
40 Days's Comment
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Bump not loosing Rainy's questions. Wish someone ask me before.

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.

Bill R.'s Comment
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I could easily quote Rob D here and be done. I think I may have a "long lost brother" there.smile.gif
As my current career is becoming more and more of something I don't want to continue doing, I began looking for something that would interest me and provide time for some of the experiences I would enjoy (driving around the US of A and seeing more of this great country). Discussing this with my sons one afternoon, one said, "Dad, you just need to drive a truck."...
I really, really like to drive on the open road...bicycle, motorcycle, car...they're all good. How many different ways are there to get to the Tail of the Dragon in southeast TN?...give me that map...rofl-3.gif
I like an assignment/job with defined start and end points and my performance to get the load delivered safely is what gets the job done.
I don't mind being the only person around when I'm working. Team mates are OK, but I'd rather be out by myself...
I am more enthused about this potential opportunity than any job I've ever tried to get. My wife has even commented on this.
And a huge thank you to everyone who participates here. Great information provided and it really makes you think through this career decision.
Bill R

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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I guess Raptor will put in his 2 cents worth.

I like driving, I like the independence I get being in my little world of OTR DRIVER. I like the fact that I get to choose where I spend sleep mode. I don't always like having to go to a truck stop except for showers and fuel. In fact I would stay at a rest stop all time if they had showers. The headaches of finding a parking spot after 1600 is a pain. While you are backing into a spot, some yahoo driver doesn't want to wait til you get backed in, so he is going to drive behind you anyway. I love the courtesy truckers show each other. It is what it is. But I love the open road, whether truck, car, motorcycle or whatever mode of transport. Got off subject a little, sorry Rainy. Good topic as usal.

Raptor

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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.

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