Couple Questions: How Is Your Holiday Season Going So Far?

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Old School's Comment
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We have a lot of former IT professionals right here in our forum.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I'm not OTR like most drivers but I had 3 days off for Christmas and will have 2 off for New Years. All drivers had to be home by 5 pm Christmas Eve as the entire company shut down until 5 am on the 26th so all dispatchers and drivers could be home for the holidays.

I get 12 PTO ( will get 5 more after 5 yeaes with company) days to use when ever we want it can be for sick days vacation or when the weather is too bad to run so we can get paid, personally I save my for when I want to take off.

Luckily it is unseasonably warm here so no snow and yes our trucks warn us when the temperature gets to about 34 or so. But you shouldn't rely on the truck to keep you safe.

It does seem common that it puts working-class Americans at the middle-income level, though.

It definitely can I made 90k this year in my second full year, last year I made 75k. All with a GED and no college which has unfortunately made a few former friends upset because they are making less money and have to pay off their student debts.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Rubber Duck's Comment
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If you have a degree in something and can make 70 to 90k a year and have a real life then I wouldn’t become a truck driver or recommend anyone like that do it. I would probably actually cry if my son said he was going to become a trucker at 21 years old. It’s like taking your life and flushing it down the toilet. I do it because I want to provide a life for my family and that’s it. If I didn’t need to do that I would go get a one bedroom apartment someplace and collect aluminum cans along the highway. It would be a much healthier and happier lifestyle. I don’t actually think that low of myself but I know I,,, me personally would be hard pressed to find a job making 70 to 90k. Actually I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t happen for me. Driving is what it is and I make the most of it. I took the whole week off for Christmas and got paid about 1700 bucks to do it. That wouldn’t happen at Taco Bell. Or even at twenty something bucks an hour. Maybe trucking was better back in the days of Jimmy Hoffa. I’m sure it probably was. If you want a union trucking job you can go get one to this day. I was at one not that long ago and it wasn’t any better at all except the health insurance was far superior. That’s it. The job sucked every bit as much as any other trucking job in every way except for healthcare

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I would probably actually cry if my son said he was going to become a trucker at 21 years old. It’s like taking your life and flushing it down the toilet.

That's interesting, considering I became a truck driver at 21 years old and had the time of my life. I spent 15 spectacular years on the road. I felt truly blessed to see every inch of this beautiful country, living a life of grand adventure and making great money doing it.

I'm genuinely sorry to hear you feel the way you do about your life and about trucking. That's pretty sad. But I would like to suggest that instead of raining on everyone else's parade, maybe you should first figure out how to build a life for yourself that you enjoy. Then maybe you can advise people on how to do that for themselves.

The reason Trucking Truth exists is because miserable people like yourself try to ruin trucking for others. Trucking was the most incredible adventure and fulfilling career imaginable for me. So I'm not willing to sit back and watch you ruin this for others.

My Awesome Trucking Career

I met thousands of interesting characters on the road. I went to festivals, concerts and sporting events from coast to coast. I went jogging for all those years on the country's most beautiful beaches, across the wide-open plains, through the biggest mountains, and into the endless deserts.

I ran around like a crazy tourist enjoying the best this country has to offer in cities from coast to coast - Las Vegas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami, and all the rest. It was incredible!

What makes it even more interesting is that I was blessed with a combination of intelligence and athleticism, which opened up some huge opportunities for me coming out of high school. They accepted me into the Coast Guard Academy, a rare opportunity. They also accepted me into the Engineering Society at the University of Buffalo before I even attended my first class. I could have literally been a brain surgeon, a rocket scientist, or I could have gone to the Academy and graduated a 2nd Lieutenant in charge of my own boat and crew at 21 years old, living the life of a high-ranking officer my entire career.

But none of that would have been nearly the adventure I had driving a truck. I thank God and my parents every day that I had the confidence to do what I wanted to do with my life even though it made no sense to anyone else. I heard from many people like you when I told my family and friends I would drive a truck. They thought I was throwing my life away, too.

Rubber Duck, maybe trucking isn't for you, but you and the others who told me I was making a mistake would have been damn lucky to have "thrown your lives away" as I have mine. Trucking was not only a fantastic adventure that made my life incredibly fulfilling, but it was my trucking career that launched my business career, where I've also had fantastic success.

Now I'm living in a beautiful log home on 18 acres up in the mountains on a bluff overlooking a pristine lake and traveling the world on mountain climbing adventures. I'm going to the Canadian Rockies in a couple of months and then I'll be making two trips to Chamonix, France, in March and May. Alaska is next on the list.

I cherish my memories of the road. It was an awesome decision and it was the start of an awesome life. That's why I love helping others get their careers underway. I know it's going to be a life-changing adventure for so many of them.

So folks, don't let the terminal rats spoil your fun or scare you into thinking that trucking is a lousy career. Just because they're miserable doesn't mean trucking isn't an awesome career. It just means they never figured out how to build a life for themselves that they enjoy. They're not the people you want to take advice from.

Episode 19: You're Getting Career Advice From The Wrong People

Episode 10: Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I would probably actually cry if my son said he was going to become a trucker at 21 years old.
It’s like taking your life and flushing it down the toilet.
I do it because I want to provide a life for my family and that’s it. If I didn’t need to do that I would go get a one bedroom apartment someplace and collect aluminum cans along the highway. It would be a much healthier and happier lifestyle.
If you want a union trucking job you can go get one to this day. I was at one not that long ago and it wasn’t any better at all except the health insurance was far superior. That’s it. The job sucked every bit as much as any other trucking job

It sounds like you need a vacation, or maybe a boot in your ***! I'd never waste my life doing a job that I despised. That's on you - please don't blame it on trucking.

I love every minute of this. It's absolutely invigorating to me. The day it ceases to excite me is the day I'll do something else. You need to find something you enjoy and quit whining about your choices. Life is short - don't waste it being miserable.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I completely agree with Old School. There are some days that things bother me but for the most part I love this job. It's not perfect but the good outweigh the bad for me. Honestly I dont care what my kids do for a career as long as they enjoy it. If they want to make a career as a sandwich artist at subway (this is not meant to belittle anybody) then I hope they're the best dang sandwich artist this side of the Mississippi! If they want to be a lawyer I hope they can be successful at that. I still have quite a while but I plan on teaching my kids you dont need to do college to be successful in life. As cliche as it sounds if you love your job you'll never work a day in your life. I can put in a 14-16 hour day and the day flies by compared to 8 hours in a warehouse.

if you're that miserable then find something else.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

If you want a union trucking job you can go get one to this day. I was at one not that long ago and it wasn’t any better at all except the health insurance was far superior. That’s it. The job sucked every bit as much as any other trucking job in every way except for healthcare

Interesting. I’m currently working a union job right now and things seem good.

I don’t care about unions one way or the other, it just was one of the really good trucking jobs in my area. Paid holidays, paid sick days, paid personal days, holiday pay, overtime pay, the best benefits and 401k package I’ve ever seen, brand new equipment (my gas trailer is literally three weeks old), guaranteed two consecutive days off per week, ability to work a full 70 every week if wanted, home daily, plus there’s not many drivers at my yard at less than 90k for the year right now. I’m pretty happy, but we aren’t a line haul outfit either, everyone does the same job, no matter the seniority.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

I'm not OTR like most drivers but I had 3 days off for Christmas and will have 2 off for New Years. All drivers had to be home by 5 pm Christmas Eve as the entire company shut down until 5 am on the 26th so all dispatchers and drivers could be home for the holidays.

I get 12 PTO ( will get 5 more after 5 yeaes with company) days to use when ever we want it can be for sick days vacation or when the weather is too bad to run so we can get paid, personally I save my for when I want to take off.

Luckily it is unseasonably warm here so no snow and yes our trucks warn us when the temperature gets to about 34 or so. But you shouldn't rely on the truck to keep you safe.

It definitely can I made 90k this year in my second full year, last year I made 75k. All with a GED and no college which has unfortunately made a few former friends upset because they are making less money and have to pay off their student debts.

Same here across the board. Except I'm on track to make 60k and Its my first year.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

I wish I would have pursued this career when I was 21. My parents wanted me to go to college and be a white collar kind of guy. That's not in my nature.

I was miserable in college and truth be told, I resented them for a little while for not loosening the reigns a little.

I have no regrets because my life turned out pretty good, but that was after lots of misery.

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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