How Physical Is The Job?

Topic 29553 | Page 1

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Vicki M.'s Comment
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Hello everyone, I am a 53 year old woman that is considering a career change and I have wanted to be truck driver since I was in my teens. I was a waitress in truck stops back then, and my son's father was a truck driver. I did some ride alongs with him, so I have some idea of being on the road, but not the reality of the day to day for weeks, months, years. I am not too concerned about finding employment as a driver, I have one misdemeanor in 1986, a clean driving record (literally like nothing in the last 10 years according to my state), I have been in my current industry for 32 years and at the same job for 22. The job I have requires a gaming license, so I have had police background checks and been licensed for 32 years...so I am thinking that getting hired to get a CDL and train will be no issue.

Truck driving will be harder work than what I am doing now, and will pay a little less, from what I have seen. But the reason I need a career change is for my health. I have a bad back that makes it painful to stand and walk for long periods of time (I work 8 hours a day on my feet right now). Sitting does not seem to aggravate it, so I need a sit down job. The thought of sitting at a desk just makes my soul die a little at a time.) What I need to know before I speak with these recruiters is how physical is it? I understand you climb in and out of the trucks many times a day. I understand that if you drive a flatbed, that is more physical with the tarps and tie downs. But for a reefer truck or dry box, do you unload your own truck? Basically how much heavy lifting is there?

Thank you for all of your input!

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

If you do dry van the heaviest thing I lift is myself in and out of the truck. The most physical part of my job is about 15 seconds of cranking to raise or lower the landing gear. The least physical job I've ever had.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
PackRat's Comment
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Don't forget sweeping the trailer of debris, or possibly installing chains.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
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Welcome to The Forum!

Back in 1988 I got my chauffeur's license at 37. I drove until 1993. Then in 2014 I went and got my cdl at 63. I never even considered driving when looking for a job because when I had my chauffeur's licence, we loaded and unloaded our trailers back then. My brother had just gotten his CDL and told me that I should drive again. I told him that I could pick up one 50 pound bag of goat feed but I couldn't do a whole trailer. He told me that drivers no longer loaded or unloaded their trailers. In fact, many shippers and receivers do not allow drivers in the warehouse.

You should be fine out there. Sitting too long can also cause issues, but if you stop for a little bit and do some stretching exercises, you can avoid those problems. Good luck!

Laura

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.

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.
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't forget sweeping the trailer of debris, or possibly installing chains.

Haha that's for youngsters, I've got a 60v blower on the truck for that and I don't even have chains on my truck. Haha, I know, ultimate lazy right?

I do have some back and neck issues from a repetitive motion injury from the Post Office but the truck isn't too bad. Plenty of shocks between the truck the cab and the seat to cushion the drive.

Vicki, just remember however that opiate pain medication and muscle relaxers are a no no in trucking. If you take them now you must stop prior to driving and cannot use them when driving at all.

Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't forget sweeping the trailer of debris, or possibly installing chains.

Oooh I forgot about chains. I could do that though. I live in the desert, so chains actually slipped my mind :D

Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

If you do dry van the heaviest thing I lift is myself in and out of the truck. The most physical part of my job is about 15 seconds of cranking to raise or lower the landing gear. The least physical job I've ever had.

Yeah lifting me in and out of the truck might be a job in itself lol thanks!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to The Forum!

Back in 1988 I got my chauffeur's license at 37. I drove until 1993. Then in 2014 I went and got my cdl at 63. I never even considered driving when looking for a job because when I had my chauffeur's licence, we loaded and unloaded our trailers back then. My brother had just gotten his CDL and told me that I should drive again. I told him that I could pick up one 50 pound bag of goat feed but I couldn't do a whole trailer. He told me that drivers no longer loaded or unloaded their trailers. In fact, many shippers and receivers do not allow drivers in the warehouse.

You should be fine out there. Sitting too long can also cause issues, but if you stop for a little bit and do some stretching exercises, you can avoid those problems. Good luck!

Laura

Thanks Laura. Yes, I stretch on road trips, but probably not as much as I should :D I think I'll be fine if I don't have to unload the truck lol.

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.

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.
Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Don't forget sweeping the trailer of debris, or possibly installing chains.

double-quotes-end.png

Haha that's for youngsters, I've got a 60v blower on the truck for that and I don't even have chains on my truck. Haha, I know, ultimate lazy right?

I do have some back and neck issues from a repetitive motion injury from the Post Office but the truck isn't too bad. Plenty of shocks between the truck the cab and the seat to cushion the drive.

Vicki, just remember however that opiate pain medication and muscle relaxers are a no no in trucking. If you take them now you must stop prior to driving and cannot use them when driving at all.

I figured that. I have an appointment with my pain doctor tomorrow and will see what we can cook up. I usually only take them when I have to work, so I'll just suffer through until I make a decision on this. I have a habit of getting an idea and being totally obsessed and then losing interest. I've been obsessed with truck driving THIS time for about 2 weeks, so I'll give it another month or 2 before I make any solid decisions. But yeah, I don't want to see an 18 wheeler coming at me piloted by someone on muscle relaxers and opiates :D The speed demons of the 70s and 80s were scary enough lol.
Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

For me the challenge is not so much any physical nature of the work, and there isn’t any really. I’m actually quite strong, having been a weightlifter in a past life.

The struggle for me is how much I have to manipulate with my hands. There is a significant amount of latching and unlatching, coupling and uncoupling, cranking and uncranking, opening and closing, which many may find easy but I actually find pretty challenging. I am not mechanically inclined, but if you are, there’s nothing to worry about

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