COVID May Be Forcing Me Into A Trucking Career

Topic 29632 | Page 1

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Lone Wolf's Comment
member avatar

Anyone interested in trucking work because the COVID crises has shut down a lot of work? I work for one of those places and I am now having to scrap for whatever work I can get!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Yes, necessity drove me to this industry. I recently graduated and while there I met many who's businesses or industry were shut down. Even a helicopter pilot from the tourist sector. People in their 50's and 60's for whom a new career wasn't on the horizon just a year ago. 2020 brought lot of things I didn't think I'd see.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I am now having to scrap for whatever work I can get!

Welcome to our forum Lone Wolf!

I've been watching the newbies come into trucking for years now. Oftentimes it is some unexpected crisis, eliminating someone's livelihood, that pushes them into this rewarding career. I have met so many drivers out here who were professionals in some other field before they got into trucking. I have met lawyers, a former dentist, high school teachers, college professors, and others from just about any imaginable profession. Trucking is a career that can be jumped into at almost any stage of one's life. I started at the age of 53. The week I got hired for my first trucking job, the company also hired a gentleman who was 73! I can't tell you how many people I have met who came from volatile industries like the oil and gas business. Some fields like that go through boom and bust periods. People get accustomed to making great money and then the rug gets pulled out from under them. Trucking is stable. For the past ten years the demand for drivers has been strong. It is a job that can be counted on to remain stable.

There is a problem related to high driver demand. People tend to think this will be an easy way to have a job because of the high demand. Unfortunately it doesn't always work that way. The other thing I have witnessed over the years is the very high turnover rates in trucking. This is not a job that most folks can relate to. We don't work 8 to 5 and then go home. It is a huge commitment of time and resolve. Trucking companies have little to no way of knowing if a new driver will develop into a reliable beneficial employee or not. We watch them come and go in our forum all the time. It is a career that is completely performance based. We put up or shut up out here.

We are proud of the resources we have developed for new drivers here. We are also proud of the many drivers who have found the secrets to success in trucking by being active here at our website. This career is very challenging. That is what makes it very desirable for some, and just as dreadful for others. Not everybody enjoys waking up in a new state each day, conquering new problems with each sunrise, and making tough decisions on the fly. Truckers are independent types who carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. They face ever changing circumstances with each dispatch. We work alone. We may not see anyone we even know for weeks at a time. We basically have a relationship with one person at our company - our dispatcher. It is important that we can get things done without needing to be told what to do. We handle the details. All we are really given is a destination and an appointment time. Everything else we make happen.

It is a great career for some, and it is torture for others. There is no way to get around that. You will find a lot of whiners and complainers online when it comes to the trucking careers. They are the failed ones who gave it a try. Most of them were not prepared for the lifestyle we live. Trucking is not for everyone. It is a remarkable career that demands remarkable people. I'm hoping you might be one of those remarkable folks who take to trucking like a frog takes to water, but there is no way for us to know that. Take the time to look through these resources. You will find some valuable information and help in them. Feel free to participate in our forum and ask as many questions as you like. There are no dumb questions. You can be confident that we don't bite. We love doing what we do, and a big part of that is helping folks like you get started in a career that we both love and enjoy.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Hey there, Lone Wolf, welcome! I started driving after retiring from another career. It took me over a year to get acclimated to the changes the job required; going from a consistent schedule to the varied needs of the industry was just one of the many massive lifestyle changes required. If, and it's a BIG if, you are able to make the transitions and sacrifices necessary, this career can be as fulfilling as many.

Opportunities abound for men and women that are willing to "ride for the brand", recognizing that their every interaction reflects not only on the employer but also on the individual. A willingness to do what is needed, follow rules, policies and laws, and maintain a positive demeanor will get you much farther than the behaviors of those that are perpetually dissatisfied with their situation. You can be dissatisfied or frustrated, just don't take it out on others or whine about it constantly.

Is driving an 'easy' job? Some (usually those that haven't done it) will say "Yes - how hard could it be?" Those in the know will say "Ya, it's tough, sometimes tougher than others, but it's generally worth it." That is the type of response you'll likely see on this forum.

Feel free to ask questions, there are not dumb questions. You may get a variety of responses to the same question, while that can be frustrating, recognize that each of the experienced folks on here will respond from their individual perspective, training, and experience. Seek clarification if you don't understand something - this place is a GREAT resource. I wish I would have known about it my first 14 months of driving.

Wishing you great success as you continue to consider this field. You're a young man, you've got a great career potential in front of you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Anyone interested in trucking work because the COVID crises has shut down a lot of work? I work for one of those places and I am now having to scrap for whatever work I can get!

Yeah, sort of.

What I mean is that my job changed radically because of Covid. I teach 7th grade and I now have to do it remotely. I can't stand it. Covid is making me jump ship. Something I've wanted to do for a while, so now I have the push.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Im 50, Something Ive always wanted to do to. This site has a wealth of information and reality in it. Im slated to start school and training first week in March. Im a contractor and work is starting to slow. I could certainly say that Covid has much to do with it, but the reality is that I always wanted to do this, but traded cold comfort for change until it was uncomfortable not to change. There seems to be a lot of us going for second careers in this industry. Check out

and I personally get a lot out of reading the diaries here as well as everything else.

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.
Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Im 50, Something Ive always wanted to do to. This site has a wealth of information and reality in it. Im slated to start school and training first week in March. Im a contractor and work is starting to slow. I could certainly say that Covid has much to do with it, but the reality is that I always wanted to do this, but traded cold comfort for change until it was uncomfortable not to change. There seems to be a lot of us going for second careers in this industry. Check out

and I personally get a lot out of reading the diaries here as well as everything else.

Besides KUDOS, that is SOOOOO cooool that you learned how to share that link... in what.. a week?

Took me 3 years.

XD

~ Anne ~

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.
Lone Wolf's Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone!

Work has really picked up for me hence, my late reply.

I have thought about trucking my entire life. Believe me that I know all about working 100 hours a week and being underpaid. I currently work for a local radio shop as a technician. I also help out with working private security and 24/7 alarm response. It's a small company and they are great people to work for. However, it's barely enough money to survive on. No benefits, I haven't had a weeks paid vacation in over six years! So, if anyone has something to whine about then... Just think about that.

Sure, it's very easy for me to just sit on my ass fixing radios and computers all night but, I also do install's during the daytime hours.

I like my job. I like everyone I work with but, I am living paycheck to paycheck. I have nothing for retirement. I am lucky if I can invest anything from $5 to $100 dollars a week on Acorns.

So yeah,

I don't care if I have to work a ton of hours. If the money is better and if the job comes with benefits then why not?

I posted this message as an question about new truck drivers coming into the industry because COVID, shut their workplace down. Many places are opening back up. How many new drivers are out here because of COVID?

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone!

Work has really picked up for me hence, my late reply.

I have thought about trucking my entire life. Believe me that I know all about working 100 hours a week and being underpaid. I currently work for a local radio shop as a technician. I also help out with working private security and 24/7 alarm response. It's a small company and they are great people to work for. However, it's barely enough money to survive on. No benefits, I haven't had a weeks paid vacation in over six years! So, if anyone has something to whine about then... Just think about that.

Sure, it's very easy for me to just sit on my ass fixing radios and computers all night but, I also do install's during the daytime hours.

I like my job. I like everyone I work with but, I am living paycheck to paycheck. I have nothing for retirement. I am lucky if I can invest anything from $5 to $100 dollars a week on Acorns.

So yeah,

I don't care if I have to work a ton of hours. If the money is better and if the job comes with benefits then why not?

I posted this message as an question about new truck drivers coming into the industry because COVID, shut their workplace down. Many places are opening back up. How many new drivers are out here because of COVID?

Well then, you will be pleased to learn you cannot work 100 hours a week, you can work 70 hours in 8 days max then you must take 34 hours off. And as for underpaid, if you are not making $40,000 or more your first year then you are doing something wrong. Your pay is largely controlled by you. The more miles you drive each week the more you make. Not to mention you can only drive 11 hours or be on duty 14 hours each day. The work is steady and if you keep your record clean then you can go to any company you want for the most part and can easily make around the $60,000-$100,000 yearly once you have some experience behind you. Granted you are not home every night when OTR driving but I feel the compensation is more than fair for what we do. Where else can you have zero higher education, take a 3 week course for a CDL , a few weeks or so training then have $200,000 in equipment given to you to drive and make good money with very little manual labor?

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.

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.

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