What Are Your Personal Positives And Negatives Regarding Jockeying A Rig For A Living?

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JakeBreak's Comment
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I just read that even as an employee, CDL holders can write off up to 80 dollars per day in food as a job expense.

Not anymore. Employees aren't allowed to write off per diem anymore since Trump did the thing with the standard deduction. The employer is still allowed to write it off so most companies give it to you with your pay instead of us having to write it off.

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.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

John B.'s Comment
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Lay off the 70s trucker movie lingo.

Davy A.'s Comment
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Lay off the 70s trucker movie lingo.

What the OP pictures trucking as?

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Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Preston, I've never shunned you. Sure, we pick.. You make a target for ones'self.

If you really want help broaching this industry, many of us are here to help you.

Have you even UTILIZED Brett's training materials? Just wondering. I've been thru all your screen names, here and elsewhere (yep!) << I'm cool like that, too.

Have you?!?!?

Print OUT Daniel B.'s PDF Pretrip. There IS none better! Even 'I' (yep, female, trucker's wife...) learned with that tool. Will I ever be a solo female driver?!?!? Anybody's guess. At least I've got the arrows in my quiver, should I decide that route when my son graduates.

I wish you more than well, Preston (Todd, TomCougar, et al...) I really do. I believe that sometthing about the military is 'getting in your head' and living vicariously through trucking, helps scratch that itch.

Again:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

As far as local/regional; get CLOSER to the 'exit date' / EOS where you are. We've got a few 'gems' in the mine, still.

Best to you!

~ Anne ~

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Hypertension:

Abnormally high blood pressure.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Breydan W.'s Comment
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Over my lifetime I've heard both good and bad things. Here are some of the things I have heard. To what extent are any of the following true? Please add anything you consider positive or negative about this line of work not listed here. Perception is not necessarily reality. Hollywood, TV, music, poetry, radio, the news media and the Internet can distort the raw facts about driving.

Truck Driving Perceived Positives

1. relatively handsome pay and benefits considering the minimum amount of hard physical labor required for the job duties; a man who worked in the building trades once told me truck driving was "for lazy people"... that was his own perception at least, it's not my opinion 2. being a "mega" driver has advantages: company drivers, though they have less freedom to be independent in their way of doing things, don't take on the serious economic risks that owner-operators take

Truck Driving Perceived Negatives

1. being away from home a long period of time 2. being exposed to unsavory people: violent people, corrupt people, criminal people, mobsters, racketeers 3. being at a high risk to encounter violent criminal elements 4. the lack of union representation for many company/OTR drivers 5. corporate greed truckers might have to deal with 6. lack of house-like living comforts and house-like living space over the road 7. keeping physically fit and thin can be difficult over the road 8. availability of hot, wholesome and affordable square meals can be limited; a barber of mine in 1985 once told me there was a time when truckers could find all you can eat ham and eggs for just $1.99 at roadside cafes; my barber used to stop at truck stop restaurants with waitresses for cheap and plentiful food while traveling 9. some truck stops have a reputation for being dirty (squalid) 10. living expenses out of pocket over the road can be high; some want to work and put as much money in the bank as possible, some don't want to work just to make truck stop owners rich 11. Uncle Sam and The Man make life difficult for truckers; too much red tape involved, log books, "chicken coops" and all that sort of irritating junk; do you inspect your personal automobile, or even your pickup truck towing a boat or travel trailer, before a road trip as meticulously as you inspect your semi truck? … some might think "it's just a stupid truck", not a sophisticated 747 jet plane or a NASA moon rocket after all so why all this mechanical scrutiny during pre-trips?? 12. OSHA might be too weak to aggressively protect the health and safety of working truck drivers 13. poorly-maintained roads and lack of truck-friendly infrastructure 14. speed traps and corrupt law enforcement in hick towns

What's so controversial about this? There is truth in all 16 points - some may be overblown a bit, but still true.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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