Any Hispanic/Latino OTR Truck Drivers Out Here?

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dirtydeeds's Comment
member avatar

So, for the past 5 months I’ve been researching, studying, and preparing to become and OTR Truck Driver. I’ve passed my written exam, obtained my permit, and I’m now in a different state for training to get my CDL license! Exciting stuff! At least it was until I started to drive over here from my state, which is a very mixed bag of all kinds of cultures and people. I noticed that the farther I drove out of my home state I felt less welcomed and more out of place. I’ve almost forgotten that i’m Hispanic/Latino after living in such a diverse and accepting community. On my drive here, i’ve been given dirty looks, and had a stranger bump into my shoulder from behind while I was just standing there and he had more than enough room to walk around me. He then took a picture of me on his phone and then walked away. I might be thinking about it too much but I am a little bit nervous and scared of continuing my journey of becoming an OTR truck driver. I don’t wanna quit because i’ve finally found something i’m passionate about that’s worth pursuing and I can’t see myself doing anything else. My question here is: How do other hispanic otr truck drivers deal with these feelings? Are there any places I should look out for? Any tips? This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt this way. Somebody give me a pep talk or something. 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.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

So, for the past 5 months I’ve been researching, studying, and preparing to become and OTR Truck Driver. I’ve passed my written exam, obtained my permit, and I’m now in a different state for training to get my CDL license! Exciting stuff! At least it was until I started to drive over here from my state, which is a very mixed bag of all kinds of cultures and people. I noticed that the farther I drove out of my home state I felt less welcomed and more out of place. I’ve almost forgotten that i’m Hispanic/Latino after living in such a diverse and accepting community. On my drive here, i’ve been given dirty looks, and had a stranger bump into my shoulder from behind while I was just standing there and he had more than enough room to walk around me. He then took a picture of me on his phone and then walked away. I might be thinking about it too much but I am a little bit nervous and scared of continuing my journey of becoming an OTR truck driver. I don’t wanna quit because i’ve finally found something i’m passionate about that’s worth pursuing and I can’t see myself doing anything else. My question here is: How do other hispanic otr haltruck drivers deal with these feelings? Are there any places I should look out for? Any tips? This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt this way. Somebody give me a pep talk or something. Lol.

Awh, hun!

I'm the site 'cheerleader/momma' person. I'm Italian; and I get mistaken for Latino ALL the time. Born in NY, raised in FL .. of course, I know the language... had to, in Florida.

SO?!?!? You're of hispanic origin. I've been called a SPIC on and off all my life; doesn't bother me a bit. IF YOU ARE A DRIVER, THEN THAT'S YOUR TITLE. It 'trumps' all nationalities......

Carry on, good sir.

Read Brett's book:

I wish you THE BEST. IGNORE THE HATERS.

~ 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.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I'm hispanic. My mom is Puerto Rican and dad is Dominican. I grew up in Brooklyn, which is like the melting pot of the world. I don't drive OTR , I drive on the bright side in a day cab , but I had similar experiences when I moved to the mountains in Pennsylvania.

It bothered me for about 2 minutes, then I didn't think anything of it. The opinions of those that don't matter, don't matter.

It's just a matter of becoming acclimated. It was obvious I was from Brooklyn by the way I spoke and dressed. The car was also a dead giveaway. Infinitin with 20 inch chrome wheels, blacked out windows and a stereon system causing earthquakes.

Now, I give people with NY/NJ license plates dirty looks rofl-2.gif rofl-3.gif I dress and act like I'm from the mountains in Pennsylvania. It's just a matter of being comfortable in your skin. Once, you are you'll be fine.

Another thing is, listening to the media and all that other nonsense I had a preconceived notion that everybody is racist. I treated people like they were racist and you get the energy you give.

5 months in, your mind is still racing and overthinking. Once everything is second nature, you'll be fine.

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Are you bi lingual? CFI has many hispanic drivers. We also do tons of shipping across our Southern boarder. We have a terminal in Laredo and drop yards from Texas to California along the boarder. Being able to speak Spanish is a plus down here.

Truck drivers come from all backgrounds. Be a safe professional driver and you will be respected.

Good luck and relax and smile.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Are you bi lingual? CFI has many hispanic drivers. We also do tons of shipping across our Southern boarder. We have a terminal in Laredo and drop yards from Texas to California along the boarder. Being able to speak Spanish is a plus down here.

Truck drivers come from all backgrounds. Be a safe professional driver and you will be respected.

Good luck and relax and smile.

Bi Lingual....shoot! Don't forget going into Canada, the other border. Tri Lingual is even better.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Trucking is such a diverse industry. It is hard for me to even imagine what you are feeling. You almost sound paranoid to me. I have never been to a truck stop for a break where there weren't at least a dozen or more nationalities of drivers gathered. Drop your fears and expectations. Focus on being the best driver you can be. You will be accepted into this if you do a great job at it.

You should see all the Sikhs out here. They are obvious because of the way the have that turban on their head. Would you like to guess why they make such great truck drivers? They have a very strong work ethic. It is not the color of your skin, or the accent in your tongue that affects how well you are accepted into this industry. This industry is all bound up in honest effective toil. Those that get the job done well are accepted well. Get in there and show you are a worthy candidate. That's what it takes to succeed out here. Be a rookie who shows some heart and some understanding. You will be a great truck driver regardless of your nationality.

If a person washes out in trucking and they blame it on their nationality, they have made a big mistake in understanding why they didn't make it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I appreciate all the encouraging words you guys are giving. It definitely makes me feel a lot better. I’ve only ever been in the NJ/NY area and Orland, Florida. Traveling to the mid-west just gave me a bad taste in my mouth that’s all. I might be a little paranoid, I have a hard time trusting people to begin with. I’ll try and keep an open and positive mind. Can’t wait to see all the cool people at the truck stops once I get out on the road!

Are you bi lingual? CFI has many hispanic drivers. We also do tons of shipping across our Southern boarder. We have a terminal in Laredo and drop yards from Texas to California along the boarder. Being able to speak Spanish is a plus down here.

Truck drivers come from all backgrounds. Be a safe professional driver and you will be respected.

Good luck and relax and smile.

I’m sort of Bi-lingual. I know more english than I do spanish. I was born in America and if you heard me talk you wouldn’t even think I was hispanic. At least that’s what i’ve been told.

I'm hispanic. My mom is Puerto Rican and dad is Dominican. I grew up in Brooklyn, which is like the melting pot of the world. I don't drive OTR , I drive on the bright side in a day cab , but I had similar experiences when I moved to the mountains in Pennsylvania.

It bothered me for about 2 minutes, then I didn't think anything of it. The opinions of those that don't matter, don't matter.

It's just a matter of becoming acclimated. It was obvious I was from Brooklyn by the way I spoke and dressed. The car was also a dead giveaway. Infinitin with 20 inch chrome wheels, blacked out windows and a stereon system causing earthquakes.

Now, I give people with NY/NJ license plates dirty looks rofl-2.gif rofl-3.gif I dress and act like I'm from the mountains in Pennsylvania. It's just a matter of being comfortable in your skin. Once, you are you'll be fine.

Another thing is, listening to the media and all that other nonsense I had a preconceived notion that everybody is racist. I treated people like they were racist and you get the energy you give.

5 months in, your mind is still racing and overthinking. Once everything is second nature, you'll be fine.

I come from a place close to where you’re from so this definitely made me feel better, thanks. I’ll keep going.

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.

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Here's a perfect example right now. I'm at a shipper , in the dock for the past three hours. In this time, I've had at least six drivers approach me looking for the shipping office. I'm better than most at identifying people by facial features, attire, or accents.

1 Eastern Asian

1 Caucasian

1 Somali

2 Hispanic

1 Trinadad and Tobago

Everybody from everywhere drives.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

My circle has been Ohio, Massachusetts, Delaware/Maryland, Virginia.

That's as far as work has taken me. My experience has been that truckers will help truckers. There are some that won't and that's ok. Nobody is obligated to help, but for the most part they will.

Since we're from the same place, I think I understand where your head is. NY, for as big and diverse as it is, is very close minded. Everybody thinks the same. You don't realize that people are different until you leave there. I look Hispanic and if I let my facial hair grow out I look Arabic.

When I left, I expected everyone to treat me differently based on the color of my skin and my features. The truth is, I was the one acting funny and projecting negativity. I was defensive, waiting for an attack that never came.

Growing up, I was taught that white people were privileged and that I would spend my life in the slums. The hardest thing I've ever had to overcome is that thinking. It sounds like you're still suffering from it.

The truth is, the country isn't racist. Are there racist people out there? Sure, but people are allowed to believe what they want and feel how they want. As long as it doesn't infringe on my freedom, I'm fine with it.

You'll find that shippers, receivers, truckers and people in general judge you by your attitude, your work ethic and sometimes by the name on the side of the trailer. All you can do is your best. Do the best you can with what you got.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Growing up, I was taught that white people were privileged and that I would spend my life in the slums. The hardest thing I've ever had to overcome is that thinking. It sounds like you're still suffering from it.

The truth is, the country isn't racist. Are there racist people out there? Sure, but people are allowed to believe what they want and feel how they want. As long as it doesn't infringe on my freedom, I'm fine with it.

Amen. There are some people who find racism in everything.

I took a picture of a very small sign...it was about 11 x 14. It had a name totally different from what the shipping warehouse said it would. When I told the clerk at the customer about the sign, they asked me to take the picture and text it to them because the office personnel never drive into the warehouse side. They assumed this huge sign for truckers and it was tiny and wrong...

Anyway... A black woman then chased me back to my truck yelling for me to turn around so she could take my picture. I was confused. She thought I took pictures of her and yelled "havent you ever seen a darkie before?" Her words, not mine. I never even saw her and she wasnt in my picture at all. When I showed her the pictures, she didn't even apologize.

A former student said good morning to a waitress he passed on the way to the restroom. She walked by him and said good morning to the guy at the table as she poured him coffee. My student swore up and down she ignored him and said it to me cause of racism. Not so...the guy at the table was paying her tip. Maybe she was preoccupied with thoughts and didn't hear him, I don't know. She could have had a kid dying of cancer for all we know and was not in the right frame of mind. It doesn't make things racist.

Out west in am definitely the minority and often cant understand spanish signs or people I call my spanish friend to translate. So what?

Women told me not to get into trucking or I would be raped and disrespected by all the sexist men. Really??? Wow...cause I can tell you..it is usually the men who are helping and respecting me. Including the ones on this forum.

Do your job, earn money and dont let your surroundings freak you out. Unless you are in a riot and I suggest you grab a couple hammers. Rioters definitely wont care what color you are....they will attack you and your truck anyway.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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