Uncle Trying To Talk Me Out Of Trucking

Topic 30164 | Page 1

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Truckdriving B.'s Comment
member avatar

He’s a miserable, pessimistic person in general, so I thought I should get some other opinions. I love driving, and can sit for long periods just watching the changing scenery. That’s one reason I’m interested in trucking. What he told me was that if I have back problems, FORGET it. It will destroy my family, and the people in the industry are trashy. I think he’s just a very critical, unhappy person. But I’d like to know: will I blow out my back lifting things? Will I still have enough time with the family? Are the people I’d be dealing with generally good people who I’d not mind being around. I recently had disc replacement surgery for a herniated disc, but other than that, my back is fine. I wouldn’t say I have a “bad back” like many people do. But lifting things could potentially make it worse. Also, can I still make $1500 a week if I stay in my state (FL)? I know that initially I’ll make less. I’m going to explore this forum more, as I just found it. But I wanted to start this thread anyway. Thanks so much!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to our forum!

You threw out a lot of questions. Let's see what we can do to help you.

First off there's a few things we need to talk about. One of the first things that stood out to me is that it sounds like you may have a young family that you enjoy being with. That's always an issue for a new truck driver. One of the best and most available truck driving jobs for a newbie is an over the road truck driving job. As a general rule, most local truck driving jobs require a minimum of one year over the road experience. That is a problem for new drivers who want to be home with their families. A typical over the road driver stays out on the road for about four weeks at a time and then returns home for about four days. That's a tough go for some.

Another problem facing you is that you are not living in a very good hiring area for an over the road job. There are some companies hiring from your area, but your options will be limited. It sounds like your goal is local driving, and those local delivery jobs almost always require lifting and unloading freight at multiple stops per day. You Uncle may have a point there concerning your back.

Let's look at some of the other things your dear old Uncle has to say...

It will destroy my family

Only if you let it. Let's be honest. Trucking has it's challenges. Being on the road for weeks at a time is challenging. When I first started this my children were grown. I still called them almost daily, and I certainly talked with my wife every day. There are technologies today that the truck drivers of old would have loved to have. I can see my grandchildren whenever I want by video calls. They often call me with the help of their parents. They love talking to their "Poppa," and finding out where he is. I used to keep a blog going just for my kids to follow along with what I was doing and where I was traveling. You can create your own ways of keeping in touch or you can let your family get destroyed. With so many options available today, you are in control of how this plays out. Your family needs to be your priority. You and your wife are responsible for keeping the flame alive. Work on it together.

the people in the industry are trashy

Well, some of them are. Trucking is a great diverse industry. We do have a few losers in our ranks, but you will find that there are so many fun and interesting people out here that you can ignore the trashy ones and never know you were missing anything. We truckers have built some bad reputations surrounding ourselves.

I have met some former lawyers, a dentist, and a great many other folks who have interesting and diverse pasts. I was a former business owner who decided to do this for a second career. I have met a lot of people out here who were way over educated for this career. They do it because they love it. Many of our members here hold several degrees. Your Uncle has probably met a few trashy truckers. You can find them if you want, but there are a lot of outstanding citizens out here making sure the world's goods are getting where they need to be.

Now, let's look at some of the things you are curious about...

will I blow out my back lifting things?

I'm 63 years old. I don't lift any freight. I never load or unload my trailers. I am a flat-bed driver, so I do some physical labor, but for the most part it is not that difficult. I am an over the road driver. Most of us handle what we call "No touch freight." Our customers and shippers do all the lifting, loading, and unloading. We drive the truck and make sure the goods are delivered safely and on time. That's where you need to be driving if you have back issues. Over the road drivers do very little work that would blow out their back.

Will I still have enough time with the family?

If you can handle being home about once a month for a few days then that's what you will have. You are trying to put several things together that don't exactly work well for your situation. Local driving jobs will get you home, but you will be giving your back a good strain each day. Trucking jobs almost always involve long hours. It doesn't matter if you are local or over the road. You will be working close to 70 plus hours per week. If you have back issues, I don't recommend unloading trucks. You just never know what you will be wrestling with each day. Delivery jobs can be very vigorous.

Are the people I’d be dealing with generally good people who I’d not mind being around?

That one is a little tough to answer. I find that I am all by myself most of the time. In trucking you have one person you deal with on your job. For me, that person is my dispatcher. I never see him, and I seldom speak on the phone with him. We communicate electronically. I get my assignments from him and I keep him up to date on my progress by email. I don't deal with any people other than my customers. They are always glad to see me, but we don't sit around and have coffee together. They unload me, and I am gone. I am not sure who you think you will be dealing with, but a trucker is pretty much working by himself all the time. It is a very independent job with little human interaction.

can I still make $1500 a week?

I am not sure how to answer that one. Trucking is a performance based business. You can make that much money if you prove you are worth it.

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.

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.

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.

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

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

TDB, sweet baby you've got, via the avatar~!!!

ALSO >>>>

Just so ya know.. and read it all,

Old School's reply is SO spot on!! PRICELESS INFO .. HE SHARES!

If i can throw in 2 cents . . . read Brett's free book.. (and all else!) RIGHT HERE.

Sorry for your conundrum; sounds like 'my' family dynamics, haha!

If this lil' starter kit doesn't make ya or break ya .. idk what else!!! READ Brett's book.. 2nd down !

Best wishes,

~ 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.
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

This is why truckers have the reputation of being nasty. The trash can is 10 feet from this guys truck yet he throws his trash, natural beer cans included out the door, there is more trash out further into the grass. I'd bet a weeks pay when he gets up he will not pick it up but will add more to it, probably pouring his pee bottle into the mix.

0805749001621483418.jpg

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

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

People who do that drive me absolutely nuts!!! Having been in the landscaping business for the last 30 years, I have had to pick up after these lazy dirtbags just about everyday so I could do my job.

Cant understand the lack of respect and laziness of the litterbug mind

confused.gif wtf-2.gif confused.gif

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

This is why truckers have the reputation of being nasty. The trash can is 10 feet from this guys truck yet he throws his trash, natural beer cans included out the door, there is more trash out further into the grass. I'd bet a weeks pay when he gets up he will not pick it up but will add more to it, probably pouring his pee bottle into the mix.

0805749001621483418.jpg

TBH, I'd get that Roehl's truck # ... just my 2 pennies.

~ Anne ~

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

James H.'s Comment
member avatar

S your uncle an orthopedist, or specifically your orthopedist? If not, his medical advise is worthless. What does your actual doctor say, either about sitting at the wheel for long hours, or doing some physical work as long as you use good technique like lifting with your legs, keeping the weight close to your body, etc? Old School is correct that, at least in my experience doing LTL , local work can involve a fair amount of freight handling, but fork lifts and pallet jacks do all the heavy lifting. And reputable companies aren't interested in their drivers going out on disability, so they stress lifting properly, not trying too much, getting help if something is too heavy, and saying no if the situation seems dangerous to you, your truck, or the freight.

Personally I like the change of pace and the chance to get off my rear end and move around a bit. My hiring process included a physical capabilities test with things like carrying a weight, pulling against resistance, and stepping up and down off a platform multiple times with pulse monitored. So far I haven't encountered anything more rigorous than the test. My hours doing linehaul are like 12 hours a night, five nights a week. If I switch to P&D after I have some seniority, the hours should decrease to maybe ten hours a day. But I'll be making less money.

As far as trashiness, I expect the percentage of trashy drivers is about the same as in any other profession. The overwhelming majority of my encounters with the other drivers at my company have been positive. But as a local driver, I've never been to a truck stop and the only time I'll be at a rest area is to read and reply to a text, or to check something on the truck. So maybe I don't get to see the bad behavior.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

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.

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

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah I had a different angle that showed the truck # but posted this instead. Not my place to call his company. This is not an unsafe condition, just nasty. Had he been urinating in full view of a drive through line or something or driving recklessly yeah, but not for this.

double-quotes-start.png

This is why truckers have the reputation of being nasty. The trash can is 10 feet from this guys truck yet he throws his trash, natural beer cans included out the door, there is more trash out further into the grass. I'd bet a weeks pay when he gets up he will not pick it up but will add more to it, probably pouring his pee bottle into the mix.

0805749001621483418.jpg

double-quotes-end.png

TBH, I'd get that Roehl's truck # ... just my 2 pennies.

~ Anne ~

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

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

I've debated responding to your post since I first read it a day or two ago. I'm literally still in CDL school, so I can't comment on much of what you're curious about. However, being someone who is NOT from a trucking family, or very experienced in the lifestyle of a trucker. I had concerns too.

What information I can provide to you is this.... Getting a CDL has been single-handedly one of the hardest things I've ever attempted to do, and it's not done yet. I test out on Wednesday. From what I can tell, you NEED to be committed to doing this, if you're going to do it. Don't come at it half-hearted or you probably won't make it through school and you'll have an extremely large new debt.

What others think about the decision, shouldn't matter. Does your wife approve? Is this something that can enhance or better your quality of life for your family and yourself? If the answers are Yes to this, then that's all that matters! Will it be hard on you and your family, HELL yeah!! Most rookie truckers don't typically jump right into daily hometime jobs. (it's not impossible but I don't think its the norm) So you'll be on the road for potentially weeks at a time.

There are so many things you can buy to help ease your back pain or make the seat more comfortable for yourself while driving so. I don't think trucking naturally ruins your body unless you are flatbed or a full-touch freight driver. (lots of companies or mostly, if not all, no-touch freight)

My point is this, do what is best for YOU and YOUR family. Leave the rest! Research, research, research!!! Watch youtube videos, devour all the GREAT info on this website provided free by great members and the owner of this site. If you still think it's what you want to do then good luck!! We are all here to help and provide sound advice (hopefully)

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.
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