Life Work Balance

Topic 30480 | Page 1

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Amy M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm so grateful to have found this site and appreciative of the community here that has shared their knowledge and experience in trucking! I'm currently looking into getting my CDL and am trying to learn all I can about the industry and I've found this site to be a wealth of information. I feel like it would be a very fulfilling career, but I want to make sure it's a good fit before I take the leap.

I've always thought trucking would be a really cool career but have never pursued it for a couple of reasons, one, my life circumstances have been that I have personal obligations that would have kept me from traveling extensively and secondly, I've always been very intimidated at driving something so enormous! I've kind of had a mental block that I just could never do that.

I left an unfulfilling career a few years back to take care of my dad who had Parkinson's and when he past I sold my house wanting to live a simpler and more fulfilling life. I bought a cargo van at the beginning of 2020 and spent most of the year converting it into my tiny home on wheels. Since it's been done I've been traveling with my dog and absolutely love being on the road with her living out of my van.

I understand that driving a truck is not the same as a cargo van by any means, but going through the process of building out a van, has giving me the confidence that maybe I'm capable of more than I realize and traveling in it has grown in me a passion for being on the open road and now I am at a time in my life where my primary responsibility is to myself rather than others.

What I've heard others express repeatedly is despite all it's benefits, it's really hard work which I get and I'm ok with but I'm also aware that the number of miles I can drive while still being happy may not be what everyone else is capable of. Most people's goal seems to be making lots of money, which while making money is important to me, my higher goal is having a healthy work life balance. I'm a stellar employee in that I am dependable, mature, teachable, disciplined, patient with myself and others, focused, organized, determined, and I strive to be the very best I can be at whatever I endeavor to do. I'm confident that I can drive 2K miles a week and to me that would be ideally what I want even if I'm not making a big paycheck. Maybe I could do 2500 miles a week for a while but 3k miles a week isn't realistic for me. My question is, how realistic is it that I will find a company that will hire me to work roughly 2k to 2500 miles weekly? I'm willing to trade off making less money, even a lot less money for a while to have this and I feel like I have a lot to offer an employer in exchange.

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.
Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Honestly most new people do not drive more than 2500 miles per week when they start . Stamina, learning curve on the clock, etc. Setting at the wheel and constantly being aware and getting bumped around takes some getting used too. It was a lot more tiring than I thought it would be.

I’m sure most places will take that into consideration with a new driver. Once you get used to it you will probably run 3000 without blinking an eye. So I wouldn’t let that deter me.

What they WILL frown on is missed appointments and not running your clock correctly. I’m sure there are way more experienced drivers here that can weigh in on the particulars.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Howdy, Amy!!

Papa Pig is SO spot on....

Heck, I know of MANY people that are actually 'content' with 2500 mi/wk .. taking it low & slow, and enjoying the scenery, as long as it doesn't mess with delivery schedules, etc... it's really up to you! Some drivers exceed 3000 . . . by choice.

If you haven't yet, read Brett's book; the free version is the 2nd line item down, right here:

Trucking Truth's High Road Training Program & some practice, follows.

Welcome to TT, and wish you the best!

~ 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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, I totally agree with Papa Pig!

Don't even discuss it with a prospective employer. Very few rookies are consistently turning lots of miles. The main three things you want to focus on are...

1 Be safe.

2) Be on time.

3) Be easy to get along with.

If you can do those three things, any company will be proud to have you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Amy, welcome to the forum. Trucking is a lifestyle career. Our days are 10 to 12 hours long on average. Some loads are tighter and require harder driving. One must learn to be adaptable. You don't necessarily get to say I will only drive 2000 miles this week.

Sure, people are able to make some time in there days for some quick site seeing, hiking, or other activities.

You are always expected to do your job, safely and efficiently.

This can be a very rewarding career but it is far from traveling around in your van.

Good luck.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

Everyone seems to think they can work what they want, truth is once you get it in the truck your in the truck. Your gone for a week at a time or more. Work all you can and make all you can while you can. Trucking is theres no time to waste.

I'm so grateful to have found this site and appreciative of the community here that has shared their knowledge and experience in trucking! I'm currently looking into getting my CDL and am trying to learn all I can about the industry and I've found this site to be a wealth of information. I feel like it would be a very fulfilling career, but I want to make sure it's a good fit before I take the leap.

I've always thought trucking would be a really cool career but have never pursued it for a couple of reasons, one, my life circumstances have been that I have personal obligations that would have kept me from traveling extensively and secondly, I've always been very intimidated at driving something so enormous! I've kind of had a mental block that I just could never do that.

I left an unfulfilling career a few years back to take care of my dad who had Parkinson's and when he past I sold my house wanting to live a simpler and more fulfilling life. I bought a cargo van at the beginning of 2020 and spent most of the year converting it into my tiny home on wheels. Since it's been done I've been traveling with my dog and absolutely love being on the road with her living out of my van.

I understand that driving a truck is not the same as a cargo van by any means, but going through the process of building out a van, has giving me the confidence that maybe I'm capable of more than I realize and traveling in it has grown in me a passion for being on the open road and now I am at a time in my life where my primary responsibility is to myself rather than others.

What I've heard others express repeatedly is despite all it's benefits, it's really hard work which I get and I'm ok with but I'm also aware that the number of miles I can drive while still being happy may not be what everyone else is capable of. Most people's goal seems to be making lots of money, which while making money is important to me, my higher goal is having a healthy work life balance. I'm a stellar employee in that I am dependable, mature, teachable, disciplined, patient with myself and others, focused, organized, determined, and I strive to be the very best I can be at whatever I endeavor to do. I'm confident that I can drive 2K miles a week and to me that would be ideally what I want even if I'm not making a big paycheck. Maybe I could do 2500 miles a week for a while but 3k miles a week isn't realistic for me. My question is, how realistic is it that I will find a company that will hire me to work roughly 2k to 2500 miles weekly? I'm willing to trade off making less money, even a lot less money for a while to have this and I feel like I have a lot to offer an employer in exchange.

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.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Amy,

Because, as they say, Trucking is a lifestyle, you need to look at the work life balance a little different than a typical job.

I'll use my schedule as an example. I am away from home for 3-4 weeks at a time. But, I text my wife regularly, including sending pictures, and buy postcards and gifts from places I visit.

I generally log 60 to 70 hours in six days and then have one day off. While that sounds like a lot, I'll give you an example schedule.

Monday: wake up and drive 1 hour to my delivery. 1 hour to unload. Then drive 3 hours to the receiver to get my next load. 2 hours to load. Drive 6 hours. So while one could consider this a 13-hour day, during the 10 hours of drive time, I either talk on the phone, listen to podcasts, listen to books on tape, or listen to music.

Tuesday: 10 to 11 hours of driving. Same thing here. I talk on the phone, listen to podcasts, listen to books on tape, or listen to music. Because this is a "driving only" day, I may stop at some interesting sites along the way.

Wednesday; same as Monday

Thursday: same as Tuesday.

Friday: same as Monday and Wednesday.

Saturday: same as Tuesday and Thursday. But usually, I will stop more often at interesting sites. Or go by a Walmart for shopping.

Sunday: day off wherever i happen to land. Last weekend was Evanston, Wyoming.

So while I am "on the clock" for 60 to 70 hours each week, the loading and delivery part of the that 60 to 70 hours is about 10 hours, but can be as much as 20 hours each week. Then add about 10 more hours for the part of the driving that involves navigating to a shipper or receiver. This is off interstate type of driving where I don't talk on the phone or listen to podcasts for safety reasons. In addition, when I'm on the interstate and go through a weigh station or encounter traffic, I will get off the phone or pause my podcast or book on tape. But that still leaves most of your "on the clock" time as "your time." At the end of each day, during my 10-hour break, I usually go for a walk, looking for geocaches, eat dinner, and take a shower.

The key to leveraging this available "your time" is to plan ahead. I have a podcast que that I set ahead of time. So, all I need to do is hit play once I start rolling.

Hope this helps.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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