Local Burn Out, Missing The Chicken Lights & Chrome

Topic 30568 | Page 1

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Tony's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone. Does anyone have any advice on dealing with burn out, particularly in regards to local work? I’ve been driving for about 4.5 years now, the last 4 being local LTL; pretty much all I’ve done. I’m a linehaul driver, I run shuttles around Southern California, I work my 14 nearly every day M-F 1800 - 0800.

The money is great, no complaints there, around 2,500 a week. But I’m miss the road. This isn’t why I got my license, I didn’t want to be a covered in grease & dirt everyday sweating my a$$ off in the night shift. I want the open road, I want the long nose Pete with enough chicken lights to turn night into day. It’s what I grew up with running with my dad. I just don’t know if I can give up the local though. I’ve got kids and don’t want to be away from them... but I can’t help but feel this desire for “real trucking”. Any help here? What would you do

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

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.
Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Hey Tony,

What do you think "real trucking" is? You can't eat those chicken lights, they do not pay the bills and you can not take them to bed so to speak. You are making an excellent living at around $2500 a week and would be lucky to make half of that on the road. The bottom line is you have stated that you do not want to be away from your kids. Being OTR will probably mean 2-3 weeks out then home for maybe 2-3 days if you are lucky. It seems like your desire is to be "The Bandit" but that will not pay the bills or keep the family unit from crumbling. Good luck.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Tony, you're in a tough spot. I traveled most of my career, but I did several local stints along the way. It was so boring, I just wanted to kill myself! I couldn't stand it. Trucking went from a lifestyle I was passionate about to a boring job of drudgery I couldn't stand.

Some people absolutely love local or LTL work. They love knowing what their paycheck will be and what their day will hold. They love being home every night. I totally get that. My family is mostly steelworkers and auto workers. They worked production lines. I tried that a few times before getting into trucking. Again, I wanted to kill myself!

I love a variety of challenges. I love for every day to be unique and unknowable. I loved life on the road.

I'm not sure what you can do, to be honest. I believe the kids and family must come first, but you deserve a life you enjoy, as well. You were not put on this Earth to be miserable so everyone else can be happy.

I always thought regional work was an acceptable compromise between life on the road and life at home. You're gone during the week, home for 36 - 48 hours on weekends. It might be worth considering. I think the tough part will be finding a gig that pays what you're making. You're making huge money. You may not find a regional gig that pays that well.

Heck, if you think you can get the job back that you have, maybe 6 - 12 months of OTR might refresh your spirit. Maybe then you'll be ready to go back to local work, and the family will be thrilled to have you back.

You're in a great spot with steady, high-paying work that gets you home to the family. Maybe there's a compromise to be had. No matter what choice you make, be sure the family is on board with it. You need their support, and they need yours. You're in this together. Let them know how you feel and see what happens.

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.

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tony's Comment
member avatar

Yea you’re right, just miss the sense of adventure I guess. Running to the same terminals night after night has worn me out. Made me loose the passion for the job I once had

Hey Tony,

What do you think "real trucking" is? You can't eat those chicken lights, they do not pay the bills and you can not take them to bed so to speak. You are making an excellent living at around $2500 a week and would be lucky to make half of that on the road. The bottom line is you have stated that you do not want to be away from your kids. Being OTR will probably mean 2-3 weeks out then home for maybe 2-3 days if you are lucky. It seems like your desire is to be "The Bandit" but that will not pay the bills or keep the family unit from crumbling. Good luck.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

Real tough one. I left the flatbed world last year to run Southern California local and would not consider returning anytime soon.

Your relishing in the dawn overtaking the nose of your cab and looking to the new state line each day is just my 100-yard alley dock and holding my breath while Google maps shows the traffic on i 5 camp Pendleton South to see how many hours extra it might take to get from LA to San Diego.

Have you charted a path back to the road or no?

Why getting so dirty?

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Real tough one. I left the flatbed world last year to run Southern California local and would not consider returning anytime soon.

Your relishing in the dawn overtaking the nose of your cab and looking to the new state line each day is just my 100 yard alley dock and holding my breath while Google maps shows the traffic on i 5 camp Pendleton South to see how many hours extra it might take to get from LA to San Diego.

Have you charted a path back to the road or no?

Why getting so dirty?

Holywow, it's good to see you again!!

Did we know you left the flatbed world?!? You still with Prime?

Dang good to see you around, man! Kearsey's been scarce, so she's kept usn's outta the loop, haha!

~ Anne ~

Tony;

Yeah, switching places w/ Spaceman Spiff's prior, would be a 'considerable' option; many flatbed companies are off weekender types. Probably be out all week, but, pay wise..you could get close to LTL current. Just thinking out loud; best wishes, man!

~ Anne ~

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
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Anne - It's great to hear from you Spaceman Spiff! Give us a bit of an update would ya?

I’ve got kids and don’t want to be away from them... but I can’t help but feel this desire for “real trucking”. Any help here? What would you do

Tony, I'm probably not a lot of help. I started trucking after raising my family. I feel ya though. I love the adventurous part of this career. It's like an addiction. I need it. I enjoy it. It makes me feel alive and free.

I don't know how much time you actually have with your kids running that kind of schedule. I see you are on the night shift, but surely you have got to get sufficient rest during the day. It is a tough choice. There are flatbed gigs with weekends off, but I think that is doubtful in your location. You could always just try to hang in there until your children are grown, or you could try doing some OTR work for a time period just to wet your appetite for adventure, and then go back to something local. The problem with all that is your family is accustomed to the level of income you are taking in now, and that is going to be tough to develop without a long term commitment to OTR.

My best advice is to make the sacrifices necessary now to keep your family's finances going as they are. Get those kids raised and established on their own, and then take care of Tony's desires and needs. That was always my approach to parenting and raising a family. They came first. Dad could wait a while. You also have a wife to consider. How is she going to be doing with you on the road? We all know trucking has it's issues. You are facing one of them now. We wish you the best and hope we have helped you look at it from a few different angles.

You seem like a hard working level headed individual. I'm sure you will get this figured out.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I think a major contributing factor to your burn out is the fact that you're pulling 14 hour shifts every night.

You're overworking yourself to death and I believe no matter what you do you'll eventually have burnout if you work like that.

I recommend switching routes and taking a route that isn't so demanding. Perhaps instead of 70 hours per week you work 50 or 55. That would make a big difference and would make you feel less like a zombie and your family would be happier to have you around a bit more.

Try doing that. I understand what you're going through to a degree since I do LTL too but when my son was born I dropped my hours from 59 hours per week to 44 and its made all the difference in the world.

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
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I wanted to become a driver when I still had a family (wife, teenage daughter) Wife said no possible way, so I kept working construction. It took many years but I always kept the dream alive. About 4years ago I did get my CDL and drove OTR briefly until life intervened again

Now I’m just days away from going back on the road. If I still had family responsibilities I would go local. Otherwise, I want to roam the country in a company truck with no chicken lights necessary. You will have to make the final decision because truck drivers are like snowflakes, every one is unique

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

I wanted to become a driver when I still had a family (wife, teenage daughter) Wife said no possible way, so I kept working construction. It took many years but I always kept the dream alive. About 4years ago I did get my CDL and drove OTR briefly until life intervened again

Now I’m just days away from going back on the road. If I still had family responsibilities I would go local. Otherwise, I want to roam the country in a company truck with no chicken lights necessary. You will have to make the final decision because truck drivers are like snowflakes, every one is unique

Wow, Bruce K. ~!!!

Finally getting back at it; good for you!

Hopefully you'll start a thread & let usn's know all the good stuff. . . :)

Best to ya, going forward;

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

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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