Question For Those Of You That Do Flatbed

Topic 30712 | Page 1

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Pianoman's Comment
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How physically demanding is the work?

I'm not afraid of hard work and have always enjoyed working physical jobs, but recently my health hasn't been as good as it was in the past due to my diabetes. I've had type I diabetes since I was 11 years old so it's nothing new but over the last couple years I haven't been able to take care of it as well because I either didn't have insurance or had a high deductible plan I couldn't really utilize properly because I wasn't making enough money. I just quit my job as an apprentice electrician because of the diabetes actually. I hate the fact that I quit but I was literally destroying my body with my blood sugar constantly swinging between 60 and 300+ and I had like no energy because of it either. If I'd continued I'd probably be facing some serious life-altering consequences within the next 10 years at the rate I was going.

The reason I'm looking into flatbed is that it would be healthier than working a job where I'm doing nothing but sitting and I do still like working somewhat physical jobs but I'm not sure if it would be too much for me physically at this point until I get a little healthier. I'm still strong enough to throw around 100 lb tarps so strength itself isn't the issue. I just don't know if I can physically handle a job where the 2 or 3 hours a day spent tarping is super demanding. Diabetes is a weird disease, don't judge lol.

I'm also looking into food service because of the pay. I realize I'm looking at some difficult jobs but the reason I'm coming back into trucking is because I need to make as much money as I can within reason. I got behind on bills during the pandemic so if I can physically do the job and it pays well it's on the table.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

It really depends on your preferences. Flat bed driving would be less strenuous than food delivery. You may only tarp once a week. It will just depend on your loads and the length of haul. I sometimes would get a load that needed to be tarped, but it may be 1,700 miles. That's three solid days of driving hard. So, I don't consider flat bed work to be too strenuous. If you want to be in a rush all day with multiple stops of unloading and dealing with customers, then I'd lean toward food delivery. You could make some great money either way. I don't know much about diabetes, but I sure wouldn't blame any problems you are having with it on insurance. You have got to make the right choices in your diet and if you are on insulin you have got to prioritize your medication and make sure you are following your physician's advice. There's a ton of great advice online for diabetics. You just have to be disciplined and make sure you are doing what is needed for your best health. Diabetes is a killer. You have got to take care of yourself.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

My TNT trainer told me a story about how one driver in front of him was a one-armed man. So the physical challenge part is not as hard as the Mystique many people have about flat bedding.

I came from a very sedentary office job so I get more exercise in doing the securement but it's still not overwhelming. I've gained muscle but lost weight and my waist has shrunk by about 2 inches.

Over the last year I've tarped half my loads. But as Old School says, you may have two full days of driving after picking up a load.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

It really depends on your preferences. Flat bed driving would be less strenuous than food delivery. You may only tarp once a week. It will just depend on your loads and the length of haul. I sometimes would get a load that needed to be tarped, but it may be 1,700 miles. That's three solid days of driving hard. So, I don't consider flat bed work to be too strenuous. If you want to be in a rush all day with multiple stops of unloading and dealing with customers, then I'd lean toward food delivery. You could make some great money either way. I don't know much about diabetes, but I sure wouldn't blame any problems you are having with it on insurance. You have got to make the right choices in your diet and if you are on insulin you have got to prioritize your medication and make sure you are following your physician's advice. There's a ton of great advice online for diabetics. You just have to be disciplined and make sure you are doing what is needed for your best health. Diabetes is a killer. You have got to take care of yourself.

Thanks Old School. The companies I have been looking at are regional or local. The main company I'm thinking about does regional flatbed work and the average load is usually anywhere from 300-700 miles, so there would be alot more tarping than the typical otr flatbed gig. If you had to deliver every day would you still consider it not too strenuous? Sorry I just don't know very much about flatbed.

I don't know much about diabetes, but I sure wouldn't blame any problems you are having with it on insurance.

Look, I appreciate the good intentions, but this is the most ignorant statement I think I've ever seen you make on this forum. If you want to know more about Type I diabetes I'd be happy to help but your comments about a disease you know nothing about by your own admission are not helpful.

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.

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.

Dm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

My TNT trainer told me a story about how one driver in front of him was a one-armed man. So the physical challenge part is not as hard as the Mystique many people have about flat bedding.

I came from a very sedentary office job so I get more exercise in doing the securement but it's still not overwhelming. I've gained muscle but lost weight and my waist has shrunk by about 2 inches.

Over the last year I've tarped half my loads. But as Old School says, you may have two full days of driving after picking up a load.

Thanks Chief Brody, that really helps me put it in perspective. I'm sure it was a real workout for him! Mad props.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Look, I appreciate the good intentions, but this is the most ignorant statement I think I've ever seen you make on this forum. If you want to know more about Type I diabetes I'd be happy to help but your comments about a disease you know nothing about by your own admission are not helpful.

My point, which I clearly didn't make properly, was...

I have a friend with Type one diabetes. She has no insurance and she manages her health very well. That's why I am not getting the connection you are clearly making between the two.

Sorry Pianoman. I knew I should have stayed out of that issue, but I was honestly trying to be helpful.

If you had to deliver every day would you still consider it not too strenuous?

I just am fond of the flat bed job. I could tarp everyday and be just as happy as a pig in mud. Think of it as an hour and a half of exercise per day. Does that seem to strenuous? I think food delivery would be considerably more physical work.

Dm:

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.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

At first, you’re going to be worn out, there’s no real way around it because you’re using muscle groups you don’t normally use in the majority of other driving positions. It doesn’t take long before your body adapts though and you learn the tricks to doing things that work easier for you and make it a little less labor intensive. I’ve seen plenty of flatbed and heavy haul guys who don’t exactly fit the profile of peak fitness lol. You can handle this, you just have to want it.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I have a friend with Type one diabetes. She has no insurance and she manages her health very well. That's why I am not getting the connection you are clearly making between the two.

Sorry Pianoman. I knew I should have stayed out of that issue, but I was honestly trying to be helpful.

I appreciate that. I don't want to go too much into it since this is a trucking forum, but there are a few reasons why she may have had better success without insurance. The biggest difference is probably her daily routine. I was actually able to control it pretty well without insurance at first which is why I went so long without it. But when I got into construction, the activity level is so all over the place it's next to impossible to control blood sugar levels using the insulin I've been using. Also, everyone's body is different. I'm part of a facebook group with other type I diabetics and it's crazy how some people can seemingly do everything right and their body just doesn't respond the same to insulin and certain foods and exercise.

I just am fond of the flat bed job. I could tarp everyday and be just as happy as a pig in mud. Think of it as an hour and a half of exercise per day. Does that seem to strenuous? I think food delivery would be considerably more physical work.

Thanks, that's really helpful. It seems like it really wouldn't be a problem. I'm not sure about food delivery. My old codriver works for Sysco now and it seems like it would probably be fine. Lack of routine is the hardest thing to deal with with diabetes. If I know I'm gonna be dollying packages up and down a ramp for 10 hours it probably wouldn't be terribly difficult to manage. I'll regularly go for 10 mile bike rides in the heat and be fine doing it, I just have to plan for it.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

At first, you’re going to be worn out, there’s no real way around it because you’re using muscle groups you don’t normally use in the majority of other driving positions. It doesn’t take long before your body adapts though and you learn the tricks to doing things that work easier for you and make it a little less labor intensive. I’ve seen plenty of flatbed and heavy haul guys who don’t exactly fit the profile of peak fitness lol. You can handle this, you just have to want it.

Thanks Robert!

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Pianoman asks:

If you had to deliver every day would you still consider it not too strenuous? Sorry I just don't know very much about flatbed.

Depends. I would haul day loads of shingles or Charlotte Pipe until the cows come home.

If this was my every day load, four tarp load, I would quit.

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