Mistakes I've Made In Trucking

Topic 30776 | Page 1

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Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

What mistakes have you made that others could learn from?

Since I'm a rookie, I'll speak to other beginners and those considering a career. I only drove solo for four months and then left driving, not by choice but by necessity. On TT you will hear every experienced driver advise you to get at least a year of driving under your belt before you even consider making a career move.

Now I've been working on getting a job to re-enter the driving profession. But with only 4 months experience, I have limited options. Schneider has offered to bring me back on board, but most companies will not even consider a driver with less than 1 year experience. Many good jobs require even more, like 2 or 3 years. And even if you can get re-hired with limited experience, your pay will reflect that limited experience until you prove your value.

What would you do different if you could go back and correct your mistakes?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I should have gotten started with my CDL sooner.

Also, I would make sure those legs where rolled down in December of 17 before I pulled out from under the trailer. Since I forgot to lower the legs 2 days later I was so worried about the legs being down I forgot to unhook the airlines to the rear trailer. So in the course of 3 days I had my only preventable accidents so far.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Not starting sooner...

Also trying to turn around on ground that was too soft. A friendly tow truck cranked me out of that jam.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If I had The Time Machine, I would have started at this carrier when I began driving.

Mistakes? Not enough memory on the server to list them all. Tons of small things, though. Nothing classified as a preventable accident. Never hit by a train, never topped a trailer with a low overpass, never ran out of fuel, never had a rollover, never did a jack knife on ice, never thought about transporting people in the trailer across a border, never skipped a pre trip inspection, and never, ever treated my fabulous trucks as they were "just a rental".

Moe's Comment
member avatar

Not getting started sooner in life is my biggest regret, wasting all of those years chasing the corporate ladder trying to rise, being told I didn’t have enough education, only to get the education, only to then be told “oh well now you need xyz certification” , oh well, we chose so and so for the position because, meh…some complicated answer we can’t really explain to justify the fact that he (she) stroked our tingles, but we can’t come out and say that we just liked so and so better than you…by the way, have you considered going back to school? More education would help you the next time there is an opening.

Instead of just embracing the suck (like I am doing now) paying my dues, gaining experience and building a solid trade and skill set. It’s a lot harder to get up in the middle of the night for me now a days than it was when I was younger, I wasted so much time….

Had to get all that off my chest it seems like, when I started typing I couldn’t stop. The bottom line is that amount of time I wasted trying to climb the corporate ladder could have been spent building my resume in trucking so that now in my 40s I’d have the better opportunities.

Moe

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Like many, not started sooner. I always wanted to do this. Im still super new, so I make tons of mistakes, not accidents nor incidents thankfully. Mismanaging my clocks is a big one, that I beat up on myself for from time to time. Being to hard on myself and expecting too much of myself is a big one too. Im learning to let go of that. Ive watched a lot of people drop out, here, because they had unrealistic expectations of themselves and when it didnt go right, right away for them, they quit or got fired. Its still really easy to slide down the path of self condemnation. I worry obsessively about driving in the winter as I havent done it yet. I know that worrying and stressing myself out is another mistake in itself and that can lead to more mistakes, so I need to get that in check too lol.

And finally, I butchered a really easy blind side to straight back the other day. LIke seriously 3 times to redo the set up and about a half hour worth of pull ups, reminding me of the scene in Austin Powers with the cart in the tunnel. I finally got it done and they asked me to move it over 2 inches to the left, one of those docks that you back into with the doors closed, they open them. I was just a bit off. Totally embarrassing, I just laughed about it with the dock guys, apologized and got it correct.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Zero regrets about timing. I came to trucking relatively late, but I enjoyed everything I had done before, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it :-) Of course, I had quite a few silly mistakes during my first months, and I am fully aware that I will have more of them. One of the most stupid was setting up for a 45 backing to a dock and not going past the hole far enough. As a result I can to do too much of a hard right which made my front tires leave the comfort of asphalt and move into wilderness... My bumper got caught by some brush, and when I started turning the wheels to the left and backing, I heard a nasty sound and next second half of my bumper was on the ground. The company counted it as an accident...

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

My biggest mistake was a little while back. I had to use a porta potty that had freshly been cleaned. I SHOULD have put some TP across the waters surface but I didn't....HUGE mistake!!! Not only did the splash back make me feel gross as hell but that blue is dye and stains skin!!!

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Great post Bruce.

I've made lots of mistakes but my biggest mistake and regret is burning the bridge. I guess the bigger mistake that lead to that one was not appreciating what I had. I was bored in trucking. I think the easiest thing about trucking is actually driving the damn truck--the lifestyle, staying focused and being consistent are the harder things. I'd learned everything I could for a few years and was doing one of the most difficult runs available to me and making good money and I still just got bored doing the same thing every day and just driving. I wanted more so instead of just hanging up the keys and going to a different career like a normal person or expanding my skillset in trucking, I threw it away by not giving a damn and speeding like crazy on my way to work all the time. Not only was it reckless and selfish but it was also stupid as I had no idea what would come next. I'm glad I was caught before I hurt someone, but I wish I'd never thrown it all away because when the pandemic hit out of the blue the following year I found out in a real hurry how little I had going for me. I spent two years just trying to survive and almost lost everything.

Just got my cdl back last Thursday and got started with my new company today, and whether I stay in trucking long term or not I'm committed to appreciating what I have and doing my part to keeping the roads safe. I'm grateful for a hard lesson learned and another chance because you don't always get one. If I had to give any advice to people coming into this career it would be to be grateful for the opportunities you have and don't take them for granted. You may be on top of the world today but it can be gone in a flash.

TL;DR - I took this career for granted and threw it all away. Appreciate what you have while you have it

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Great thread, Bruce, and thanks to all of you who have posted so far. Really helpful for those of us who are pre-newbies or newbies. Congrats, Pianoman, and omg, Mikey--the blue dye! Dude.

I'm also struck by how many of you said you should've started earlier. That says something.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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