Why Did You Get Started In Trucking, And What Were Your Biggest Concerns?

Topic 31779 | Page 1

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Most of us came into the trucking industry utterly clueless about what it takes to survive and thrive as a truck driver. We had plenty to be excited about, but many concerns too.

Some of the reasons I became a truck driver:

  • I wanted an adventurous life
  • I needed a real career that would last so I wouldn't have to beg for jobs my entire life
  • I wanted great pay and benefits
  • I thought big rigs were super cool! I grew up dreaming about what it would be like to drive one.

I did have many concerns and a lot of uncertainty, too:

  • How hard is the CDL exam?
  • Will I be able to drive this thing?
  • What if I screw up and hurt someone?
  • Will I miss my family and friends?
  • What is life on the road really like?

When I started in trucking I was only 21 years old. The first time I saw the interior of a big rig was the first time I climbed into one at school. I was never married and I have no children. I'm also adventurous. So I had hoped trucking would be a great-paying job and an awesome adventure, but all I could do was take it a day at a time and learn as I went.

Fortunately, trucking was everything I had hoped, and more! I loved it. It was a fantastic career.

I'd love to see everyone share two things with the group:

1) Why did you decide to become a truck driver? What did you hope to get from it?

2) What were your biggest doubts, fears, and uncertainties?

We have such a wide variety of personalities, lifestyles, and philosophies in this industry. I'd love to hear what you guys thought about trucking before you began your career, or what you think about trucking now if you're getting ready to begin your career.

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.
Brandon S.'s Comment
member avatar

Throughout my twenties I was a woodworker. I loved my work but I e always felt confined working inside all day. My dad was a truck driver and I drove a straight truck for awhile out of high school. Non cdl. So I started looking into the profession and really started getting excited about it. I looked at it as a skill that could always keep me employed as well as an adventure. I love the freedom of not being stuck in a building all day. My fears were would I like being gone all the time. At the time I had a young child so I had to balance my career with family. I started otr but soon moved into a local and regional job. It’s no longer a problem as my daughter is grown and I still enjoy being on the road.

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.

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.

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar
1) Why did you decide to become a truck driver? What did you hope to get from it?

After many years of working in landscaping and construction I had topped out and didn’t feel I was going anywhere. I then started my own landscaping business which didn’t get me any further ahead due to unreliable employees, just couldn’t find the right people no matter where I looked. Being in my mid forties, I needed a real career to provide for my family and finish out my life. I have always been a good, safe driver and very good with reversing trailers, always loved big trucks. Driving a tractor trailer just seemed to fit my skill set and interest. I’m am fresh out of ABF’s training program and loving it so far even though all I’m doing is yard moves. Will be taking my state CDL test this week and should be on the road soon as a local LTL driver.

2) What were your biggest doubts, fears, and uncertainties?

First week of training doubts, could I learn to shift and drive this thing? Took me a couple days to get past that. Now, my only fear is getting into an accident, not so much from something of my fault but more so from the lack of responsible driving I see everyday from other people on the roads.

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.

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
Banks's Comment
member avatar

I got into trucking because I've always enjoyed driving. I had a lot of non CDL driving jobs and I always enjoyed them. The freedom and solitude is appealing to me. I was unsure about pursuing this because of all the negative stuff you read online, but a ride along with G-Towm sealed it and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

My biggest concern was being away from home. I can't be gone for weeks at a time and it seemed like the only way to get into this industry was to make that sacrifice. Fortunately, it wasn't one I had to make.

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.
George B.'s Comment
member avatar

It was a suggestion from the unemployment office. Paid training. I jumped on it. Then once trained and off to my first company, I s$$t my self daily wondering what did I get into. Hmmm drive 2500 miles then spend 40 mins backing w drivers yelling etc over the cb. Wtf? Best feeling once you bump that dock.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd love to see everyone share two things with the group:

1) Why did you decide to become a truck driver? What did you hope to get from it?

2) What were your biggest doubts, fears, and uncertainties?

We have such a wide variety of personalities, lifestyles, and philosophies in this industry. I'd love to hear what you guys thought about trucking before you began your career, or what you think about trucking now if you're getting ready to begin your career.

After 6 years of service in the USMC, 6 years of college, and 25 years of IT, I needed a change. I had always wanted to learn how to drive a semi. I drove a HEMTT for a while in the service, but I wanted more.

My biggest doubt was being able to handle being away from home more than few days at a time. It was difficult at first, but being able to FaceTime with my wife and son I was okay. I would say my biggest fear was backing in tight spaces. But after weeks and months of practice I figured it out. A couple of the Walmart stores I delivered to in Cook and Lake County (Chicago) were very tight and required blind sides. Those stores were made for big trucks.

Before my career I knew a little about trucking. My stepbrother just completed his 30th year. My Uncle and a cousin both drove for Dot Foods.

I'm going back to Schneider in 2 weeks. Back to Walmart dedicated. One of the best perks is being able to park behind my local Walmart on off days - - no commuting.

-Dean

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I was always interested in truck driving but life circumstances always stood in the way. Then those circumstances went away so I saw the opportunity to do something that I thought I would enjoy and could be good at. And at the same time it would help fulfill another goal to simplify my life. So I got the CDL , signed on with a company and went solo, dry van. It’s a long story, but after a two year interruption, I was able to get back to driving. By that time I had enough experience to know I could do it for the long term. So I sold my house and a bunch of tools, equipment and household items. Now I drive for a reefer company, Helwig, out of Texas, and really enjoy the company and the refrigerated line of work.

Just to be honest, I also thought truck driving would be a chick magnet for me, but I’ve since learned that chicks aren’t magnetic. Lol.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

And now for question two.

I really didn’t have much in the way of fears, doubts of uncertainly. I’ve always been able to enjoy challenges and figure out solutions to problems I’ve encountered. Since I was 66 when I began the process, I was somewhat worried about how my body would hold up. My lower back is wore out and my knees are shot. The knees were my main concern and they have deteriorated even more quickly than I thought. Now I have to carry a pair of crutches with me on the truck but I’m getting a procedure done in June that should buy me some time and alleviate most of the pain.

As with most drivers, I feared being in an accident, especially if I were at fault. Now I realize that while paralyzing fear is not good, a healthy amount of fear makes a driver cautious and safe.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Not to change subject. Bruce do you like Helwig? Heard good things about them. Of course some neg. reviews but thats a given. Some one will always complain.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

And now for question two.

I really didn’t have much in the way of fears, doubts of uncertainly. I’ve always been able to enjoy challenges and figure out solutions to problems I’ve encountered. Since I was 66 when I began the process, I was somewhat worried about how my body would hold up. My lower back is wore out and my knees are shot. The knees were my main concern and they have deteriorated even more quickly than I thought. Now I have to carry a pair of crutches with me on the truck but I’m getting a procedure done in June that should buy me some time and alleviate most of the pain.

As with most drivers, I feared being in an accident, especially if I were at fault. Now I realize that while paralyzing fear is not good, a healthy amount of fear makes a driver cautious and safe.

Tag, for easier accessibility!

~ Anne ! ~

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Becoming A Truck Driver Changing Careers Choosing A Trucking Company Truck Driving Lifestyle Truck Driving Stories
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More