Are You Really Sure That This Is What You Want?

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RedGator's Comment
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So as we all know I recently took on being a trainer and got my first official student 3/15. After the very first day she wanted to quit. Trucking wasnt what she thought it was. Now I know some folks dont have time to or wont read Bretts free book so let me take some time to tell yall how I feel. TRUCKING IS NOT EASY. Its not the glamorous "rolling stone", "free bird" lifestyle everyone wants it to be, filled with awesome days and even better nights having a grand ol time. Sometimes it can be that way but ya know what? 98% of the time you're running so hard that on your 10 hr break you eat/sleep/shower. PERIOD! You're too tired for anything else. You wake up and deal with 1 million mindless idiots on the road that don't know how to drive, shippers/receivers who treat you like dirt and hold you hostage for 3 to 5 hours at a time, and sometimes crappy loads or crabby dispatchers who think you're Mighty Mouse and can do damn near anything in a 14 hr day.

FAMILY? Ha! What family? You're never around. The life that you know now, hey just blow it a kiss cause your going to become like that distant cousin you see once in awhile. You will fade into the background. Soooo if its like that why the hell would anyone want to do it? Simple. Because some of us need this kinda lifestyle. The draw of the freedom. The restlessness to get up and go as we please. Its instilled in our DNA. More people should really think long and hard before they choose this life. Its a lonely one. Its hard. Its frustrating. My trainee lasted 1 1/2 weeks, 7200 miles and I dropped her off at home this morning. Some people are cut out for this and some of us arent. You really dont know what its fully about til you're out here but please think long and hard before you commit to something you really don't want to do.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

H*ll yeah! Preach on Redgator!!! I love it!

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We don't get many rants like that from you but they're awesome when we do! That was very well said and I agree wholeheartedly with all of it. Without a doubt the most challenging aspect we face as mentors is getting across to people just how difficult this job and lifestyle is. I mean, how many of us can relate to the things we deal with day in and day out?

- One small mistake and you might kill an entire family

- Go weeks or months at a time without seeing your home, your family, your friends, or even a single person you've ever known

- Work your butt off day in and day out through a labyrinth of obstacles and challenges, risking your life just to be treated like a junk yard dog because you're a truck driver

That is part of the reality of life on the road for every driver out there. We all endure it.

But for every job that most people can't imagine doing for even a day, some of us can't imagine what our lives would have been without it. There are a lot of important, risky, and difficult jobs out there that very few people are willing to do. But those are the most important jobs in our society. Those of us who are ready and willing to take on that challenge and make those sacrifices will live a life and feel a level of pride and satisfaction that most of our society will never experience.

I used to be a Harley mechanic and of course rode for a while. Sometimes people would ask us, "Why would you pay so much money for a Harley?" And the answer was always the same, "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand."

I think trucking is the same way. If you have to ask why anyone would put themselves through what we go through then it's probably not for you anyhow. So don't burden yourself with the thought. You've got to be the type that is ready and willing to take on the challenges in life that most people would rather just watch on TV.

Redgator, I love the pink glasses and all the frilly girly-girl stuff you've talked about and shown us pictures of this past year. I'm a guy's guy with the big redneck Chevy 4x4 and all that baloney so I like women who are feminine and take care of themselves. But much more than that I truly respect the fact that you've been out there doing this successfully at a very high level long enough to prove that a real woman can also be a great truck driver too. Starcar is the same way. There is no such thing as having to be one or the other. And the fact that you two are also willing to go out of your way to help others understand this industry and get their careers underway just makes it that much better.

So anyone who thinks the trucker stereotype has to apply to everyone, let Starcar and Redgator show you that the only limits we have are those we place upon ourselves. You can be tough as nails and yet kind and caring at the same time. You can be deadly serious when you need to be but a clown when you want to be. And you can even be a real lady and an awesome truck driver all at the same time.

I love people who break the mold and set out to do things their own way on their own terms. Those are the people that make life so rich and help us all understand that for every limitation you believe may exist there's someone out there that never let it stand in their way.

Now we need a real woman to step up and be Redgator's next student! Man, all of the nightmare stories we hear about these horrible trainers out there and here's Redgator waiting for someone who's ready to step up and learn what being a trucker is all about from someone who truly cares about teaching it the right way.

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HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Here! Here! or is it Hear! Hear! Anyway, I think Brett about nailed it. However, did anyone ask the poor girl if she was afraid of Gators?? Red or otherwise? They can be quite intimidating, I understand . . .

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Jopa

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Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar

RedGator, Ya go girl.

I have been taking a little break from posting. A comment was made by one of our members that all my posts were negative. So, I took a long look at what I had been posting and thought that maybe other people felt that way also. So I stopped for a time.

I have had some second thoughts on my time away. And you put some words out there that needed said.

Yes. My posts are mostly negative. For different reasons.

I was first in trucking when I was in high school. Working some loading docks and from time to time getting to set "second chair" in the cab on day runs.

After the military I did a stint behind the wheel. Due to personal factors I returned to "normal life" and got out of trucking.

That was back in the mid 70's and early 80's.

Due to the economy and my love of driving I came back to trucking. And let me tell you. It ain't the same. Not by a long shot. If driver's from "yesteryear" would see how things are done today, they would turn over in their graves. If they could see what a "truck driver" (and I use that term loosely) has become today, they would be ashamed.

Yes, my posts have been negative. This life ain't for everyone. Far from it. It ain't the fun and good times you see on TV.

B.J. and The Bear, Movin' On, Smoky And the Bandit. Those are Hollywood. And as soon as people get it in their heads, this is a tough life. It is not a bed of roses. It takes a certain type of person. A certain bread. Not just anyone can do this and enjoy it.

My negative posts. Yes. I am far from happy with the company I work for. I love what I do. I love the freedom of the highway. I love seeing the real America. There is no perfect company. That is a fact. But each person, each driver has to find what fits them. Brett has said it I don't know how many times.

One of my reasons from my negative post. To point out the real life out here. What it means to be unhappy with a company that you don't like. What it means to be frustrated when you have sat for hours only to find out your DM made a mistake. To help people realize, that if they are unsure if this is for them, maybe, just maybe one of my posts helped someone.

And you can research till your head is about to explode. But there are some things you don't find out till you actually get out here. And those are some of the points I am trying to make.

I have visited tons and tons of chat rooms. Forums. What some call "bill board" sites. Where you post something like here for people to read, but you can't respond to them. I couldn't even guess at how many I have visited in my many years surfing the net. Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? I can't count.

But something I have learned. By reading the way a person writes. Words they say. How they phrase things . You kinda get to "know" the person. Is it perfect? No. Is it always correct? Not by a long shot. But sometimes it gives you an idea what the person posting is like.

I have seen a few come and go from here. But usually the good ones stay. But I also have seen many questions posted and comments posted but some that rang bells out. After a few posts and reading between the lines you knew that trucking was not going to be their cup of tea.

I go back to my days in trucking school. We were standing around waiting our turn to get into a truck to practice backing. A younger person (I can say that, I am past my mid 50's) walked over to us. We were just joking around and telling stories. You know, just killing time. All of the sudden, this young person speaks up. Man, I thought trucking was going to be fun. I am tired of all this setting and waiting. We all just looked at him. The few that were already there, had been in trucking in some form in the past. One of my friends looked at him and said, if you are getting into trucking because it is going to be fun, you had better find you another line of work.

He got mad and walked off. Trucking is not for everyone. It is not fun and games. It is not a bed of roses. It is hard work and long hours.

The lyrics to two songs hits home with a trucking lifestyle. One is by Ronnie Milsap and the other is by Merle Haggard.

Prisoner of the Highway by Ronnie Milsap: I'm a prisoner of the highway. Driven on by my restless soul. Call me a prisoner of the highway. Prison by the freedom of the road.

Movin' On bye Merle Haggard: Jammin' gears has got to be a fever. 'Cos men become addicted to the grind. It takes a special bread to be a truck drivin' man. And a steady hand to pull that load behind.

I will continue to post my days on the road. And yes, I will continue to post the hard facts and the truth. I don't sugar coat anything. And if they turn out negative. So be it.

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own.

Thanks RedGator and Brett for those words. And thanks Old School He knows what he did. thank-you.gif

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

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.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

I "lurk" alot but feel like you boys pretty much have it covered. Im not one for lengthy post but sometimes things light a fire under me. This is trucking TRUTH. Joe your going through alot out here and hey you might be feeling negative but so what. Post whatever you like cause guess whats its real life. Man when I first came out here I was a whiny girl. Constanly posting how lonely I was. Im sure ppl were like shut up but um no. This is an in depth look at life and experience and ya know what folks still wont listen but hey some ppl just gotta learn the hard way. @jopa this gator doesnt bite......hard anyway:) lol

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

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Deb C's Comment
member avatar

Hey Redgator and Guys,

I would love to say I know I'm ready to be a truck driver, I can't. But, I do know I'm ready for a major change in my life and I love to drive and feel up to the challenge. I've done a lot of research into trucking - which school, which company, which cell phone is best (one of my probing posts), and much more? In my research I came across this site and started digging deeper into what it really means to be a truck driver - not just what the job entails, but the lifestyle... living in the small domicile of a sleeper. I've read countless posts about the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a trucker before joining Trucking Truth. I truly appreciate the bold faced truth in what I've read in these posts. I'm starting to get to know the various personalities that make up the TT forum. :) For the most part I think I'm ready. I know I have a lot to learn, but I'm excited to get started and see if I have what it takes to make it. I've been working on the High Road - THANK YOU Brett for putting this online! I do know this, you can only do so much book learning before you have to put up or shut up about what you know. And, you cannot truly understand something unless you live it.

I grew up taking road trips several times a year with my family as a military brat and loved seeing parts of this country that most people don't even know about. There were 6 of us kids growing up and being stationed all around every few years, road trips were the cheapest way for us to be able to see our relatives who were spread out from CO to OK to IL with a few extra stops here and there. I loved seeing our trip plans on the map and being challenged to find various details along the route. After I had grown up, I married a military guy as well hoping to keep moving around. It's in my blood. :) I have probably accumulated 600,000 safe miles driving my kids all over creation on various road trips when they were growing up. We joke that they were raised in their car seats! LOL Have you been to where Superman is from? My kids have!. I also homeschooled them for 8 years that's why I was able to drag them all over. :) My husband (now ex) and I used to joke that when he retired I should become a truck driver. Seemed far fetched 20 years ago, but it's about that time of my life. I am not quite to the 5-0 yet, but still love driving and seriously want to start trucking.

I'll be doing this adventure with my boyfriend. He's the one who brought up trucking as a possible new career for both of us a few months ago and since then we've been trying to figure out how we could really make it happen and team drive. We're just about set and hope to start school by mid June. We're both ready for a big change and we've discussed all kinds of things with our recruiter as well as each other about what it is we can expect trying not to be blown away with anything. We're trying to prepare as best as we can, but we know until we live it it's not real.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Boots&Bludog's Comment
member avatar

Gee Redgator thanks for the favor! We or I should say I would not like to have someone behind the wheel of these tractor/trailors on the road with me that didn't have their heart in it. Soon you will have a whole pack of students trained by you under your belt and you will feel the pride of knowing they were trained right by you. I would be honored to be your student from what I've read from you on here. Keep up the good work and happy trails and training!

Boots

PS: If I were your student could we get our nails done together, hee hee JK.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Lol you laugh boots but my last trainee dropped me off at the nail salon TWICE! Id be more than happy to train any lady trucker that truly wants to learn!

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Cheryl C.'s Comment
member avatar

Lol you laugh boots but my last trainee dropped me off at the nail salon TWICE! Id be more than happy to train any lady trucker that truly wants to learn!

I wish you were a trainer at Swift! That is where I am looking to complete my schooling at. Me and my Husband are going to team drive, Lord willing. I enjoy reading your post. I am a tomboy but I'm girly too!

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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