Should I Jump Into Trucking And Quit My Solid Job Now As A Recession Looms?

Topic 32047 | Page 1

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Mack G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello All, I'd like your thoughts on my dilemma. I have a solid job, however there are risks involved with staying. So after several decades I got my CDL and have interviews for local and regional truck driving jobs. I'm seeing though where owner operators are losing their trucks because with Diesel they can't make a go of it. I hear adds all the time for drivers right now. My question is, will owner operators start driving as employees, and soon with supply chain issues and a lack of loads, say a few months down the road, will there now be so many drivers that new truckers with less experience won't get hired? If we have a food shortage as they are all clamoring about, and we only have 60% of the food for example, would that eliminate the need for 40% of the drivers needed to haul food? With they jump to other products being shipped and now truckers aren't seeing $5,000 sign on bonuses, they're being laid off. I know no one has a crystal ball, but sincere thoughts are appreciated.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Hello All, I'd like your thoughts on my dilemma. I have a solid job, however there are risks involved with staying. So after several decades I got my CDL and have interviews for local and regional truck driving jobs. I'm seeing though where owner operators are losing their trucks because with Diesel they can't make a go of it. I hear adds all the time for drivers right now. My question is, will owner operators start driving as employees, and soon with supply chain issues and a lack of loads, say a few months down the road, will there now be so many drivers that new truckers with less experience won't get hired? If we have a food shortage as they are all clamoring about, and we only have 60% of the food for example, would that eliminate the need for 40% of the drivers needed to haul food? With they jump to other products being shipped and now truckers aren't seeing $5,000 sign on bonuses, they're being laid off. I know no one has a crystal ball, but sincere thoughts are appreciated.

Howdy, Mack G. !

Welcome to Trucking Truth, first of all !!

Read Brett's FREE book, when you get a chance: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving.

Check out recent posts, by Kearsey; what SHE'S doing @ Prime: Truckin' Along W/Kearsey!

(She has a Y/T channel of the same name; could answer some questions you pose.)

Also, Grandpa Clark's diary . . . Should I Jump into Trucking and quit my 6 Figure Job?

And Mountain Matt's: A Librarian Learns Trucking, w/ Wilson!.

Our whole website is FULL of answers . . just for the looking.

As per your original question? Nobody has a crystal ball; exactly. Look at some posts from PJ and Steve L. ... our O/Ops (successfully!) on TT, and there are 'a few' more; these two post frequently. They've been established for QUITE SOME TIME; none of us, especially them, would advise ANYTHING per similar (even lease!) in this economy. Company driving jobs, especially, abound.

How long have you held your 'non used' CDL? You may have to go through retraining. Apply For Paid CDL Training!

One last thought; if you'll add 'at least' your state to your profile, more offers will be 'offered up' by our veterans and members of this site.

Again, welcome! Wish you the best;

~ Anne & Tom ~

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

BK's Comment
member avatar

I think we are due for a downturn in the economy, we could even argue that we are in one now. But I don’t subscribe to the gloom and doom thinking. The economy has always been a roller coaster ride during my long life time. It will continue to have ups and downs. People need food no matter what, so I don’t see food supply trucking slowing down much. I’m driving for a 100% refrigerated company and I’m glad I am. It might be a good idea to go reefer if you are going to drive.

No one can tell you what to do. Quitting your current job and switching to another will always carry uncertainty with it. But my company keeps bringing drivers into orientation every week and expects to do that for the foreseeable future. So I personally believe that truck drivers will continue to be in demand regardless of what happens to the economy.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I hear adds all the time for drivers right now. My question is, will owner operators start driving as employees, and soon with supply chain issues and a lack of loads, say a few months down the road, will there now be so many drivers that new truckers with less experience won't get hired?

Hey Mack - Welcome to Trucking Truth!

One of the best things you can do for yourself these days is turn off the news, and quit reading news on the internet. I don't really want this to be a political response to your honest questions, but currently most of what you are exposing yourself to is pure government propaganda. If you want to pursue a truck driving career then do it. The media is really out there promoting what somebody seems to be feeding them. I just ignore it and keep conducting myself like a patriot who loves his country. I serve my country by moving freight, and brother I have been moving a lot of it lately.

Trucking has traditionally been a recession proof industry for generations now. It has also been a rather volatile industry full of risk takers. It is composed of a ton of small independent operators who come and go with boom and bust periods of economic turbulence. It is a commodities business with tight margins but large revenues. Don't let the fact that owner operators are throwing in the towel discourage you. There are plenty of well grounded solid trucking companies out here to weather the storms. In the last ten years I have seen these cycles repeat themselves probably as many as six or seven times with there never being any significant slow down in hiring new drivers. Trucking companies are always looking. Sure they try a little harder in times of peak demand, but there will always be demand.

I have never even had an interview for a trucking job. Usually all it takes is a phone call and you're in. You speak with a recruiter and they tell you when to show up after they've done a little checking up on you. You mentioned looking at local jobs. That's not a typical entrance into trucking. It is a difficult way to get yourself established. It isn't impossible, but it is considerably more difficult. The traditional entrance into trucking is through a large tucking company that hires new drivers for Over The Road jobs. That's what I would recommend. If you really need to be home every day then there are LTL companies that hire newbies, but your location will be the determining factor on whether that is available to you or not.

One thing you need to realize is that trucking will probably be a huge change for you. It doesn't really matter if you are local or OTR , you will be working long hours and making considerable sacrifices to your family life. Are you prepared for that kind of change?

When and how did you get your CDL? That may make a difference in today's current climate. Can you tell us some of the companies you have been in contact with? We may be able to give you some better advice if we know what kind of driving jobs you are looking at. I don't recommend local delivery jobs to newbies. They are stressful and usually very physically demanding. Keep the conversation going with us and give us some more details. We would love to be more helpful to you, we just need a little more to go on.

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

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Excellent post as always, O/S !!

And props to your starting company, and what can be done & had, no matter the name on the door.

Long Time Trucker finds Joy !

You probably even know this guy. Excellent article; for sure.

Hope the O/P stops back!

~ Anne ~

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Mack

The trucking industry as it stands today has already been in a downturn for about 4-5 months. So, the o/o's you are talking about have already went out of business. These are people that bought equipment that had inflated payments and they were taking a risk that the market would stay at an elevated state. Now, mostly the people that are left are o/o's with paid off equipment or with really low overhead.

I do not believe that there will be an apocalypse of o/o's becoming company drivers. The reason being is two things. First, being company you have to follow the company rules. Secondly (and i might get pushback) the money you make as a local or regional driver does not compare with that of an o/o. I say that mainly because of the tax liabilities of a w2 compared to a 1099.

In any case, if you want to get into truck driving you shouldn't let anything stop you. Imo, you should get in as soon as you can because if the economy starts getting worse and people start losing jobs you will have to compete with the influx of new people trying to get in.

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.

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