What I’ve Learned A Month Into A Local Delivery Job

Topic 32115 | Page 1

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John G.'s Comment
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I feel gay talking about myself, but I finally feel qualified enough to be able to contribute something to new drivers and people interested in trucking, so I will share what I’ve learned. Here is an outline, and I’ll elaborate each point further. Please comment if I helped you or if you have a pointer for me. I’m still a new guy.

1. Trucking is actual work. It feels like work, but that is not a bad thing 2. People who work labor jobs still workout. Per my trainer (personal trainer) 3. My delivery job is more delivery than driving, but it is still good driving experience.

1. Trucking is actual work. It feels like work, but that is not a bad thing Trucking requires more commitment than I expected. Before I explain the main point, I’ll share my background. I worked as a school teacher before and half-assed the past couple years. During covid, we ran everything virtually, so we just sat at a desk and did zoom meetings. During this time, I experimented with a side business. I ran a mobile tire service for semi trucks, and it was the owner operators who inspired me to get my CDL. This semi-relevant statistic aside, I found myself getting very comfortable as a teacher, but felt discouraged on the job outlook. According to the pay scale, I would only make another $10k per year as a 15 year teacher. This small raise wasn’t worth the time 10 additional years I would have to commit to teaching. I found the teacher salary depressing after I saw how much I could sell my time for as a mobile mechanic and the ****ty houses and cars teachers have. I am not meaning this to sound disrespectful, but these are the key reasons I started to change my focus.

I accidentally ****ed off my principal my last year teaching and got a ton of write ups. I had worked at the school many years and never received a write up. I got written up for being on my phone in class. Some old ***** poked her head in my room, complained, then I got an email from the head principal that I was going to have a second formal meeting with the administration to discuss the infraction. It was around this time I enrolled in CDL school.

I continued working in the school and took a night course and finally got my CDL after the second try last December. I felt amazing after I got it, probably too ****y. Since I was still employed at the school, I really indulged myself. I called in, went on trips, scheduled repairs for my mobile business and left the moment school got out. I saw my coworkers as idiots, like haven’t they seen the way out of this government job yet?

Like I said, I may have gotten too ****y, although I find airing on the side of ****y has gotten me further in every area of life than being timid has.

I had my first job lined up with an end dump company. I was in for a surprise. The safety manager who hired me told me we show up around 6 every morning, and we road tested in a combination tractor- dump trailer. He also said I would get around $1,500 per week.

I was in for a rude awakening. When I started, I learned we were supposed to be at the pit at 5 am. This meant waking up at 3 or 4 am which meant going to bed very early, like 9 or 10 pm. I really struggled falling asleep so early and waking up early. I still showed up, but would take naps during my breaks.

The other surprises were the truck and pay, or lack thereof. The manager told me they start new people in super tandems (big dump trucks) instead of combinations. Okay, I thought, I figured they did that so I would learn the process. I later found out they didn’t have anymore tractors- they were all occupied. I ran all day in the dump truck and was making $600-700 per week after taxes. A far cry from the $1500 I was promised and barely a liveable wage. I found myself unmotivated to show up. They wanted us to work Saturdays too, but I did repairs with my side business instead. It wasn’t worth my time.

They called me into a meeting where they made up some **** about safety violations to try and fire me, but I told them it’s fine I quit. I already had my current delivery job lined up.

I applied to a night shift position as a Coke delivery driver. I was so worn out from the day shift hours I figured why not change things up even more. I am glad I chose the night shift, because I wouldn’t be able to wake up every morning at 4, plus I hated having to go to bed so early. At night, I remember thinking, “I wish I could just go to work now.”

Oddly, I discovered not many people want night shifts, so my prediction for evenings is both good for Coke and me.

We start around 4 pm. This was the first week they let me drive the truck. We push heavy pallets (they call them skids since they’re not technically pallets) into different stores and gas stations. Driving the truck and having a CDL feels secondary, but my trainer and I are actually working.

Aside from changing music, there is no time to play on my phone. As a comparison, when I was teaching online classes, I spend hours browsing the web. Being busy puts priorities in order. I don’t spend hours doing online shopping. I don’t buy stupid **** and I buy stuff I need. I spend hours comparing specs on a laptop I wanted when I worked at a school. When I’m doing deliveries, I spent a few of my breaks researching phones and just ordered one. I order the protein and supplements I need from amazon. I don’t have the luxury to browse online.

Working 12-13 hour shifts has been a good thing.. reaching the limit, will add more later


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.

Owner Operator:

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


Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".


Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

WoW !!!!

You sure have been busy, John G!! Many folks actually DO prefer night driving; my guy does, too.

Bummer about the end dump job; hope things work out w/CocaCola, for ya though. Banks did a spell with Pepsi awhile back; he returned to FXF/LH though. Pretty sure he did a diary, if you choose to look; Hope it works out, man. Congrats!

Thanks for sharing, will look forward to more;

~ Anne ~


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.

Daniel M.'s Comment
member avatar

Cool, thanks for sharing!

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