Do You Still Have The Drive For This Career?

Topic 34016 | Page 1

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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I'm a highly-motivated person. I love to challenge myself. I love to push myself. I love to explore areas of life that are new to me.

As a driver, I loved almost everything about the job and lifestyle of an OTR driver. I wanted to see how hard I could push myself. I wanted to challenge authority to see if they could stop me from accumulating more miles than I legally should. I wanted to learn how my company worked so I could leverage the system to my advantage. I wanted to see the country and experience all of the exciting things that different places had to offer. There was rarely a dull moment, with a new adventure or challenge or event around every corner.

Most of us lose that drive after a while. Sometimes we just get burned out on one particular path in life. Sometimes we attribute it to getting old and soft. Sometimes we don't really know what it is, but that "it" just isn't there like it was.

I've found that at 52 years old I still have every bit of the fire inside me as I've ever had for life. I love to challenge myself. I love adventures. I'm always looking for the 'next great thing' and I even have a tough time choosing what to do and staying focused because there are so many exciting options.

One thing I have discovered about myself is that once I lose that passion for a particular pursuit in life, it never returns. Once I've pursued something to a certain point, I feel like I've fulfilled that curiosity and challenged myself in that area, so it's time to move on. I can't think of anything I've ever done in my life where I pursued it to the fullest, lost the passion for it, and rekindled that passion to its previous level. Once it's gone, it's gone.

I'm curious about the drivers here in our community. Has your desire to challenge yourself as a driver remained as strong as it was when you first started?

What about your life outside of trucking - do you challenge yourself like you used to? Do you still have that curiousity about new paths in life and that drive to pursue your dreams?

How has your time on the road affected your inner drive and your perspective on this career, which is always so challenging and risky?


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.


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.

Errol V.'s Comment
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There are challenges for OTR driving on a daily bases, and long term (career), too. For new drivers (I was one, once) the big challenge is learning both the rules & regulations, and learning how to live/survive living in a small box, traveling to new & unfamiliar places, and keeping to schedules. After about half a year, I figured that out. I still am drawn to the traveling and new places idea.

I had to deal with family issues, changing from school teaching to over the road living. The absences did affect my relations with my wife (she hated me being gone) and the income I was able to pull in. That is still something I actively deal with, but "it's better now".

The solitude of the driving gives me lots of time to think, and listen to audio books and podcasts without interruptions (and that's not really a good thing - no interaction with other people).

But I still believe there's lot to enjoy in driving around the USA. I have combined my excitement for driving with my experience in teaching, I have been an CDL instructor for over five years now. I am energized by helping other people make that move to being a CDL trucker.

Lastly, I hope I can exit the employed world after a few years in another sector of transportation - Expedited Freight


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.


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.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Somehow I am wired to put 99.999% of my interest and energy into what I am currently pursuing. Right now, at 71 years young, I’m focused on driving and becoming better at the skill aspect and more knowledgeable with the mental part. And 90% of driving is half mental.

My experience had taught me that becoming a real good, top notch driver is very much like a 4 year college education. There is just THAT much to learn and develop. I’m in my 3rd year and it is really getting easier and less stressful than during years one and two. Because of this, my motivation to continue is increasing as I gain experience and confidence.

If a driver can weather the first several years and become a real “journeyman” in the driving profession, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction is very fulfilling and rewarding. The driver gains a sense of pride that keeps him or her striving to continue their success and, even more importantly, to continue learning and helping new drivers to learn by sharing their expertise and experience.

My commitment to the driving profession is stronger now than when I started. However, I really don’t plan to die in my truck, even though it could happen. I’m somewhat like Errol, I have other things on the bucket list. When the time is right, I plan to become a nomad in the RV world. Trust me, I see a lot of things from the windshield of my truck along the interstate system, but it is not a comprehensive national experience.

Living full time in my truck has demonstrated to me that one doesn’t need a lot of “stuff” to have a good and interesting life. I revel in the freedom of a non-materialistic life style and the freedom from worrying about keeping all my possessions safe and maintained. No house payments or property tax or lawn mowing or snow shoveling or utility bills or commuting to a boring job or any of the headaches I had to deal with previously. And if I don’t like my neighbors, I can just move to another parking spot. There are some negative things about what I’m doing now, as is the case with all pursuits, but to me the positives far outweigh the negatives.

So counting my blessings keeps me very much motivated to continue with this amazing phase of my life and to continue to network with like minded people, of whom there are many on this site.


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).


Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.


Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm a fan of the concept of only having two directions in life, forward or reverse. I'm definitely still as motivated as ever in driving. I planned on it to be my exit career. It took me 30 years to burn out on construction, and while I still enjoy creating wood working art with my hands occasionally, the thrill is gone.

I have grown businesses and owned one most of my life, in fact I just reopened my business, attached my authority to it, both are dormant though. Given the state of the industry right now, I have no plans to do anything else in the near future. I'll be picking up houses to rent for long term passive income as I never really developed anything close to a retirement previously. Again, I have the skills and experience to manage houses and do the repairs/Maintenance.

I frequently have the itch to run a business again, but this time, much more scaled-down. The next logical step will be going o/o for me, leasing it on to a carrier. I've had lengthy discussions with our o/o department, terminal manager and our o/os. There's a lot into it, but in short, I'll be coming at it with the resources, purchasing the truck through an SBA program that offers me very low payments, long term flex loan terms. It's taking a long while to set up, but I've had great experiences with utilizing SBA funding before. It's definitely not a usual path most take.

While Knight pays low, there's much to be said for stability of work, not having to market and sale jobs, not having as much regulatory burden and of all things, they pay by the mile, which is beneficial for me, I'll be utilizing my current dispatchers and terminal manager. I've been tracking my costs, fuel and otherwise over the past 3 years, I have good data and a realistic accurate forecast costs vs benefits.

So, it will be a bit down the road, but likely that will be the path I travel for work. Mostly for a small gain in earnings, but more for freedom of scheduling, and scratching the business itch in a lower risk way.

Personally wise, will be putting out an album this year. A lot of the basic tracks are laid, my brother and I still own a studio, it's being set up for personal use.

I sold all my motorcycles and race gear. For the reasons Brett said, I raced motorcycles for ten years, but just done with it. I've raced cars before, but just oval and AHRA drag, so the next Motorsports adventure will be road racing cars. Most likely c6 or c7 vettes, they're a cheap solid race platform. It's the same tracks I raced bikes on and the track still calls to me. I will be doing some track days in the Mach 1 as well, just not racing it, I don't feel like rubbing in it.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


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.
Sandman J's Comment
member avatar

I was starting to get burnt out even though I'm new. I attribute this to most of my runs being short, being on several trailers and stops most days, even when I was on our OTR days. Just the natue of my company and the area we cover / freight we haul I guess.

I switched to Regional which at my company doesn't change much other than you're home on the weekends. Still get sent to the same areas.

Oddly enough, I enjoy going to the same customers we frequent and that helped me tolerate that I wasn't going out and just driving most days.

Now that I started doing tours hauling concert gear, it's made me more passionate about what I'm doing and want to learn more about this facet of the industry and see where it takes me!


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.


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.

Daniel W.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh man, to say I miss trucking is an understatement. I often miss the open road, the feeling of independence and not having someone constantly over my shoulder micromanaging every aspect of my life. I even miss the struggles that come with it oddly enough. I got the trucking bug over a decade ago and just can't shake it to this day.

I came off the road largely because of my home life, but I thought at the time I missed public safety. I know now that I think I felt I had something to prove and felt left out as my friend group consisted everyone within that community.

My passions in life have always been my family, and truck driving. I plan on eventually going back to trucking but as to when I'm not sure. It will likely be after our kids are out of the house here in a few years, or else I will go back to it once I hit 50 and can retire from where I am now. I think life just hit me at once because I had two young kids, and my wife was dealing with her mom going through the late stages of cancer. While I am still gone 72hrs a week, I get 4 days off at home.

Admittedly though, I still have the bug of wanting to hit the open road. In the meantime I remain satisfied lurking and reading about everyone's different experiences.

I'm blessed to have found this site probably close to a decade ago now prior to even getting into truck driving. I think when I first got into the trucking world, I had a false sense of entitlement and I had a lot of growing up to do, especially personally and professionally. I surrounded myself with some negative influences within the trucking world. I think the sense of accountability that this site encourages young truck drivers to come to terms with early on is an overwhelmingly positive impact on the industry.

Ultimately, I'm 31, and miss the trucking industry every day. Not a day goes by I don't see a truck on the road and envy that person. Then again, maybe they are thinking the same thing about me when they look back at me too. I almost never find the need to log in and contribute as my opinion isn't worth much in the trucking industry especially when you've got some great OG influences like you, Old School, Errol, and the long list of others. I can't appreciate you all enough.

One day I'll get back to it, unfortunately it will not be for awhile though. At least 6 or 7 years, but potentially 18. 😬 If you guys ever find yourselves passing through Texas don't hesitate to reach out! Coffee is on me! I live Southeast of Waxahachie but work in Fort Worth.

Have a blessed day y'all!


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.


Operating While Intoxicated

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