DOUBTERS EVERYWHERE

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GREG D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, it's amazing how much you learn about your support group when you make the decision to take your life in another direction. Since deciding that I am going to go to truck driving school it seems like my support system continues to shrink. Who needs them any ways. My wife is behind me and I've spoken to each of my children individually and they are on board as well. The rest of the family not so much. Sister told me it was stupid to do that when i have such good benefits here and while i agree that my benefits are awesome, I tell her how work is slowing down and in the past year I have not seen 1 opening in my field within a reasonable distance. (I'm not the type to wait around until i get laid off to take action.) My brother in law BET me I wouldn't last 4 months on the road...LOL.. I told him he obviously doesn't know me. And of course you get all the people that just give you random grief about being on the road.

Now , I know that I can do anything for a year. Hell, I spent 6 years in the Army. 4 of which were in Ft. Polk, LA. Funny how when I signed up for that they weren't around telling me how dangerous it would be for me to be sitting in the window of a UH-60 helicopter while dropping soldiers into a hot zone. They were never there in my ear when I took a job with the vending company that required me to walk through the common area of a state prison with a dolly full of contraband 4 times a week. yet here they are telling me how dangerous this job will be and that I'm not cut out for it as if they know the lengths I will go to to support my family.

I wonder if they know that them doubting me has only made me want this more? Or that when they are struggling and trying to figure out what to do next in their life, that even though they doubted me that I will ALWAYS have their back?

At least I know who I can turn to when things get tough out there and I know they will.I know I have a loving wife at home and 3 great teenagers at home that will Always support my decisions to make life a little easier for them. I know I have a great group of drivers here that are always helpful.

Rant Over...lol

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Greg, you're in better company than you might think. Very rarely do people find friends and family supportive of their decision to get started in trucking. Quite frankly the trucking industry (and truckers specifically) have a terrible reputation and are at the bottom of the totem pole with most people in our society. Case in point....if a parent ever had their kid come home from school to report that the guidance counselor recommend they become a truck driver the counselor would lose their job immediately and be lucky if they weren't lynched at the next home football game. You don't dare tell someone they have the potential to be a truck driver. That's an insult to most people.

Now being a driver for 15 years I can say without hesitation that driving was one of the most difficult challenges I've ever faced, and I've faced many over the years. It was a grand adventure and the lifestyle was incredible. I can't think of a job in this country that compares and I wouldn't have traded those years for the world. But at the same time I have no doubt as to why people look down on truck drivers in general. As a group we tend to have an unfortunately high percentage of type A personalities who also tend to be overweight, loud-mouthed, foul-smelling, disrespectful jerks. Of course we also have an incredible mix of highly educated professionals who have come in from other careers - doctors, lawyers, computer programmers, pilots, nurses - you name it. There isn't a career or a way of life in America that isn't represented in the trucking industry.

So the problem you face is a common one. What you'll find is that people come around once they realize you're having success at it and (hopefully) enjoying it. Once they hear about the different adventures you've had, the fascinating stories you'll tell, and the pride you take in what you do for a living they'll see things differently. But right now the only thing most people know about trucking is that trucks are a huge pain in the *ss cuz they're always in the way and the only people who drive a truck are people too dumb to do anything worthwhile. That's the reality of it.

So I don't know if people are doubting your abilities as much as they might be afraid you're moving down a few rungs on the ladder in life instead of up. I'm sure they have their concerns in a variety of areas, and that's to be expected. But it's the reputation of the career in general that tends to scare people the most.

When I told my ma I was going to get into trucking she wanted to jump straight into her grave. When I told my neighbor, his wife overheard and yelled from the back room, "Hemorrhoids!!!" So that was the initial feedback I got from friends and family. But once they started seeing pictures from Vegas and sunsets over the desert, heard stories about famous places and saw I was enjoying myself all of that completely changed. They enjoyed the stories and pictures, they told their friends and co-workers how many advantages trucking actually has, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Finally, don't forget that people tend to live their lives based more upon their fears than their ambitions. A lot of people would love to quit their job or their career and make some major moves in their lives but most people either feel trapped in their situation or are simply too afraid to take the risk. So when they see you have the courage to take a shot at something you'd like to do it's rather embarrassing to them. You're making them realize that the only thing that stands between them and living their dreams is fear and a lack of motivation. Nobody likes to look in the mirror and see that.

So don't sweat it a bit. Just go about your business, do what's right for you and your family, and smile when people say ignorant things. Soon enough the rest of your friends and family will see that you're happy and successful. You'll have a chance to teach them how cool trucking can be and that life on the road isn't just the Hollywood stereotype. Then they'll be smiling along with ya.

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Beware ulterior motives! Some people don't want you to go trucking for their own, selfish reasons and it has nothing to do with your safety or etc. Like people who you help with things, or do things for. These people don't care about your happiness just what they wont get from you if you go trucking. I'm not saying this is the case for you, I'm just saying...

Phil

Matt S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Sometimes a little laughter and lightheartedness is good because it relieves anxiety. Mountain Girl's intentions were really good. I really don't think she intended to detract from the seriousness of the OP's situation. The neat thing is we here can band together to support each other and care enough to be "ruthlessly honest" when the time calls for it. Cubicle land was a personal hell for me and when I got home after quitting I had tears of joy and anxiety both. Laughter is really the best medicine.

Mike L.R.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

In my opinion the trucker stereotype is do to media. Everyone thinks that trucking is a hillbilly, redneck, job and all truck drivers do is pick on 4 wheelers amd cause massive wrecks on the highway. I have been tboned by an 18 wheeler and yes the driver was illegally driving. Actually he was illegally living in america as well. That does not mean that Mr. OldSchool, Brett or any other trucker is the same as this one driver. You have your kids support and more importantly your wives blessing. Honestly in my opinion that is all the support you need. I am in the same boat with my family because they know i take ADD medication and im am forgetful. I have one brother that believes i can do it and that is all i need all other niegh sayers are added to my motivation list. I am going to respectfully prove them wrong and so should you

MRC's Comment
member avatar

Sounds familiar, Been there, done that, and same results. You have the most important people in your corner and that is all that should matter!good-luck.gif

MLA44's Comment
member avatar

Sounds familiar, Been there, done that, and same results. You have the most important people in your corner and that is all that should matter!good-luck.gif

MRC what school are you going to ??If you don't mind me asking.. New Hampshire is close enough to NYC so maybe that would help me decide?? Marc A.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Greg, you're in better company than you might think. Very rarely do people find friends and family supportive of their decision to get started in trucking. Quite frankly the trucking industry (and truckers specifically) have a terrible reputation and are at the bottom of the totem pole with most people in our society. Case in point....if a parent ever had their kid come home from school to report that the guidance counselor recommend they become a truck driver the counselor would lose their job immediately and be lucky if they weren't lynched at the next home football game. You don't dare tell someone they have the potential to be a truck driver. That's an insult to most people.

Now being a driver for 15 years I can say without hesitation that driving was one of the most difficult challenges I've ever faced, and I've faced many over the years. It was a grand adventure and the lifestyle was incredible. I can't think of a job in this country that compares and I wouldn't have traded those years for the world. But at the same time I have no doubt as to why people look down on truck drivers in general. As a group we tend to have an unfortunately high percentage of type A personalities who also tend to be overweight, loud-mouthed, foul-smelling, disrespectful jerks. Of course we also have an incredible mix of highly educated professionals who have come in from other careers - doctors, lawyers, computer programmers, pilots, nurses - you name it. There isn't a career or a way of life in America that isn't represented in the trucking industry.

So the problem you face is a common one. What you'll find is that people come around once they realize you're having success at it and (hopefully) enjoying it. Once they hear about the different adventures you've had, the fascinating stories you'll tell, and the pride you take in what you do for a living they'll see things differently. But right now the only thing most people know about trucking is that trucks are a huge pain in the *ss cuz they're always in the way and the only people who drive a truck are people too dumb to do anything worthwhile. That's the reality of it.

So I don't know if people are doubting your abilities as much as they might be afraid you're moving down a few rungs on the ladder in life instead of up. I'm sure they have their concerns in a variety of areas, and that's to be expected. But it's the reputation of the career in general that tends to scare people the most.

When I told my ma I was going to get into trucking she wanted to jump straight into her grave. When I told my neighbor, his wife overheard and yelled from the back room, "Hemorrhoids!!!" So that was the initial feedback I got from friends and family. But once they started seeing pictures from Vegas and sunsets over the desert, heard stories about famous places and saw I was enjoying myself all of that completely changed. They enjoyed the stories and pictures, they told their friends and co-workers how many advantages trucking actually has, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Finally, don't forget that people tend to live their lives based more upon their fears than their ambitions. A lot of people would love to quit their job or their career and make some major moves in their lives but most people either feel trapped in their situation or are simply too afraid to take the risk. So when they see you have the courage to take a shot at something you'd like to do it's rather embarrassing to them. You're making them realize that the only thing that stands between them and living their dreams is fear and a lack of motivation. Nobody likes to look in the mirror and see that.

So don't sweat it a bit. Just go about your business, do what's right for you and your family, and smile when people say ignorant things. Soon enough the rest of your friends and family will see that you're happy and successful. You'll have a chance to teach them how cool trucking can be and that life on the road isn't just the Hollywood stereotype. Then they'll be smiling along with ya.

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

GREG D.'s Comment
member avatar

Man, Brett. You really know how to put things into perspective. It would be crazy cool to run into you somewhere and just bend your ear for a while.

You know, I've been telling these "doubters" that the things they worry about aren't really concerns for me as much as they may think. I mean like I said I've been in the service and with that comes family separation, not quite to the extent that a guy(or gal) alone in a truck separation but that part doesn't worry me as I easily can approach and talk to others with no problem. I know I'm a safe driver I've been driving for far o long and whether it be my motorcycle, car, or the Deuce and a half i drove in the Army I always use the same though process. #1 being the minute I lose respect for the machine I'm operating and think that I've mastered it is the exact moment when that thinking is going to get me into trouble. #2 the Moment that I am not concerned with the other drivers on the road that will also be the moment that tragedy strikes. We as humans can only control so much and the machines that we live with require a certain degree of respect that many take for granted. My real concerns are ones that I'm sure with time and experience will go away and that is mostly city driving as growing up in this small town I rarely experience driving in major cities. In fact the largest city I've ever driven in is Pittsburgh and I think it is laid out worse than most as far as the roads go but I've also never driven west of the Mississippi, so that tells you how much I know.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Matt S.'s Comment
member avatar

Man, Brett. You really know how to put things into perspective. It would be crazy cool to run into you somewhere and just bend your ear for a while.

You know, I've been telling these "doubters" that the things they worry about aren't really concerns for me as much as they may think. I mean like I said I've been in the service and with that comes family separation, not quite to the extent that a guy(or gal) alone in a truck separation but that part doesn't worry me as I easily can approach and talk to others with no problem. I know I'm a safe driver I've been driving for far o long and whether it be my motorcycle, car, or the Deuce and a half i drove in the Army I always use the same though process. #1 being the minute I lose respect for the machine I'm operating and think that I've mastered it is the exact moment when that thinking is going to get me into trouble. #2 the Moment that I am not concerned with the other drivers on the road that will also be the moment that tragedy strikes. We as humans can only control so much and the machines that we live with require a certain degree of respect that many take for granted. My real concerns are ones that I'm sure with time and experience will go away and that is mostly city driving as growing up in this small town I rarely experience driving in major cities. In fact the largest city I've ever driven in is Pittsburgh and I think it is laid out worse than most as far as the roads go but I've also never driven west of the Mississippi, so that tells you how much I know.

My brother and my mom support me but my dad seems hell bent on me failing. He doesn't want me to success so you're in good company. I guess the prevailing advice is take it a day at a time, one challenge at a time. My girlfriend bailed on me when I told her I'd had enough of IT. Yeah, there are doubters but you have to treat that the same as background noise. I wish you much luck!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Beware ulterior motives! Some people don't want you to go trucking for their own, selfish reasons and it has nothing to do with your safety or etc. Like people who you help with things, or do things for. These people don't care about your happiness just what they wont get from you if you go trucking. I'm not saying this is the case for you, I'm just saying...

Phil

movingmetal's Comment
member avatar

Hey I also was stationed at fort polk in sleesville LA infantry. Now I am becoming a trucker. Lol its a small world. You'll do fine man. Dont let others make your decision. Drive trucks if thats what you want to do. Its your life and your money. Nobody is holding you back.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Eh.

You can always remind them that staying in their stale, boring desk jobs so they can support all their debt, while ignoring their own dreams is even more dangerous than driving a truck. They'll just die slowly, accepting mediocrity, as they never had the guts to try something new and exciting, while stress and a dull lifestyle fill their arteries with plaque and their hearts stop before they realize their whole lives just passed them by.

But no worries. ... ...At least they had good benefits.

LOL ...was that too mean?

-mountain girl

smile.gif

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Man screw the haters and doubters! I was fortunate enough to not have any of those when i started considering this (unless I did and they never told me). But really I'm not out to impress them anyway. You got the approval from your wife and kids. What more does a man need.

I'm doing this to be happy in my work life like i am in my personal life. I don't need anyone that's going to drag me down in my life. Plus like Brett said, once they start hearing your stories about things that you get to see on the road they're gonna wish they did the same thing. Good luck to you sir!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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