Challenges Of Driving

Topic 6197 | Page 1

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truckersgirl's Comment
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I'm hoping to gain some insight into truck driving, and am posting on behalf of my boyfriend.

He is very close to getting his one year of experience, and usually has "okay" days. Once in a while he has a day that breaks him, a day where he does not want to go on, wants to quit. These are days where drastic things happen - ignorant car drivers that almost cause accidents, hitting construction and ending up in a subdivision at 5 am (in PQ!)

Some of these cause him to be concerned for his safety, and rightly so. But I am coming here because I am seeking advice for him from experienced drivers that understand the challenges.

His driving allows him to see me more than ever before (we were in a long distance relationship) and neither of us really want him to stop driving.

For those of you that have driven for 5, 10, 15 years - does it get easier? are there words of wisdom you can offer? what do you tell yourself on those horrible, stressful days?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I'm hoping to gain some insight into truck driving, and am posting on behalf of my boyfriend.

He is very close to getting his one year of experience, and usually has "okay" days. Once in a while he has a day that breaks him, a day where he does not want to go on, wants to quit. These are days where drastic things happen - ignorant car drivers that almost cause accidents, hitting construction and ending up in a subdivision at 5 am (in PQ!)

Some of these cause him to be concerned for his safety, and rightly so. But I am coming here because I am seeking advice for him from experienced drivers that understand the challenges.

His driving allows him to see me more than ever before (we were in a long distance relationship) and neither of us really want him to stop driving.

For those of you that have driven for 5, 10, 15 years - does it get easier? are there words of wisdom you can offer? what do you tell yourself on those horrible, stressful days?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Please everyone, I really could use some help with this...are all these horrible days normal? I just want him to feel like he isn't alone out there.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Please everyone, I really could use some help with this...are all these horrible days normal? I just want him to feel like he isn't alone out there.

Slow down and relax a bit. Just because we don't answer right a way does not mean we won't answer. We are drivers and we actually drive for a living and there are times when we can't get to the forums till late at night or till the next day....

Yes what he is going through is normal. We all have bad days. It's apart of the job. It's not what happens that counts but how you handle it. If there was no accident then forget about it and move on down the road. Construction zones.... They are everywhere and nothing to be done but sit back and relax cause it will take as long as it takes to get through it. Bad weather happens also but it's apart of the job.

truckersgirl's Comment
member avatar

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Please everyone, I really could use some help with this...are all these horrible days normal? I just want him to feel like he isn't alone out there.

double-quotes-end.png

Slow down and relax a bit. Just because we don't answer right a way does not mean we won't answer. We are drivers and we actually drive for a living and there are times when we can't get to the forums till late at night or till the next day....

Yes what he is going through is normal. We all have bad days. It's apart of the job. It's not what happens that counts but how you handle it. If there was no accident then forget about it and move on down the road. Construction zones.... They are everywhere and nothing to be done but sit back and relax cause it will take as long as it takes to get through it. Bad weather happens also but it's apart of the job.

I apologize, I'm the typical female - worry about everything (not helpful I know hah) I appreciate your response, I just want him to know he isn't alone. And I don't drive trucks (probably a good thing haha) so I can sympathize but I know I don't truly understand the same way another driver would.

Thank you.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Truckersgirl, welcome to the forum!

It's not what happens that counts but how you handle it.

That quote from GuyJax is priceless. This is really what's tripping your man up. He's got to settle down and not let himself get so uptight. Once you let your circumstances start to control your emotions you are done! He who can control his mind and emotions can control a kingdom, or at least a job being a truck driver.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Welcome aboard truckersgirl!

I agree wholeheartedly that enjoying your life on the road really comes down to your perspective on things. A "glass half full", friendly, optimistic person who appreciates the little things in life will enjoy themselves tenfold over those who are pessimistic or stress out easily. Over the years I've noticed that most veteran drivers are either so miserable and stressed out they seem like they're on the verge of a nervous breakdown all the time or they're almost always as pleasant and content as a Monk. That's because over the years we're all bombarded with millions of variables that can be interpreted positively or negatively. How you interpret the hundreds of little things that happen every day is going to have a cumulative effect over time. Eventually you either learn to enjoy almost every moment of every day or you're miserable all the time.

And a lot of that is amplified with truck drivers because they spend so many hours alone with their thoughts. So you're either relaxing and enjoying yourself all the time or you're stewing over things all day long, every single day. It really adds up after a while.

Finally, being a pleasant person will take you a long way in trucking. It seems impossible to believe how effective it is until you try it and watch it work. You can't believe how many drivers are generally miserable or tend to be really negative people when presented with situations they're not happy with. If they show up for an appointment and they're told they have to wait a few hours a lot of drivers will start going off! They'll start cussin and threatening and get all p*ssed off. Make a whole scene on the docks. But you see, truckers have no authority over anyone. You can't bully anyone around. They really don't care that much what you think - dock workers, office workers, police officers, your company's safety department - doesn't matter. Truckers have no authority. So freaking out is only going to make things worse.

Fortunately for those smart enough to pick up on this it becomes a huge advantage. You learn that in the trucking world you really will attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you'll go into the customers, your company's offices, restaurants, stores, and everyplace else with a great attitude you stand out to people because they're used to so many grumpy drivers. And if you'll dress at least respectable and actually smell nice you'll get massive bonus points with everyone. I mean, this stuff sounds soooooooo overly simplistic - like advice you'd get on the Disney Channel. But by God it works I'll tell ya. Make sure your husband understands this stuff and uses it to his advantage. If you'll treat everyone great and be a pleasant person you'll get more freight, better runs, loaded and unloaded more quickly, get out of most tickets, and get special favors from dispatch once in a while. It changes everything about your job and everyday life out there. I always thought it was the best kept secret in trucking....be super pleasant and learn to get people on your side. That's the best approach to getting things done and enjoying yourself out there.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I got my cdl in 94 and have been in and out of the truck for various reasons. My first stretch was from '94 until '00. I was so stressed out after those six years when an opportunity came to get out I took it. My age in 94 was 24 years old so most of my driving was in my 20's. I had a very short fuse and the things that your bf is going thru now I let get the best of me. I've always had driving jobs but from 00 to 14 those were local 9 to 5's where I got to go home every day. That went a long way to keeping me sane.

This past July I started driving over the road again. And now after 5 months I'm feeling those feelings of stress come back due to being away from my 9 & 6 year olds and significant other of 10 years. Couple that with the lack of income and my wife losing her job of 20 years and me now being the sole money earner, the road is getting to me again. Just 3 days ago I got into a fist fight with another driver that got out of his truck, came up to mine and opened my door to cuss me out for cutting in front of him at a fuel island. I didn't cut in front on purpose. I didn't realize he was waiting to get in the island. At the time I was very angry after going in two other islands and have my fuel card not work in them. Instead of letting the guy blow off stream I engaged him in the argument that turned into a fight. I regret that decision a great deal.

So here's the bottom line.....this job is very tough for someone that doesn't have tough skin and duck feathers. If he wants to continue this line of work, a little therapy may be in order. Because it doesn't get easier. The job throws the same stuff at you day after day. And I can testify that even after 14 years of not driving over the road, it's only gotten worse out here with the attitude of many drivers since I drove last.

So my best words of wisdom? Do whatever he can to roll with the punches. Attitude is everything. This I know because mine isn't up to par with where it needs to be.

In passing it warms my heart to see a woman caring enough about her mate to help in his endeavors. Welcome to TT.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

My co-driver has a saying (that has helped me deal with my "bad days"). The saying is "sunny side up, greasy side down." Basically, if you're still alive and not lying in a ditch, it's a good day.

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

Reality is that trucking is not for everyone. Even a year into it one may find they simply don't like it anymore. If that is the case then a change of scenery may be in order.

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