Pros And Cons Of Trucking

Topic 847 | Page 1

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T.W.'s Comment
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PROS

1. The pay is fairly good 2. independence in your job 3. physical job - hands on 4. freedom of the open road 5. not having to dress up or shave for work 6. easy to pass CDL if you study(not like a CPA accounting test) 7. short term training to making decent money 8. macho job - This job is not for wimps. 9. not a lot of drama(like medical field) because you don't have co-workers(except dispatcher) 10. not being trapped to one area - Get to travel from city to city, state to state 11. trucking is in demand 12. Fairly stable industry - if you quit(or get fired) you can always find another trucking job 13. no boss breathing down your back every second of the day 14. Seeing different faces and places everyday 15. A CDL with a clean driving record is invaluable and will keep you employed 16. Can have the opportunity to work in oil field trucking which is higher pay 17. Big picture job rather than detailed-oriented job - Not stocking shelves or calculating running numbers or counting inventory every hour of the day - except your mileage and being on time. 18. No age discrimination in trucking 19. Great benefits and 401k package 20. Top out at pay scale of $55,000 in 3 years with little education - That is hard to do in most industries these days 21. Introverted job. Not having to deal with the public

CONS

1. Can be long hours 2. Sleeping in a truck 3. Driving long distances can give you hemorrhoids and backaches 4. You are rarely home if you drive regional or OTR 5. Its hard to build relationships being on the road 6. It can be boring driving down an interstate and seeing the same places 7. Can be labeled a redneck - big deal. 8. Low status job - You don't need a college degree to be a trucker 9. Lonely on the road 10. Dangerous work 11. One serious accident(or too many speeding tickets) and your trucking career is done 12. Have to be more careful driving at home in your car - because your job depends on it 13. It could screw up your resume if you're in a totally unrelated field 14. If you got a college degree it was a waste of money/time because you want to be a trucker instead 15. Dead end job - unless you want to be a recruiter manager 16. On a leash with the dispatcher - you either hate them or like them 17. No time for your hobbies or family because your always away from home 18. You go where the company tells you to go - tired or not - the trucking company owns you. 19. Once your salary is topped out, that's it. 20 yr vets make the same as 3 yr vets. 20. Working with an arrogant trainer who you live, eat and sleep with in a truck for 1-2 months 21. Waking up feeling groggy and tired in an unfamiliar place

EVERY JOB HAS PROS AND CONS. Not sure if its smart to pursue a career if pros and cons equal each other though. I would like to see less cons and keep the pros the same.

Add some more pros and cons if you like. It is for clarity for guys who are wanting to pursue this industry like myself.

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.

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.

Interstate:

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

Dispatcher:

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.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Your Pros are on but most of your Cons are things people outside trucking or someone with very little experience would list.

Half your Cons should be moved to the Pro list I am on a phone so hard for me to do quotes of your post...

Con list....... 21... Get more sleep. 20... Only for a short time. 19...not true. Most company CEO's started as drivers.

18...while true you are forced dispatched being tired is not the companies fault. That would be the drivers fault. Get your sleep during your 10 hour break. No excuse. There is no reason to drive tired. 17... You knew that before getting into trucking. No one to blame for this one. 16...95% of the time drivers cause this relationship to go bad. 15...look at 19 for the answer. 14...I agree with this one. 13....doubtful. Positive job experience is positive job experience no matter where you work. 12...very true. 11...totally controllable by the driver 10...not really. If your talking about accidents then those are avoidable. 9...Yep. Love it. 8..it can be a tough job for some. 7... Everyone has their share of dumba$$es. 6....Boring? How can you say that? Everyday is different out here on the road. Have yet to see two days just a like. True 99.9% of the time nothing happens but that is good. 5...not true. I have many friends I have made while out here on the road with drivers and non drivers a like. And relationship's at home only suffer if both people do not understand trucking. 4...that maybe your job but I do restarts at home every 7 to 9 days. There are more jobs like mine out there than you might think. Just have to look around. 3...only if you do not take care of yourself. Again something else you totally control. 2...its awesome. I sleep better in the truck than I do at home in bed. 1...this is true but this should not have been a surprise at all. Everyone one knows this and accepts it. For those that don't are in for a very big surprise.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Troubador222's Comment
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I hear all the time about how dangerous truck driving is, and yes, it is dangerous, but compared to other jobs, maybe not near the most dangerous. The land surveying I did for 25 years is still the most dangerous work I have ever done. I never wake up in the sleeper and have to kill an angry hungry alligator to save my own life. I never step in quick sand or get stung dozens of times by angry hornets. I never get shot at by confused hunters or angry property owners who dont like where the property line ends up. Rattlesnakes and water moccasins dont surprise me in my truck either. Dangerous dogs, no problem. Working in the traffic lanes of major highways, well I do that, but at least I am not standing out there as a target anymore. I find driving kind of safe and relaxing. dancing.gif

T.W.'s Comment
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Guyjax,

Thanks for the input. That was needed for feedback.

T.W.'s Comment
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Troubadour,

Spot on. More dangerous jobs out there for sure.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey Todd. I don't know if you read it or not, but I wrote a book a few years back and there's even a free version right here on the site:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

The entire purpose of that book was to answer your basic question - what it life on the road as a trucker really like. It will give you a ton of insights that will certainly make your decision easier.

And Guyjax makes a good point about moving some of your cons to the pros section. I would say you can't really judge whether or not something is a pro or a con without knowing the person you're talking about. One man's dream is another's nightmare.

I was never married, never had any kids. Most of the time I didn't even have an official place to live. So being away from home was great for me. But if I had kids, it would be a nightmare.

So really what you need to know is what is life on the road really like. Then you can make your own list of what you feel are the pros and cons and you'll have a better idea if trucking is worth a shot.

But I will say this. Personally I don't think the money alone is worth it for what you go through out there as a trucker. You put in a massive amount of hours, you take a lot of risk, and you sacrifice a lot of things that others take for granted in their lives. But at the same time, there's nothing like living on the road. It's a priceless experience for the right person. To me, the lifestyle is what made it worth doing. The money was ok for me - I didn't have a problem with it really. But the lifestyle was incredible and that's what made it such a priceless experience.

But this entire site is dedicated to explaining life on the road. Check out my book, our Truck Driving Blogs, and our Trucker's Career Guide if you haven't already. They're amazing. I could spend 15 minutes answering your question, but I've already spent the last 6 1/2 years answering it all over the site. So I was prepared for you long before you even knew you'd want to know about trucking smile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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