Why Drive For A Living???

Topic 8829 | Page 2

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Christina H.'s Comment
member avatar

Bob,

It appears that you define a "good" job as being only the ones that require a 4 year degree (and I will assume you include those that require more education like Masters and Doctorates). You also assume that a degree is a magical doorway that automatically allows you access to these "good" jobs. I know many well educated people that are grateful to be working at Starbucks, McDonalds, taxi company or a local grocery store because the job opportunities available to them were scarce or nonexistent for there level of education or type of degree. I have an unfinished Masters Degree and a crap ton of debt and now I am pushing towards getting back into trucking to pay off my failed educational investment. Mind you I work in state government and have a job that many would feel blessed to hold, but it's not worth my health and happiness to be miserable. Truck driving and other trade jobs pay well and are decent and honest ways to make a living. And, on top of that employers are desperate to fill many of these, most have avenues to employment that include apprenticeship and on-the-job training that minimizes the debt that most college degrees incur. They also have higher starting and average salaries over the course of a career than those requiring general 4-year degrees. The job market is glutted with over educated and under-skilled individuals. Don't denigrate something just because you don't understand it or don't want to do it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I want to sincerely thank everyone for their responses and apologize if I offended anyone with my initial question. This was just a curious question to see why truckers choose what they do. I know it's not for everyone and didn't mean to put down on the profession. To answer some questions I was on this site as I was told about it by a friend that is considering trucking so decided to check it out. After reading several articles about if trucking is for you and found articles on this site saying if you have young kids trucking was not for you and to wait until their grown I decided to see why some still choose it. I currently work in the IT field and absolutely love it, however, may find myself in trucking as a second career later in life when my kids are grown. Again thanks for the responses and insights!

OOS:

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.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

I want to sincerely thank everyone for their responses and apologize if I offended anyone with my initial question. This was just a curious question to see why truckers choose what they do. I know it's not for everyone and didn't mean to put down on the profession. To answer some questions I was on this site as I was told about it by a friend that is considering trucking so decided to check it out. After reading several articles about if trucking is for you and found articles on this site saying if you have young kids trucking was not for you and to wait until their grown I decided to see why some still choose it. I currently work in the IT field and absolutely love it, however, may find myself in trucking as a second career later in life when my kids are grown. Again thanks for the responses and insights!

Thanks Bob for having the integrity and courage it takes to come back and reiterate your purpose. I have witnessed a lot of folks come on here and and pretty much s**t on the people in this industry.

I will say that the way you presented the first post and now followed up, you would make a good candidate for this life because your people skills are atrocious (joke).

There are more professionals than not, but, you will only hear about the negative side on the "news" these days.

Good luck to ya

OOS:

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.

Scott M's Comment
member avatar

Bob j- I am in trucking school right now.

"To improve oneself". Is another answer. At my school- a young man who just quit his Walmart job of 3 years, said he is going to double his salary. Do you think this fellow is smiling inside and out- I know he is. A middle age man who worked at Home Depot for 5 years is also going to greatly increase his salary.

I plan on making 30-35k the first year. Hopefully around 50k the second year. My opinion is the CPM should be doubled.

You should thank God for truckers that provide all the stuff you buy.

BTW- that young Walmart fellow had 3 Trainers who asked if he wanted to be trained by them.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Bob, I for one was not offended by your original post, and did not read it the same way some others did. Regardless...

I do think you flashed some naivete. I have a BA degree. The trades are a far better choice to earn an income, and without the debt of higher education.

I love trucks, driving them, talking with other drivers, and having the highways as my office. Linehaul trucking is my only experience with trucking. I was fortunate enough to not have to go down the path as an OTR driver out of trucking school. 'Fortunate,' meaning that I didn't have to go OTR and be away from my family for weeks at a time. I thought I was going to have to do that, and was prepared to do that. However, I run linehaul for an LTL company, will make over $70k my first year, and am home every night with two days off a week. I am home on holidays and get paid for them. I work 12-14 hour shifts, but I can still have a family life, albeit not as much as if I'd have a 9-5 type of job. During the beginning of my linehaul job, I was out for a few days at a time, and that was enough for me to know that being an OTR driver would require an immense amount of mental resolve and commitment to endure separation from family. I couldn't imagine only being home a few days a month. I wouldn't want to do that. Could I? Yes, in the name of supporting my family and being a provider.

I love driving rigs, love the open road, but wouldn't love living out of truck stops or being away from my family for weeks at a time. If I had to choose OTR or no trucking at all, it would actually be a tough choice since I love trucks and the freedom of driving on the road, but ultimately I would not trade away time with my family for a career. Life is too short to miss out on memories and time with my family. If OTR trucking was the only way for me to support my family, obviously I would do it. That's why some people do it. Me, I'd choose being an electrician over an OTR trucker, but I would definitely have those big rigs on my mind. And the funny thing about it, is that even though I know I have the perfect trucking job as a linehaul driver ( for me ), I still fantasize about driving across country pulling a tank or a reefer , being in my assigned tractor with a sleeper behind me, rolling down the road.

If I was single, I would go OTR just for the experience. But I would still eventually 'settle down' and be a career linehaul driver.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

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.

Indy's Comment
member avatar
...

I do think you flashed some naivete. I have a BA degree. The trades are a far better choice to earn an income, and without the debt of higher education.

...

I think that, over the course of ones life, on average, careers that require a college-degree pay more than those in the trades. And, I think the OP has a point,... truck drivers rarely have the kind of balance in their life that people in college-requiring careers generally have. Working 12-14 hour days as a driver, long term, means you're going to miss a great deal of your families' experiences.

Having said that, I have college degrees, and a family, and I am now a truck driver. I believe it is good thing for my family. I will make more in my first year trucking than I made in any prior year, doing a job that required a masters degree. They need the money more than they need me around all the time. It's good for us. For the OP and most others, that's probably not the case.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Lest anyone say I contradict myself above... be clear, I'm generalizing. I could have made a lucrative career with my degrees, if I had been so motivated. I am more passionate about driving than I ever was about my previous occupation. Fact is, I didn't fit in well in that other world. I really like the trucking world. It's mostly good people, to me. To each his own

Richard W.'s Comment
member avatar

Bob, I'm starting a new career in trucking. Here are just a few reasons #1 Shenandoah county just cut our hrs to 29 hrs a week. Why you may ask easy they don't have to me bennifits. #2 My wife is very supportive of this as driving a big rid is something I have always wanted to do. #3 I'll be able to provide more for my four boys and family. I must admit I took of offense to your post. If your not interested in a driving job why post such a negative post. I have had mgmt job for restraints and security companies and the stress was unreal. I have also drove a tow truck in Cleaterwater Fl. And miss it a lot but I want something and more rewarding this is why I'm going trucking. Thank Richard W.

Dm:

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.
Bill R.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

...

I do think you flashed some naivete. I have a BA degree. The trades are a far better choice to earn an income, and without the debt of higher education.

...

double-quotes-end.png

I think that, over the course of ones life, on average, careers that require a college-degree pay more than those in the trades. And, I think the OP has a point,... truck drivers rarely have the kind of balance in their life that people in college-requiring careers generally have. Working 12-14 hour days as a driver, long term, means you're going to miss a great deal of your families' experiences.

Having said that, I have college degrees, and a family, and I am now a truck driver. I believe it is good thing for my family. I will make more in my first year trucking than I made in any prior year, doing a job that required a masters degree. They need the money more than they need me around all the time. It's good for us. For the OP and most others, that's probably not the case.

The bolded is why I quit the business world. I was sick of doing a job (pay was fantastic, life was in an office about 75-80 hours a week. When I read in Fortune magazine that I had the "best job in business", I quit that week. (I was an actuary for an insurance company.)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I'm almost 63. Retired from the USAF then spent about 20 years in various IT jobs. I sacrificed a bit in the service but couldn't find the satisfaction in IT and moved around a bit. I have a degree but it never got me the big payday. My kids are grown and my wife fully supports me in choosing trucking. I team with my eldest son and I'm making a much better average check than when I worked IT, even with some OT. This won't be a lifetime career for me, but with my wife's excellent salary and my income we are working at being debt free in a couple of years...including mortgage. I miss being home more and so far this year have missed my wife's birthday, Mothers Day, and will miss our anniversary week after next. But, WE decided the $$$ and me getting to do something different is worth the sacrifices.

OOS:

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.

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