Ouch! I Just Got Put Down Hard

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Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Fueling at the Petro in OKC today and I was approached by a toothless veteran driver.

This guy was a work of art. I've seen some real nuts out here but this guy takes the cake.

As always, the conversation started with him saying "are you even old enough to drive a truck boy? You're one of those new 21 year old drivers that shouldn't even be on the road now anen't ya?" (If I had a nickel for every time I've got asked that I would be rich)

I told him I was actually almost 24 and I have been driving for just about 3 years now.

To which he replied "I been driving since the 70's, if I would have known back then that they would allow you kids to drive a truck then I wouldn't have ever joined the industry."

"I went to the school of hard knocks I didn't go through no stupid big company. Let me guess, they convinced you to put a big down payment on the truck and now you have to pay it off?"

I told him that I'm a company driver and making pretty good money and I'm home every 3 weeks.

"Ahh, just wait" he said." They'll grab you by the balls one day and you won't get home for 6 months because they won't let you. Thats what always happens."

I told him I've been here awhile and that I'm always home when I want to be, that this company is not what he thinks it is.

"Well just wait until you get married! You go home right now but you'll get married and your wife won't put up with this bleep."

I showed him my wedding finger proudly and told him we are going on 2.5 years and that my wife is a strong woman.

"Well will she be strong when they won't let you go home for 6 months? She's going to divorce your ass and you'll owe her money."

"Or, what happens if she gets pregnant? She won't put up with this lifestyle and you won't come home for 6 months and you'll be divorced. What's going to happen when she's going to get pregnant huh?" (Yeah let's just walk up to a stranger and get in their personal life why don't we?)

I replied "I'll be thrilled and I'll probably go local. I can easily land a local job with 3 years accident free."

He gave me a frustrated look, then I replied "I don't like to look at life from such a bad and negative perspective."

Then we parted ways.

I have respect for my elders which is why I tried to keep it nice. But goodness gracious, talk about being your own worst enemy. I've never met a guy who looks at all the bad outcomes with such negativity.

Which brings me to my point. Elders, not all of us young guys are morons. Youngsters, quit being morons.

Question: apart from Starcars husband, how come I never have a good time chatting with a 20+ year driving veteran. Honestly, it seems like every single one of them has lost their minds. This industry is their baby but at the same time they are usually more clueless than a greenhorn.

Does this job have a diminishing effect on your brain over time?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I'll tell ya my favorite one you'll hear from a lot of veterans.....the ever popular, "This new breed of driver is ruining trucking. Bunch of steering wheel holders is all they are."

Let's think about that for a moment.....

Was it the "new breed of driver" that put truckers on the bottom of the totem pole in our society? I mean, a sizeable chunk of our society thinks truck driving is for big mouth, redneck, smelly idiots too dumb to do anything worthwhile. Which generation gave them that idea?

Back in the day you literally didn't need any training to become a truck driver. Someone with a chauffeur's license (as it was known at the time) could simply sign a piece of paper saying they trained you and were instantly a truck driver. No schooling, no testing. So is it the new guys or the old guys who were better trained?

Back in the day the truck stops were like the Wild West, often filled with drugs and prostitutes. Must be the new guys that went back in time and caused that, eh?

Back in the day drug testing was virtually non-existent. "Bennies" and other forms of speed were prevalent and it wasn't uncommon for guys to do coast to coast turnarounds in 5 days flat on about 10 total hours of sleep.

Back in the day there were no electronic logbooks. How many paper logbooks did you run? Probably depended upon your supply of "Bennies" to keep you going. Usually two logbooks.

Today's drivers have better training, much tighter logbook controls, require physicals & drug screens, go through a rather extensive testing process to get their CDL , and are monitored continuously by every electronic gadget known to man.

Just don't tell the old timers any of that.

Daniel, I used to get the exact same lines you do, "Does your dad know you're driving his truck?" They meant it to poke fun but of course I took it as a compliment that I was half their age and doing the same job just as well.

smile.gif

To be fair, truckers used to be known as "The Knights Of The Road" mostly because back in the day you didn't have GPS, cell phones, and cops on every corner if you broke down or got lost somewhere. Drivers had to pretty much rescue each other when they were hopelessly lost or they broke down. So if you were in trouble out on the highway you were hoping to see a truck come along because you knew he'd almost certainly help out. Nowadays if you stop to help someone out you'll be lucky not to get jumped by three guys waiting in the bushes.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Dustan J.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Had a guy follow me around, talking nonstop despite my best act of being totally deaf. Eventually I tried words to let him know that I was focused on my upcoming shower and meal, and preferred to chat later....like maybe tomorrow. At some point he discovered that I had barely a year of driving at my ripe old age of 37. Along came the jokes and "old-timer" stories, new-breed drivers, and so on. Finally, I told him that I waited until now to start driving trucks commercially because I had been busy going to combat for 16 years, and that any responsible adult with good driving habits could do well in trucking, and pull the doubles with 40 ton payloads.

I hear a lot of negativity around truck stops. I tend to park at roadside turnouts and rest stops now for the peace and quiet.

People do tend to make snap judgments, and my favorite thing to do is to wear bib overalls and a farmer's hat. They are comfy, rugged, and have lots of little pockets for pens and tire gauges. I guess people just assume that I am on my way to feed the cows. I have caught some funny looks when I dress that way and am seen climbing into the truck that is hooked to a set of hopper-bottom doubles. Good times!

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Magoo's Comment
member avatar

rofl-1.gif

Remember not all of us "seniors" are wise.

Way to stay even keeled.

Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

You handled that well for...are you 18 now you said? Just teasing. You find these people in a lot of places. They've got a chip on their shoulder, a life of negativity, and no good influence so they just get bitter and jealous and that chip on their shoulder.

Drink some tea and roll on.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

All that stuff he said: not about you.

mountain girl

wtf-2.gif

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I sat at the counter in a Dennys a while back and listened to a 20+ year veteran brag to another veteran driver about how he pulled a trailer that had no brakes for two years before his company finally fixed them. He also talked in detail about how he gives DOT officers a ration of sh*t, complained about slow trucks and bragged about how he blew past them and occasionally brake-checked them, how he doesn't have reflective tape on the mudflaps for his drives (which have been required since, what, 1993?), how he runs scales when he's overweight, how log rules don't apply to him, etc. ad nauseam.

Then he complained about how all the new drivers were unsafe and ruining trucking. I just ate my meal and didn't engage, but I agree with you Daniel, there are some guys who have been driving for years who are the problem and don't even know it.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I'll tell ya my favorite one you'll hear from a lot of veterans.....the ever popular, "This new breed of driver is ruining trucking. Bunch of steering wheel holders is all they are."

Let's think about that for a moment.....

Was it the "new breed of driver" that put truckers on the bottom of the totem pole in our society? I mean, a sizeable chunk of our society thinks truck driving is for big mouth, redneck, smelly idiots too dumb to do anything worthwhile. Which generation gave them that idea?

Back in the day you literally didn't need any training to become a truck driver. Someone with a chauffeur's license (as it was known at the time) could simply sign a piece of paper saying they trained you and were instantly a truck driver. No schooling, no testing. So is it the new guys or the old guys who were better trained?

Back in the day the truck stops were like the Wild West, often filled with drugs and prostitutes. Must be the new guys that went back in time and caused that, eh?

Back in the day drug testing was virtually non-existent. "Bennies" and other forms of speed were prevalent and it wasn't uncommon for guys to do coast to coast turnarounds in 5 days flat on about 10 total hours of sleep.

Back in the day there were no electronic logbooks. How many paper logbooks did you run? Probably depended upon your supply of "Bennies" to keep you going. Usually two logbooks.

Today's drivers have better training, much tighter logbook controls, require physicals & drug screens, go through a rather extensive testing process to get their CDL , and are monitored continuously by every electronic gadget known to man.

Just don't tell the old timers any of that.

Daniel, I used to get the exact same lines you do, "Does your dad know you're driving his truck?" They meant it to poke fun but of course I took it as a compliment that I was half their age and doing the same job just as well.

smile.gif

To be fair, truckers used to be known as "The Knights Of The Road" mostly because back in the day you didn't have GPS, cell phones, and cops on every corner if you broke down or got lost somewhere. Drivers had to pretty much rescue each other when they were hopelessly lost or they broke down. So if you were in trouble out on the highway you were hoping to see a truck come along because you knew he'd almost certainly help out. Nowadays if you stop to help someone out you'll be lucky not to get jumped by three guys waiting in the bushes.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Not all of us vets think the newer drivers are dumb and know nothing.

Oh wait I have not been out here 20 years yet. Perhaps at the 20 year mark I will loose my mind and start blaming everyone else for my issues.

smile.gif

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.

Gladiator 76's Comment
member avatar

One thing I hate about truck stops or the local drivers room is the constant complaining! Misery loves company.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

That is one of the reasons I avoid the TV room at most truck stops, all the complaining going on.

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

I've run into several of those types, at fuel islands, or drivers lounges or restaurants. I just smile and nod.

I do this because I know something all those knuckle dragging, know it all 20 year super truckers might not know.

They're on the way out.

I've heard so many times " I'll never use electronic logs , if they make them mandatory, I'll quit" Good , because I'll haul your freight, and I'll do it legally. You need to make that box your friend, not your enemy or it WILL work against you.

And I've heard horror stories about this company or that company and so on. Trucking has a bad rap, and we've earned it and that's a good thing because it means we can fix it

Now, when I first met Daniel at instructor training I thought " someone needs to throw this kid a sammich" but you seem alright to me.

Keep doin what you're doin, take care of your students and don't worry bout the beufords out there.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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