Everyone is super nervous when it's time to go solo. Here is some great advice and some crazy stories to help you stay calm and be prepared.
I left trucking after a tough go of it. I had a lot of misconceptions. Now I've returned and completed one full year and I want to share my story.
Many drivers get one year of experience and their self-importance causes their attitude and performance to go South. Here's the trap and how to avoid it.
Most people feel a lot of pressure before the CDL driving exam. We're here to tell you that failing is not a big deal. It happened to me. Here's my story.
I went through a lot of difficulties at the start of my trucking career. I hope to show you can still succeed and enjoy this career even after a rough start.
Everyone thinks you'll just be a faceless number at the mega trucking carriers. I'm proof this isn't true. Here is why they know me at my mega carrier.
I am often asked about what it is like to be a woman trucker. It takes a special woman to handle it, but I love it. Here is my experience as a woman truck driver.
Forced dispatch means a driver can not refuse a load assignment. Is this fair? Should a driver have that right?
Do you know what it takes to be successful in trucking? Are you willing to compete? Are you capable of performing at a high level? Here is what it takes.
Here's one trucker's story about living the highest of highs one day and the lowest of lows the next. Life on the road is a roller coaster ride.
No matter how well a truck driver plans a trip there are countless variables that will stand in your way. This particular week we couldn't catch a break.
It seems like life on the road throws you one curveball after another sometimes. This winter has been tough, with some parts better off forgotten.
After a month of travelling with my husband who is an OTR trucker we're learning to live and work well together. Life on the road takes some getting used to.
After just a short time on the road with my husband I've come to realize that everyday life in the trucking industry is like a roller coaster ride.
After learning I would be headed out on the road with my husband it was time to see our assigned truck for the first time and start loading in our goodies.
Being given the opportunity to travel the country with my husband I'm ready to hit the highways and find out what life is all about for the American trucker
As a rookie truck driver you're going to face enormous challenges and be tested continuously. I learned a great lesson about how tough CDL training can be.
The CB radio is a legendary part of being a trucker. But nothing is funnier than being a rookie and soundling like a nerd amongst the smooth talkers.
Truckers sitting high above the passing traffic glimpse a moment in time of the lives of the people passing below. Here's a fun look at some things I've seen.
I recently completed Swift Transportation's company-sponsored training program and here's what the experience was like for me.
Truckers live wherever they happen to be at the moment. Some places have a mysterious past. They're a shadow of their former selves. A ghost town. A relic.
Every truck driver fears a family emergency happening when they're out on the road. It's a helpless feeling, and there's little you can do to prepare.
Life on the road is challenging, and drivers are on tight schedules. But this was one of those days where I made a mistake that made things even worse!
So how does a new driver survive their hectic, stressful, tiring, demanding, and incredibly challenging first 6 months on the job? Here's my advice...
Nothing could be more exciting than climbing behind the wheel of a rig for your first run ever as a professional driver! Here's how it went for me.
Getting started with CDL training meant a ton of bookwork in the beginning, working outside in temps below zero, and busting up some drivetrains.
Home time is precious to an over the road driver and their family, and it's painful when it gets cut short by an unexpected call from the company.
After earning a college degree, being a stay-at-home dad, and then a substitute teacher, it was time for a career change. Here's how CDL training began.
After a major mistake on my part, I found out how far a great attitude and hard work can take you, and how great a 'starter company' can treat you after all
Becoming a truck driver is a dream for a lot of people. Others find it a necessity when life takes an unexpected turn. Here's the story of how I got started.
Although I had never planned on driving a semi, I wound up having a great trucking career. Here's a story about the trip where I reached 300,000 miles.
After a few years of driving truck, my time on the road has come to an end. But I'm on to new and exciting things in the industry! Here's the story.
Being a CDL instructor is a very unique experience. I was amazed at how much I learned myself. Here are some of the highlights I picked up along the way.
After four weeks on the road with my student, it was time for him to take his CDL exam. We were both very nervous. Testing day is incredibly stressful.
CDL training will test you in so many ways, and it will go far beyond your ability to drive a truck. It will also test your patience and perseverance.
People wonder what life is like on the road for truckers. Well, you certainly have your good and bad days, and here's what a bad day is like...
I've only been on the road a short time running solo and I had my first chance to drive through NYC in a big rig, and what a crazy adventure it was!
I got out of the trucking industry back in 2009. Almost two years later I'm ready to get back in but I'm facing a few hurdles along the way.
I recently became a certified CDL instructor and I was given my first students to train on shifting gears. Here's the story, and some advice for newbies
After being a solo truck driver for 2 1/2 years I've decided to become a trainer for an old college friend who is getting into trucking. Here's the scoop
My first ever solo run as a trucker went pretty well, but of course I ran into several issues and learned some good lessons right off the bat.
After two weeks with my trainer, I went home for three days to relax and get ready for my company road test. If I pass, I get my own truck and run solo
I've been on the road with my trainer and there's been a lot of ups and downs. We're learning a ton everyday, but it's not easy for me or my family.
My first few days of my trucking career are off to a great start and I'm out on the road with my trainer. Everything is so new, everything is a first.
After completing orientation with my first trucking company it was time to head out on the road with a trainer for the first time, and away we went!
We've reached the end of orientation with my new trucking company and it's time for testing. If we pass, we head out on the road with our trainer!
I'm in orientation with my new trucking company and right now we're covering a lot - driving, backing, inspections, procedures, and paperwork.
We got our first chance behind the wheel at orientation for my new trucking company, which was interesting, but the classroom is information overload!
Today was judgment day at orientation - the day they usually start sending people home for one reason or another. I was surprised at how it turned out.
Becoming a truck driver was something I wasn't certain about until I started believing it could really happen. That's when things started rolling.
It's the start of my truck driving career and after graduating from school with my CDL I've just arrived for orientation at my first real trucking job.
This is my first trucking blog and I have a lot to say about the trucking industry and life in general. Here's a quick intro and some thoughts I have.
You never know when a beautiful day for a drive can suddenly turn ugly, as it did for Rhonda in her big rig on a typical summer day in Wisconsin.
After a lot of close calls and important lessons learned, I'm starting to get the feel for driving truck and learning to relax and roll with things.
After attending Optometry school I finally accepted that I was on the wrong path in life. I need a career that suits me, and truck driving may be it.
I finished training and got my first truck. This is the story of my first ever solo run in a big rig, and a tiny rookie mistake that was pretty funny.
I signed the lease agreement with my company and for the first time I head out onto the highway in my leased tractor trailer. Now the adventure begins
I'm finishing up CDL training with a trainer who screams in tirades and I've had to try to deal with it. But finally, the showdown between us occurred.
You meet a lot of crazy characters in trucking, and my finishing trainer is off the charts. This guys seems more like someone you'd find in a movie.
One of the students in our CDL training course was sent home today - she just couldn't handle the rig. It certainly isn't easy getting started in trucking.
I've completed my CDL training and I now have my CDL but there was plenty of stress and some rough teachers to deal with along the way - here's the story
Becoming a truck driver is a dream that almost everyone has tucked away somewhere. For me, it's time to make that dream a reality, and I'm ready for it!
Going through a company-sponsored CDL training program is no bed of roses. Here are some of my experiences and some challenges you can expect to face.
Truck drivers have tough days, and often times tough weeks - especially that first year. This was yet another tough lesson learned early in my career.
After getting into an accident as a rookie truck driver I made a critical error in judgment that could have cost me dearly, but this time I was lucky.
After tarping a load on a rainy day in a muddy mess of a parking lot I began to question whether or not becoming a truck driving was a mistake.
I haul car fuel on the night shift in Amsterdam. Not many women truck drivers work the night shift and a lot of people want to know if it's dangerous.
My first full solo week of trucking started out well but didn't continue that way for long. I also saw some very strange sites along the way!
After saying goodbye to my trainer, it was time to set out on my first solo run as a truck driver, and what a humbling adventure it turned out to be!
On the road in training driving flatbed was very rough the first couple weeks. My fingers were numb, I ached all over, and the mountains were intimidating
My first six weeks on the road with an incredibly unique trainer were memorable times. But being home for a 'Trucker's Weekend' was not what I expected
It was time to take the CDL exam and all of us were very nervous. Most of us failed our first attempt and the pressure was on to pass and get our CDL.
Backing up a truck and learning to shift are two key elements at truck driving school, but some patient instructors are helping our class immensely.
My first day of backing up a big rig in truck driving school and we were all nervous and excited. None of us knew what backing a big rig would be like
The beginning of my truck driving adventures started here with cdl school where I met an incredible variety of people looking to become truck drivers
Becoming a truck driver was something I never considered until my 20 year journalism career became a rut. Here's where my trucking adventures began.
The Qualcomm has directions to customers for truck drivers, but often times the directions are wrong and nobody seems to care. Here's what happens.
Donner Pass for truck drivers is one of the notorious places in the country for burned up brakes and fatal wrecks. My first time down was an adventure
Becoming a truck driver is a big decision, and Steve and Cathy decided to the time was right for Steve to begin his CDL training. Here's how it went.
Getting home from the road is every truck driver's favorite time, and that's especially true for a driver's family, friends, and loved ones.
An inside look at life on the road from a trucker's perspective.
Before I became a truck driver, there was nothing better than a good snow storm, sliding around in my 4-wheeler. But that was then, and this is now!
CDL training has been more pressure and more difficult than we expected. Getting your CDL is no picnic. In fact, it can be grueling at times.
As a truck driver you have to be on guard at all times. Even when you're doing everything right you never know when someone will do something crazy.
The boss at my trucking company called and asked if I could deliver some loads overnight. I knew this was going to be a long night on the highway.
After 33 years as a woman in the transportation industry it's been amazing to look back at the journey and how far women truck drivers have come.
I love being a truck driver. I've found as my experience grows, my enjoyment also grows. I'm still a rookie, but the experience I have is paying off.
Your axle weights have to be legal before entering the highway, but what can a truck driver do if you're not sure and there's no scale at the shipper?
We're into the second week of trucking school and things are still moving along very quickly! They are getting ready for their driving test very soon.
Some days are tougher than others for truck drivers, especially with the amount of traffic on the roads today. Today was a tough day in trucking.
Truck driving school and changing truck driving jobs often requires a trip by greyhound bus. This is one experience you have to be ready for.
There is a saying about how life is what happens while you're making other plans and that has certainly proven to be true with my trucking plans.
When our business began to really struggle due to the economy and our children were raised and on their own, we decided it was time for a change.
Sometimes trucking trips go very smoothly, and others are incredibly challenging. This is the reality of truck driving. Are you up for the challenge?
It was a sad day driving truck today after finding out some really tough news and being called into work immediately afterwards.
Leaving home is often the hardest part of being a truck driver, especially after the holidays. This time was worse. I had to leave on the holiday.
I recently wrote 'Truck Driving: An Office With A View' about the beauty this country holds. But out here on the road it isn't always so beautiful.
One thing I wasn't prepared for as a new truck driver is the sleeping patterns. I knew fatigue was a big issue in trucking, and now I understand why.
I make a lot of trucking runs to Dallas, TX and usually it's a two day affair. I'm getting ready to head out again and I'm hoping things will go well
This post is mainly for all of you out there who have never driven a truck before. People always have questions, so this will serve as a trucker's FAQ
My first solo run as a truck driver has been completed, and boy do I have a story to tell. It was eventful and embarrassing, but successful in the end
After months of research, a month of CDL truck driving school, and 4 months of company training, I'm going on the road as a solo company driver. Wow!
My CDL training is complete. Here is a recap of what training was like on the road, and what it was like to return home to my family.
Truck drivers often have a tough time dealing with dispatch because of misunderstandings. But for new truck drivers it can be even tougher to handle.
In the past few months that I've been truck driving, I've learned one major thing - trucking can destroy you if you let it. So don't.
Backing was a tough issue for me back when I was new to truck driving, and a situation like this one was a nightmare for me!
I am just thrilled to know about the new adventure given to me - blocking 4 lanes of busy highway while trying to back the rig in. What a mess.
There are some nights when you don't want to be driving a truck. Then there are some nights when you wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.
What separates the best drivers from the rest is handling the toughest situations with ease and staying relaxed. Learning from others is key also.
There’s a comfort in knowing that all is ok while being in the same room with the one you love in total silence. Never forget how lucky you are.
This last trip was rather brutal. It was adventurous, frustrating, difficult, and dangerous at times, and we even saw a few things we wish we hadn't.
Some days you just know are going to be bad. Today was one of them. Its the last of November and there is all sorts of weather heading our way.
Well, it finally happened. My trainer and I are having truck problems. What a mess. It's getting fixed, finally, but here's what we had to deal with.
It takes a lot of trucks to keep America going and the shelves filled. Most of us never consider the shipping and manufacturing that goes into it.
Being in a big rig is just as spiritual as being on the back of a Harley. But the thing that mystifies me the most is the “magic” of just being.
Just when I thought it was spring time and there would be no more truckin in the snow, man was I wrong! Tire chains, tow trucks, and more adventures!
Taking tests always made me nervous, but the CDL exam was the worst! When your career is at stake and you have a family counting on you, it's scary!
So what exactly do a truck driver's duties entail when picking up and delivering loads once they arrive at the customer? Here's an example.
Life on the road leads you to so many people and experiences that it's nice to be able to sit down and write to the ones that have left an impression.
I live in the desert. Blowing sand is common, and we have days when roads are closed due to blowing sand, but not snow! Oh man, here comes a blizzard!
Since my last trip in the big rig went so well, Karma had to balance itself out. And it didn't waste any time either! This last trip was crazy!
This story is based on my life, my emotions and my experience. I know there are “other halves” out there that will be able to relate.
Wow, my most recent trip was by far the best trip I've had to date. We left California late at night and were 'East Bound and Down' to Pennsylvania!
With an Army career behind me and my job being lost to a tough economy, it was time to find a career that I could enjoy - and here's what I found...
So the other night, we get a phone call to pick up a 'High Value Load' from a pharmaceutical company. Wow, what an experience a high value load is!
Being in training as a trucker on the road isn't easy - but when you add mountains and wrong turns into the equation, it can be terrifying!
This story is dedicated to every long-haul truck driver out there. I am the wife of a long-haul driver and there is so much I'd like to say.
After a long day I made it to the truck stop and I was tired. Little did I know, things during the night were going to get interesting!
Somtimes four wheelers don't know how to handle situations with trucks. They do the funniest, and sometimes the scariest things!
Life on the road is far more difficult than most people realize, and this letter goes out to all of those who have never been in their shoes.
A lot can go wrong for truck drivers on the road, and sometimes you just have one of those weeks where it all goes wrong!
I've had my share of fun over the years on the road but this story was one of the funniest things I've ever experienced!
Whether a trucking company or bus company does proper maintenance is a great way to determine if it's a good company to work for or not.
Driving a bus full of children is never an easy task, but add a terrible Iowa snow storm to the mix and you've really got your hands full!
Back in 1979, two of us were headed to Conway, Arkansas to pick up two brand new buses. We had no idea what was about to happen.
Passing the pre-trip inspection exam is easier for some. But for me, it was rough. Here's the unusual story of how I did it.
Ah yes, driving truck through infamous Chicago. There's never anything easy about it - especially in the winter at Christmas!
There is nothing easy about driving truck in Chicago. But it's especially bad in the winter, and at Christmas time of all things!
After a brutal ice storm swept through the area it was time to get out there and break all of the trailers free from the ice!
A major winter storm has hit a number of states leaving a thick layer of ice on everything! What a mess to deal with!
A popular blog from one of our best storytellers about the life and the view from a training truck.
A very popular story of a trip down memory lane by a bus driver and truck driver of many years. Sets such a vivid scene.
A crazy story from Pappy - our gruff ole time truckin author who will have you laughin out loud at this one!
In my years as a bus driver the morning routine remained one of contemplative introspect as I prepared for the day ahead.
Ride along with me as I cruise the highways of Oklahoma and Texas in my big Kenworth for a few days!
I love driving a truck and for the first time I was able to take my mom with me. Here's the story.
A great story about trying to get a semi stopped whose brakes were on fire - and then we couldn't get the fire out!
Before becoming a truck driver I worked in warehouses and you wouldn't believe what I did one day! What a mess!
Truck driving across the frozen prairie is what seperates the real truckers from the rest, and this night was one of the worst.
We all learn lessons the hard way sometimes. This blog will help new truck drivers avoid learning one themselves.
There are a lot of fun things to do on the road during your downtime. Here's a few ideas.
Becoming a truck driver is a huge decision in anyone's life, and one we've all pondered. Here's my story and the reasons why I did it.
When you're on the road, you win some and you lose some. This is a great story of one you won't always win!
An old time truckers tells a great story about his PawPaw
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