Does anyone have any experience driving trucks for the (Tours) Entertainment Industry? I recently met a guy who drove for a Country Music Entertainer. He said it was a great job and that he had been doing it for 14 years. The money sounded nice too. Got hotel/Meal per diem as well. Anyone have any first hand experience with sort of driving and could recommend some reputable companies? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
Entertainment Industry Driving Jobs
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It's a hard industry to get into from what I understand. I met a guy at the Petro in Joplin he'd been doing it for quite awhile for a sound company. He told me that they ( his company) didnt take anybody with under 5 years of exp. He said you get to see sound check and then it's off to bed you go. After the truck is loaded they come get you and you burn rubber for the next town.
I'm ok with the extended periods of time on the road depending on the money. One thing I've noticed is that the drivers that are doing this don't comment on it much. When they do it's always about the down side to it. Makes me wonder why they do it? Could it be that the money is that good? Also all I ever get is info from someone who knew someone who knew someone. oh well. It is aparently a tough industry to get into. Again I wonder why if it is so tough?
I got to meet the drivers for Clark Transfer in Melbourne FL a couple years ago when they delivered for a concert. Had a nice Volvo VNL300 with a 90in ARI sleeper. He told me that the deadheads varied. One driver emptied and was underway to Oklahoma City OK. Another went to Memphis and the remaining three stayed behind while two other O/O's were enroute to Melbourne to pick up the remaining two trailers. Clark requires thee years experienced and equipment of 97' and newer per their website.
1. If you want to be a rock star, you in the wrong end of the business.You're not there to watch the show, you're there to HAUL the show. I've seen more people get fired by doing something stupid rather than doing their job.
2. Learn to fix things on your truck, you don't have time to wait on the side of the road waiting for someone to come and put a belt on your truck. I was at a show and a new bus driver pulled in, and he'd messed up the rear axle by not lifting the wheels while turning, he wanted a beeper unhooked, when I asked him for a screwdriver to show him how to do it he replied, "I don't carry any tools, it's not my job to work on a bus." I told him, "You won't be here long."
3. If you can't get into a dock quickly, you won't be there very long. There are 10 guys making good money to load or unload your truck, if it takes you 45 min to back into a dock, someone is losing alot of money.Stay with your truck, when it's ready to come in, if you're not in it and can't be found, time is wasted. If there are more than one truck on the tour, you'll have a lead driver, do what he says, if you don't, don't expect to be there long.Plus, if you work your way up to a lead driver, you make extra money. On big shows, the load in will take longer, but on a load out, most shows are done in under 4 hours. (Shows like WWE,WCW, big arena concerts etc.)If they go over 4 hours, it costs alot of money.
4. Drive smooth, you have $100,000+ worth of gear in your trailer, if you tear it up by driving like an idiot, you won't be there long. If you tear up your truck, same deal. When I drove buses, on my last gig I was on, I drove 400+ miles with a bottle of wine sitting on a marble countertop and it didn't move. If you drive a bus, the crew or entertainers need to sleep at night, so driving smooth is very important.
5. You will probably be in charge of how the truck is loaded, learn the pack, your job depends on it.
6. Dragging friends backstage without permission will get you canned faster than you think. Giving someone your laminate to get backstage will also get you fired. Losing your laminate on some shows will cost you $50 for a repalcement, whine about the cost, you'll be gone soon.
7. On some tours, you may given money for fuel, expenses, etc. Keep EVERY receipt, losing receipts or money WILL get you canned, plus you WILLl have to come up with the missing money.
8. Primadonnas need not apply.
9. Keep your logs and truck legal, you can't call a production manager and tell him you're locked in a scale for 10 hours, and you're to be there in 4 hours, because you didn't keep your logs up to date.
10. On some tours you may get a hotel room, don't trash the room or cause problems at the hotel, I've seen more people get fired on a day off for doing something stupid.
11. Some tours now wrap their trailer with the tour on it, remember, you are pulling a rolling billboard, you have to watch your P's and Q's, you're representing that show, racing through traffic, etc., will get you canned.
12. See #8
Now, I will tell you I got to be around some really nice people and had alot of fun doing what I did. I made decent money doing it and have a lifetime of memories I won't forget.You are under alot of pressure, but you need to keep your head and get the job done, and take care fo the people you are working for. On WCW, I had the nicest truck on the tour and took care of it, it always looked good coming into the show. Some of the buses I drove cost close to $1,000,000.
My WCW rig, 1999 T-2000 with 2 generators on it, total cost $450,000. I cleaned, drove, polished and maintained the truck AND generators. At one show someone came up and asked the show generator operator what we transported the truck in to keep it that clean, he told them that is how the truck goes down the road and the driver keeps it like that.
The last bus I drove, I kept it up myself, including cleaning the inside and outside.
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