Dressing like a metro sexual cowboy isn't going to save you from ####, im beginning to wonder if many of these fashion drivers are pent up homosexuals sitting in their cab with a jar of EZ glide booty butter waiting for another good buddy. There's always idiots everywhere , anytime if the industry where to actually go fully automated a suit and tie won't save you nor will not having a single accident. My advice to drivers is if you are so scared of automation just get out and find a new career.
Better than Average
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The road test would be simple...fly you into a different city and road test in a truck with zero cattle prods. Everyone who can’t use their mirrors to change lanes, everyone who can’t navigate via road signs, everyone who can’t scan far enough down a road to avoid a hazard gets gone.
I don't profess to be anyone special, and if you happen to see me at work, in work attire you might think I'm just another clown steering wheel holder.
Cowboy boots will get you tossed out of half the places I load at. So work boots it is. And yes they get dirty. Walking around in cement dust and then the mud, they get beaten up. Good pair of Redwings lasts me a year and a half max. Usually have fluorescent colored tee shirts in the summer to comply with the safety crap. Winter is usually a nanny vest over my coat. But, the shirts and jeans and vests are clean and free of stains.
I see a lot of the same people every day, as I'm on a dedicated run. I see more than a few goobers doing what I do, and I stay far away from that crowd. They usually dress like they just crawled out of bed. The truck is always filthy, and you'll see them on top of their trailer placing rags under the lid to seal them up. The rag under the lid usually tells me all I need to know. I have also seen guys that look like a true professional, and they hit the road and turn into another clown steering wheel holder.
As far as being above average, it's not hard unfortunately. Just gotta bring that A-game every time you show up.And be better than the rest
Most places I go to are small. Usually only truck there. But I do see others at ports and such. Most look pretty straight. But more and more new trucks/flatbed/new equipment. And no clue what they are doing. More Middle East men. I’m guessing part of a government refugee program to help them
It all starts and ends with the training, from the minimal instruction nowadays to receive a car license, to the quality and length of time a new truck driver receives.
To be honest I see more folks acting like the rig is a car.
I hate having a dirty truck, but it's mine so I guess I take more pride in it than most company drivers. Last week I went to Streakin Beacon in the morning, and filled up later that day. What I didn't notice was that my DEF cap didn't seat all the way when I put it back on, and DEF had been dribbling out of the filler cap for hours and I had a nice thick layer of white dried crud all along the bottom of the tractor and trailer. I was too mortified to park at my intended truck stop for the night until I ran through yet another Streakin Beacon for 2 washes in 1 day.
Last week I had a driver knock off my mirror cover, and today I got it replaced. Can't stand when something is out of place. Speaking of which, the cover was $65 on Amazon, and the exact same cover at the KW dealer was $540. This is why I hate going to dealerships for anything unless it's warranty work.
The ltl linehaul guys are gonna be the first to go with automation . linehaul dock to dock is the only real world application that has the possibility of being succesfull with full autonomy. Trucking is going to turn into a final mile type of gig. Automation to move stuff to big distribution centers or facilities and a driver to deliver it to the local store. Its already heading that way . automation will take that to the next level.
Atleast on the box side of things. Open deck is another story . as is tanker and livestock.
I dont think appearence is everything. Sometimes im dirty as hell from tarping or fixing something on the truck. Sometimes havent shaved or had a hair cut . run ragged from busting ### all week. Dont always look my best but I always give it my best effort and leave a good impression with my customers.
Dont think experience means anything either. Some dude jumped down my throat a couple weeks back because i called him out on the cb after he cut me off right before a lane merged in construction zone , climbing lookout pass. Something a 4 wheeler would do, cut over at the last second. Almost took out my hood too. Said he had 26 years of experience , been out here longer then i been alive, and for some reason im supposed to respect him just because of that. 26 years and still driving like a rookie, what a shame i said.. Said he wanted to fight me, what a joke , got no time for that stupidity...
i met a lot of young guys out here thats my age that got more maturity and respect than alot of old guys out here.
Never know what ur gonna find out here on the road. Lots of different people from different cultures, not everybody has to dress the same or act the same.
But the sweatpants and flipflops with feet on the dash drivers need to go find something else to do, because they give us all a bad impression and they are always the ones that piss off the poor lady in the shipping office who then takes out her anger on the rest of us that actually can show respect and do the job.
My impression from talking to a few LTL drivers is that a lot of their jobs means 50 miles, 50 drops a day. Lots of docks, lots of unloading.
For me, clean jeans, long sleeve shirt, steel toe boots, 7 days a week, working or not.
The stereo in my truck has never been turned on, CB usually doesn't go off. The phone only gets touched when I pull the brakes to load or unload. Sometimes I whistle. I'm not perfect, I'm boring. But if I'm driving a truck, then thats all I'm doing until I stop.
Truck and tanker are halfways dirty most days. Out of 350 miles a day, I run 10-30 miles of gravel or sand or mud. If its clean, its gonna get dirty tomorrow, unless today's Friday. Windows, lights, mirrors and DOT info outside are always clean. Every day.
Everything on the rig works how its supposed to, and inside, everythings in order. Bring on an inspection. I want a sticker.
If the crap hits the fan in the winter, I'd much rather run crappy state or county roads before an interstate. For my loads, theres almost always another way to get there. All the boss cares about is getting that load off the truck. Then, you can have all the trouble you want, as long as the loads been delivered.
For me, that trouble would probably come in the form of other drivers without much experience, or patience, or distractions. Good luck. See you in the funny papers.
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