Considering a Career Change, Where to Start?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by glbtrekker, Jul 25, 2022.

  1. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    You know I'm right....lol
    One driver told me he had been with the same company for something like 28 years and it was horrible. I asked him why he didn't quit. He said, "I won't give them the satisfaction of seeing me leave."
     
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  3. RuralTrucker

    RuralTrucker Light Load Member

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    We truckers can be a stubborn bunch.
     
  4. Northern Nomad

    Northern Nomad Light Load Member

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    I may tell people not get their CDL and not go into trucking, but I guess I should elaborate. I’m all for people wanting to go into the industry, but I feel that people deserve the truth about the industry also.
    In a nutshell:
    It is not all rainbows and unicorns like recruiters want you to believe. It is hard work, long hours, mediocre pay, and less than stellar benefits, at most companies. You’re going to be away from home, a lot. You’re going to miss birthdays, funerals, weddings, etc. You will be lied to, sworn at, treated like a third class citizen. You will not have a regular sleep cycle. You will have a tough time maintaining a healthy diet, and finding time to exercise. You will be micromanaged by your company and by big brother. If you want to go regional or OTR, plan on being gone a lot. If you want to be local, plan on working 12-16 hours a day, 5-6 days per week.
    Again, this isn’t every company. But, this does describe a lot of the companies out there. There is a reason why trucking has a higher attrition rate than BUD/S training.
    I have been at it for the better part of 20 years now. I took a 10 year hiatus for military service and other endeavors, but I couldn’t stay away. I grew up around trucks and I am happy with my career choices. I work for a good company now, and they are out there, but it took a while to find it.
    I’m just advocating that if you are interested in this industry, go in with your eyes wide open, your BS antenna on, and grow some thick skin if you don’t already have it, because you will need it.
     
  5. RuralTrucker

    RuralTrucker Light Load Member

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    You have done it for 20 years, so maybe you should just share with people how you made it work, despite all those reasons why many people fail at it. You can be honest about what the industry is without telling people, "don't become a trucker." It makes you sound like the old man "get of my lawn" type.
     
  6. lual

    lual Heavy Load Member

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    What he said.....nuff said.

    --Lual
     
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    59,359
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    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    One of my sons joined the US Navy Seabees for 6 years as an Equipment Operator. That qualified him for a CDL at discharge. Drove reefers coast-to-coast for a couple years, then went OTR with a hazmat/tanker company. He no longer drives because he found another profession he prefers. He has no complaints about the military, being a trucker, or his new profession. He never sat around sobbing and whining about either profession.
     
  8. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

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    14,350
    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
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    Hard work if I have to crank the landing gear up or down to match my 5th wheel if the load is heavy, not so much otherwise.

    I'm not usually lied to or sworn at or treated badly in any way, by anyone.
    Well, not in a personal way. Some shippers/receivers are simply indifferent, rude, uncaring... to everyone.
    It is a part of the job, and I take it with a grain of salt.
    (And I tend to turn down loads going to those places once I experience it a few times.)

    I usually get home within 1 day of my requested home time date, so I don't really miss things if I time it properly.

    My sleep cycle is pretty regular, because I plan my loads.
    The same goes with eating properly.
    I make sure I'll have the time I need before I accept a load.

    I am not micromanaged by my company.

    Time away from home is no matter to me.
    I get home for a few days every 4-5 weeks, which is what I like.

    Then again, I would not be doing this job if I really needed that much time at home.
    Even local, with the long hours and physical work, would put a serious strain on any family time.
     
  9. RuralTrucker

    RuralTrucker Light Load Member

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    I have found that the vast majority of the time a smile, showing patience, and being courteous go a long way to receiving the same. I am humble when corrected by a shipper, receiver, company personnel, etc.

    Yesterday I picked up a load from a shipper that I hadn't been to in a couple of weeks, but the last time I was there, I made a huge mistake in pulling the wrong trailer (one number off), which was actually the trailer dispatcher told me the load was on. Anyway, I go about an hour, 30 minutes down the road when dispatch called me asking what trailer I had and what trailer was on the bills. Pulled over and sure enough, I had the wrong trailer. Thankfully I had plenty of time to get the load to it's destination, so driving back to get the correct load was not a big deal. Security officer at guard shack was wondering what the hell happened. I just admitted to making an honest mistake. Fast forward to yesterday and same security officer called me by name, and she was super nice. Trucking is no different than any other industry in that it's staffed with people. Treat people with respect and usually respect is given. When it's not, that's in the other person. I keep it moving and worry about mine.
     
  10. Northern Nomad

    Northern Nomad Light Load Member

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    Hard work doesn’t mean one has to work in a coal mine. Also, I could be wrong, but sounds like you’re an O/O? Regardless, you seem to be happy with your current employer, which is great, but is this your first trucking job? Good companies are out there, I’m lucky enough to be with one now, but it sure didn’t start out that way. From my experience, and those I know, it usually takes a few different companies to find the right fit.
    I wish everyone was able to work for a decent company like me and you.
     
  11. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

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    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
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    I'm a company driver at Swift.
    Yes, this is my first trucking job. I have had no reason to find anything else.
    11 years and counting.
     
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