I've heard this a million times before:

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by TomCougar, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    I just think if u come out here to chase money, u will have a tough time. I think more than anything im out here because i love the freedom and independance of it even know that is what can make it so hard is all the responsibilities that are put on u. But i think id still be out here whether i was making a million per year or less than i make now. Just truly love it but at the same time can be very stressful. But u couldnt pay me enough to sit in an office and deal with all the sheep
     
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  3. MYSTYKRACER

    MYSTYKRACER Medium Load Member

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    I'm just getting started in this field and haven't started driving full time yet but two things I'm already aware of:

    1. There's a lot of different kinds of driving from local, to regional, to "out-n-back" / dedicated, to weeks / months on end otr. Also there's dry van, "reefer", flat bed, tanker, heavy haul, dump truck / construction, oil field, etc., etc. These things can be radically different from each other and someone coming into the field needs to be aware of and do some real research into all these different types of trucking and give some serious effort to figure out what will be the best fit for you, your personality and your family situation. One type of driving may be a good fit for you whereas another may be a horrible fit that could literally drive you into a legitimate state of depression in six months.

    2. Driving a truck, while a notable and unique skill set, isn't really the thing you'll get paid for if you stick around long enough to get good. What you get paid for is putting up w/ the stress of being on the road and marrying the trucking lifestyle w/ the stress, irregular schedule and the ins and outs of being in a different place dealing w/ different situations and attitudes nearly every day. Some people dig that sort of thing, and for yet others, "it ain't for everybody" .
     
  4. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Some people "get it" and others don't. Some people can jump in a truck and it just comes naturally. People that don't get it are typically the idiots tearing hoods off at truck stops because they don't understand how to use a mirror.
     
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  5. Bud A.

    Bud A. Road Train Member

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    I will add to what @D.Tibbitt says above that it really helps if you love to drive. I know it sounds obvious and probably stupid, but I know there are drivers out here who don't really love driving. I mean just the physical and mental act of driving.

    I have always frickin' loved driving, since I was a kid. I'll drive anything. I want to drive one of those gigantic dump trucks they have up at the gold mine in Cripple Creek. I want to drive a train. I want to drive a Lamborghini or similar sports car, and I want to drive an actual race car. (Want to, but I'm way too fat and tall to fit in one, I'm sure.)

    Sometimes traffic is stressful, or getting a big truck into a tight place, or driving in difficult weather, or navigating a strange city. It's stressful for me, I suppose, but it's the good kind of stress. After I get it done, I feel great! But for some people, that sort of thing is a nightmare. Kind of like doing annual reviews with all my direct reports was for me when I was in middle management.

    If it was just a way to make money, I'd probably still be doing what I did before (and making less money with more stress). I haven't missed working in an office for even one second since I started driving. But office work ain't for everybody.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  6. TomCougar

    TomCougar Light Load Member

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    Still, there is better opportunity in this racket than any other job in its pay class especially for a middle-age white man like me. This job can't be outsourced like computer geek jobs. And no, I would never drive a truck, pickup to otherwise, for minimum wage! The money and bennies is what cuts it for me. That's me.

    The sacrifice for me is there won't be a comfy queen-size bed for me every night. Nor a walk with a beautiful German shepherd by the river trail every evening after work. There likely won't be fishing every Saturday or hunting every weekend during hunting season or boating every Saturday during summers. I would want to put five years in as an OTR driver to bank up for a house then transition to a stationary job in the industry, logistics manager (I have a college associates degree already) with plenty of time to play after work and truly enjoy my Saturdays in the park. For me driving would be a financial stepping stone to happiness. I like to play. I have to work to rake in the bread to fuel my playtime desires. I'm a confirmed lifetime bachelor: no family to support.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
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  7. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    Ive met alot of guys out here that have that same mindset, they come out here to get away from the office and spend 4 or 5 years to sock away for the retirement or buy a house. It can be done. But it is not easy either. U work for every penny u make out here. I would go out on a limb and say there is very few jobs that require the amount of mental stamina and ability of trucking . There is so much more to driving than holding a wheel and pressing a pedal. It is a game of chess u have to be 3 moves ahead and u have to know what the cars are gonna do. If u dont pay attention or u have a lapse in judgement u end up on the news as another truck driver who plowed into stopped traffic and killed 15 people. I just say the money is not comparable to the risk . It may be comparable to other middle class jobs but in those jobs u are not risking ur life everyday just to provide products for the same people that make ur life a living hell. Just wish people would understand it but i doubt it will ever happen. If u wanna get out here and put a couple years in to save for retirement or watever the case may be , go for it. Its plenty of guys out here doing that, just not as easy as u think it is
     
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  8. Bud A.

    Bud A. Road Train Member

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    To answer these questions directly, I don't know if it's going to be for most or the odds are stacked against you. Lots of people try it and quit. The first year is an especially steep learning curve. I thought about quitting a couple of times during the first year. I got over it after a good night's sleep, but it's tough.

    Your chance of making it depends on you. If you have any smarts and are careful and determined, you can learn to drive a truck with all that entails. Your determination will decide whether you get through the rough patches.

    These days, most people don't have much stick-to-it-iveness or "make do" or whatever you want to call it, which is why for me it sucked so bad to manage them. Those types wash out quick in trucking. The ones who make it have some level of that quality, which is why I've only met a handful of experienced drivers that I truly can't stand. Some are annoying, but for me there's something likeable about almost all of them, even the annoying ones.
     
  9. LoneRanger

    LoneRanger Road Train Member

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    It’s basically prison life with weekends off for most. It isn’t for everyone only the ones that either enjoy the solitude or love to see stupid #### on the roads.


    Oh and your responsible for everything, even the crash across town that you didn’t even see because they where startled by your engine brakes.
     
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  10. Bud A.

    Bud A. Road Train Member

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    I just got so happy realizing that I'll never have to do another annual review that I plan to buy some rookie driver's breakfast tomorrow morning.

    "Here's your 2.7% raise!"
     
  11. Buddy Thunderstruck

    Buddy Thunderstruck Bobtail Member

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    It may be because I'm green but I think this is an easy job so far. Drive big truck pick up items. Drive big truck deliver items on time. Simple as that. Flatbed or tanker car hauling etc requires a little bit of physical work but reefer come on nothing could be easier than that.

    Yeah things don't always go right but they don't go right in every job it's all in how you handle it and your attitude.

    I've done actual hard work before. Ever worked at a busy Quick Lube place under a 200-degree engine when it's a hundred and thirty degrees in the pit and you're getting covered in hot oil running back and forth doing three cars at once for 3 hours straight with your manager yelling at you to go faster working through lunch about to pass out cuz you're dehydrated and hot as hell covered in a mixture of Dripping sweat and oil?

    Yeah driving is easy go ahead and cut me off four-wheelers and truckers take your 30 in the fuel line I aint even care
     
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