Leaving a career job for trucking

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Zoltan1a, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. TomGodin

    TomGodin Bobtail Member

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    Feb 15, 2019
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    I learned to drive big trucks at one of my first jobs as a mechanic that also did towing. I tried OTR flatbed when I was 21 and quit after 3 months, went back to wrenching and didn't look back. Fast forward 12 years...I was an ASE Master Certified lead technician at a reputable shop making really good money for my field and had it made pretty much, I injured my arm and during a few weeks of light duty I started rethinking things, I wasn't happy being a tech anymore. I decided to try driving again and after 3 months as a company driver I borrowed from my 401k to buy a used truck and leased onto the company's authority that I was with. I'm not sure if it was a age thing or what but I love the move I made. Less drama and stress (or at least a different kind of stress) home life changed and was hectic at first but everything is starting to run smoothly now and I feel like a happier person overall. I'm home maybe 1-2 nights a week and off at least 1 day on weekend.
     
  2. Zoltan1a

    Zoltan1a Heavy Load Member

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    Haha my story is similar. I left teaching and tried trucking, but was not ready mentally. I went back to teaching but over the years it appeared once again in the back of mind and now I am ready. I am more mature and care less about getting the approval of others.
     
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  3. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
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    When I was running Milk, we were a fairly farm country type outfit with people to match. And once someone in the company get a thinking about you good or bad, nothing will ever change it.

    I once went through a stack of papers on the Mack after it had some fairly big time brake work done on it. (Remember it never had a air dryer like most all trucks have today) requiring the tanks to be drained every night after being put away for the night.

    The problem was the training. They trained me on loading, unloading, weighing and grading the milk prior to loading and so on so forth etc. But that Mack was my first truck without a air dryer and no one taught me about that tank under the cab needing draining every night.

    Inside that paperwork detailing the brake problem to the boss from Mr Mechanic there was a solution written out on paper stating to boss that I should be replaced by someone who knew what they are doing with that tank.

    Let's say that paper never made it to the boss however after a converstation between me and him it was obvious that there was no time invested teaching me about the stuff that it requires such as draining that tank. So the boss spent a few minutes out there showing me how it's supposed to be done at night and close em off in the morning. And that pretty much solved the problem. Unfortunately no one did any of that when I hired on months prior.

    To this day I remember that air tank problem and pay some attention to it daily. Not so much in a team truck with a good dryer and no indication of build up of fluids etc.

    Of all the employers there is always a handful that no matter how good you did the job or whatever it is, one royal screw up will totally poison your chances of being still employed with them the following year. Things have a way of going bad like that. Unless you are able to present to the right people not only the solution (New airdryer..) and training in the first place.

    That is one reason why I sometimes talk about my theory that there is hardly any training to be seen in our newbies. Poor things. The industry should be ashamed of themselves. They know better.
     
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  4. Zoltan1a

    Zoltan1a Heavy Load Member

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    I mean none of my classes prepared me for teaching. I think the majority of jobs you learn as you go. It’s horrible but it is the only way
     
  5. Zoltan1a

    Zoltan1a Heavy Load Member

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    I’ll just put on my big boy pants and sack it up and enjoy it at the same time
     
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  6. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    White County, Arkansas
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    It was not that bad. I sometimes consider if trucking was worth it and I say yes. You only have one life to live with a good set of tools to do it well. I tend to recall more about the people that did a good teaching in this industry over the years and it is usually the older ones who had the knoweldge and took a little time to share it with me. If I had to consider visiting them to talk it over and say thankyou, I probably cannot because they have passed on more than likely. It's been too many years.

    Trucking takes care of itself because America runs on it. It has to the way it's always done. It's the people I tend to see and learn if at all possible from them.

    Trucking is one of the last situation of it's kind left in the USA where you can get out of high school run around a few years and then at 21 get the CDL and roll. Even if you spent 20 years in prison you can still go get that CDL and roll felon or not. In fact that knoweldge will benefit those who possess it in more dangerous places around the USA.

    There I think and make a theory that the Government has been trying to regulate or overregulate trucking with so many little nicky picky little rules and laws to exclude even more people that otherwise will be able to go get that CDL. The last 5 years I have witnessed new requirements imposed by Arkansas should I want to get that CDL going again. There is a office that is capable of reissuing a CDL A to me if they choose to do so. Otherwise I will have to be treated as a newbie and go through the same things with the same expenses as everyone else just graduated at 21.

    At the same time I feel lucky to have lived long enough to see some things I thought pernament in trucking die. For example the 3406, -08's and so on CATS as truck engines. Emissions killed them. Up until ECM's became part of running engines with a brain which I witnessed first hand in the early 90's when I first got issued them. Suddenly most engines were... blah. Bland. No soul. Just electronic running when it feels like it. The older engines had soul, they had a personality and if you had a really good engine, you did whatever you needed to be able to keep it because it was a good engine.

    I never dreamed that pot will be legal. (*its not my flavor, I have other vices that I would indulge in) and never dreamed that here I am at 50 plus actually working on through my doctors to fix things that broke in my body from trucking. You would think the opposite. If this industry was so hard as to hurt my body why am I so stupid as to get back into it pray tell? Why would i get involved in something that did some damage.

    Because I'll die a trucker. I am not that popular and I know that Ive managed to help a few people maybe here maybe elsewhere. But the story is not finished yet. I have been thinking lately that at some point I will have to tell the doctors thank you but that's quite enough and focus instead on what is possible more with the mind perhaps than with the body and hands.

    Whatever it is I need to solve that problem and move forward. Each night I consider that I am a little more tired than last night and the night before that. I have seen way too many people up and die quick because they did not stop smoking or perhaps got bored after retiring at 65 last week. Or something else.

    I also leave you with one more thought. If I like trucking and truckers so much in general, why am I constantly trying to be revelant in a age where most young ones don't know a time before computers, before cameras before what companies used to pay at .35 a mile, and are still paying it. And so on.

    I do not like the fact that if I wanted a older rig with the engines I love so much I have to have a shop do the necessary work to bring back a older rig from the dead and have the engine and so forth in top shape. That will cost alot of money. If we are going to get to this, we better hurry. The fields around here are beginning to empty out as people purchase these fine old trucks and put them back to work.

    This screen shot refers to Searcy AR specifically mile marker 44 actual on US 67 northbound side.

    This yard was wall to wall of old trucks from the 50's through the 70 and 80's in particular and some early 90's In the last 6 years it has been drained rapidly until only a few trucks that might be a candidate for resale such as the red KW day cab in the center of the image combined with any combination of OTR sleeper among other things makes it possible to keep that old iron rolling. There is a handful of shops in the area that take wrecked trucks with smashed sleepers and cabs, strip to frame and find a way to come out with a decent cab, sleeper and whatever repairs to go back out into service if the money is worth doing.

    44 yard.jpg
     
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  7. Zoltan1a

    Zoltan1a Heavy Load Member

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    In 3 months I’ll be off to try this thing
     
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  8. Zoltan1a

    Zoltan1a Heavy Load Member

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    They are doing this in all fields across the board. Everyone wants part of the pot and they do it using regulations. Year after year they expect more but don’t pay more.
     
  9. Paddlewagon

    Paddlewagon Light Load Member

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    Llano Estacado
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    21 years ago after being laid off for the 3rd time in less than a year(aviation).....Haven't been unemployed since.
     
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  10. Zoltan1a

    Zoltan1a Heavy Load Member

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    Mar 15, 2011
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    Glad to hear you have found success
     
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