So what did you do before getting into trucking?
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OK since i started this thread i think i should finally add to it though i am not driving yet.
Age of 5 i worked for my dad for a quarter an hour sweeping his houses that his workmen built for him as he was a building contractor so 2 hours evrynight i did that, the carpenters loved me they could leave and not have to clean up and had a clean slate in the morning.
I started a side business and started bagging up the wood scraps from the construction and went door to door selling them as firewood for a quarter with my Radio Flyer wagon.
One of the guys on my route said i should start collecting old newspaper for recycling so i did i had my dads garage filled with them. i think it was like a penny a pound back than
This went on for 2 years until the bottom fell out of the newspaper biz and my dad didnt have room to build anymore houses where we lived and it was to far to travel to sweep
I just suffered my 1st Economic turn down at the ripe old age of 7.
Used to still hand back fill my dads garages or spread stone in basements for him when i got big enough to do iton weekends
at the age of 12 started chainsawing and clearing lots for him. Also got to run a Ford 75oo backhoe to dig basements and clear brush. I had real Tonka Toys
At 14 i started working for my brother building hi performance fiberglass boats until the housing and boat biz crashed in the late 70s and dad and him closed up.
16 worked as a dishwasher got drafted into Cooking but also became a self taught car painter and bodyman and mechanic. had a 69 Roadrunner all redone by me at the age of 16.
My other brother had a family window washing business and i did that for him in the spring thru fall and than built houses for him during the winter including painting hardwood floors landscape ties etc.
I left after 3 years over a pay discrepancy and this when i learned that family can screw you too.
Went to work with my brother inlaw running a Hog Farm and planting and harvesting feed corn.
2nd year into it i worked for free because i invested in corn in the ground but it was a super wet fall and we had every machine thing buried in the fields and the farm was broke
i was homeless and wanting to move to Florida with my GF
Moved to SW Florida and suffered a wage shock . Burned through my savings looking for a rental house and 6 buks an hour. jobs
Went to work at a Pontiac dealership as a painters helper and body man .that lasted for 3 months until i decided to start a bar cleaning business so i could survive and that expanded into a carpet cleaning business that lasted 3 years until everybody and their brother gut into and did it for nothing Hence Illegal Mexicans.
With my janitorial profits i bought my dream business a parasail company that had a great location.That was great but really seasonal and when the hotel we ran out of got bought and made condo i was out of a location so sold off the boat
Than i oversaw the construction and managed the tenants a strip mall my father had built.
long as i was managing the mall i started a shoe store in a empty space . Worst thing i ever did because of theft.
Closed that started a high end leather furniture store but closed that after 6 months when the Swedish manufacture pulled out of the US and I had had enough of discounting furniture because it would get scraped while delivering.
Dad sold the mall soon after, he was sick of dealing with the BS city of Cape Coral to do our expansion and mom wanted to travel
So back int o Parasailing I go for 2 seasons up in the Outerbanks where i worked doing that in the summer and building Custom 70 foot Sportfishing boat out of wood and epoxey and fiberglass during the winter.
Came back to Florida and started a small fiberglass manufacturing biz building the consoles that the scoring systems in bowling alleys go into.
Did that for 3 years until a buddy came in and underbid me and i walked away from the rest of the verbal contract I had with the company because they let him bid on them after i spent all my money building them new tooling molds out of my pocket. and he splashed one of my designs.
I took them out of the shop smashed them with sledges and threw a 100,ooo dollars of tooling in the dumpster and told them good luck with their future parts as back than it would take months to build the tooling molds. the new guy couldn't keep up and they found some guy to build rotomolded parts for them
Took a year off and remodeled my house and played with my 3 year old son Went to school with my recently layed off wife to get my real estate appraisal licence and started working for peanuts doing that for some one my wife knew .
A another buddy of mine had a parasail company and he lost one of his 2 locations and the one he lost was the big money maker and he had just taken delivery of a brand new expensive boat.
So i was not digging the appraisal learning curve and he was good buddy so i told him i would run his parasail biz for him over season in Florida for free and he could find a new business to start to feed his 3 kids and all the payments he had.
One thing I learned early in life is save your money because what you might do for income today could disappear tomorrow.
After making it through season and working all the huge bugs that came in a brand new unproven Yanmar marine motor and a poorly rigged boat we some how made some money.
He offered to pay me a decent sum or sell me the business for a 1/4 of what he had into it if i would take over boat payments.
Done deal bought and ran it for 5 years until i burned out on the Sun and the owner of the location we ran out ofs unstable personality
Been doing handy work for 10 years jsut to buy beer for one nice older couple from Europe that were only at the house 2 months a year
Spent some time in Europe being my Gf was from there. Sailed a bunch in the Islands and did a lot of beer drinking and Diving.
That is done now and been working on remodeling my exwifes house as my GF is now an Ex when she decided she needed to move back to Italy
Looked into trucking a year ago and spent 100 of hours researching this site and was ready to do it until my buddy who owns a logistics company talked me out of it.
Ran into a guy 6 months ago who Captains supply ships in the Gulf making 600 a day 30 days on 14 off just my gig i am single and no kids now
17 year old only son accidentally overdosed on Oxycontin 4 years ago this past Christmas morning.
Just getting ready to take all the classes i need to upgrade my licence and than oil crashes
Well than we all know what happened with oil and those jobs are gone so back to the trucking and i am glad the oil thing didnt work out.
biggest thing i have learned in life is never puit all your eggs in one basket.
What I like about trucking is if you have a head on your shoulders and can repair your own truck and have half a personality you can always find work. and everyday is a new account.
My goal is to be in my own truck 18 months from now after doing my company time. and from there running hard and saving every dime to buy another used truck to rebuild.
If i can buy 1 truck a year in 6 years i will stop the OTR and run the biz and turn some wrenches and fill in for drivers when they want time off.
Gotta have goals and a plan . Been without either for the past 9 years . Worst feeling ever and than throw some horrible grief and a old father into the mix and the reality that at 50 years old your old body doesn't move as good as it used to and it can make a person a little depressed.
Also all the good women at this age are taken and all thats left are lunatics and gold diggers, so giving up on the women for a while.
My saying for the past year has been LIfe changes , so Change your LifeLast edited: Jan 30, 2015
tommymonza,,,,,hell of a story brother! I have to say, you and I are the opposite,,you have "went for it" when it comes to business and I was always scared to jump, afraid I would lose everything and not be able to feed my 5 kids... You don't seem like the type that gives up so, I have a feeling that this trucking thing will work out for you but, just know this. Profit in this business is in pennies, not dollars so, it takes some time. My goal is to get a few trucks myself, than dispatch them and go from there. I have my plans and have them all wrote out so, we shall see. I wish you the best brother...
Thanks Sheep Dog.
i think the willingness to go out there and try anything was born out of the necessity of trying to make more than minimum wage in SW Florida.
Plus having a bit of ADD and lacking any real education other than the few hours I squeaked in to meet the minimum attendance requirements to graduate plays a part in me having no choice but to forage on my own.
i did have a disdain to having any business that required employees after a while though. A lot of responsibility to keep them employed yet they will leave you with out warning after you made sure they had a fair and steady paycheck everypayday.SheepDog Thanks this.
January 1977: Was a cold week.... and I had been logging in 5-10 below zero temperatures. My foreman was a real tool who liked to sit in his warm truck all day and laugh at the rest of us. I hopped up on his running boards one day and told him that " I quit ".........I'm joining the Navy. He didn't take me very serious and told me to get back to work. I got in my truck and drove straight to the recruiter. I was in boot camp weeks later. Stayed for 20 years and retired in 1997.
1997 -2004: Went straight into OTR from the Navy. Job hopped for 2-3 years and finally got my own truck and pulled for Schneider. I had a great time with few regrets. Got out of trucking when the wife got sick..
2004 - present: Residential rehabs & field service work for real estate. A good many of my friends are OTR & local drivers, dispatchers, and small trucking company owners. I stop and see them quite frequently for coffee. I repair & jockey trailers for one company that a friend operates........... mostly out of boredom, and for something to do. He knows that I have the "itch" again and might go back out. He's hoping that my being around the shop and yard will help "scratch the itch" enough to satisfy me. He doesn't want to lose his bay fishing/golf buddy.......LOL
Delivered newspapers,picked vegetables on a farm,mowed lawns,laborer for a cement contractor,joined cement masons union,collecting pension,lot attendant/parts chaser at a car dealer. Plan to attend school for cdl and drive trucks.
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