There are too many new generation drivers beginning their careers with the wrong mind set. Let me elaborate.
I have noticed, from talking to many new drivers, that the way some minds work when it comes to trucking are using the past for reference. Years ago, Trucks use to be called "Kings of the Road" and many people would yield to trucks because of their size, not to mention courtesy was abundant. And some newbies are still thinking this way.
Now a days, the king of the road mind set is ancient history and no longer applies in the motoring public. Cars, SUVs and other vehicles out number Trucks 10 to 1 (or more) and most motorists do NOT have the courtesy they once did for trucks. Yes, I can say the same thing about truckers, but I will save that for another discussion.
Drivers now have to be MORE alert and aware of what other motorists are thinking because most "4 wheelers" could care less about trucks and their operating capacity. Not to mention the knowledge that we are delivering their lives and they do not even recognize it.
You have to go into trucking, from the beginning, with a professional mind set and not think that everyone will be watching out for you, because they will NOT. Instead, you have to watch everyone else, including other truckers. You have to be the courteous one, because chances are you will not be on the receiving end. I am not saying there aren't courteous people out there, because they do still exist. Just on a smaller scale. The bigger the motoring population gets, the less chance you will run across a courteous motorist. Leave your attitude problems at home or anywhere else other than the highway..there is no place for it there. Constantly monitor your surrounding because they change by the second and anything can happen at anytime.
Also, be prepared to be alone, although you are not. It will seem like people could care less about you as a trucker, but there are people out there who do care. Even if you never meet those people, know in your mind that they are out there and that should be enough to make your job worthwhile. Ignore the rest and you will be a great operator.
Trucking and the Right Mind Set!
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Back in the days of the "Rubber Duck" and Sonny and Will, truckers were respected for the most part. It wasn't unusual to see trucks parked on the shoulder helping someone out that was in trouble. You do that today and you might get robbed or shot. Today you have to really be alert and aware of whats going on around you all the time. If there is an accident they are going to do their best to blame the truck, after all they could get a big payday if the trucker is at fault. During the 1980's I worked for one of the large union tanker companies and I was the driver trainer at our terminal. The guys they hired had 2 yrs OTR minimum and a clean record. All I did was teach them how to handle a tanker. Part of my job description was to work with the company safety dept if there was an accident. Even if the driver wasn't at fault they wanted to determine if the accident was preventable. If it was ruled preventable you got a mark on your record, and you were disciplined. They were covering their a-- with the insurance co. And beleive me, the only accidents that had a chance of being unpreventable were the ones where an animal was involved. And then they looked at your log book. If you weren't where your log book said you was supposed to be, it was a preventable accident because you weren't supposed to be there anyway. What I'm saying to these guys is you have to look out for yourself. Nobody is your freind once something happens. The cops need someone to blame it on, the company is trying to Cover their a-- with the insurance co, and the other people involved are looking to hit the lottery.
excelent posts guys seems america is going the tubes fast. i,ve been driving strait truck about 14yrs now, i was in a accident bout 10yrs ago, a snow storm several 4-5 car pileups i never hit anyone but took 2 cars in the rear. no tickets were issued. two pileups behind me were some men in a car they wernt even close to me. my boss asked me questions about it as they were trying to get money from the company.
i was living in a trailer park at the time and they these men drove buy my house twice to see if they had a chance to get any money from me. lol i sure wish it was the old days.
Ok, I know I'm the odd "man" out here, being a newbie...all of my classmates chose to attend CDL school because of the income potential, or because the training was free. But for me, it's not about the money. My Dad was a driver, my Grandfather was a driver, and I am married to a driver (whom I will NOT be teaming with). For me it is about fulfilling a dream.
It's about being a professional, being a driver that would make my Dad proud, earning the respect that these hard-working men enjoyed. And I know that, being female, I will have to work harder than they ever did, but I'm willing.
The freedom of the open road, the joys of navigating that huge piece of machinery and it's cargo safely, the responsibility of getting that load where it needs to be on time and in good condition. And doing what needs to be done to help keep this country moving and prosperous.
I will work hard to prove myself to be other than a "steering-wheel-holder" and it is my greatest hope to someday be able to hear one of you "old-timers" call me a truckdriver.
Back "in the day" when trucking was highlighted by movies, TV shows, and numerous popular songs there were no drug test. Everybody was gettin' stoned and having a good ol' time. Accidents happened frequently, people were maimed, or killed, but that was just part of the luck of life. Roll another one, just like the other one, and let's go trailer truckin'. "Cluck, Cluck, Chicken Truck."
Now everyone is sober and if the guys on the corner were smoking pot, it'll show up on your urinalysis. We are so uptight we can't have fun like we used to. Now that we are walking "the straight and narrow" we aren't fun to hang out with anymore, and we've lost the glamour that used to come with the job.
We may be traveling about the country, but there is no more adventure to this profession. Our routes are planned, we are tracked by satellites, and there is no tolerance of out-law cowboys. The party is over. Boring.
A prime example is that kids no longer mock pulling the air horn cable to get us to blow the horns. Some will, but, they are few and far between. They no longer try to interact with us because we have become as uninteresting has last week's newspaper.
Besides, who wants to hang with a buufay troll wearing a pair of sweat pants that haven't seen the laundry in two weeks topped by a grimy wife-beater tee-shirt that exposes your arm-pits to the rest of us and the mashed taters. King of the Road, indeed.
As a student getting into the industry I try to ask drivers that have been at this a while at truck stops about what they think is wrong with us new drivers. Most of what I hear is that they are supertruckers that do little more than curse on the cb and curse some more when they get in your face and don't repect each other or the industry. I spent a little time on the CB this past few weeks and the chatter on their is horrible. All kinds of cursing, racial slurs and whatever else comes to mind. I kept changing channels and heard the same thing. Perhaps the old heads are on to something. Where is the respect? Given some of us are respectable people and you get respect when you give it but most of the newbies in my class expect to drive some and be at home twice a week. some of these people are going to van, reefer and others are skateboarding but I agree there is a severe mindset problem that needs to be fixed. I'm sure someone will read this and say what does this guy know? I know what I hear(unprofessionalism) and what I see(unprofessional look) and between that and NAFTA it doesn't sound good sometimes.
5th graders get charged with a felony for having a steakknife (stupid as it was to bring it) with their STEAK in their lunchbox,
men or women are afraid to compliment their coworkers looks at work anymore for fear of "sexual harassment"
frivolous lawsuits have caused every dang bit of it!!!!!!!!!
grinbearit..... those guys blame us "new age drivers " because they would hate to think of an experienced "professional" doing it.
i honestly believe that most of the smack talking crap instigators. (you know the "i ain't got no panties on", playing music or sound effects for mile after mile on their "BIGGG BAD radio" guys have been on the road quite awhile. i (being under a years exp. surely don't conduct myself that way! i enjoy a good conversation with other drivers out there, i do tend to see not many good conversations near "truckstops and traffic jams"
i'll give you this as an example:
i was at the pilot (X-3) in paducah KY. night before last and started talking to another driver on the CB (9 years out) well we decided to go up to 25 so we didn't interupt the bear reports ETC. this other driver felt the need to flip up there too and just keep ridiculing our conversation and making unpolite comments. the driver i was talking said " go up 10" so we went to 35, guess what the buttmunch followed us and kept it up. so he starts getting irritated and firing back at the guy. i turned the tables though, LOL. i said "well, driver if you're bored you're more than welcome to join in with our conversation if you are bored." well he actually did just that! we finished talking in an adult manner and he wished us happy holidays and we all went on about our business. guess the guy was bored and didn't know how to initiate a conversation without being rude, i don't know.
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