Where have all the Old Timers gone?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by TruckDriversDaughter, May 16, 2022.

  1. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    I started driving in 1994. I have 3 million safe miles. I've been to 48 states.
    Satellite communications, cellphone, and GPS have made many things much easier than before, while making the number of distracted and aggressive drivers explode. APUs are great since it means never having to be hot or cold with the truck shut off. The widespread installation of inverters really improved quality of life on the road since you can power a fridge or microwave or coffee maker, etc. For me, podcasting and cellphones removes much of the isolation if you want it removed. I'm glad the prostitution and crime in truck stops is virtually non-existent.

    I miss being left alone all week when I drive. I miss being with my dog 24/7, I miss the widespread competence and courtesy of almost all truck drivers back then. Now at least half of the other trucks are driving like the reckless SUVs and acting like idiots in the truck stops.
    I miss being able to get someone's attention on the CB when needed. I miss hearing English.
     
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  3. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    I don't miss standing in line at the Pilot to get the fuel pump turned on, memorizing your DL number although I can repeat it if you woke me out of a deep sleep, or standing in line to get a receipt. The smartphone apps for fuel, showers, reward points is nice.
     
  4. scottied67

    scottied67 Road Train Member

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    12 years

    The discontinuance of the two 1am to 5am time periods to qualify for the 34 hour break, the inclusion of the 3/7 or 7/3 split break with the 2 to 3 hour period not counting against our 14 hour clocks, which created a ton of flexibility we really needed and the ability to use PC whether loaded or empty and moving in the direction of our next load, again which created a ton of flexibility we never had before.

    Unlimited cell phone wifi. When I first started trucking, my cell phone provider limited me to just 5 gigabytes a month. Anything over that was ridiculously priced. Today most of us enjoy unlimited signal and the signal is 99% of everywhere.

    The implementation of the ELD mandate, the huge void of experienced truckers it created when it came out. The new breed truckers coming out who are not continuing traditional simple trucker traits; ie. they are redefining what they think trucking should be, flip flops, driving around with their high beams on even parking with them still on at the truck stops for example. Snorting up their snot in the public restroom sinks, washing their feet in same Dumping urine right out their window where people will be parking and walking in a few hours with no regard nor care in the world, racing through the truck stops like 'look at me, look at me, ain't I so cool for going 35 mph through the truck stop....'.

    Paper logs, so I could go when I wanted to and park when I wanted to, honestly.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
  5. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    I remember hearing the internet might be coming to town. I remember using the early days of the internet to record audiobooks at home onto VHS tapes to play back in the truck. I remember finding a hack to let me record Real Audio, convert it to MP3, and bring it along for years before anyone heard of an iPod.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
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  6. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    But not all....
     
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  7. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

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    1) 48 years, retired a few years ago

    2) autonomous trucking, to get rid of the hacks and steering wheel holders, drunks, drug addicts, and people with no business driving trucks

    3) real sit down restaurants in the truck stops

    4) we were respected
     
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  8. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

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    well...duh...some of us are still around.....

    [​IMG]
     
  9. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    I started diving 26 years ago. Not high tech back then but they did have Qualcomm for sending our running money and dispatches. Cabover tractor with a steering wheeling the size of a wagon wheel. Parking wasn't as bad back then but there are probably twice as many trucks on the road now fighting for about the same amount of parking. After the 14 hr rule came in 2004, a lot changed. Drivers didn't stop to eat at the truckstop restaurants as much. But unfortunately, the 14 hr rule killed many truck stop restaurants. Guys joke about the lunch counters but that where a lot of socialization between drivers happened. And yes, there was always that one guy that had been everywhere, and did everything. And everyone knew it and ignored them.
    Cell phones, then smart phones, while obviously a distraction from driving for some, have made it a lot easier to make your runs. GPS too, though I still see idiots following them into difficult situations. Trucks now don't beat you to death so I'm not as tired at days end.
    Overall, I always thought that I am blessed to be able to make a good living doing something I enjoy so much. I see so many people that feel trapped in jobs that they hate, including truck drivers, and I feel sorry for them.
     
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  10. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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    With 30 years experience I’d say you were old timey enough.

    I have 22 years and probably a million and a half mostly local miles under my belt now with about 20 years to go if I live that long. We’ll be the old timers then because we’ll be the last to remember what life was like before “smart” phones.
     
  11. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    Something about the earlier generations of truckers that @Arctic_fox and @Brettj3876 mentioned that mentored us and we learned from got me thinking about what time frame the biggest loss of experienced old hands left the biz. I believe it was the 2009-12 time frame. Most of the folks I knew started during the Korean and Vietnam era. Most had been driving the same truck since they bought them new in the 70’s and 80’s. In some cases the 60’s. By 2008 when the gubment came out with the cash for clunkers and emissions regs to make life harder for the industry they had had enough and either sold out authority to youngsters or retired all together. I know a few guys that have said Cat pulling out was the nail in the coffin that made them lose interest in the future if trucking. Lol!

    Diesel fuel was still cheaper then gasoline as early as 2003 and still under $2 a gallon. The regulation for the new ULSD by 2007 made it go upside down with gas prices and put it over $2 overnight. Many have forgotten that.
     
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