This is an honest question.
I believe trucking is a dying market. Sure it'll still be around, but face it: it is becoming less and less skilled labor. With automatic transmissions and GPS devices a company can pick up someone off the street and have them in a truck hauling loads within a month.
This means pay can only go down. It's as if generic highway shipping (not oversize) has become the McJob for the transport industry. Safety and employee morale is already going down the tubes due to speed limits and regulations.
At what stage will the trucking industry crash because the price of fuel outweighs the ability to deliver freight? Trucking companies can't keep reducing speed and cutting corners. Insurance breaks can only go so far.
It seems like there's very little breathing room in the trucking industry.
Why do you stay? It seems like a prime time to jump ship. I wanted to be a trucker a few years ago... but now I've read up on how horrible the industry is and I wonder why people who actually deal with it constantly. What part of trucking is actually worth all the inconsistency and stress?
I don't mean to offend and I apologize in advance if anything I say is taken offensively.
Why do you keep trucking?
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I can tell you that some will likely view this as being offensive.
Dying market when estimates are out there saying that truck traffic will INCREASE by 50% in some areas of the country within the next decade?? Dying it isn't. Changing, it is. The drivers of today will either have to roll with it or get out of the business. The challenge is there, to be sure, but I think a lot of them will be able to face it and succeed.
I know some really STUPID truck drivers, but even the dumb ones have some sort of skill (or were at least able to pass the test in whatever language it was issued in), even if it's limited.
A lot of people stay in it because it's all they know, and it's still an honest way to make a dollar around here, even if the dollar doesn't go as far!
Sano, I agree with you in that safety, employee morale, due to over-regulation and speed limitations, are changing for the worse. However, manual transmissions are not as prevalent as you may imagine. And, it still takes alot of skill to manuever a big rig into tight and challenging docks. THAT will never change! GPS devices are not a big factor in eliminating overt skills and proper judgement calls. They make it easier for the big companies to kind of spy on the driver. Computer programs can make it easier to find a shipper or receiver, but that's a GOOD thing, as many directions sent to the truck are in error. Pay going down is relative to fuel and freight charges, I don't think that pay in itself, will be reduced. What makes the driving worthwhile, is the satisfaction of getting the job done well, safely, and in a timely manner. Some of your other concerns and questions, I cannot answer. HOPE This helps a little!AfterShock Thanks this.
why am i still truckng?
close to 90 grand a year for 4 days a week work - plus free bennies and retirement.
(better than I made as an officer in the military / and as a civvy working in a lab..)
- as far as the ease of the job nowadays - sure things have gotten easier in many sectors - but keep in mind that while the "job" has gotten easier - the requirements to get a CDL have increased ten fold.
with new dui/dwi laws and background checks - its harder than ever for many to get or to keep the endorsements I have.
If you think driving a big rig requires no skill, then plant your butt in the seat and haul that 80,000 pound, top heavy missile down the road, in heavy traffic, on narrow streets, to a customer with a blind side only dock with product littered all over the place in the tiny space you have to maneuver that 80 ft bohemoth around in.
Even in an automatic, it's no pleasure cruise all the time. I drive a manual but all of the above is still basically the same, regardless of tranny.
GPS is helpful but it's not a perfect science and can get you in trouble. You still have to know how to read a map and basic routing guidelines. Trucking is easy but it's not THAT easy.
Man basically only has one fear, that of the unknown. In trucking, you are constantly put into the realm of the unknown. At least us rookies anyways, as those old hands know where everything is and been there done that and even took pictures.
Ever been lost in a car? You know that feeling right? How about getting lost in a big rig with nowhere to turn around? It happens even with good directions on occasion. Big trucks ain't going to go the way of the dinosaur any time soon. Heck, I didn't even mention mountains or snow and icy roads did I?
Why stay in it? I love it, pure and simple. Good money enters into it, so does a level of independence. I don't know about the dying industry part, I find as I gain more experience that I am more and more valuable to my company. Even a ditch digger gets better and more efficient with experience. Efficiency equals productivity, productivity equals money no matter the level of perceived skill involved.
Certainly technology can make the job easier but, if you have ever driven a manual transmission in bad weather in your four wheeler, you know that the level of control compared to an automatic transmission is a definite advantage. GPS simply allows you to get lost with digital precision. Why on Earth these things (and Streets and Trips) can't be programmed with weight/height restrictions in place eludes me. If you think trucking has been changed by technology you should take a look at modern farming. I have neighbors that make it look like I am using an abacus out here.
Finally, you have likely noticed how often drivers make distinctions regarding skill and experience. Old hands vs. steering wheel holders? Drivers, real drivers, will always try to attain the next level of experience and the respect that comes with it. It is just the way we are. That cannot be mass produced.
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