Why do you keep trucking?

Discussion in 'Questions To Truckers From The General Public' started by sano, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. heyns57

    heyns57 Road Train Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    near Kalamazoo Speedway
    Perhaps, pay will go down in the short run. Many of us do not have time to wait for the recession and the current fuel crisis to run their course. However, analysts taking a longer view have a different opinion of the future for drivers. I am not able to link to Joe White's opinion piece in Transport Topics on 6/9/08. His company, CostDown Consulting, has not posted the article "Trucking in the Year 2014" on their web site at this time. Nevertheless, he makes the following predictions.

    "Demographic trends will cause a labor shortage that will change the trucking industry in only six years. LTL turnover percentages will break triple digits, rivaling TL rates. Owner-operator numbers will decrease as company driver wages increase. Companies will lower minimum-age hiring qualifications to 21, causing insurance costs to soar. Even small carriers will have in-house training for new drivers. Nontraditional labor sources will be tapped aggressively: Hispanics, women, and retired drivers. To entice owner-operators to become company drivers, carriers will provide equipment purchase programs, adding older equipment to their fleets. Companies should start now, getting serious about keeping the drivers they already have. Companies should start now, replacing retiring fleet, shop and terminal managers with multilingual hires. They should start testing a part-time retiree program now. They should start educating customers about the coming driver shortage. Carriers acting today will be better positioned to retain and attract drivers, and that will be their biggest competitive advantage."

    My point is that the gloom and doom we read in the forums is only one opinion. Management is taking a longer view.
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  3. trips74

    trips74 Light Load Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    chicagoland, il
    well sorry to say but its not the easiest job in the world but i have to agree that its still the best. Yes technology helps but gps is designed for cars rather then trucks and can get u in trouble quickly. I still truck because for me its 2nd nature and i just cant handle being couped up in a building for 8 hours a day. Yes fuel prices stink right know but it all works out in the end and yes u cant build railroads too everydock door out there......
  4. doubledragon5

    doubledragon5 Road Train Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Lewisville TX
    I like driving because it beats working in a factory, and dealing with a boss every night watching every thing you do. Plus my last job paid me 64k a yr to run a machine, and if i didn't not get laid off it would be a easy 80k today. My truck that I currently drive, does not have a GPS, so I get my daily dispatches from a cell phone. The only thing that bothers me lately about this CO they treat us drives like were not capable of doing our job. The safety girl has never been in a truck before, and she picks everything apart.. So now I consider us working for the US baby brigade..
  5. longbedGTs

    longbedGTs Heavy Load Member

    May 8, 2007
    Despite all the negative changes going on today, I choose to stay in it simpily for the love of the game. Ive only been driving for 7 months so far. Ive worked in manufacturing since I graduated high school and got my first 'driving' job in 1/06 that led to my coming into trucking. It was a yard spotter at a DC. Now that I drive OTR, I cant imagine how I ever put up with the manufacturing gigs in my past. As you see everyone saying..trucking gets in your blood. For me, its an artform to take such a massive machine and run it down the road with such percision...taking 72 ft of metal and backing it into a place where youd never think itd fit. I love being part of an industry that is the lifeblood of America and the freedom I get from it. Seeing the country that I wouldnt have seen from the inside of a warehouse operating a mill or something. I could go on, but Ill leave it at that for now.
  6. 1nonly

    1nonly tease-y-ness

    Jul 2, 2008
    The burning sands of the SW
    Even if this job becomes so simple anyone can do it, doesn't mean anyone will. There's always the being away from home factor. Not everybody wants to be a gypsy, so I don't think an over supply of drivers will ever drive pay down.

    I stay because I love driving. I hate the rest of it; i.e. paperwork, pre-trips, dealing with the inevitable frustrations, but no job is going to be 100% perfect. I do what needs to be done, then I sit back and drive with a big grin on my face thinking "I get paid for this!"
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  7. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    That's it right there. A man that's reached his goals.
  8. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005

    So you start a thread about a subject you know nothing about??? Before I retired at a very early age from a great company I was driving 85' 105,000lbs gasoline super tankers around town. In my business there's no such thing as unskilled labor. I came out of the military with more than a few doors open to me. But driving a gas tanker let my family live well above the average income. Maybe once you're old enough you could try to drive one of those trucks that you feel takes no skill.
  9. sano

    sano Bobtail Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    God forbid I try to educate myself. :roll:

    That's the plan.
  10. 18wheeldumptrucker

    18wheeldumptrucker "Buckeye Bucket"

    Apr 1, 2008
    Sullivan, Ohio
    Why do I do it? Well, it's all I have ever wanted to do. I spent my whole childhood counting the days (litterally) until I turned 16 so I could drive. Then, all I could think was "how cool would it be if I could get paid to do this?!" So, I started driving "proffesionally" as soon as I could. I have dabbled in other industries here and there, but I've always come back to driving. I am doing the local thing for now, but I might need to look into doing the otr or regional job here pretty soon. After the kids graduate and get out on their own, the wife plans on selling off what we don't need, and we're going to set out together. Pretty much my whole life has revolved around driving, and I can't see doing anything else. BTW, I don't take offense, I'd rather you ask rather than make assumptions.
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  11. Lurchgs

    Lurchgs Road Train Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Denver, CO
    I think Longbed put it closest to what I currently feel.

    Though I could give a good .. um.. let's say I don't care much about "lifeblood of America" and all that. I'm too selfish for that.

    There are other aspects, but it primarily boils down to two:

    I love just driving. I'll happily drive anything, anywhere. Even if the scenery never changes, it changes. And I get PAID for this!

    I love putting the whole mess right where I want it. Precision is more important to me than laying it in the dock 'acceptably' the first time. I pick a mark on the dock's doorseal (or the wall) and try to put the corner of my trailer right on that spot - and straight. Argh, I HATE a ####eyed park (reminds me of the Pilot on south side of Erie, PA..I-95, or I-80.. drove me nuts. I'd park perfectly, but when I got out, the trailer was a good 10 degrees off parallel to the line. Turns out that the lines weren't parallel - ONE side of the trailer was dead on, but the other was whacked. I didn't sleep well that night - wanted to go buy some yellow paint and re-do the lines correctly)

    Making the dock worker's job easier is good, too. Hit the dock in Oakland - trailer bed was a good 6 inches below the dock plate. Electric pallet jack was having a bit of difficulty. I had them hold off for a bit - I went out and slid my tandems back. A 5 minute delay made their jobs a bit easier, cost me nothing, and made my company look good. I feel really good about that one, too.

    Rule of thumb: If you can't pour sugar on a man's wheaties, at least don't pee in the bowl.

    I'd willingly pass on meeting new people. I'm sure most of those I've met so far are just plain wonderful. But that doesn't mean I have to like them, or even like meeting them. Except that young lady at the Pilot in Medford, OR. Oh, man, she had a voice to die for!

    oh, yeah. where was I?

    Finally, it gets me away from the ^(&$^ cats in this house. The down side is, I miss my dog.
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