It's not a job it's a lifestyle...believe me I would leave in a second if I was younger and had another skill...been in it to long and closer to retirement than a new career...
The problem with trucking is that in most cases you are expected to give up any life outside of the job, or at least take your life with you as you go. How many places have no facilities for drivers? And the attitude of many modern drivers on the road today has ruined it for many of us who were once died in the wool OTR guys.
I remember stopping by our house in Roosevelt Oklahoma and just opening the doors to my Pete and my two daughters and wife hopping in and going with me. Today, a father would never be allowed to do this. They could make it different if they wanted to, but they do not want to. In fact, they will be coming up with more and more ways to monitor drivers in the future. I don't know anyone that wants to be observed.
But never fear, we will all be replaced with robots soon anyway.
Last edited by autocar65; 07-26-2012 at 03:00 AM.
We did this to our selves and it is probably to late to change it. The lawyers and insurance companies are so deep in the pockets of the industry it sucks. It was an honorable profession once upon a time.
Its here my Brother, US Foods has them too, they are busting guys for policy violations left and right, it ain't my office no more, I feel like I work at a bank. I hate it.
I ain't got no panties on
Hi, I'm GT, and I'm just a number, of little to no value.
"In this business, you can't be running home every weekend if you're going to make money."Other LARGE carriers:
celadon, pam, cr england, usa truck, covenant.
Things NOT FACTORED IN as usual:
WAITING (sitting still) Times, Traffic, REGULATIONS, RULES, Inspections, Hiring practices/Qualifications/Requirements, Orientations, and a few other bits.
Just like with day labor, NOT EVERY APPLICANT IS ACCEPTED.
Not all jobs since there are BETTER JOBS of course with requisite DEGREES/DIPLOMAS.
Remember, Trucking doesn't require a High School Diploma since it merely requires a 8th grade education and with the "students" nowadays, that requirement has been sadly lowered.
Criminal records as well dictate WHO gets hired where, if/when at all.
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I will NEVER DRIVE for any company that has a camera IN THE CAB WATCHING ME.
The Bump detectors are useless since TRUCKS WOBBLE CONSTANTLY therein negating such need for such detector and the surface of all roads, which in comparison USED TO BE FAR SUPERIOR, have degraded to, but not much above, Dirt Roads.
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The newest Requirements/Qualifications would also eliminate some Military personnel, so go figure.
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MANY potential Drivers, when they actually READ the Requirements/Qualifications of becoming a Truck Driver, elect to not bother and the supposed pay doesn't equate a livable earning.
Some Companies REQUIRE a minimum of 3 MONTHS with a "trainer" after Orientation to become Qualified to either run Solo or Team while making a minimum wage (much less than what it used to be).
How many of US would have simply said GET STUFFED given such Requirement??
Trucking is something I often wish I NEVER began, but since I did, I make the best I can with of what I'm working and will hopefully not become crippled or killed due to some FOREIGN or INCOMPETENT truck driver.
For those of YOU that see Trucking only as a Employment solution, you'll not last a year provided you even "graduate" Orientation.
Trucking is UNLIKE any other job and you have to WANT TO DRIVE, not just bide your time to get a paycheck.
WE have enough WHINERS, CRYBABIES and those that cannot understand WHY they need to have FOOD IN THE TRUCK and to BUDGET THEIR MONEY.
Companies are not personal Bank Accounts nor will they hold your hand and most LARGE CARRIERS have a 100+% turnover because they're pushing 100s of people through Orientations every week.
Good Luck, Best Wishes.
Let's face it, we have allowed the pencil pushers to ruin it for us. I worked for Quickway that is supposed to be %100 employee owned and we had green road. So those who have never driven a truck have become the judge of those of us who drive so these are who are making trucking impossible for anyone to do. They complain that they can't get drivers and they wouldn't know a real driver if they kissed them on the ass! Quickway keeps the non driver and works good drivers into the ground...that is why I quit them. They were handing me 600 mile routes, 5 stops unloading milk in Houston. The stores (Kroger) WOULD NOT get the back door open. All this with a truck that does exactly 59 MPH! I do have a bad left foot from an accident so slinging milk is tough enough on it but if you could get that amount of miles/stops/cases done in the time allowed to do it? Buddy you were going to be doing it. Now, if you were age 30, all you had to do is spill a few pallets of milk and they would put you on a no touch assignment. I am 56 years old and have pretty well be hammered. That job was killing me.
Mechanic......I have been a mechanic, I admit the technology has passed me by but I am still a good mechanic. When one of the drivers came to me with a problem, I did this amazing thing. I would fix the problem. You see, that is not what you are supposed to do! As a mechanic, you are supposed to blame and insult the driver. Tell them they don' need it fixed.
Mechanics say things like: "When I was hauling swinging shrimp out of Amarillo Texas, we didn't need no air conditioning! We ate the 72 ounce steak for free and then went merrily down the road sweating our asses off. And we loved it." So the mechanics job is to drink coffee all day long and tell you why you don't need that brake chamber fixed. Or like one mechanic did, he took the hoses off the distribution valve, sprayed some WD-40 in it and sent me down the road. An hour later I was broke down and I knew I would be when I left the yard. So can we replace most mechanics with a cardboard cutout figure with a sign around its neck that says "NO!"? Yes we can. Most mechanics are pretty worthless. So as soon as a truck is bought, the process of making that truck a pile of junk has begun, and if you are one of those drivers that care about your equipment and want it working right? Buddy, your days are numbered, they don't want drivers with a brain. How about a Mechanic Brain Cam? You can't monitor what isn't there.
Or how about dispatch? Who hired those idiots? They never read a map in their life and last week they were the entertainment at Chucky Cheeze. They cannot understand why you can't get under that 12' 5" bridge that is the only way into "Large Lots" dock. "My uncle chubby could do it!" is what you hear out of the dispatcher and he knows this because "Uncle Chubby" used to give him beer when he was 14 years old! I know this because I had about 12 "Uncle Chubbys" all drove truck, and all told tall tales about how they could go down Donner Pass with the truck out of gear and sleep in the sleeper while doing it! I myself am an "Uncle Chubby" as I am prone to "Embellishing" perfectly good stories in to amazing feats of fiction. Do dispatchers actually have any practical understanding of the Trucking Industry? Hell No. They learned their craft from watching "Moving On" or "B.J. and the Bear" re-runs. Last week, they were a Pizza Mechanic at Domino's.
Then you have the Rock Star/Dock Hand. You've seen him. He is the one that is always on the phone! He has ear buds in his ears because he must at all time be entertained 24/7. He has no idea what goes on around him because he is listening to "Snoop Diggity Houndog" on his I pod. All this at 160 million decibels. He will be deaf by the time he is 30 and will sue the company for making him that way when it was Diggity what done it. He has no clue. His reality is and has always been based in Rap Culture and if things go like they usually do, one day he will be your Transportation Manager.
So you wait, and you wait, and you wait. The call has gone out over the intercom system that door #425,000 needs unloaded the "The Artist Formerly Known as Braindead" never heard the message. Why? Because he is listening to "Snoop Diggity Houndog" @ 160 million decibels! He is a safety manager in the making!
Then we have the "Truck Whisperer". He has had his CDL for 15 minutes, and now he wants to be an instructor.
Do I have issues or what?
Truckers used to be the last American Hero! We got to go out and make a living cruising across the country with little kids pulling down on an imaginary air horn demanding you give them a blast on the loud handle! We made a living doing what everyone else wanted to do: Get paid for listening to the radio! You don't believe in Santa Claus? I do! I am Santa Claus! I bring everything that is good to every family in the USA! Santa drives an old Kenworth W-900 with a 6 speed main box and a 4 speed brownie! He has 8" Smoke Poles with flames shooting out of them pulling Twin Sisters....I know! I went to bed as a child hearing these stories from my Father and all my Uncles who taught me all I ever needed to know about driving a large car! They trusted me to honor being a member of the trucking family and always keep the secret that we were the luckiest people on earth. And we have ruined it.
We let the pencil pushers get control of it.
I'm retired linehaul from a freight company. At one time we had a lot of fun on the job.
At one time the comraderie among drivers was stronger than loyalty for the
company you worked for.
At one time there was a certain amount of freedom on the road.
At one time the scheduling allowed time for rest and meal stops.
At one time most of the drivers were actually skilled, rather than just a
warm body willing to do the job.
Great post autocar. You nailed it.
Autocar and Super, you BOTH nailed it!
from the story...
well at what they are paying per mile, they can keep those 200,000 jobs, and i'll stick to my "higher paying" local job instead."There are as many as 200,000 job openings nationwide for long haul truckers, according to David Heller, director of safety and policy for the Truckload Carriers Association."
once a driver gets a higher paying job locally, what reason(s) would he (or she) want to go back to OTR.. and be away for weeks at a time, and live THAT lifestyle..???