Do You Want to be a Truck Driver?
Let me start off by saying that I enjoy my job. The life that I lead is suggested for me. I do what I do for numerous factors, but the most crucial one is that I love what I do! If this sounds like I am grumbling, I am not, this is simply the method it is.
To me there is absolutely nothing much better than a full moon night, with some heat lightning off in the distance on a roadway that is all to myself. On a night like this I will sit back and listen to the rhythm of the tires on the road, resolve a couple of issues in my mind, write a song, and really just enjoy what I do. To me this is why I drive a truck, and absolutely nothing more! Sound romantic? I think it does, however there is a lot more to it than this.
My typical time out on the roadway is 6 weeks. When I do get back, I will take a week off and after that return out once again. Now not all chauffeurs drive in this manner, some are house once a week. The typical practice is to be out about 3 weeks and after that get back for a number of days. The market requirement is that you get one day off for each week out on the roadway. A workweek includes seventy hours. There is no overtime, and when you figure in all the hours that you do not make money for, or manage to hide, your average workweek is more like ninety to one hundred hours a week! This is just working time, however remember you do not get to go house every night, you get to eat, sleep, and be trucking! The hours are extremely irregular and long. One day you will be trucking through the day, the next the night. You may deliver at 3:00 AM or 10:00 PM. When you are a cross-country truck driver, there is no such thing as a set schedule.
There have been times where I have actually gone from LA to North Carolina in 42 hours. That leaves no time for sleep, and before you ask-- NO I do not take drugs to remain awake !!! I drink a lot of coffee, smoke too much and take 15-minute power naps to keep going! Time worked that is not paid, plus the time spent away from house brings your average method down.
Attempt pulling an 18 wheeler into a nationwide park, and see what you are told, or try taking a truck into downtown and find a show to park at, in a lot of cases it ain't going to take place. Unless you have friends that are prepared to come choose you up, many of your time off is invested in your truck at a truck stop, or terminal. You would believe that we might drop our trailer and take the truck just to get around.
If you can believe of one thing that is not provided by a truck chauffeur please let me know, but I question that you can. At some point a piece of whatever ends up on a truck, and people like me are there to get it where it needs to go. In 1997 I invested Christmas day driving through Utah and Colorado, and Christmas dinner was at a truck stop.
Being out on the highway is usually the best part about this job. As soon as the freight is on the trailer, and you have made your way out of the city into open nation, you can unwind and enjoy what you do. Then there are times when you need to combat simply to keep rolling. Last November I got captured up in a Midwest winter storm. I only had 10,000 pounds. in the trailer (I can haul 47,000 pounds.) After spending a good part of the night battling snow and ice, trying my finest to keep the trailer behind me, I decided to call it a night. After about 4 hours of sleep I got back up and pointed west. The winds had actually picked up. Burning out of the north at about 70mph. I played Hell trying to keep the truck on the road. About 40 miles from Cedar Rapids, Iowa the wind gusts where near 100mph, with a 70mph stable. If nothing else, there where 4 of us running together for some ethical support. As all of us came around a sweeping corner to the right, a gust struck us all hard. The truck in front of me was blown over, the 2 trucks behind me where blown over, I went up on 9 wheels and returned down on all 18 just in time to swerve and miss out on the truck that remained in front of me. I pulled over and ensured everyone was OK, and called the polices, then made my way to the next truck stop. I called my dispatcher and told him what had actually happened which I was closing down. I sat for 13 hours up until the wind passed away enough truck driving school to go again. The client had actually begged me to attempt and make it on time, or their assembly line would pull up. It is tough to make up 13 hours of driving time, and all I will confess to is that I made my consultation time with 5 minutes to spare! This is among many stories that can be outlined battling and beating the elements. The other trucks that I was running with were not so fortunate! There have actually likewise been times when I wasn't so lucky myself, one night an intoxicated motorist triggered me to roll my truck. I was lucky in the sense that I am here to tell you about it, and I must not have actually been!
If you are 5 minutes late for a consultation, you are informed to come back the next day. If you are on time, you will end up waiting for a couple of hours just to get a door to back into. Again this is more typical than not, and the whole time you are there you have to keep a smile on your face and put up with it.
You are also a target for a great deal of states. You are a great income source. If you get a ticket you are not likely to come back and battle it, so you are more than likely to get a fake ticket. Tickets for truck drivers are 3 times as much as for other motorists. The average speeding ticket begins around $200.00 and they go up from there. If you happen to be in California, they begin at around $1500.00. Truck scales in some states can be the exact same method. That is not to say that there are not good cops out there. I have actually left more tickets then I would care to admit.
Need to you still decide that you wish to drive a truck, truck-driving schools are about the only method to find out. There was a time when the only way you might learn was from another motorist, and to be honest with you, I want it where still that method. Trucking business will not hire inexperienced motorists unless they have some kind of school behind them. I don't suggest schools, I have actually never had to handle them, just their product, and most of the times I do not get close enough to find out where they went to school. Let me rather offer you some suggestions. You can not learn what you require to understand in a week, 2 weeks, or even three weeks. The longer you remain in school, the much better. Try to find a school that provides you as much driving time as they do book time. The book knowledge is excellent to know, but a book does not drive a truck, and in many cases the author of the book never ever has either. And get hired on with a company you will end up with a trainer for a month or so once you have completed school. After that you are on your own. At that point I suggest that you open up your eyes and shut your mouth. When you don't know something, admit it; then ask. Ask anyhow if you think it is a stupid question. If the driver you asked believes it a foolish concern, ask another motorist. If you cant back up a trailer excellent, have somebody spot you. I was enjoying a chauffeur who was new try to back into a very tight dock at a Safeway Warehouse in Portland. After nearly an hour at it, he still was not backed into the dock. If he would like me to put it in there for him, I asked him. His Answer "I need to learn at some point, may also be now." Fantastic Answer; I spotted him to make certain he would not hit anything, and he eventually got it in the dock. In the winter season never drive above your comfort zone. If other motorists are passing you, let them pass. They either know what they are doing, or will end up in a ditch. If the motorists on the CB are telling you to go faster, and the only factor they provide you is that they require to go, turn off the CB. There is always some story being informed when you are in a truck stop. As I said, stopped talking and listen. Don't inform your own, you will appear like a fool. I have been at this video game for 22 years. The stories stay the very same, only individuals informing them alter. There are some excellent lessons in those stories, but there is a great deal of crap as well. You require a great ear to arrange it out. I can't know all of it. I learn something brand-new all the time; I'm just not as silly as I once was.
You can enact a truck driver truly simple-- get a chain drive wallet, some cowboy boots, western shirts, and a big buckle that states Peterbilt or something like that, and a stetson or ball cap. To be a truck motorist is a lot different then what you see in the films. It is effort that takes a great deal of commitment, with extremely little regard.
Why do I drive a truck? It was a dream. Why do I stay with it? I like what I do! Do I suggest it? Hmmm, I would need to talk to you to discover what makes you tick. It takes an unique type of individual to be out here. Part Nomad, part Gypsy, and mostly Loner. You have method excessive time to believe, so you require to be comfortable with your thoughts. You have very little time to do, so again you need to be comfy with your ideas. What I do out on the roadway is not a video game, nor is it a big experience. What I do is my life, my highway, and many of all, my Dream! I drive for no other factor then that!
Unless you have pals that are ready to come select you up, many of your time off is invested in your truck at a truck stop, or terminal. The truck in front of me was blown over, the 2 trucks behind me where blown over, I went up on 9 wheels and came back down on all 18 simply in time to swerve and miss out on the truck that was in front of me. There have actually also been times when I wasn't so lucky myself, one night a drunk chauffeur caused me to roll my truck. Tickets for truck chauffeurs are 3 times as much as for other drivers. You can play the part of a truck driver really easy-- get a chain drive wallet, some cowboy boots, western t-shirts, and a huge buckle that states Peterbilt or something like that, and a cowboy hat or ball cap.