Truck Driver

Razgriz

Sparrow
I think simply getting a class A is a great investment. Most people think the trucking industry is just long haul freight runs but you need a class A for lots of jobs that at least pay decently. Driving cement mixers hauling crushed rock for construction sites. And plenty of in town deliveries especially if you are in a major metropolitan area. Agree with OP that true full complete automation is still a ways off maybe for over the road on interstates but when you get close to a city they’ll want a human to take over. Definitely a good gig. I have a class A license being an apprentice lineman and have to drive around poles and small cranes.
 

Kona

Crow
Gold Member
How do you get paid? Hourly, salary, by the mile?

Do you run into a lot of lady truckers?

I think I should give it all up and go be a trucker for a while.

Aloha!
 

paninaro

Pelican
Nemausus said:
The city I was living in for the past two years is a major trucking hub and has a low cost of living. I could become a homeowner and build some wealth fairly quickly if I could make this career work for me.

My uncle drove for years before he retired. The biggest issue with long-haul trucking is being away from home for so long. Kind of like pilots or flight attendants -- why spend money on a nice place to live if you're never there?

Of course, you could do long-haul for a few years just to build up some cash, then move to medium- or short-haul, where you're usually home the same day. Those are more common in larger cities since there's a lot more demand for driving things around locally.
 

Lace em up

Woodpecker
Kona said:
How do you get paid? Hourly, salary, by the mile?

Do you run into a lot of lady truckers?

I think I should give it all up and go be a trucker for a while.

Aloha!

Most truckers get paid by the mile, some get a percentage of the freight bill, a few get paid by the hour. I get paid by the mile.

There are lady truckers. Most of them are large and extremely disgusting, but occasionally you'll see a normal looking, or even a good looking girl driver.

Some take their "hometime" in different cities across the lower 48 and stay in hotels instead of actually going home.

Most companies will let you bring a passenger even, so if you can convince a woman to live in a truck with you, you can bring her along. I run pretty hard tho so I dont think it would work out so great, but other drivers do bring their old ladies along.

If its something that interests you, Id say give it a try. It really is like a big adventure at times.
 

paninaro

Pelican
Lace em up said:
Most companies will let you bring a passenger even, so if you can convince a woman to live in a truck with you, you can bring her along. I run pretty hard tho so I dont think it would work out so great, but other drivers do bring their old ladies along.

I had a friend where both her parents were truck drivers. They would drive the same truck together, so they made great time (and money) since they could drive nearly 24 hours straight before hitting the hourly limit.
 

Kona

Crow
Gold Member
How long did it take you to get good at driving the truck?

You have to go through some type of training, but at what point were you confident enough to just go?

Aloha!
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Lace em up said:
...As long as you dont have any recent DUI or a pile of serious traffic violations...

A few years ago, I had my license (regular, not commercial) revoked for serious traffic violations. No DUI's but plenty of speeding, driving-without-insurance, and driving-on-suspended-license tickets.

Would I ever be able to get a CDL and drive a truck if I wanted to (assuming several years go by without any more violations), or is that out of the question?
 

Lace em up

Woodpecker
Kona said:
How long did it take you to get good at driving the truck?

You have to go through some type of training, but at what point were you confident enough to just go?

Aloha!

I got my CDL through a community college. 11 hrs a day for 8 weeks. Driving on the road an hour a day and 4-5 hours of backing nearly every day.

There are companies that will hire and train you while being paid a salary. You sign a contract that says you will work there a year or you have to pay them back for the training. Ive heard they kind of take advantage of these drivers, but if you can go with the flow, its the quickest way to start making money.

I then got hired and went with a trainer, driving teams, for 8 weeks. Was lucky, I think, and trainer was a cool guy with a lot of experience and learned a lot.

When you go out on your own is when the learning starts. Trip planning, paperwork, checking in and out of customers sites all can add stress.

Driving the truck I picked up quickly. Backing is kinda a separate skill. I'd say it took 6 months or so before I was really comfortable backing. You just have to take your time and GOAL (get out and look). After a couple years it gets a lot easier but I still get out and look cause I dont want to smash somebodies truck.

Being successful driver is really about consistently making good decisions about where you take your truck and how you set up the truck for the maneuver you want to make.
 

Lace em up

Woodpecker
Rob Banks said:
Lace em up said:
...As long as you dont have any recent DUI or a pile of serious traffic violations...

A few years ago, I had my license (regular, not commercial) revoked for serious traffic violations. No DUI's but plenty of speeding, driving-without-insurance, and driving-on-suspended-license tickets.

Would I ever be able to get a CDL and drive a truck if I wanted to (assuming several years go by without any more violations), or is that out of the question?

Most companies only ask about the last 3 years. Dont give more information than they ask for, but dont lie about tickets either. They will check.

Most companies will give pre-hire letters so you can have jobs waiting after you get your CDL. I think some schools require that. It wont hurt to apply and see what they say.

As the tickets go past the 3 year mark they fall off, but suspensions will still show up on your MVR so dont lie about them. Just answer the questions as they are written.

These companies hire dozens, maybe a hundred drivers a week, so they have seen it all and will determine if they can hire you. Dont disqualify yourself without applying.
 

Lace em up

Woodpecker
Hypno said:
Have you ever been in a convoy?
Sort of. These trucks are governed at similar speeds so we tend to bunch up and sometimes its maybe a half mile long.

Convoys of the past used to group up and speed down the road figuring they couldnt all get pulled over. That doesnt happen anymore really.
 
I'm guessing you get paid by the job, plus per diem; or does it work differently?

Also, BLS lists the median pay at $43,680 a year. Does that sound right given your experience?
 

Lace em up

Woodpecker
Emperor Constantine said:
I'm guessing you get paid by the job, plus per diem; or does it work differently?

Also, BLS lists the median pay at $43,680 a year. Does that sound right given your experience?

Theres a lot of new drivers on the roads. It seems like for every new driver who lasts a year, two have quit. Im guessing many of those drivers suck at managing their time. Which leads to delivering late. Which leads to dispatchers putting you on the back burner. Which means more waiting around and less pay.

Its not all sunshine and rainbows as an OTR driver. Some days you will drive 10+ hours only to have trouble finding a spot to park. You'll have a 10 hour break and do it all over again. If you are able to do that, you should make substantially more than 43K.

Theres also a lot of local, home every day jobs that pay terribly.

Some local drivers make bank tho. Linehaul drivers usually earn the most of any normal type of truck driving job. They typically work nights and drive out to a nearby city, turn around and drive back.

Food service drivers make bank as well. They deliver to restaurants and run ramps with a handtruck and are sometimes out for up to 2 days. Its a fast pace and physical job.

Theres so many types of driving jobs. The higher paying ones are going to be more demanding. Even those "sweet" union gigs, theres a lot of bs you have to put up with.
 

Lace em up

Woodpecker
Handsome Creepy Eel said:
Is it true that there are prostitutes who camp at gas stations waiting to service truckers or is it just a myth?

Cant speak for the west coast but east of the Rockies its rare.

I try not to park in the worst areas, when I can avoid it.

Its really annoying having a tweeked out crack head knocking on your truck at 2AM. Then again at 3AM.

Really it is rare. Ive encountered maybe 4-5 in 2 years of OTR.

Did see two hotties working down in Texas once. It really sucked because I had a girlfriend with me and she saw them and pointed them out. She never believed it was rare to see "lot lizzards" after that. That was really bad timing.
 

Kona

Crow
Gold Member
My woman and I did some research. Driver school is about $7k. Nationwide licensing, taxes and various permits is about $20k. Insurance is $9k and then the monthly varies depending on what you haul.

After that, I've decided on the Peterbilt 389, which is around $80k for the one I want. I haven't priced it out yet, but I'm gonna need some advanced electronics and some serious customization. I may have to ship it to Hawaii to do all that stuff myself, which is another $4500 each way.

The class is crucial. I'm a little worried about driving. I've pulled boats forever, but still. Moreso, I need to learn how to maintain the Peterbilt, and how it all works.

Getting business is our next project. It looks like bigger trucking companies want volume from their customers. With the beef industry slump maybe I could swoop in and drive cows around. Who knows.

Aloha!
 

jordypip23

Ostrich
Gold Member
I have to interact with logistics folks pretty much every business day & it's safe to say that the LTL (less-than-truckload), FTL (full truckload) along with the parcel carriers (UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS) are busy as gangbusters right now for obvious reasons. Also helps that the fuel prices are now super low & there is barely any congestion to fight in even the most crowded metro areas.

I would definitely say the logistics companies & the truck drivers are "essential workers".
 
Kona said:
What kind of truck do you drive?

Is it yours?

Come back, good buddy.

Aloha!

You don't call someone "good buddy" unless you're lookin for a weird time.


Anyhow, to the OP, I am a former trucker myself, y'all can ask me anything you guys want as well. 7 years of it, and i aint gettin back into a truck ever again.


Handsome Creepy Eel said:
Is it true that there are prostitutes who camp at gas stations waiting to service truckers or is it just a myth?

Yeah, you call them "lot lizards"


Kona said:
My woman and I did some research. Driver school is about $7k. Nationwide licensing, taxes and various permits is about $20k. Insurance is $9k and then the monthly varies depending on what you haul.

After that, I've decided on the Peterbilt 389, which is around $80k for the one I want. I haven't priced it out yet, but I'm gonna need some advanced electronics and some serious customization. I may have to ship it to Hawaii to do all that stuff myself, which is another $4500 each way.

The class is crucial. I'm a little worried about driving. I've pulled boats forever, but still. Moreso, I need to learn how to maintain the Peterbilt, and how it all works.

Getting business is our next project. It looks like bigger trucking companies want volume from their customers. With the beef industry slump maybe I could swoop in and drive cows around. Who knows.

Aloha!

Find a driver, don't do the work yourself after your 2nd or 3rd year. Make residual income, Buy a reefer trailer and a flatbed. You can haul 80-90% of any load that way. Dry van trailers you can't haul reefer freight. Reefer trailers can haul dry van freight. Flat bed can do a lot as well.
 
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