Truck drivers, would you be one? What do you think of them?

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
So, as many people know.

I run a business, I've always wanted to be an engineer, and produce a good product.

My business has gotten as big I want it, I've hired a very good manager who has been doing a great job running everything.


Lately, I have been talking to the truckers, hard working Americans who do this every day, their entire life, they tel me about going around America, getting paid, seeing things meeting people, and a cool sub culture.

I put this in Political issues as I think, it will become political.

But my question is, to you guys.

Should I buy a truck, get my CDL? And try being a trucker?

Its something Ive never thought about, and truckers really make America move.

Should I see what its like?

I just want an opinon. Ive worked hard at **** jobs and high end jobs, I'd like to think I could drive a truck. And maybe understand what makes America move.

I want to see how this trucking world works, and how America runs, I think trucking for a few years while running a busines via phone. there ya go.

Why not?

I have the urge to buy a truck, and be an owner operator, and learn how these big 18 wheelers work, and how they keep America going.

My Dad actually drove truck, I feel with his death last month, its something I should try for a few years to honor him.
 
Last edited:

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
While you joke about it, several years ago, I got my CDL - A. Driver's licenses in Georgia are free for veterans. I called it my back up plan.

Mav, you have the number of that truck driving school we saw on TV? Truck Masters, I think it was? I think I'm gonna need that...
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
While you joke about it, several years ago, I got my CDL - A. Driver's licenses in Georgia are free for veterans. I called it my back up plan.
Yeah man its a good backup plan.

I'm, not joking. Thats what my dad locally in Atlanta, he put lots of things on the sales rack of stores in the entire region.

While I did grow up poor, I have money now, and i think I am not connected as much as I want to be.

Why not drive an 18 wheeler for a few years? Learn to shift gears, burn fuel, and get things to where they need to be on time.

I think I have a viewpoint, I depend on truck drivers coming to my business on time, maybe time I tried to get the materials on time.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Of course, remember, you will need to comply with speed laws. The police really don't play when it comes to truckers. Mainly because they know the truckers will pay the tickets without bothering to go to court.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Of course, remember, you will need to comply with speed laws. The police really don't play when it comes to truckers. Mainly because they know the truckers will pay the tickets without bothering to go to court.
Cmon SD, I know that.

Big difference between a Corvette that can go fast, fast, and can stop fast.

And 85,000 pounds, that can't stop. I would NEVER put anyones life in danger.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,329
10,249
Scotland
I used to work in a warehouse and sometimes helped on the loading dock (mostly pilot jacks ... the owners would not trust me with forklifts :eek:). It felt odd to me that after hauling a load for many hours, the drivers were expected to unload the goods.

What do I think of truck drivers? I know I could not do their job. The work pretty hard so far as I can tell. Without them our economy would stop in an instant. I don't like some of the racist and sexist nonsense they used to spout, but it is hard to have a diverse experience with people when you're stuck in a cab all day....

In any case, why not give it a go and see the whole country?
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
I used to work in a warehouse and sometimes helped on the loading dock. It felt odd to me that after hauling a load for many hours, the drivers were expected to unload the goods.

What do I think of truck drivers? I know I could not do their job. The work pretty hard so far as I can tell. Without them our economy would stop in an instant. I don't like some of the racist and sexist nonsense they use to spout, but it is hard to have a diverse experience with people when you're stuck in a cab all day....
Many companies now have drop and hook for the over the road drivers. They have the long haul drivers bring the load to local depots pick up a new load and continue on, then use local drivers for delivery. "No touch freight" is really starting to become the norm.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,329
10,249
Scotland
Many companies now have drop and hook for the over the road drivers. They have the long haul drivers bring the load to local depots pick up a new load and continue on, then use local drivers for delivery. "No touch freight" is really starting to become the norm.
Makes sense.

The only other thing I know about truckers is woe to the business owner who absconds with their pension fund. That's what the owner of the warehouse across from us did, and suffice it to say their was civil unrest the likes of which I had never seen before and likely will never see again. The drivers torched a truck and then the riot police showed up....
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
549
2,129
Germany
Kinda reminds me of Dr Markus Studer (sorry haven't found anything in english).

Basicly he went from being a heart surgon to truck driver and now bus driver.

Personally I would never consider driving a truck for living, probraly one of the most stressfull jobs one could have todays. Now if I were in a position similar to that of Doc Studer where I would just drive as a hobby only taking tours when and where I want, I might just about do.


Back in my younger years when I was still visiting school (I guess that would have been similar to some specialized college in the US) I would take weekend trips to Berlin with a 7.5t truck + 5t trailer.
Start Friday afternon about 400km west of Berlin, experience some horrible Autobahn east of Braunschweig, wait atleast 2 hours to cross the Elbe, followed some more horrible roads (that was in 93/94 so the A2 wasn't yet upgraded), park behind the Zoo (arrival normally 1 AM), catch a few hours of sleep in the cabin.

Next morning, enter the Zoo, and unload the straw and hay used to fill up the otherwise unused space. Don't forget those packages with semi-froozen 1 day chickens..... delivers a bunch of big cartons filled with eggs at 3-5 places spread over Berlin, head back and arrive home at around 6 PM.

Be 150DM richer without a chance to spend them on that weekend :rolleyes:
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
Lately, I have been talking to the truckers, hard working Americans who do this every day, their entire life, they tel me about going around America, getting paid, seeing things meeting people, and a cool sub culture.

But my question is, to you guys.

Should I buy a truck, get my CDL? And try being a trucker?
If you think you're up for it, then certainly.

I could not imagine being a trucker. Endless hours driving, sometimes hectic schedules, often tough locations either getting through cities, or trying to cram a 53' trailer into a so-called dock built for pickup trucks.

Seeing some of the drivers trying to get around Atlanta, I just couldn't do it. There are places here where a warehouse is at the end of a series of small 2-lane roads with hard turns. Trucks can barely make them, especially if there are cars on the other road.

I could never do it, but if it's what you want to do, then why not?

It felt odd to me that after hauling a load for many hours, the drivers were expected to unload the goods.
I don't see this all the time, but it does happen. Seems horrible. Some of these guys get the truck to the location, spend an hour or two working on loading the trailer in the hot sun/hotter trailer, then have to get in the cab and drive for hours to the next destination. Sounds like a pretty miserable experience.

Some of it id depot/drop type stuff, but much of it is not.

Makes sense.

The only other thing I know about truckers is woe to the business owner who absconds with their pension fund. That's what the owner of the warehouse across from us did, and suffice it to say their was civil unrest the likes of which I had never seen before and likely will never see again. The drivers torched a truck and then the riot police showed up....
Well, that's just not right. They should show respect to their employer, no matter what he does. If he stole their money, they should say "yes, sir, we understand" and continue with their jobs.

Please note the sarcasm.
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
11,832
Midlife, Midwest
Driving truck is physically punishing, frequently dangerous, and not particularly well paid.

Truck driving is frequently cited as one of the most deadly occupations in the USA. Several times more so than being a police officer, and ranking up their with taxi driver and roofer. Spending forty to seventy hours behind the wheel simply makes you more liable to be in a potentially fatal accident.

From a health standpoint trucking isn't great. In addition to poor availability of healthy food, sitting for extended periods of time has a documented health cost. Think heart disease, circulatory problems. Oh, and hemorrhoids too. Yeah. To say nothing of sleep disruptions and increased risk for sun damage.

At one point, truck driving was a relatively well paid job. But since the gutting of organized labor, and the deregulation of the trucking industry, more and more truck drivers find themselves struggling to make ends meet. Many companies push their drivers into situations where, rather than being employees, they become "independent contractors" - responsible for everything from fuel to insurance, and left out of company benefits such as health insurance, 401(k). and workers compensation and social security payments.

You can still make a decent living driving truck. But its hard work, and carries very high health and family costs.

On the plus side, you do get to spend most of your work life without having a jackass manager literally breathing down your neck. Maybe that makes it worth it.
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,383
117
Austin, TX
I say give it a try. When I was in high school I often dreamed of driving a truck cross country, but that was in the 60's. Too many health issues to do it for a lifetime but a shorter stint could be fun and educational too.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,749
502
Hawaii, USA
I've driven cross-country and back, and still make lengthy multi-state drives a few times each year. That often has me stopping at travel stops and restaurants populated mostly by truckers. My father took me on a few long rides like that as well, but he also had a radio so that he could listen to and talk with the truckers. It seemed like an interesting culture. I always thought that it would be interesting to be a trucker for the short term (just a year or two). It's a difficult lifestyle if you have family. And driving on the interstate highways is really nice... but I'd hate to maneuver a vehicle like that in cities. I have no idea how the drivers do it.

If you have the time and inclination, I'd say go for it. It's sure to be an interesting experience. Being higher up in your company, it's sure to give you an interesting perspective and greater appreciation for what the people working in transportation do. If you do go for it, it'd be neat if you could write us with your experiences. Heck, keep a camera with you and document some of your drives and events; if you're a good writer, you could probably write a book about your experiences.

And on a side note, I'm sorry to hear about the recent passing of your father.
 

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2007
1,039
130
Denton, TX
I spent about 10 years driving trucks of various forms and just 6 months ago walked away from the industry. I started a thread on here about it when I switched from local to OTR, read it: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=394385

I'm super busy for the next couple days, but if you shoot me an email (mymacrumorsusername--> @gmail.com) in a couple days I'll have the time to write a full response for this thread.

I have a fairly flexibly schedule so I'd be willing to help train you if you are truly serious about it. Also, I'm oddly comfortable with the winter driving and can help you learn that too, you'll want to learn winter driving if you ever expect to make money at it and live in NYS.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,100
1,293
So, as many people know.

I run a business, I've always wanted to be an engineer, and produce a good product.

--

But my question is, to you guys.

Should I buy a truck, get my CDL? And try being a trucker?

Its something Ive never thought about, and truckers really make America move.

--

My Dad actually drove truck, I feel with his death last month, its something I should try for a few years to honor him.
My advice (you asked) is to watch some documentaries about truckers on Netflix or whatever, and, stick with something that you both know, and, are good at. Engineering for example. There are a number of professions that I have always been interested in. But, truth to tell, I know that I'm not that good at them.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Many companies now have drop and hook for the over the road drivers. They have the long haul drivers bring the load to local depots pick up a new load and continue on, then use local drivers for delivery. "No touch freight" is really starting to become the norm.
Yeah, Ive heard that from the guys who deliver to my business. I normally have CSX use 3-5 rail cars depending on the order, then a local trucking company comes in, backs right into one of our two docks, ( the trailer part is actually indoors, strange I know, but the building came with it, ) and the ceiling crane gets everything off the trailer in about half an hour, and normally I help out and move pallets and boxes off the trailer at the same time, so they're in and out in less than an hour, they say they like that.

----------

I could never. Truck stops have the worst bathrooms, the worst food, and the worst hookers....
Oh thats BS right there, I ALWAYS stop at truck stops, the food tends to be awesome.

Sometimes when you've been driving all night, nothign hits the spot more like a giant buffet of Murica.

----------

You're stopping at the wrong truck stops. ;)
Pretty much, the best one foodwise I've seen is on I80 about half an hour outside of Clarion.

I make the NY to Pittsburgh trip a lot, as I plan to open a new small office in Pittsburgh, because so many of my clients are there.

https://plus.google.com/113158173343000398888/about?gl=us&hl=en

Its a tiny locally owned truck stop full of Murica.

Best food ever, tho hookers aren't around. Which is fine by me ;)

----------

Been married twice, I think my marriages would have lasted longer, had I been away from home more often.
Women be crazy

----------

Driving truck is physically punishing, frequently dangerous, and not particularly well paid.
Pay doesn't matter to me, whenever they decide to pay me, whatever. My business is on auto pilot for quite awhile, like 2 and a half years until I can really start to expand it, and my right hand man is doing a great job, I'm bored. I need something to do, Regional trucking, my dad did down south, why not try it out?

From a health standpoint trucking isn't great. In addition to poor availability of healthy food, sitting for extended periods of time has a documented health cost. Think heart disease, circulatory problems. Oh, and hemorrhoids too. Yeah. To say nothing of sleep disruptions and increased risk for sun damage.
Yeah, he did up until a few years ago till I made him quit, and said I'll care of the bills.

Its not something I want to do for the rest of my life, just for a few regional driving, I do see it as a challenge, its not easy, I think running a business, and making tons of money has kinda disconnected me from a lot of epople, I think driving a truck can fix that.

Im not afraid to work, at all. Never have been.

----------

At one point, truck driving was a relatively well paid job. But since the gutting of organized labor, and the deregulation of the trucking industry, more and more truck drivers find themselves struggling to make ends meet. Many companies push their drivers into situations where, rather than being employees, they become "independent contractors" - responsible for everything from fuel to insurance, and left out of company benefits such as health insurance, 401(k). and workers compensation and social security payments.

You can still make a decent living driving truck. But its hard work, and carries very high health and family costs.
Yeah, as I said its not about money, its about knowing that I could do it.

I'd probably just work for a regional company like Swift, I want the hard work, as a business I depend on these guys, I wouldn't be much of a man if I couldn't do it. Plus I love rigs.

On the plus side, you do get to spend most of your work life without having a jackass manager literally breathing down your neck. Maybe that makes it worth it
Lots of guys I know who do truck, did it for that reason.

----------

My advice (you asked) is to watch some documentaries about truckers on Netflix or whatever, and, stick with something that you both know, and, are good at. Engineering for example. There are a number of professions that I have always been interested in. But, truth to tell, I know that I'm not that good at them.
I have, and as someone who owns a business who gets LOTS of delivers via train and truck, I know a good bit of truckers.

----------

I say give it a try. When I was in high school I often dreamed of driving a truck cross country, but that was in the 60's. Too many health issues to do it for a lifetime but a shorter stint could be fun and educational too.
Yeah, I've always wanted to do it, for a few years, as a short stint.

----------

I've driven cross-country and back, and still make lengthy multi-state drives a few times each year. That often has me stopping at travel stops and restaurants populated mostly by truckers. My father took me on a few long rides like that as well, but he also had a radio so that he could listen to and talk with the truckers. It seemed like an interesting culture. I always thought that it would be interesting to be a trucker for the short term (just a year or two). It's a difficult lifestyle if you have family. And driving on the interstate highways is really nice... but I'd hate to maneuver a vehicle like that in cities. I have no idea how the drivers do it.
I've done the same thing, h ow do you think my 2012 Vette has over 70,000 miles on it already? I love driving cross country and seeing things, and traveling to new cities and meeting new people.

Ive been making the trip to Pitt burgh Via I80, that I bought one of those cheap plug in CB radios for the Vette, talking to truckers is cool, I go so often Ive even met some of them and know them. Its easy to spott a vette with a giant CB aerial sticking out off the trunk lol

Yeah, that is my fear, is backing up.

If you have the time and inclination, I'd say go for it. It's sure to be an interesting experience. Being higher up in your company, it's sure to give you an interesting perspective and greater appreciation for what the people working in transportation do. If you do go for it, it'd be neat if you could write us with your experiences. Heck, keep a camera with you and document some of your drives and events; if you're a good writer, you could probably write a book about your experiences.
I think I will, Im not a good writer, mild being dislyeix and all that, but I will bring a Camera.

I own my company actually, I'm a start up, quit my last job, took personall loans and started in my house with 3 people. Now I own a couples buildings, just three later, its long time stuff, I want to expand, but I have almost 3 years worth of contracts to make good on, and while I am an engineer, half my staff is better at what I do than I am. I'd like to expand into Pittsburgh, which is an up and coming city. But I cant for at least 2-3 years until what I have going now is done. I h ave around 40 people working for me, and they such a great job.

So what to do in those years? Why not put my money where my mouth is, and drive a truck? Planes, Trains, and trucks carry everything, I wouldn't be a good person if I took advantage of these peoples services, without knowing whats its really like.

And on a side note, I'm sorry to hear about the recent passing of your father.
I really really thank you for that. Thanks man. He might have had to many kids, we might have grown up in a ****** part of Atlanta with lots of crime, we never had a lot of money, but h e was behind that wheel as much as he could to put food on the table, he did what he could, which is more than lots of people do. He was a truck driver, and a hard worker, and a nice person. He died in his late 60s, to young if you ask me. This is one of the reasons I might do this, I don't care about pay, or anything like that, but he did, two of my brothers drive truck, as does one of my sisters. I think I should try for a bit to, just to say I did it.

----------

I spent about 10 years driving trucks of various forms and just 6 months ago walked away from the industry. I started a thread on here about it when I switched from local to OTR, read it: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=394385
I will check it out when I get home tonight, was currently writing from a truck stop on a laptop.

I'm super busy for the next couple days, but if you shoot me an email (mymacrumorsusername--> @gmail.com) in a couple days I'll have the time to write a full response for this thread.
Yeah man I'll let you know.

I have a fairly flexibly schedule so I'd be willing to help train you if you are truly serious about it. Also, I'm oddly comfortable with the winter driving and can help you learn that too, you'll want to learn winter driving if you ever expect to make money at it and live in NYS.
I will think about it, my plan at the moment is just to pay for CDL school ( theres one like 15 miles from here ) and just go regional, not OTR.

The money doesn't mean anything to me, I'm after doing what my dad for 35 years, to see what its like, and knowing what the guys who put food on our tables have to go through. The truck drivers, the locomotive engineers, people like that. its a world I want to understand.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,468
USA
I would do it if you are truly dedicated to it for at least a year.

If it's something you'll enjoy while earning some extra money at it, I don't see why you shouldn't :cool:
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
I would do it if you are truly dedicated to it for at least a year.

If it's something you'll enjoy while earning some extra money at it, I don't see why you shouldn't :cool:
Yeah, i would do it for a year or two, by that point my business won't be on cruise control, and I can go back and do something.

In the meantime, it seems like a cool job. And while the pay isnt much, it'd be fun. and I could blow all my truck pay on like, anything. Or store it all up, and buy another Corvette ;)