The Reality Of Becoming A Truck Driver

You been working in the corporate world, you start feeling restless and board at the same old rat race of sitting behind a desk all day long and having no adventure in your life. All you see is four white walls and a nice window view from your office. How many times have you looked out of your window and thought to yourself, “I know there is a more exciting job out there for me.” Then the thought occurred to you that you want to become a truck driver.

You think to yourself “truck drivers make good money, they get to travel all of the time, see different parts of the US and Canada, they have no responsibilities and all they have to do is sit and drive. I would certainly like a position like this.”

So in your free time after work or on weekends you decide to take a truck driving course. You go through the steps to obtain your CDL license and then decide to purchase a tractor and trailer thinking your going to get rich our there on the road. You will be free from the rat race and the same ole hum drum way you used to live. By this time you’re all excited, you have a pretty new truck, a trailer of your own and you’re your own boss who is leased onto a company.

But to many new truck drivers reality sets in real fast as soon as they get out on their first long haul, The dispatchers are non to friendly, the pay isn’t as good as they told you, the sound of the companies benefits and the way things are ran is not the actual truth as to the reality of things, your dispatcher makes an appointment time from your origin to destination that is nearly impossible and you have to drive all day long. The only time you get out of the truck is to use the bathroom at a truck stop, grab a bite to eat and sleep. But you have to keep going to meet the delivery deadline.

Now you get to your destination, you have paperwork all of the time to do, which you are your own secretary, no one can do it for you, you need to keep up with your log book and follow DOT regulations for in a sense they are your boss. If you do not comply with the DOT regulations your fined or shut down thus you would be loosing money for that truck and tractor payment and home expenses as well.

You get your four hours of sleep if that and keep going down the road. Stopping just again to use the bathroom or get yourself something to drink. You must keep those big wheels rolling in order for you to make money.

You get to your destination or place of delivery and you have to wait, some shippers will make you wait for hours at a time and then some will take you right away. In the mean time you’re on the phone with your dispatcher asking for another load. She is unable to find you one so you still are waiting to be unloaded.

Finally a couple hours later you’re finally unloaded, “ok no problem you think. A lot of time wasted, but no problem.” It didn’t occur to you that all of the time you were sitting at the docks you were not being paid or making any money. You didn’t get to have breakfast or lunch because your time was getting short and you needed to be at the receivers on time for your appointment.

You call your dispatcher again. Your put on hold and then you wait and wait and wait until finally your dispatcher gets on the phone. She/he is sending you to New York 2100 miles away. But you must pick up 150 miles away from were your delivering to. You leave the receivers and drive down the road, you call your dispatcher back for directions and all she gives you is a phone number for you to call for directions.

When you get a block or two away from the street you’re supposed to pick up at you pull over and call the phone number your dispatcher gives you and get directions into your next origin. You get put on hold again and you’re parked on the side of the road. There are no parking lots out there for big rigs. Finally someone in shipping answers, they give you directions into the shippers and hang up on you while you’re still on the phone.

You get to your origin to pick up this load which takes an hour and a half to load and keep going; you call your dispatcher back and get put on hold again. Finally she/he answers and you ask when the load is to be in New York. They reply “in two and a half days.”

You think to yourself two and a half days when am I going to get some sleep. I only had four hours last night and I have to drive for another two and a half days? When am I going to be able to grab a shower or get time off? Since you were used to showering every morning when you worked for your last boos in that nice plush office setting.

Little did you realize that trucking was this way and there is no turning back now, your truck has custody of you and your its slave, you have to do what this industry tells you to do because of that truck payment, trailer payment, insurance, permits, and all of your other trucking expenses that associate with being on the road, not to mention all of your home expenses as well.