Monday, September 24, 2007
Sorry it has been a few days. I've been out of town. I want to thank everyone for all the comments and advise. I really do appreciate all of it.
I am still here to help you out anyway I can so ask questions if needed I have trained many a driver in the past. They would say "Hey VM this guy is riding with you today." And all of a sudden I end up a trainer. Must have been a good one because they keep on sending me rookies..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Oct 01 2007 @ 3:59 AM [EST]
I can always tell when either a rookie or mechanic has been in my truck when they pop both the trailer brakes and the tractor brakes..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Oct 01 2007 @ 4:00 AM [EST]
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Fri, Oct 05 2007 @ 4:03 PM [EST]
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
On Saturday, I went to a 'Trucking and Transportation Job Fair' at the Dayton Airport Expo Center in Vandalia, Ohio. I thought this would be a pretty good one. It was advertised in 'the Employment Guide' (http://www.hwyblogs.com/out.php?go=www.employmentguide.com) which, as you may know, puts out a big weekly publication in different regions of the country. Now the ad in last week's Guide was a full page ad on the back cover. Now with that much hype and it being held in a fairly large location, one would think that there would be a large number of companies there … WRONG. It ended up only being held in the entrance hall of the expo center and there ended up only being seven (eight if you count Dayton Freight and Kelley Transportation separately) companies there:
- Continental Express
- Dayton Freight / Kelley Transportation
- ISupply Company
- Schneider National
- (One I Don't Remember)
The ad also said, "See The Trucks You Could Be Driving!!!" There were four trucks in the parking lot. None of them were open except one and only the trailer.
To say I was a little disappointed is an understatement. But I did get some good information on the companies that were there.
I am still about a year away from deciding but I'm using that time to gather all the information I can so I can try and make a well informed decision.
Now … I would like to hear from you. Have any of you driven for or had any other experience with any of these companies? Do you have any thoughts in general about these companies or any other company?
Send me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave me a comment.
Feel free to send me an e-mail anytime with any thoughts or advise you might have.
Read the fine print in a lot of what these companies tell you. Its like the military they tell you a bunch of half-truths to get you in the door..I can not comment on that list but don't anyone sweet talk you by putting out a good line. Actually I would avoid all of these companies like the plague altogether..Why?..Because if the job they were offering was that great why do they need recruiters?..Haha!!..If I were you I'd go to the nearest truck stop and just chew the fat with some drivers..See which ones they like..I could tell you all about companies in my area but in yours I don't have a clue. There are some good companies that don't advertise much but will treat you right..Its your job to do the digging..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Wed, Sep 19 2007 @ 7:44 AM [EST]
Starting out you'll not have that much of a choice but after you put a couple years in and keep your CDL clear you can go wherever you want..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Wed, Sep 19 2007 @ 7:56 AM [EST]
Thanks a lot VM. Appreciate the advise. Being former military myself (MANY years ago), I don't put much stock in what a recruiter says. Currently, I'm gathering information so that I can narrow down the list some and I do plan on hitting the truck stops in the near future. Thanks again and don't let Roadhzrd and Lenutt give you too much crap. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Sep 19 2007 @ 8:25 AM [EST]
No, I dish it out just as much. They are my buds we just like to give each other a hard time, truck drivers like to do that. I don't take what they say personal at all. Seriously though, I think your best off talking to other drivers from your area. There maybe some companies worth a darn that either train you or take you straight out of truck school. It is my intention to help you out as much as I can. Look as a married man and a father I would strongly suggest you look for a company that runs regional. It gets you by the house more often and puts less stress on your family. With a family you shouldn't be gone too long from them. It puts way too much stress on you and yours..You can run all you want of the 48 later when the kids are out of the house. But a family man should be at least close to home. But, do what thou whilst...VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Thu, Sep 20 2007 @ 8:00 AM [EST]
I really do appreciate it VM.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, Sep 20 2007 @ 9:55 PM [EST]
TEDYBEHR: I WOULD JUST LIKE YOU TO CONSIDER NOT THE TRUCK DRIVING BUT THE LIFE STYLE WHICH IS VERY UNSTABLE FOR YOUR WIFE FAMILY AND YOURSELF. TRUCK DRIVING IS NOT A FANTASY BUT A DIFFUCULT JOB DONE WELL BY MILLIONS OF DRIVERS.YOU ARE GOING TO WORK 70 HOURS A WEEK OR TWO WEEKS WORK FOR JUST ONE WEEKS PAY.YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE READY TO ENDURE THE SACRIFICE AND LONELINESS THAT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY.I TRUCK BECAUSE I AM UNEDUCATED AND HAVE NO OPTIONS OR JOB OPPORTUNITIES.MOST DRIVERS COME FROM VERY RURAL AREAS WERE THERE ARE NO JOBS.IF YOU HAVE CHOICES FIND A PROFESSION THAT GIVES YOU MORE TIME TO LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH LONG TERM STABILITY
Comment By:RC on Fri, Sep 21 2007 @ 3:13 PM [EST]
RC you may be uneducated but by no means dumb. You are 120% right, trucking is hard not only on the driver but his family too. I run local and I still am gone most of the week, 12-14 hour days are the norm. VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Sep 23 2007 @ 1:23 AM [EST]
Thank you very much RC.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Mon, Sep 24 2007 @ 8:14 PM [EST]
I'm not about to say VM is right because his head swells up and his wife gets pissed at me! Plan on being away from home for long periods to start out. Unless you get lucky enough to find a shorthaul company that's willing to train you. I'm guessing you live in the Dayton area. That is a good location to get home once in awhile during training. You have 2 major highways that see alot of truck traffic. I-75 is a big north south route and I-70 is a major east west route. With a small to medium sized company from the area will get you through the house quite often. Just don't think bigger is better. That was the mistake both VM and I made. Like Vm had said, once the kids are out of the house you can go longhaul. Take your wife along and be a paid tourist. That is when the big companies would probably work out. They cover alot of country and with a little luck you can have time to check out some great sites this country has to offer.
Comment By:roadhzrd on Mon, Sep 24 2007 @ 11:10 PM [EST]
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Sep 25 2007 @ 7:10 PM [EST]
What am I reading?
So what are you reading?
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
My words will not do the meaning of today justice, so I will keep it short.
Remember those that lost their lives on this day. Remember those who gave their lives trying to save others. Show your thanks to all of your heros.
Comment By:lenutt on Sat, Sep 15 2007 @ 3:58 PM [EST]
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I live in a small mid-western town in Ohio with a population of about 15,000 and a county population of about 44,000. The biggest employer in the area is DHL who acquired Airborne Express (ABX) in 2003 to become one of the larger freight carriers in the world (I'm not sure of there actual ranking with the big boys of the world (FedEx, UPS, etc) but I know they are up there). For those of you that do not know, ABX came here after purchasing an old Air Force base which gave them the advantage of owning their own airport which is now controlled by DHL. Even before DHL acquired ABX, there have been a lot of trucks going through our little town. The number of trucks have only increased since DHL has started expanding there operations here. DHL employees people from at least 4 other counties in addition to ours. Now, DHL isn't the only large employer in this area. We have everything from a company that makes composite wood, to computer retail companies, to aluminum die-casting and automotive parts manufacturing (not to mention several stone quarries). We even have a truck driving school at the local community college. These businesses require a lot of freight to come in and out of the area. This amounts to a lot more traffic than a city of 15,000 people. The biggest problem has been that the city and county have been way behind the ball on expanding the roadways to accommodate the increase in traffic (not just for big rigs but all traffic). They are finally working on a by-pass but I still believe the location of it could have been in a better place to be more effective.
I have always done my best to be a courteous driver, especially to the big rigs on the interstate. I will admit that at times I have been the stereotypical 4-wheeler. I have complained about all the big rigs going through town and tearing up the roads. But, I have never blamed the truckers. Even though I know that there are other routes they could take that would keep them out of the main areas of town, I've also realized that time is money. If they took a longer route, they wouldn't make as much money.
I would like to thank lenutt (check out his blog at http://lenutt.hwyblogs.com) for helping me to realize that I've been pretty near sighted when I blame the trucks for tearing up the roads. I just recently read his blog from start to finish so I could get caught up on it. He has provided me with a lot of insight in a trucker's life. In his blog entry on February 4, 2006 (http://www.hwyblogs.com/blog/lenutt/b561.php) he talks about the amount of tolls and taxes that an O/O and trucking companies have to pay. Now, I knew that trucks had to pay higher tolls and things but I never really connected the dots until I read his post. It was like the proverbial light bulb turned on above my head and I felt so stupid for the thoughts I had about trucks tearing up the roads. Without all the taxes and tolls that are paid for each of the 18-wheelers on the road, there wouldn't be enough money to even keep the interstates paved yet alone all the other roads in this backwater area of the world.
Now that I'm able to better understand the knowledge I already had on this subject and I've been able to open my mind to accept a broader understanding, I feel that I'm becoming a better 4-wheeler. I hope this will also help me to be better prepared to become truck driver.
Thanks again to all of the truckers out there. I'm not saying that because of the taxes and tolls that you pay. I'm saying that because without you, I wouldn't have the conveniences of running to the store at anytime to get something I want or ordering something online from a company anywhere in the country and have it at my door in a few days. I think that VM (check out his blog at http://vaqueromuerto.hwyblogs.com) said it very well in his blog entry on September 2, 2007 (http://www.hwyblogs.com/blog/vaqueromuerto/b1602.php). Check it out.
OK … once again I think I've rambled on long enough. Until next time … be safe out there.
Its not that I want to discourage you from trucking. It is however, my intent to make you aware of the pitfalls of trucking before jumping in headfirst. I think you live in a good area to run regional to at least get you home once and a while. Thats a good thing, most carriers don't mind you stopping by the house if your empty en route to a pickup. I think your heart is in the right place. Its just now with Messican Truckers to compete with it may not be a good time to just be starting out. You got to look long term because if for some reason your CDL gets pulled you got something to fall back on. At least with your computing experience you can work in a trucking office when you get a few years of driving and get the respect of your other drivers. I've seen personally a few drivers with nothing to fall back on push a broom after years of driving. They don't have the skills to do something else and its sad to say the least (continued)
Comment By:VM on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 2:59 AM [EST]
Once you gain the knowledge and experience of driving you can ultimately tell other drivers what to do and they'll do it because they know you can do it too. I really don't know where the wind is going to blow in this industry. Me thinks for the worse I hope not. VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 3:03 AM [EST]
Thanks VM, I appreciate it. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 3:14 AM [EST]
At the moment it doesn't look good for us out here. If big business gets thier way,we will be working for almost nothing. Not just in trucking. That's why Uncle Sam doesn't want to stop the flow of illegals into our country. Big business has a good supply of cheap labor and they don't need to relocate. Some areas are passing laws to stop the hiring of illegals but will they enforce it is the question. Politicians will pussyfoot around the subject of illegals and Mexican trucks hauling our freight. They don't want to piss off the people that are making donations to their campaigns.
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 9:05 AM [EST]
We have had some large amount of illegals busted in the area. About a year or so ago, they busted over 200 illegals working at a local company and just a few weeks ago, they bust 140 illegals at a company not too far from here. It is pretty sad that it took local/county law enforcements to make the bust. Apparently (at least in Ohio), local and county law enforcement can apply for authority to make I.N.S. bust. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 2:46 PM [EST]
Hopefully they keep it up and fine these companies. Not just slapping some fingers and saying no-no. I'm waiting for the Feds to step in and tell the locals to stop.
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 9:32 PM [EST]
200 would be a drop in the bucket where I live. At least I can get a decent taco..Looking on the brightside...VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Sep 10 2007 @ 7:49 AM [EST]
We were seeing a LARGE mexican population around here but they seem to be dwindling. Now, don't get me wrong, I do not have a problem with someone who comes into the country legally. I'm not prejudice. The way I see it, don't hate someone for the color of their skin, there are so many other reasons to hate them....lol TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Mon, Sep 10 2007 @ 1:32 PM [EST]
I don't hate either in fact I have many Mexican people in my family. It bothers me when they do it the wrong way breaking laws to get here...In fact...Yo habla Espanol pero todo yo quiero esta las reglas. Esparar en la linea y apprendidas ingles...VM aka VaqueroMuerto (Dead Cowboy) for all you honky's like me....
Comment By:VM on Tue, Sep 11 2007 @ 7:12 AM [EST]
No language skills here besides english and I don't not so well either. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Sep 11 2007 @ 8:09 PM [EST]
Hey VM, enough of that Russian already!!
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Fri, Sep 14 2007 @ 4:47 PM [EST]
I learned Spanish for two reasons..To keep the mind working and to know when someone is talking behind your back...It trips the Mexicans out when a blue eyed blonde can speak Spanish....VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Sep 15 2007 @ 7:28 AM [EST]
Well, well I finally found ya Truckin Tedybehr. Please don't listen to VM because he will drive you absolutely insane. I am already insane so it doesn't make any difference
Comment By:lenutt on Sat, Sep 15 2007 @ 3:56 PM [EST]
Thats right I drive my drivers nuts!!! VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Sep 17 2007 @ 4:46 AM [EST]
Glad you found me lenutt. Thanks for the advise about VM but I figure I better get use to all types of people before I get out there. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Sep 18 2007 @ 9:01 PM [EST]
Friday, September 7, 2007
If any of you are wondering, here is what I'm currently reading
(yes, I'm reading two books at once):
Dean Koontz, good author....VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Sep 08 2007 @ 6:35 AM [EST]
I agree. I've only read a few of his so far. I've been reading a lot of the classics the past couple years by Mark Twain, HG Wells, etc.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 12:01 AM [EST]
This is my first blog so bare with me if it turns out not to be very interesting.
So who is Truckin Tedybehr? If I had to choose two words, the best right now would be "Wanna-be Trucker" but I guess that really isn't sufficient ... soooo ... as of this blog entry, I'm a 36 year old, married male who is the proud parent of two kids. I've been running the white collar rat race for over 15 year; most of that time I've been a computer technician until two years ago, my boss asked me to take over as the Returns Supervisor. For the past 9 years, I've worked for the same company, which is a large computer sales organization.
So what makes me want to change careers? There are several reasons:
1) I'm tired of running the rat race
2) Most of the people I've been responsible for over theyears have been in their 30's, 40's and 50's but act andhave the work ethics of teenagers
3) I'm tired of being responsible for said people
4) I'm tired of the fluorescent lights
5) I'm tired of having a boss staring over my shoulder all the time
I could probably go on and on but I doubt you really care anyway =-)
Why do I want to be a truck driver? Once again, there are several reasons:
1) I love to drive
2) I love seeing new places
3) I love the idea of the solitude
4) No fluorescent lights
5) No boss staring over my shoulder
I could probably go on and on but I doubt you really care anyway =-)
Don't get me wrong. I'm not delusional nor do I think that driving a truck is all peaches-n-cream. I know that truck driving has it's own set of problems (being away from home, missing out on special events, irregular sleep cycles, bad directions, bad dispatchers, bad receivers and plenty of hurry up and wait).
Now to address a couple things that I know you veteran drivers out there are ready to point out.
- How does my wife feel about the idea?
-Actually, it was initially her idea. Her dad was a trucker until he was 'forced' into retirement.
-She understands how unhappy I've been with my job over the years.
-She knows that I like the solitude that driving a truck offers.
-She understands that I'll be away from home for extended periods of time.
-She already takes care of a large majority of the house hold responsibilities (pays the bills, etc)
- What about my kids?
-I do understand that I will miss out on a lot of special events (birthdays, school events, etc). As I'm sure many of you know, when you are running the rat race, you miss a lot of those events anyway. I know that there is a good chance that I will miss even more of those events. Like I said, I'm not delusional.
-Being a technological family, I hope that we will be able to use technology to help to keep us connected.
Do I have all the answers? HECK NO!!! Am I 100% positive this is the right move? HECK NO!!! But right now I do feel pretty certain it is the right move. I'm about a year away from making the final decision. Why so long? My wife is going to be a gestational surrogate for a couple that can not carry a child themselves. It will be their egg and sperm, my wife will just be the oven that cooks the bun. This will actually be the 4th time she has done this for different couples. It gives us such a wonderful feeling helping these couples to have the children they've tried so hard to conceive on their own.
I've been researching truck driving since about the end of July 2007. I've been researching carriers. I've been reading blogs and forums. I'm sure by the time it comes for me to make the decision; I will have read and read and read. I would like to thank every one who has given us a peak into their lives by writing blogs and posting videos. I would also like to thank everyone who has posted to the many forums out there and have tried to help us wanna-be truckers.
I think this first entry is WAY too long. Until next time … be safe out there.
Below are the comments that appears on my original posting:
Well, what can I say the first thing is that it is EXTREMELY tough on the family side. I have two daughters of my own who I barely see during the week. Your wife may like the idea at first until the reality side of it kicks in. My wife was "supportive" of the idea until the reality of me being gone 3-6 weeks at a time came crashing down. However, depending on where you live their might be companies that will hire you straight from "Truck School" heehee that run regional that will at least get you by the house once and a while. Being a trucker you don't have a boss standing over your shoulder but you do have appointment times to meet and that alone is stressful enough when sometimes things beyond your control come up. Sure, you do get to "see" a lot of places but you never get the time or the parking to stop and smell the flowers. The reality of it is that when you start you will probalbly not make very much. I don't know your finances (continued)
Comment By:VM on Sat, Sep 08 2007 @ 6:18 AM [EST]
but trucking now (Thanks Mexican Truckers) it is hard to say where you can earn a decent living at doing. Because, in trucking there are different kinds of haulers. There are bull haulers, hopper haulers, reefer drivers, bulk feed haulers (thats me), mixer drivers, dry box van haulers, car haulers, step-deck haulers, and many others I forget. Most people specialize in one of those. To be honest with you DON'T LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO USE A COMPUTER. Or else sit in a desk like me half the time punching in invoices and dispatching. I am no expert like you in computing but I've built my own computers in the past and once they found out I knew my way around a computer I got grounded and delegated to do their S### work. Its hard to say in the state of affairs we live in today what I think if I were to do it all over again where to go. But, keep us posted and I'll try to help anyway I can..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Sep 08 2007 @ 6:29 AM [EST]
VM is right. there is alot of uncertainty right now because of the Mexican trucks coming into the USA. They are lucky if they even make half what we make and the Mexican companies don't have the same rules to follow as we do. So they don't have near the expense on truck maintenance.So guess who will get to haul alot of freight? In order for American companies to compete they will have to make alot of cuts and hire the cheap labor from other countries. Be glad you are going to wait. Your present job may not seem so bad next year!
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Sat, Sep 08 2007 @ 12:14 PM [EST]
Thank you both for your comments and thank you both for your blogs (I've read both of them). I appreciate any advice you have to give and I want you to know that I CAN accept constructive criticism. Until very recently, I've been ignorant to NAFTA and NASCO. I agree that it is a good thing that I have some time before I decide. With all of this going on, there might not be very many openings for an American driver. TT
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 12:11 AM [EST]