We Are Here To Help ( Don’t be afraid to ask.)
I had a new driver come up to me and ask to help him back up a few weeks ago. This was at a shipper and he had to back into a wide open spot with no one else around and nothing to hit. I said that I would help him and I did. He admitted that he needed help because he wasn’t sure what to do even though he just got finished with his trainer. I had a few spare minutes and we went over the basics of backing and I guided him into the spot he was aiming for. He thanked me for sparing some of my time and was real appreciative.
Two things happened that day. I learned that I liked sharing my knowledge and he learned how to back up better than he did when before he met me. Well, I like sharing what I have learned out here anyway and it was enjoyable to meet the guy and to talk a bit. This is something that we should all do from time to time. Whenever I see someone in a bad way trying to blind side or just having a hard time in a shipper or truck stop, I offer my assistance. Sometimes the help is appreciated and other times their pride won’t let them accept any help.
If, however you are like the guy who just started and asked for help, then I think that the majority of other drivers out here would be glad to help you out and maybe even go out of their way to do so. I have been out here for 11 years now and I don’t know it all but what I do know I’m quick to share with you if you ask. I’ve always been told if you don’t know something then ask. It’s better to ask than to make a bad mistake and have a really bad day. You can learn from other’s mistakes and it will cost you way less than making them on your own.
So, try not to be a know-it-all and don’t be afraid to ask someone for help in the first few months or even years out here on the road. I”m sure you’ll get some helpful advice from most of us guys that have been out here for a while. If you have a question that you want to ask me about trucking that you don’t want to be public, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you if I know the answer. If I don’t then I will try to find someone who does. Also, check out the rest of this website for other helpful tips and information on all things trucking.
Stay safe and prosper,
Big Cat Trucker & Keystrucker on Rookie Advise
“Big Cat Trucker” puts some super videos together! Follow this link to his YouTube page. http://www.youtube.com/user/BigCatTrucker
Hey guys, Jim here with some insightful and hopefully helpful information for all you guys. There is a big push from just about all the trucking companies to lease one of their trucks from them. Promises of big money and truck ownership are swaying lots of drivers to take on the task of purchasing or lease/purchasing a truck.
Why do you think the trucking companies are offering this program? Since the economic turn-down happened a couple of years ago, trucking companies are looking for ways to reduce their overhead and debt.
Lots of them have excess equipment and the market value of that equipment has dropped dramatically. The way they have found to get rid of the excess of equipment is to make a driver’s dream come true (or so they advertise).
With no money down and no credit check you too can become a lease purchase operator. That’s it. Nothing else is required. With 6 months of trucking experience (and some companies require less) you can go about the business of running your own trucking business. It doesn’t matter if you have any *real* knowledge of the trucking business, mechanical aptitude, or business sense either. Just sign and drive and you are off to the races.
Before you sign and drive though, maybe you should ask some questions and take a look at what you really want and what you are capable or willing to do to obtain what you want. Ask yourself this.
1. Am I willing to stay out and away from home for extended periods of time? The payments don’t stop just because you want to take some time off. In fact they can compound and put you and your business “in the hole”. This means that if you take a week off, then the next week you will have to make twice the money to make up for the payment on the truck because now you owe two truck payments and fixed expenses this week.
2. Do I have the desire to “own” a truck. When you are the owner of the truck, then you are the one responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle. Do you have enough experience to operate that truck efficiently and safely and still make a profit. If you have less than one year’s experience, chances are you don’t have.
3. Do you know what kind of truck you want and which ones are the most reliable? Again, this is where experience kicks in. After a while you’ll get to know the mechanical aspects of a truck and what makes it tick. You would also want to know what kind of transmission, gear ratio and engine you’d like to have to make it the most efficient vehicle for the type of driving and freight hauling you’ll be doing.
Anyway guys and girls, these are some things that you’d like to consider before you sign and drive, so I just thought I’d share these thoughts with ya.
4. Do you know the roles of the people involved in the freight industry? What is the real role of a dispatcher, broker, freight forwarder and what are decent rates and where are the best rates found and what kind of freight is available in what areas? Is a dry van more profitable, a refrigerated trailer or maybe you’d like to run a flatbed, expedited or oversized loads with a RGN. These are all questions that you will be able to answer after you have been around the business awhile.
Good luck and Safe Travels:
More on the Lease Program
A friend of mine just got fired from his job. He was leasing a truck from a large company and had a service failure. His first one. He is a veteran of the highways and had already completed a lease with the same company prior to the one they just took away from him. How sad that things like this are allowed to happen. With trucking companies writing their own rules out here how can a driver get a fair shake? Hopefully he will get a better job than the one he had. He was leasing a new 2010 peterbilt and as of this writing he is cleaning it out and renting a car to return to his home.
If you plan on leasing a truck just beware of the “rules” they are allowed to enforce that will leave you broke and jobless.
It’s What We Like To DO!
We are here to help! All new drivers have questions. So, whether you are new or maybe considering a life in the trucking industry, we hope you will find some helpful information here!Please feel free to submit any questions or comments you may have!
Stay out of TROUBLE!
Learn to adapt:
Life as an OTR driver sure has its challenges. If you are new to the business and lifestyle you need to find a way to conform to the changes. Choices and sacrifices will have to be made to make you successful as a OTR driver.
You probably have already found out that eating out for every meal is expensive and not all that good. At the least it is the least healthy for you. Making changes in your diet is hard to do but with a little ingenuity it can be accomplished.
The first thing to do is to get a cooler and stop at a grocery store as needed to stock up on provisions. Cereals and soups are very cost effective but soups can be high in sodium. Peanut butter and jelly is always good and nutritious. Lean lunch meats and cheese along with tomatoes and fresh fruits can help you have a balanced diet while you are out on the road. These are things that you would probably eat while you are home..well guess what, if you stay out for a month and go home for 4 days, the road is your home now so, adjust your thinking into your diet and exercise. The first thing to do is to get a cooler and stop at a grocery store as needed to stock up on provisions. Cereals and soups are very cost effective but soups can be high in sodium. Peanut butter and jelly is always good and nutritious. Lean lunch meats and cheese along with tomatoes and fresh fruits can help you have a balanced diet while you are out on the road. These are things that you would probably eat while you are home..well guess what, if you stay out for a month and go home for 4 days, the road is your home now so, adjust your thinking into your diet and exercise.
The truck stops almost always have a microwave and ice to keep your purchases cool. Gatorade or water instead of soda is always a great choice. Sodas can really pack on the weight and they are so easy to get at the truck stops so be careful there.
All in all, just remember this..never take in more calories than you can use during the day and always try to put in the best fuel in your body. If you put crappy fuel in (buffets, biscuits and gravy, pies, cakes, soda, excessive quarter pounders, fries) then you will have a crappy running/looking body. Keeping fueled with the good stuff (fruits, veggies, grains,dairy,lean meat) will give your body great performance and keep it working a lot longer than all that other junk you get at the truck stops.
Here’s to your health and success,
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