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Old 11-17-2009, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Any truck drivers on here?

Been thinking about getting a new career. Ha!!!
It occurred to me that trucking looks interesting. Maybe.

My questions are many.
Where do I get more information, websites, gov't agencies, etc.?
Where can I get trained for an AZ license that isn't a rip-off? Website or business name?
How much should it reasonably cost to get the AZ training? I've seen as much as $4800 for a comprehensive course.
Is there any money to be made? Is self-employed better than driving for someone?
What other costs must a trucker expect to pay or carry? Insurance?
Pitfalls?

I've googled the heck out of this, and there are lots of hits, but weeding out the crooks and bs artists trying to "fleece"
me, is something I would rather have some help doing. So I'm asking for your opinions and expertise.
If you drive or know someone that does, and can help me get an idea of whether this is worth pursuing,
or what's REALLY involved, feel free to add your 2 cents.
I like driving, I'm comfortable on the road, and I like to travel.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Any truck drivers on here?

I don't have much information about courses but a good friend of mine and my brother drive trucks. The biggest problem they have are people trying to commit suicide on 2 lane highways. People don't like life so they drive head on into a transport truck making it look like an accident. That way, any life insurance will pay. Most will not pay for a suicide. Unfortunately, a lot of truck drivers loose their lives to these people.

My brother did long hall for a long time and found the diet, long hours, bad trucks and stress of other drivers took a big tole on him. He now drives locally in Ontario but is looking into a new trade. My friend gave up driving a long time ago. He use to do long halls from Ontario to California and back. There were 2 drivers so while one slept, the other drove. On one occasion, going through the mountains, the other driver was pushing himself and keeping at least 2 log books. He lost control of the rig going down a mountain and had the entire rig doing fish tales down the highway. He eventually got control back but my friend was banged up a lot from being bounced around in the sleeper. When they arrived in California, my friend quit and got a flight home and has never gone back to driving.

On another side, a former boss's husband was an owner/operator. Generally, he enjoyed the job but he started running into problems. The truck needed new rubber (tires) and it cost him over $3500 back on the late 90's. He had the alternator go which put him out for a few days. His engine blew and he was down again for a long time. Even though the engine was replaced on warranty, he was not making money while the rig was being fixed. The mortgage payments on his rig makes a house mortgage seem small. When the rig is broken or in for regular maintenance, he's not making any money.

Depending how you would be paid is another problem. If you are paid by the load or by the mileage, it is very frustrating when you bring a load to a plant to be unloaded and they can't get to you for a few hours. If the rig is not moving, you don't get paid and the people at the plant or receiving area don't care.

Back problems are well known for truck drivers. You are stuck sitting for 10 hours without breaks which is hard on the back. My brother has severe back problems now because of his job.

I'm sure there's people who have a lot of good things to say but this is what I have been told. My boss's wife loved going with her husband on trips and if they both could drive, they said they could make $10000 a month. There is good money in it if you can deal with all the problems.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Any truck drivers on here?

Thanks for the comments. I'd never heard about the head-on collision suicides issue,
but I guess it sort of makes sense. Still, there's lots of other things out there to drive into
at 100KPH, and it'll look just as accidental, won't it?
I'd probably be thinking about driving for somebody else. I'd hope to avoid the pitfalls of
ownership that you've mentioned that way.
I've heard from a friend who drives that the pay isn't stellar, but it's not bad considering
what else is out there. I'm trying to contact him to ask him some of these questions.
I thought about trying this, as I always see lots of ads and signs looking for AZ drivers,
often in commercial and industrial zoned areas of the province.
So, there must be some sort of demand.
I guess I'd like to give it a try, if it won't cost me a fortune to get qualified.
We like traveling, so she might ride along with me once in a while.
Again, thanks for the input.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Any truck drivers on here?

I never heard of or thought of suicide myself until my brother and a couple other drivers mentioned it. When I volunteered for the RCMP in Nova Scotia, there were a lot of head on collisions on the highway running through the Annapolis Valley. I was talking to a couple of the constables and they stated most of the head on collisions were suicides but that kind of information doesn't get released to the public. It's just reported as an accident.

It might be a good go for you Mike. My friend, that was doing the California run, loved it for a while but was getting bored of the same runs. With a variety of destinations, it would be a nice way to see the contenant and you would get paid for it.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Any truck drivers on here?

I haven't myself, but have a slew of friends who have done local and over the road trucking. These guys went to schools that were lengthy and fairly comprehensive. They would tell about the engines, the hook-up mechanism, etc. While they selected this method, it was fairly expensive, some were fortunate enough to have the GI Bill to help. They felt going this route was more suitable to taking a "company training program." They felt these quickie classes were designed to just get a driver on the road....let the road be the real teacher!! I have heard recently that they can't come up with enough drivers to fill the demand for truck drivers. I heard about the food, hours, company not paying on time, being a couple thousand miles away and the fuel card is rejected....you can imagine whatever. I truly believe caution is the watchword on this area of employment. Especially now with so many folks being laid-off or downsized, and scrambling to pay the bills. Good luck, Ron.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Any truck drivers on here?

Looks like the costs are pretty heavy, some around $5K so unless I can hook up
with an outfit that will pay the costs, trucking is for the rich and famous, not me.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Any truck drivers on here?

Get a CDL license and a CDL physical .hang out at a truck stop and read the job board, talk to the drivers, they like to talk about their trucks and company.(good and bad) Maybe one will put you in the cab for a short run just for the company.and you can get a feel for it too. W PS don't let anybody try to sell you a tractor it will set at your dinner table.
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