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Old 01-29-2009, 03:50 PM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Any Truckers Here From West TN?

Howdy fellow Tennesseeans...

Won't be too long and I'll be able to take up (what I hope) is my dream job ... Trucking.

I come from a family of truckers, and it's all that I've ever been around for the most part. But now that I'm getting close to driving age, all of the folks who drove have either passed on or retired and sold their rigs. My wife had a cousin who drove for a company in Jackson, and he was working with me some until he got fired.

My plan is to attend the Tennessee Tech Center at Crump and get my CDL's. The main thing I'm hoping is that the economy will hold out and there will still be a demand for truckers (and everything else for that matter).

I'm not posting this for advice to "not take up driving", "you don't know what you're getting yourself into", "stay with what you have", etc. etc. This is in my system, and whether I'm able to do it for 2 weeks or 40 years, I've got to get it out of my system.

I guess the main thing that I'm looking for is advice from any of you truckers here. Something else that would be nice is if there was an owner operator here within 50 miles or so of Lexington that had some spare time on his hands on a Saturday or Sunday. I hope that's not asking too much...? I would be willing to pay for all expenses (diesel, lessons, your time, etc.).

Anybody here trucking?

Nightrain
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"The Good Lord Knows What All I'd Give To Stay Here In Dixie"
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:23 PM
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lariat97 lariat97 is offline
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I don't know a trucker from west Tn with his own rig.I hope someone does & can help you.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:48 PM
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I know this post is a month old, but....
I'm not an owner operator, but i have been driving for 22 years. It has been a good career. I have raised a family, own my own home, All of my vehicles are paid for.
Its what you make of it will depend on your success as a "Driver". I'm not going to give you the usual spiel about not doing it. If it is what you want to do, then do it and to heck with everyone else.
But what i will give you a speech about is Temperament! If you get pi$$ed off easily, you will not make it. You have to have an easy going attitude. Be able to roll with the punches, whatever metaphor you wish to choose. This line of work will give you ulcers if you let it.
You will want to hook up with a quality company. The Biggies, J.B Hunt, Schneider, Swift, they will be good to get your feet wet for a year. Then look for a company such as Crete Carriers, or a niche company. The company i drive for requires at least 5 years OTR before they will think about hiring you. I haul HazMat.
The thing i can offer you is advice and answer questions you have. Just remember, you asked the question, don't get mad at me for answering. Kinda like, be careful what you ask for, you might just get it!
Good Luck!
Erick.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:17 AM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Thanks for stopping in, Erick.

I really appreciate your response. Not the usual "don't do it", "you're crazy", etc.

I think that others would describe me as easy going. Everyone at work calls me a company man, which if you've ever worked in manufacturing, you'll know what that means... lol.

The job that I do now is okay-- like trucking, I'm sure, it has it's ups and downs. Mainly, it's alot of physical labor. I've been at it for about 2 1/2 years now, and I don't have much longer to wait until I can hopefully jump behind the wheel.

Really the only thing that scares me at the moment is that I've been keeping an eye on Schneider and a few others, and they're only accepting applications from experienced drivers. It looks as if the economy is finally taking its toll on the trucking industry.

There were some articles on CNN and HLN the other day about truck driving seeing a jump in driver applications. At the bottom of the articles, several company owners, drivers, etc. were talking about how the industry is drying up and there won't be any green horns until we see a turn-around. Also, I've read that the turn-over rates for truck drivers has dropped from ~120% down to 41%. I don't know how factual this data is, and I'm not sure that it even applies to our area.

My wife's cousin drove for a company in Jackson for about two years. He had some issues with them in those two years, and his final day came when he dropped a loaded trailer at one of their yards en-route to its destination and hooked to a load coming back this way without his dispatcher's authority. He was fired for insubordination.

That happened in August, and he's been half-hearted at looking for another driving job ever since. They put those red marks on his service record, and I'm not sure if he's having difficultly finding a job because of that or because there's just not any jobs out there. I'm leaning towards the marks because most companies that I've looked at are hiring drivers with 2+ years experience.

Most of my family was into 25 ton dump trucks-- the ones with the 3rd cheater axle. As you know, it's just a semi with a dump bed instead of a fifth wheel. The wifey's cousin was the only real OTR driver that I've been around, and I've learned alot from him. He usually came in every Friday night or Saturday afternoon. I would meet him at their yard in Jackson, and drive his company truck around a little to get the feel of it. I had no problems backing the trailers in the yard, and the floating the gears didn't take long at all to come to me (I know that I'll have to double-clutch in school).

I went with him on a short run to Dyersburg on a late Friday night, and he let me drive the rig back to the yard in Jackson. He thought that I did very well. Of course, it was a light load (about 9k worth of empty plastic jugs), and I know this area very well. If he were to drop me in Chicago or Atlanta rush-hour traffic with a 40k+ load, I wouldn't do so hot. But, I'm willing to bet that's the same with every newbie.

We have a good family friend that owns an asphalt company not too far from here. He has everything from dump trucks to lowboys. I'm planning on getting with him a couple of months before I start school in August, and get the double-clutching and some other tecniques down-pat so that I'll be more comfortable in school.

I don't see myself as being one of those real picky drivers like a few that I've seen, either. I love to travel, and I don't think that I'll mind being gone a couple of weeks or so in-between home time. Granted, I haven't done it yet, so I don't know. I'm just guessing at how I'll be. I know that there's more to it than it seems, and there will be good and tough times, but that's with everything. All that I want is a company to give me a chance to drive. That's it. If I get burnt out, I'll just have to find something else to do. At least I'll have it out of my system then! lol.

If there's any other advice you can give me, or anyone else, please drop by. I'm going to need all of the advice I can get!

Thanks again, bud!

Nightrain
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1994 Ford F150 XLT 5.0L 4R70W Regular Cab SWB 2WD Clicky for Gallery
1994 Mazda B4000 4.0L 5 Speed Regular Cab SWB 4WD (Pics Coming Soon...)
2008 Mazda 3 iTouring 2.0L Auto 4-Door Sedan (Pics Coming Soon...)

"The Good Lord Knows What All I'd Give To Stay Here In Dixie"
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:38 PM
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westtntrucker westtntrucker is offline
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:56 PM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Boy, I sure like that rig!

Nightrain
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1994 Ford F150 XLT 5.0L 4R70W Regular Cab SWB 2WD Clicky for Gallery
1994 Mazda B4000 4.0L 5 Speed Regular Cab SWB 4WD (Pics Coming Soon...)
2008 Mazda 3 iTouring 2.0L Auto 4-Door Sedan (Pics Coming Soon...)

"The Good Lord Knows What All I'd Give To Stay Here In Dixie"
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:03 AM
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Greywolf Greywolf is offline
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HEY MAN! Good to see you back on here!!!
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:57 AM
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westtntrucker westtntrucker is offline
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westtntrucker has a very good reputation on FTE.westtntrucker has a very good reputation on FTE.westtntrucker has a very good reputation on FTE.
Oh, I've been lurking here and there, now and again. Just trying to stay low. don't want to raise suspicions of the Dept. of Homeland insecurity, with me being a right winger and all! LOL!.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:59 AM
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westtntrucker westtntrucker is offline
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Hey Nightrain, hows the CDL's been going?
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:59 AM
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