It's a Team's Life
We can feel powerless due to the shippers, receivers, our companies, and the regulations we must operate within. This is where we need to find our niche in trucking, this could mean becoming an owner-operator and then specialize. I think we need to pay our dues which is just another term for learning the ins and outs of trucking and then seeing if we fit better into a different segment. Some like dock to dock with a dedicated route as a driver, others like refrigerated, then others really want to live on the edge and become an owner-operator, operate on your own authority, run hazmat loads, or exceptionally heavy or large loads.
Being forced to do something such as driving in a construction zone at a slow pace, waiting for traffic to move due to accident or morning rush hour, waiting out the wind in Wyoming, or the sandstorms in New Mexico, driving slow on ice, or FMCSA regulations is something that is part of our lives as truck drivers. There are some things we agreed to do when we obtained our CDL’s and that was to follow hours of service, random drug test, and alcohol testing, hazmat fingerprinting, and to get physicals. Then if leased to a carrier we also signed on the dotted line to follow their rules of operation.
What we are not being forced to do is drive when unsafe to do so due to being tired, road conditions, or in a truck unsafe for the roadway. There may still be companies out there that say they want us to drive when tired, or in bad road conditions, or even in a truck that has problems but we as the driver are the ones that turn the key to the on position and step on the accelerator. We are looking out our windshield and can see what is going on around us and with many companies if it is a safety issue they have no problems shutting a truck down. The last thing anyone wants in their truck all over the news with a customer’s product spread across the interstate destroyed.
All trucking companies are not the same and what fits one driver does not fit another for good reason, we are all individuals. If you like to drive then the trucking world is at your fingertips. Choose from a local job to a job where you get home a few times a year, and the freight can be
There is not a perfect company out there and that is true even if you have your own authority. Drivers can spend their time behind the wheel either dwelling on problems or choose to solve the problem to better their position within the industry. When a person finds themselves in a position where there are no solutions to be found within that carrier or segment of the industry it is time to find a different carrier and/or segment of the industry in which to ply your trade. Be careful as you explore the many opportunities that are within the industry. Take the time to make sure all of the proper research has been conducted in order to find a niche that fits your qualifications and desires.
Once you find the company that fits your qualifications and desires it is a great feeling. With everything from oversize, flatbed, household movers, vans, reefers, straight trucks, LTL, local, long haul, regional etc. The list is nearly endless of opportunities to find a place you can call home.
Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.