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Anyone here OTR driver?

#1

Thinking about making a change. I've always considered getting my CDL as my backup plan, anyone here doing the OTR driving these days? Just looking for some realistic feedback on expectations and pros/cons.
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#2

(07-13-2019, 07:47 PM)EricC85 Wrote: Thinking about making a change. I've always considered getting my CDL as my backup plan, anyone here doing the OTR driving these days? Just looking for some realistic feedback on expectations and pros/cons.

I think Winger Dinger is. Or was at least.
Ya, you betcha.
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#3

Watch out for the robots, they're going to eliminate that whole job line in a few more years.
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. - H.L. Mencken
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#4
(This post was last modified: 07-14-2019, 09:15 AM by Caldrac.)

I work in that industry to an extent. My only question really is do you have any family? Like a S/O and kids? The number one complaint I here is just the constant being away from family, etc. Pay is good depending on where you cut your teeth at. You may even be able to do a lot of local running depending on where you live as well.

As far as flsprtsgod's take on robots taking over the industry? I don't think it could flat out take it all over but depending on the type of consignee it could happen. We still see tons of drivers gaining fees for layovers, waiting time, lumper fees, counting and other driver related assistance being needed. Even if the truck was automated you would still have some type of asset involved with it.

There's a good chance though we'll see some type of shifting around with companies looking to maximize as much profit as possible. An automated truck with a consignee willing to off load it with no driver assistance being needed would save that company a ton of money in the long run since it's a physical body no longer needing to be accounted for with insurance, base salary, sick time, paid vacation time, etc.

It's inevitable.Personally, I can't wait for Maximum Overdrive to become a real thing!

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"Repugnant is a Creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here"
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#5

(07-14-2019, 09:13 AM)Caldrac Wrote: I work in that industry to an extent. My only question really is do you have any family? Like a S/O and kids? The number one complaint I here is just the constant being away from family, etc. Pay is good depending on where you cut your teeth at. You may even be able to do a lot of local running depending on where you live as well.

As far as flsprtsgod's take on robots taking over the industry? I don't think it could flat out take it all over but depending on the type of consignee it could happen. We still see tons of drivers gaining fees for layovers, waiting time, lumper fees, counting and other driver related assistance being needed. Even if the truck was automated you would still have some type of asset involved with it.

There's a good chance though we'll see some type of shifting around with companies looking to maximize as much profit as possible. An automated truck with a consignee willing to off load it with no driver assistance being needed would save that company a ton of money in the long run since it's a physical body no longer needing to be accounted for with insurance, base salary, sick time, paid vacation time, etc.

It's inevitable.Personally, I can't wait for Maximum Overdrive to become a real thing!

Until it’s a solidly proven technology, liability insurance is going to be astronomical.
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#6

(07-14-2019, 09:21 AM)homebiscuit Wrote:
(07-14-2019, 09:13 AM)Caldrac Wrote: I work in that industry to an extent. My only question really is do you have any family? Like a S/O and kids? The number one complaint I here is just the constant being away from family, etc. Pay is good depending on where you cut your teeth at. You may even be able to do a lot of local running depending on where you live as well.

As far as flsprtsgod's take on robots taking over the industry? I don't think it could flat out take it all over but depending on the type of consignee it could happen. We still see tons of drivers gaining fees for layovers, waiting time, lumper fees, counting and other driver related assistance being needed. Even if the truck was automated you would still have some type of asset involved with it.

There's a good chance though we'll see some type of shifting around with companies looking to maximize as much profit as possible. An automated truck with a consignee willing to off load it with no driver assistance being needed would save that company a ton of money in the long run since it's a physical body no longer needing to be accounted for with insurance, base salary, sick time, paid vacation time, etc.

It's inevitable.Personally, I can't wait for Maximum Overdrive to become a real thing!

Until it’s a solidly proven technology, liability insurance is going to be astronomical.

That as well. It'll be a work in progress for sure. I know everyone has their thoughts and opinions regarding Tesla's advancements with automation but you're right. It's a lot easier said than done. The first time one of those automated trucks goes haywire and causes a 10+ car pile up with deaths occurring on the highway the public will be furious. 

We're seeing an amplified effort being made in this field. I don't get the fascination with it to be honest. I get the need for greed with the techies out there on the West Coast but you're essentially rocking the boat of humanity every time a breakthrough is made. I just hope some of these people realize they're going down a path that could very well sell out humanity. 

Anyway... trying to avoid hijacking this thread.

[Image: 4SXW6gC.png]

"Repugnant is a Creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here"
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#7
(This post was last modified: 07-14-2019, 10:18 PM by EricC85.)

(07-14-2019, 08:38 AM)flsprtsgod Wrote: Watch out for the robots, they're going to eliminate that whole job line in a few more years.

Automation is still a ways off, we're having to much trouble with lane assist and self parking tech for anyone to convince me were going full automation in a few years.


(07-14-2019, 09:13 AM)Caldrac Wrote: I work in that industry to an extent. My only question really is do you have any family? Like a S/O and kids? The number one complaint I here is just the constant being away from family, etc. Pay is good depending on where you cut your teeth at. You may even be able to do a lot of local running depending on where you live as well.

As far as flsprtsgod's take on robots taking over the industry? I don't think it could flat out take it all over but depending on the type of consignee it could happen. We still see tons of drivers gaining fees for layovers, waiting time, lumper fees, counting and other driver related assistance being needed. Even if the truck was automated you would still have some type of asset involved with it.

There's a good chance though we'll see some type of shifting around with companies looking to maximize as much profit as possible. An automated truck with a consignee willing to off load it with no driver assistance being needed would save that company a ton of money in the long run since it's a physical body no longer needing to be accounted for with insurance, base salary, sick time, paid vacation time, etc.

It's inevitable.Personally, I can't wait for Maximum Overdrive to become a real thing!

Yea I have a big family, My wife the 4 kids and then across the street my folks and grandmother. 75 hours a week at my current job so there isn't much home life anyway. For the last 13 years I've worked in Auto Repair started out as general service changing oil, answering phones, picking up parts for an independent shop. Over the last decade I went and got my BA in business, a few ASE certifications, and took some service writing classes, fast forward today I manager a Corporate store as a Store Manager. Without getting into details the industry is changing, and with it how they pay us. It was worth it in the past all the overtime I'd put in because I could earn a significant bonus if my shop was profitable and we controlled liabilities. That bonus has been so significantly reduced it's not viable to do this kind of work anymore. Competitors are following the same trend and I have no interest in working for a dealership. I'm at the point now I either step down from management and go back to just turning wrenches or I find a new skill set and start to make changes. I'm looking hard at the CDL route I like the idea of one day being an owner/operator.

We homeschool our kids so my time with them is more flexible than most. I could even see taking one of them at a time on the road for a few weeks at a time. CDL seems to open a lot of other opportunities as well.
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#8

(07-14-2019, 05:46 PM)EricC85 Wrote:
(07-14-2019, 08:38 AM)flsprtsgod Wrote: Watch out for the robots, they're going to eliminate that whole job line in a few more years.

Automation is still a ways off, we're having to much trouble with lane assist and self parking tech for anyone to convince me were going full automation in a few years.


(07-14-2019, 09:13 AM)Caldrac Wrote: I work in that industry to an extent. My only question really is do you have any family? Like a S/O and kids? The number one complaint I here is just the constant being away from family, etc. Pay is good depending on where you cut your teeth at. You may even be able to do a lot of local running depending on where you live as well.

As far as flsprtsgod's take on robots taking over the industry? I don't think it could flat out take it all over but depending on the type of consignee it could happen. We still see tons of drivers gaining fees for layovers, waiting time, lumper fees, counting and other driver related assistance being needed. Even if the truck was automated you would still have some type of asset involved with it.

There's a good chance though we'll see some type of shifting around with companies looking to maximize as much profit as possible. An automated truck with a consignee willing to off load it with no driver assistance being needed would save that company a ton of money in the long run since it's a physical body no longer needing to be accounted for with insurance, base salary, sick time, paid vacation time, etc.

It's inevitable.Personally, I can't wait for Maximum Overdrive to become a real thing!

Yea I have a big family, My wife the 4 kids and then across the street my folks and grandmother. 75 hours a week at my current job so there isn't much home life anyway. For the last 13 years I've worked in Auto Repair started out as general service changing oil, answering phones, picking up parts for an independent shop. Over the last decade I went and got my BA in business, a few ASE certifications, and took some service writing classes, fast forward today I manager a Corporate store as a Store Manager. Without getting into details the industry is changing, and with it how they pay us. It was worth it in the past all the overtime I'd put in because I could earn a significant bonus if my shop was profitable and we controlled liabilities. That bonus has been so significantly reduced it's not viable to do this kind of work anymore. Competitors are following the same trend and I have no interest in working for a dealership. I'm at the point now I either step down from management and go back to just turning wrenches or I find a new skill set and start to make changes. I'm looking hard at the CDL route I like the idea of one day being an owner/operator.

We homeschool our kids so my time with them is more flexible than most. I could even see taking one of them at a time on the road for a few weeks at a time. CDL seems to open a lot of other opportunities as well.

OTR will be depot to depot, so relatively easy to design. Local will be human based longed IMO, because of more variability in the routes.
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. - H.L. Mencken
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#9

(07-13-2019, 07:47 PM)EricC85 Wrote: Thinking about making a change. I've always considered getting my CDL as my backup plan, anyone here doing the OTR driving these days? Just looking for some realistic feedback on expectations and pros/cons.

My daughter's boyfriend is an OTR driver and he loves it.  He was in a situation similar to you.  Worked several years as a mechanic and decided to make a change.  It's really not for everyone, but you can make a pretty good living doing it.

With your business background a lease program would probably work for you.  That's what my "future son-in-law" is doing and it seems to work for him.  Some would consider the lease program a "con" and it could be for someone that doesn't manage money properly.  VERY basically you are almost like an "owner operator" in the fact that you have to make the lease payment on the truck and are responsible for the fuel and maintenance on it (tires, oil change, etc.).  When your lease is up you can either sign a new lease on a new truck, or decide to go ahead and purchase it for a pretty good price.

On the "upside" you can almost "make your own schedule" and be home pretty much whenever you want to be.  However, if the wheels aren't turning you're not making money.  He generally will go out 4-6 weeks at a time then come home for a few days (usually 4 or 5 days).

The way that it works for him is he gets paid by the load rather than by the mile.  There are times when he gets a load that brings him home even when he doesn't particularly want to be home which happens every now-and-then.  As an example he had to drop a load of frozen chicken off at the Winn-Dixie warehouse a couple of weeks ago and was able to spend a few hours at home before picking up another load locally heading somewhere else.  He can also choose to decline a load if it doesn't pay enough.

As I said, with your business background if you're disciplined enough to put money aside for the lease payment, fuel and maintenance something like that could work out for you.

Now full disclaimer.  I'm just putting out there what I have been told by him so this is not "first hand experience".  I just wanted to try to give you some information.

One last thing that you might want to consider.  Drivers are drug tested and certain medications can prevent you from getting your CDL.


There are 10 kinds of people in this world.  Those who understand binary and those who don't.
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#10

(07-15-2019, 03:00 PM)jagibelieve Wrote:
(07-13-2019, 07:47 PM)EricC85 Wrote: Thinking about making a change. I've always considered getting my CDL as my backup plan, anyone here doing the OTR driving these days? Just looking for some realistic feedback on expectations and pros/cons.

My daughter's boyfriend is an OTR driver and he loves it.  He was in a situation similar to you.  Worked several years as a mechanic and decided to make a change.  It's really not for everyone, but you can make a pretty good living doing it.

With your business background a lease program would probably work for you.  That's what my "future son-in-law" is doing and it seems to work for him.  Some would consider the lease program a "con" and it could be for someone that doesn't manage money properly.  VERY basically you are almost like an "owner operator" in the fact that you have to make the lease payment on the truck and are responsible for the fuel and maintenance on it (tires, oil change, etc.).  When your lease is up you can either sign a new lease on a new truck, or decide to go ahead and purchase it for a pretty good price.

On the "upside" you can almost "make your own schedule" and be home pretty much whenever you want to be.  However, if the wheels aren't turning you're not making money.  He generally will go out 4-6 weeks at a time then come home for a few days (usually 4 or 5 days).

The way that it works for him is he gets paid by the load rather than by the mile.  There are times when he gets a load that brings him home even when he doesn't particularly want to be home which happens every now-and-then.  As an example he had to drop a load of frozen chicken off at the Winn-Dixie warehouse a couple of weeks ago and was able to spend a few hours at home before picking up another load locally heading somewhere else.  He can also choose to decline a load if it doesn't pay enough.

As I said, with your business background if you're disciplined enough to put money aside for the lease payment, fuel and maintenance something like that could work out for you.

Now full disclaimer.  I'm just putting out there what I have been told by him so this is not "first hand experience".  I just wanted to try to give you some information.

One last thing that you might want to consider.  Drivers are drug tested and certain medications can prevent you from getting your CDL.

Thanks man that's some good insight. I was reading about the lease program that SWIFT has it's something to look into after I complete my initial 26 months with them. I definitely want to go the owner/operator route if I do it. I'm still weighing the pros and cons I'm just becoming more frustrated at work and can see the end coming for me there. A few years ago I thought I was going to retire in the shop but I'm just getting burned out doing it and the money's not right anymore.
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#11

(07-14-2019, 01:05 AM)americus 2.0 Wrote:
(07-13-2019, 07:47 PM)EricC85 Wrote: Thinking about making a change. I've always considered getting my CDL as my backup plan, anyone here doing the OTR driving these days? Just looking for some realistic feedback on expectations and pros/cons.

I think Winger Dinger is. Or was at least.

Used to be.. Gave it up.. Not the life for me. Way too many hours away from home. Money is good if you currently have your CDL Class A and didn't sign up for the classes and sign a contract to drive for a specific company until your classes are paid off. You can make a little over minimum wage doing just that (Not me, just heard others complain)..
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#12

If you decide to become a driver, I insist you begin every post on the MB with “breaker one nine”.
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#13

(07-16-2019, 11:36 AM)homebiscuit Wrote: If you decide to become a driver, I insist you begin every post on the MB with “breaker one nine”.

Go ahead break.
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. - H.L. Mencken
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#14

(07-16-2019, 11:36 AM)homebiscuit Wrote: If you decide to become a driver, I insist you begin every post on the MB with “breaker one nine”.


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#15

(07-16-2019, 07:01 PM)Jagsfan4life9/28/82 Wrote:
(07-16-2019, 11:36 AM)homebiscuit Wrote: If you decide to become a driver, I insist you begin every post on the MB with “breaker one nine”.


I raise. 



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#16

Yo Eric! 

I know this would be a huge stretch for you, but you'd be highly marketable in the Ag sector around my parts.

Mechanic, trucking, ranch manager... all pretty locally contained as well. It takes us multiple years to fill positions with guys that have your skills.
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