You’re sitting in class for a trucking school listening to the presentation being made by a recruiter thinking how much money will I make if I sign on with them? They go through their equipment list, their benefits, and training routine. So far it seems the same as the carrier that came in last week and then the recruiter says one thing, their pay rate. Your ears perk up and you sit straighter in your chair. At this point you are excited and begin to listen a little more intently. Then the final piece of information is given to you, you wait for the recruiter to spell it out and they do. They tell you the work involved in order to make that terrific salary. Your jaw drops and you have a sinking feeling in your stomach. Inside you say to yourself, ” They want me to do all that? No way!”
This is a normal situation for many students that are looking to enter the transportation industry. The situation started back in the eighties with “no touch freight” and has progressed even more as time goes on. Back then we had much of our freight on the floor and it was the driver’s job in most cases to unload the freight or stack it on pallets on the receiving end. There is nothing like standing at the back of a trailer with a full load of magazines on the floor knowing it is your job to unload them. Many drivers started looking for companies that had “no touch freight” because they didn’t like to hand-bomb, it was too back breaking! In today’s trucking industry much of the freight is no longer hand-bombed on a trailer with a few exceptions but has that made us lazy as drivers. What is worse is that you could be leaving big money on the table if you are looking for easy work in this business.
We all get to a point where our bodies will tell us that we have had enough when it comes to back breaking work. Like any industry the more you do something the more you get used to it and don’t see it as the same workload as someone who has never done the job. Think of an old brick layer that has been doing the job over many years, he no longer thinks about the work involved. His work is now an art that he can perform without thought. What I am getting at is that many of the best companies, the highest pay, and the best equipped carriers have some hard work involved. If you shy away from hard work you may be leaving big money on the table.
When I started in the transportation industry I was on the moving side where we moved people from house to house everyday. Some days I would do two to three moves in a day. When you do that professionally you don’t think of moving the way most people feel about moving themselves. You develop a system and go through the motions until the job is complete. When I hauled magazines we had to deliver to independent distributors, that meant we had to carry the bundles in one by one. At the chemical company our deliveries meant we had to push large drums into a location and then deliver the contents. When I was in the city many of our deliveries were either hand delivered or we walked them in to save time.
Even though these companies had us do hard work I look back over my career as a driver and they were some of the best companies that I have ever worked for. They had the best systems, paid great pay, had great equipment, and respected the work done by their employees. Not one of those companies did I leave due to the hard work involved with the position. So if you are trying to stay away from hard work you may be looking at the transportation industry in the wrong light. You could be leaving big money, a great work environment, and unique benefits on the table.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com