Why do a Lot of New Drivers Fail in Trucking?

BigMACK

Well-Known Member
This is a loaded question if you ask me. There are hundreds of reasons that can cause new generation drivers to fail at trucking. However, I will only give what I think is the number one reason so you don't have to read for 10 days, okay?​

I have been trucking for over 10 years and have seen a lot of truckers come and go. Not just new drivers, but seasoned veterans as well. At first, I thought that some new drivers were failing because they were too hot headed and learned quickly that they didn't know anything when they "Thought" they new everything in the beginning. In fact, that is just part of the equation. What I think is the main reason why so many drivers fail is False Hope.

Let me clarify by example:
I was reading a trucking magazine that had LOTS of job opportunities posted inside and I realized that about %75 of them had one thing in common. What is that? you ask... Well, the companies in that %75 percentile were advertising $50+ earnings "POTENTIAL" per year for their drivers! AH HA! There is that magical word, Potential! That word has been the demise of Many old and new drivers. Most new drivers that see that word think of one thing, $50,000 per year. What they fail to to realize is, the "POTENTIAL" depends on several factors which include:
  • Driver Performance
  • Driver and Dispatcher Relationship
  • Company Assets (Customers)
  • Equipment reliability
  • Economical Growth and Stability
  • DOT regulations and more.....
I am not saying that the "potential" to make $50k per year isn't viable, because it is and there are tens of thousands of drivers that make that kind of money. But let's face it, The potential vs. the realistic in a not so perfect world can be very different. When a new driver works for a company who lured him/her in by the $50k potential earnings jumbo, and that company fails to deliver on that promise, the word potential falls out of the drivers mind. And, it doesn't matter who's fault it is why the driver didn't make that money, the driver is going to blame the company because in his/her mind the company said the driver would make $50k per year.

Look, everyone in this industry knows the money potential for the drivers. However, I propose that trucking companies that recruit to STOP writing these 50k potential ads, no matter how true it is, and advertise the "realistic" earnings instead. "Realistically", drivers can earn as much as they are worth. The driver themselves may not know it, but what if one driver is worth 30k and the next driver is worth 50k? Then the driver, who is only worth 30k, will be disappointed when he/she only makes 30k after reading the ad that ever so cleverly made him/her feel that he/she is worth 50k.

It's a psychology thing in my opinion. The companies are not false advertising, but I do think they are contributing to false hopes. They are trying to make ALL drivers feel like 50k (How Sweet!!!!) But making a driver feel like $50k when he/she is only worth $30k is a recipe for failure. I think these ads should read: "Big Money for Self Motivated Drivers Who Want to Make a Career Out of Trucking!" This puts drivers in the right mindset before they get behind the wheel and they will know that their income depends on them and the company as a team.

So, to summarize, new drivers are failing because they are not willing to work as much as it takes to make the "Big Bucks" in trucking and in turn are blaming the companies for not receiving the income "Potential" because and I quote, "But that's what the ad said".

You are only worth what you make yourself to be.
 

pm9617

New Member
need help!

where do i start I'm 51 yr class (B) 15yr local twin cities driver just finished class (A) school 8 weeks at dakota tech in rosemont mn. looking to drive i don't exspect to make the big bucks just yet (they don't give money away) but i would like to make a living without running away from home do you know a good company i could grow with

pm9617@yahoo.com
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Much of the failure is do to people getting into the business for the perceived "money". They put no effort into seeing what they are getting into in regards to the total lifestyle, and ultimatley, they find themselves in a career that they were not prepared for.

Another reason is new drivers taking what a recruiter tells them for granted. A recruiter, in any business is there to find people to fill positions. They will stretch the truth and make the job sound better than it is. Many will outright lie.
 

ACCER

Well-Known Member
Bullwinkle, That's pretty much all of it. Every job has a "high end" and recruiters use that to lure the unwise. Anyone who doesn't know the truth is set up to fail. The ones that don't are the ones who turn it around FAST.
 

TJGoSurf

Well-Known Member
This is the way I tell people, if you do good at any job, meaning you show up on time, you complete your tasks and always looking to go the extra mile. You will be a good trucker. It requires a sense of duty, all it takes is a couple of loads into a disaster area and you realize how much supplies can be in your trailer.
 
i work const and i am always paid a sf for tile & marble the harder i work the more $$. thats what ive told my workers they dont listen i still will work 7 days if thats what it takes to get it done the wont (im 40) the younger people have a lot to be desired. they want the big $$ but dont want to show up im done with it. im going to start driving like i have wanted to since i was young
 

ers1121

Member
I don't think it's always about the money. The chance to earn a good living is there if you are willing to do the miles and spend the time away from home. I think most new drivers don't really think of what's involved before they get started, and aren't willing to do it when they find out.
 

ACCER

Well-Known Member
That's a problem in most industries. In high school and college these young people hear about the amount of money possible and forget that there is actual work involved.
 

Dustymulette

Dustymulette
What about the adventure? the sense of accomplishment? I will probably be making less money than I do now, and I know there will be a different level of crap---but you aren't chained to a desk looking at cloth covered walls...not seeing the end result...
 

hurgoll

Well-Known Member
What about the adventure? the sense of accomplishment? I will probably be making less money than I do now, and I know there will be a different level of crap---but you aren't chained to a desk looking at cloth covered walls...not seeing the end result...
Agreed, seeing the same walls day in and day out is just killer. I hate it. I would rather moving around.
 

awayigo

Well-Known Member
Of those (6) I've kept in contact with from the CDL Drivers school, 3 have already quit in less than 2 months. Another had quit, but just returned. The reasons were either not getting enough miles or couldn't handle being away from home for extended periods of time.

My first two weeks were good $$. Then my 3rd week I didn't get the miles and had a bad paycheck. After giving my dispatcher a piece of my mind and told him I could go back to Orlando, sleep in my own bed every night, deliver pizza, and make more money..... I started getting longer runs again.

If I get 600+ miles a day I'm happy. 500-600 and it was just an ok day. Less than 500 a day not good. And If I get less than 400 miles in a day and my dispatcher gets an ear full!
 

debrajean

Well-Known Member
This is the way I tell people, if you do good at any job, meaning you show up on time, you complete your tasks and always looking to go the extra mile. You will be a good trucker. It requires a sense of duty, all it takes is a couple of loads into a disaster area and you realize how much supplies can be in your trailer.
There it is, plain and simple. The only answer to ALL jobs. Come in on time, do what you're told, do it to the best of your abilities and don't shirk your responsibilities.
 

jnjsarauer

Well-Known Member
Some people are completely unprepared for the lifestyle. They find themselves feeling lonely on the road and can't deal with that. Plus, some people are just not motivated to do the hard work involved to be successful. People think it's easy, and all you have to do is get behind the wheel and drive. There's a whole lot more to it than that.
 

2lilboots

Tennis shoes are hot
Driving truck for a living is a major lifestyle change. You go from sitting at a desk, working 8 hour days and going home to dinner and a warm bed....to.... Staying awake for 20 hours + and eating a snack from a vending machine, getting a cat nap on the bunk mattress and driving til your knees ache and you can't feel your butt........ All in all....It's the Good Life!!! :clap:
 

Cerberus

In God We Trust
Driving truck for a living is a major lifestyle change. You go from sitting at a desk, working 8 hour days and going home to dinner and a warm bed....to.... Staying awake for 20 hours + and eating a snack from a vending machine, getting a cat nap on the bunk mattress and driving til your knees ache and you can't feel your butt........ All in all....It's the Good Life!!! :clap:

pretty much sums it up. i'm lucky to sleep 5-6 hrs a day during the week.
 

rooster

Bass ackwards driver
I was doing real good.Had my own truck by the second year,making good money,and had great hometime.I had to get off the raod cause my wife had medical problems though.Wish I was still out there.If you look past the BS and give it your all,not just your body,you'll do good.
I was about to buy my second truck when problems hit me.I do have the oppertunity to go back out for someone else,but I have alot to balance out first.I made my mistakes of going to big companies with the promise of low fuel costs,high miles,and great hometime,but they do sell a dream,not reality.It took me going to a company with only 15 trucks before I found out how to make and take home no less than $1500 on a short week.It's all about pennies,don't count dollars cause that makes you forget about the change in your pocket,and that's what gets you through the hard times.The best way to judge a company is to talk with the drivers before the recruiter.The drivers can tell you the reality and the truth.I know drivers personally who can't even afford to take off for an orientation for other companies cause of how little they make where they are.
 

MorrisGray

looking-4-place-2-drive_
? 4 BigMack

Nice website dude. My ? is who would you suggest to choose from in the trucking industry to restart driving career. I just finished NTC school to get my license again. Drove for Overnite back in 82/83 but none since. Just want to work for a good company. Hometime & benefits package more important to me than pay. :tiphat:

MorrisGray@HotMail.com / Ringgold, GA
 

slimjim

New Member
Well, I had an idea that trucking will make you good money once you have the experience, you learn the tricks, and have connections, just like any other job. I am about to start driving, I have been an office boy for more than a decade and I'm unhappy with the pay and environment. I hate the office dramas yes you work 40 hours a week but money is not that great, plus, I always been told that I'm a little rough around the edges and straight forward. That I need to finese my skills, the reality is that I don't like BS. And trucking seemed like a good route, I know that when I start anywhere I will probably clear close to 30k for the year and I'm willing to do that, I know that a couple of years down the line I will have the opportunity to make more. A big plus is that it will be "I" the owner of my domain the tractor, I won't have to deal with office people more than I have to, I will explore new turf and meet new interesting people. The only downfall that I can see about this job is the time away from home and missing your family. I am lucky in a way I have the support of my better half and she is willing to take charge of the household while I'm gone. But I guess it is a lifestyle we have to get used to. Right now I'm driving a super 10 manual 199? freightliner, those are crappy tractors but I'm glad I'm learning on those, I have asked and they say if you can drive that you can drive almost any tractor, is it true?
 

cabinover

Well-Known Member
Right now I'm driving a super 10 manual 199? freightliner, those are crappy tractors but I'm glad I'm learning on those, I have asked and they say if you can drive that you can drive almost any tractor, is it true?
I have never gotten into a rig that I couldn't drive yet. Just a matter of learning the shift patterns, and learning the RPM's that the engine and tranny like.
 

MorrisGray

looking-4-place-2-drive_
Slim ... you sound just like my situation. Most every job I have ever had, I actually liked but can not tolerate mangement and corporate bullsh1t for too long. Now I am driving for a retail store and work for some real dumb masses AND put up with over demanding customers. Screw retail work, I need to be in a tractor that provides some good alone time. I wouldn't mind team driving if I knew someone that I could tolerate their eating habits and music selections! Solo might be best for me huh?!
 
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