Career Expectations after AZ Training

Don Loucks, 5th Wheel Training Institute
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Driving a truck is something that is in your blood. It’s almost an addiction. You get hooked on the idea of driving this 80 to 120,000 lb truck down the highway and it gives you a rush like nothing else. You can’t wait to do it again. Doing something you love to do and getting paid to do it is a win-win in my book.

Being your own boss, but never really being alone, works out well for me. Being able to schedule your own day, stopping when you need to, gives you a lot of control over your work day. But it’s not all roses.

There are commitments that will have to be made in your day. The deliveries that are made must be made on time and as efficient as possible. Keeping track of your time in a log book will help you keep compliant with the driving laws. Long haul trucking is a great way to see North America and will require some trip planning every time you head out.

You’re taking AZ training to get your A- License. You’re going to be part of the “A-TEAM”. There was a TV show, back in the day, and now a movie with a character named Hannibal Smith. He would say that you should always have a plan and would also say near the end of the show “I love it when a plan comes together”. The plan has to come together. Getting lost in a Tractor Trailer is not like getting lost in your car. When I worked in the safety department of a large trucking company in southern Ontario there was a Company Driver that missed his turn and decided to use a gas station to turn around. Seemed like a good idea. The problem wasn’t narrowly missing the pumps with the 53 foot trailer or even the look on the attendant’s face when a large white semi almost came through the front window to miss the pumps. That was very skillfully done. It was the 13.6 foot high Dry Van trailer that took down the 12 foot overhead canopy. Luckily it was 3 in the morning and the lot was empty. In defensive driving training, we call that space management or lack of it.

Starting out as a truck driver and deciding to become a driver is something that should be talked about with your friends and family. Do you like driving? Are you a person that would rather be the driver or be driven? When dad says “Do you want to drive” you don’t hesitate. How about big cities? Does down town traffic drive you crazy? Or do you look for the challenge of getting across the city as quick and painless as possible. I remember talking at great length with other drivers about: What is the best way to get through Buffalo at 2 am? Or what lane is the best lane to follow through Montreal? And what is the best time to make that delivery’s in Kensington Market in Toronto? Remember the PLAN.  Being a truck driver is not a job, it’s a career. It’s more than that even. It’s a life style. The knowledge required to be a pro has quite a list. You should have a good understanding of the Air Brake systems; know how to securely load in a Refrigerated trailer or Flat Bed; and have a good understanding of Ministry of Transportation rules and regulations across the country. Long distance truck driving jobs are out there and the salaries will make those mortgage payments and buy that pickup truck and, yes, put food on the table.

Today’s Trucking Magazine (last page) says that “Trucking is a lot like religion. It’s in your blood”. I believe that…  As I look up to that big truck stop in the sky.

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1 comment
  • geoff walker
    REPLY

    hi my name is geoff walker and I’ve been talking to my father in law about my finances and the troubles with advancing through life. he long haul loads in and out of usa…and making good money as an owner operator. which then he mentioned you guys at 5th wheel and told me if i was interested in trucking get in contact with you guys. so I’m looking to start schooling for trucking. my contact number is 519-495-6281 and my email is posted below. I’ve been studying from my father in law trucking book and watching lots of videos and talking with Rob (father-in-law) so I’m getting more information everyday I’m ready and willing to go any distance to obtain my AZ. thank you very much for your time and hope that maybe i have a path available with you guys there. bye for now.

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