Weight Lifting

By: Josh,

Ask Your Truck Drivers Money Saving Questions HereHello Again,

I have finished the first week of trucking school and have written and passed the tests required to obtain the Class A permit which is now in my possession but I am worried.

I am not a robustly built person but I can can certainly lift 50 lbs. I can also lift my petite sister of 109lbs, but not sure if I can lift 109 lbs from floor to shoulder height. From these measurements, I expect that I should be able to lift 75 lbs from floor to shoulder. I will try to confirm this as soon as practical.

Since I am not the muscle type, if I have to pack one of those OTR trucks full of freight, I will never be able to be a trucker.

One of the first questions I asked my school is about weight lifting and they said I wouldn’t have a problem with my current muscle limitations because girls are truckers, but I know women who are stronger than I, hence I am still worried. I will question this again on Monday.

I just filled in an OTR online application which questioned whether I can lift 75 lbs from ground to shoulder and walk 54ft. Thus far I find the school to be quite reliable and my instructor is very helpful, but I am wondering weather the school is providing misleading information on the weight lifting matter. I would hate to have to abandon this this trucking program after a pleasant and productive first week.

The company website I applied on, said the job is mostly “drop and hook”, but I wouldn’t be able to load an entire trailer even if I have to do this once a year.

So if I am required to do drop and hook most of the time, will I be required to load a trailer by myself some of the time?


Response from Vicki:

Hello, Josh,

Thank you for writing. Every trucking company is different. If you filled out an OTR online application — and the website through whom you filled it out did not tell you the companies for whom they do recruiting — you really don’t know where your information is going. We advise against filling in “blind” applications, especially if the recruiting firm won’t even tell you anything about themselves, their qualifications or their placement success. However, that is water under the bridge.

You are wise for being concerned about filling in an application where a trucking company has strength requirements. It is possible that you could “build up” to where you could lift the minimum weight specified, but that might take time that you don’t have.

When someone goes to work for a trucking company who has said that he/she can lift the minimum amount of weight specified on the application, they expect for the driver to do it. You don’t want to ruin your chances for a first-out-of-school job because you can’t do what you said you could do. Bear in mind that there are many trucking companies, some of which specialize in hiring those fresh out of school.

We have personally unloaded very few trailers ourselves over the years. In fact, since OTR drivers are usually paid by the mile (not by the hour), many times companies will pay a “lumper” to unload a trailer (especially at grocery warehouses). The lumpers know how to unload the trailers and can meet the receiver’s specifications. One way to find out how a company prefers to handle loading and unloading is to find out how much it will pay you as the driver versus a lumper.

The last regional trucking company Mike drove for would pay a driver $40 to unload a trailer but a lumper up to $300! So, it was in the driver’s best interest to conserve his/her energy for driving and let the lumper do the grunt work.

There are some trucking companies that have direct customer deliveries where lifting that much weight is required. One time, I had a very large and heavy box delivered to my front door on the second floor of a building. The driver may have used a hand truck to get it upstairs, but he certainly had to have it loaded on the truck first.

As you are working your way through trucking school, weigh all of your options carefully. If you can’t talk with drivers face-to-face, then visit the trucking forums, read posts and ask questions.

I hope this is helpful.

When you get on the road, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons