Trucking companies are giving me the impression they have no regard for any previous experience in other industries.
Although I have always wanted a transportation career, this wasn’t possible earlier, hence I was forced into a civil engineering career. I have an associated degree in civil engineering and am one course short of the bachelors degree in the same. I also have an expired private pilots license(not to be confused with a commercial pilots license).
The relevance here is that planes also have weight and balance issues, route planning, journey logs, weather concerns, air regulations, etc and a communication license is also required. These components are similar to what is required to drive trucks. Of course there are aircraft specific items that has nothing to do with trucks which I deliberately omitted, but the items listed is in fact, related experience.
Civil Engineering is the analysis of forces in a system for the purpose of designing that system to support those forces. I have done forces as it relates to steel, concrete and timber buildings, from roof to foundations. I have also done forces as it relates to roads, sea defense, sluices, pipe lines. Consequently the weight and balance concerns and cargo securement concerns truckers are required to understand isn’t a mystery to me.
As part of the civil engineering program I also did transportation courses which dealt with traffic lights timing, road curve layout, traffic signs design. Hence I don’t ignore the rules of the road as most drivers do.
Now I know drivers are not required to know the aforementioned, and I don’t remember half of what I did in school, but what I remember allows me to appreciate and comply with the rules of trucking, the rules of the road, the rules of the DOT and the rules of trucking companies.
And generally, I don’t quite find it difficult to learn about trucks. Since, I am a student of a PTDI trucking school I have to write the schools exam for them to issue the PTDI school certificate. Apparently the highest score on the schools exam was 97%. I got 98%, so I am now holding the record of the student having the highest score at that school.
I do recognize that driving in rural areas with a lack of communication and trucking services will require a certain type of experienced driver, but why shouldn’t I qualify for some of the jobs that require experienced or at least semi-experienced drivers in an environment where communications and trucking services are more easily available?
I am also interested in doing evening or appropriately timed classes while driving, for the purpose of having a dual career or for the purpose of pursuing, in the future, other careers in the transportation e.g dispatching, but the working hours of drivers don’t seem to accommodate ambition. It’s as if trucking companies are looking for people who only want to eat, sleep, “****”(wish there was a better word to use here to express my observation) and drive. Am I misunderstanding the trucking industry?
Response from Vicki:
Until you asked about this, we had never thought about it before but you seem to be absolutely correct that trucking companies don’t seem to be interested in drivers’ experience in other industries. I suppose that the reason for that is because trucking companies are interested only in a driver’s ability to pick up and deliver loads safely.
Trucking is about competence within the field and how much experience one has in that field, not other fields.
We applaud your perseverance in an engineering field and for scoring so well in your trucking exam. We fully understand how a person can do well in one occupation but be miserable until he/she can fulfill a long-held dream.
Perhaps with a little ingenuity, you may be able to blend your two careers together sometime in the future to utilize your knowledge in both. I cannot at present envision just exactly what that may be, but it seems that there are more and more “niche” markets in today’s world.
We wish you success. When you get on the road, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities.