I would be open to a AMA to attempt to curb the car vs truck driver vibe. Also answer question about the shit I've seen and what it takes to do what i do.

Edit: Thank you all for the interest. I will definitely hope on after I get done driving Sun night. Apologies for the wait but I am home on weekends and spend time with my 8 children and wife. (I'll upload pics to verify just in case anyone wonders)

Edit: Screw it I'll try to answer some questions right now while I wait to get unloaded.

Edit: gonna start answering questions so give me a min and i'll upload some verification pics(bare with me i'm very new to reddit and imgur).

Edit: Gotta get back on the road and get home. Thx for the questions. I tend to not get on the computer when i am home so i can spend time with the family. I know i kinda jump started this and started answering question but i'll do a round 2 on sun like i said i was going to do. Hope my answer were not dull and boring!

Edit: http://imgur.com/a/UfaBF for verification that I am a truck driver. Dont have pics of all 8 of my kids together on my phone so I am going to take one with a date when i get home.

Edit: One last edit. Planning on Sun at about 5pm est time. Plz fellow truck drivers chime in also as you did in this semi(no pun intended) kinda AMA.

Edit: Failure on Sunday so I'm coming back here to answer all questions. Feel free to ask anything if you catch this whenever and i will get back to you.

Comments: 569 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

BluePocket114 karma

if so i will do a iama sunday night.

PeterHousen51 karma

My father has been a truck driver for 30 years so I have some insight as to what its like, but I think the majority of people have no idea the shit truck drivers have to deal with

Minibit22 karma

My dad's a trucker too (drives super-B's, been everywhere in Canada and the states except PEI, Nunavut and Florida). I get annoyed when people talk trash about truckers, especially in regards to wide turns and low speeds. That's not being an ass, it's being safe.

And really, pretty much anything you use was hauled by a truck. Have some appreciation.

el___diablo21 karma

Who the fuck talks trash about truckers ?

I think everyone recognises that it's a tough job.

CaLLmeRaaandy13 karma

You'd be surprised at how many people I've heard bitch because of being held up an extra 15 seconds on a turn or how one is going up a steep incline at 45 instead of the speed limit. Fucking idiots.

IronMaiden57115 karma

The only thing that pisses me off is when on a two lane interstate a truck decides to get in the left lane and match speed with the truck next to him. I've been stuck behind two trucks for 30 minutes before like that.

rocknrollsteve9 karma

It pisses us truckers off, too. As a general rule we try to stay out of the left lane as much as possible. We don't really decide to match the other driver's speed, we just wanna get around them and to be honest, unless we are going up a hill, the driver on the right should back off just a hair so the driver passing him on the left can get around. That's just common courtesy, something that's lacking in all walks of life (read: assholes are everywhere) The reason we get stuck side by side like that for so long is a lot of truck are "neutered" and can only go 65 MPH (some can go faster, some slower - depends on the company). It's not an exact science so while both trucks are governed at 65 the guy passing me might be able to wring 65.25 MPH out of his rig in which case if I don't back off it's gonna take him forever to get around me.

BluePocket2 karma

I always find it irritating and a little funny when a guy tries passing another guy from the same company governed at the same speed. Of course the guy on the right doesn't slow down at all and you have to wait for the heavier load to hit a small incline.

BluePocket9 karma

I tried to answer a question that got deleted before i finished and i feel that it should be addressed.

I like following a little too close behind semi trucks to save on fuel when driving long distances. After I have been following for a few miles the driver always makes a couple lane changes. If I continue to follow them they will slow waaaaaaay down and drive at 40-50 until I pass them. This happens to me often. Are you familiar with this behavior? Are they afraid I am going to crash into them by following them? Is there anything I can do so they let me continue to follow behind them?

BluePocket19 karma

First off DO NOT DO THAT. It is very dangerous for YOU. When our tires blow they almost always throw chunks out. Chunks that can easily at least give you windshield major major cracks. Going 60-70 i highly doubt you want that to happen.

Also, yes a lot of us do not like not being able to see cars behind us. Part of our job is to know everything that is going on around us to be safe for us and specially people who drive cars. Our trucks could easily kill you if we run into you and we obviously do not want that. Have you noticed that bar that hangs down at the back of our trailer? That is mandatory on every trailer now because back in the day cars would run into us and basically the car would get cut in two with you in it. Thank being said those things help but only so much.

porkchops229 karma

How well does it pay?

BluePocket12 karma

Your first yet it is a little rough. I made 27k. After you pay your dues at a startup company I made about 40k. With the company I am at now after 5 years I'm averaging about 50-55k.

doz1237 karma

You always hear stories about someone's friend or cousin who made six figures hauling luxury cars, but the truth is that most guys never get close to that. Out of 100 drivers (not owner-op), you might have a handful who pull in over 70k - but they worked their asses off, and sacrificed a lot to do it.

baddadyeahthatsme10 karma

How do you ever get to help raising those 8 kids...damn fool, its a vagina not a clown car.

BluePocket4 karma

Basically when I get home(I'm home more then the avg driver) she runs outta the house to de-crazy herself. The older boys help a lit also. I just make sure she gets her break when I'm home and frankly taking care of the kids is a break for me because I miss them so much.

AlaricV8 karma

Hey thanks for doing the ama! Can you post proof that you are a driver as well please!

Just a few questions for you! What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you as a driver? How are you paid? How much does getting licensed cost? Do you have much free time between deliveries? Are you able to stay in some cities longer than others? How far back do they check your driving record?

BluePocket14 karma

I posted a link in my edit from in my truck today and tomorrow i will post a picture with all 8 of my kids to verify that since some are cried folly for that.

Wierdest thing that happened to me was having a guy try to pull me over by looking up at me and pointing at me then proceded to fake jerk off. I was so WTF I looked ahead then looked back and he did it again. I flipped him off and he speed away. Also I've seen many dudes just going to town on themselves driving down the highway....All that and never seen one boob. So disappointing. LOL

I'm paid by the mile but unlike most companies i get paid for every mile i drive not what some computer tells this is the distance from city to city(which was always short). I also get stop pay and triple pay on holidays if i'm on the road. If i get stuck out on the road due to breakdowns or what not i get 150 a day and they pay for my hotel stay. We also get something called Per Diem which is a tax thingy. You get 25 dollars a day for food and such to claim on your taxes.

I get decent time off. My job i got now is the cream of the crop to over the road driving. I get to pick my load every week(2nd choice out of 4) and it's there then a back haul right back home. So if i want to pick a short load and be home 3-4 days i can or pick a long one and be home 1-2 i can. Most places do not work like that. If your a regional driver you basically get 1-2 days no matter what and you never really know where you are going. you can pick up and deliver multiple times a day or not and never know where you headed next until you finish with the deliver your on. It was annoying when i had to deal with that.

It does depend on how long you stay in a city. I got lucky acouple years ago and delivered in the morning to Vegas and the back haul she found me did not pick up till the next morning not far away. BlackJack was my friend that day. *chuckle You have to realize tho that your in a huge truck. Even if you in a city lets say that your favorite football team is playing at while your there. You cannot simply drive to the game and go see it. Also a lot of cities do not have many truck stops. Or at least where you would like them to be to do any sight seeing.

Most companies are 7 years i think? maybe 5. it's been awhile since i filled out a app. I do know that if you have a DUI or wreckless driving in the last i think 7 years they will not hire you. Might be 5 also but those 2 are a no no. Also most of the very well paying jobs(mostly local) want a good 3 years truck driving exp no tickets or accidents also.

coppeis6 karma

CB radio, you still use it?

BluePocket8 karma

After hearing what people say over it when I was training I decide to never get one. Only time I wish I had one is when I'm stuck in traffic to know what is going on.

DBerwick5 karma

8 children

Myth #1 confirmed.

BluePocket5 karma

not a myth and happy to verifyonce my wife wakes up so she can send me the pic with all the kids. Also this weekend i'll take one with a date on it to absolutely verify. ages 13-1 4 boys 4 girls.

this_is_who_I_am5 karma

I like you guys. I let you over when nobody else will. I flick my headlights at you so you know I'm letting you over, and I wave to you when you do the same for me.

But sometimes, there are major asshole truck drivers. Sometimes, they drive like maniacs. I had one change lanes into me on purpose, on the highway, going about 70. He ran me off the road, onto the shoulder (without actually making contact with my car). He did this because I gave him the bird for riding straight up my ass while I was already going 10 over the speed limit, in the middle lane.

I'll never forget that asshole. But still, I fee like you should know that some of us regular cars out there are friendlies - just in case you didn't know that.

BluePocket14 karma

Of course we love cars like you. I wave and flash my markers everytime a car helps me out. I have never purposely ran someone off the road but i have kinda put my tires onto the white line if i've had my blinker on for a long time and they are purposely not letting me over. Jsut enough to say common now dude.

You brought up a point i've been dieing to talk about tho. He was obviously being a ass riding your tail like that when you were speeding already but a tremendous amount of people do no know that on a 3 lane to each side interstate 99% of the time trucks ARE NOT allowed into the far left lane. So the middle lane is out fast lane. It irks me all to hell when a car OR a truck sits in that lane going the same speed as the vehicle in the far right lane. I dont mind if your just trying to pass but after you pass you should get over and let us pass. A lot of people do not do this and i assume are thinking why doesnt this fuck pass us in the left lane. I have literally been stuck behind some for 10 mins or more while they are getting mad at me cause after awhile i got a little irritated and got close to their bumper.

xXEdd28685 karma

Have you ever seen anything weird or strange on the road? A few years ago I took my first trip to Vegas with my uncle on his trailer. It was night time and he was delivering warehouse materials if I'm not mistaken. Anyways he got out to take a quick piss and asked if I had to go and if so to take care of business so I did. When we were going to turn back we heard noise like foot steps and we saw a guy standing there facing us. He had a brown looking long coat and somewhat long gray hair. Anyway my uncle asked what he was doing here alone as he flashed him and out of nowhere, I shit you not, he got on all fours and started running into the dessert!

We got scared shitless an ran I to the trailer and left.

Have you guys ever heard of such a thing or seen it ??

BluePocket9 karma

LOL well not that but i did have a guy try to pull me over to jerk off. In fact sadly i've seen more dicks then tits when i look down into other peoples cars so i try to not do that much.

Fabrikator3 karma

Future trucker here.. Im taking my class 1 test on Thursday! =D

Im def interested in your AMA.

doz1234 karma

former dispatcher/manager here, if you have any q.s I can answer - ask away

BluePocket3 karma

I would be interested to hear what you have had to deal with being on the dispatcher side. I dont really have on with the company i work for. it's not like those large out of state companies. I did have them working for Heartland and Werner. Always treated them with respect because i have heard horror stories of how some drivers have treated them.

Cptn_Sisko3 karma

Lot lizards. Do they still exist?

BluePocket5 karma

Indeed they do tho in 5 years i've only been approached by 2....and one guy that either tried to get me to jerk him off or him me by driving next to me until i looked over and pointed at me and started to pretend jerk off....ugh I still shiver.

liverpoop3 karma

How often do you pee in bottles while driving? My friend's Mom and step dad are truck drivers. Once she diarrhead in a big taco bell cup because they couldn't stop.

BluePocket7 karma

I wont say i've never done it but i will say that i take it home and pour it out in the toilet. Sometimes you just gotta go. It sickens me that the pavement in truck stops smells like piss.

TjallingOtter3 karma

My mother used to work with one of my country's top lawyers. On the weekends, he was a truck driver. Guess it helped him wind down.

BluePocket4 karma

There is some relaxation when your outside of the cities and in beautiful countryside.

el_guapo_taco3 karma

Is your industry at all starting to sweat at all about autonomous driving vehicles like the Google Car? Robotic machines are now allowed to drive on California roads, it's not tough to imagine a near future where Truck Drivers are a thing of the past.

It seems like a tech that will completely turn an entire industry on it's head.

BluePocket6 karma

I do not think so just yet. It's much more complicated driving a truck and frankly i think the expense to make one would be so high for the time being that it would just not me good business to get them. That being said eventually it very well just might happen. I wonder with the breakdowns occuring all the time how they will get around that with no driver.

AlwaysHigh8233 karma

I work at petro in reddick fl, i cook in the deli in the fuel island, so i see nothing but truckers everyday i work. Im curious, which truck stop do you like the best? Which is friendliest and cleanest?

BluePocket8 karma

I prefer Pilot but i do eat at the Petro sometimes because of the French dressing at the salad bar....i'm picky. *chuckle

ilovenoodlesevenmore3 karma

How dangerous is it? my friend, whose dad is a truck driver, said that his father carries a gun with him and has had people try to rob him. Have you ever been in a dangerous situation like that?

And how scenic are the routes?

BluePocket9 karma

in 5 years i've never felt in danger from crime. Driving in the mountains in winter tho is a whole different story. Hands used to hurt when i got done driving from gripping the steering wheel so hard. And the rocky mountains are flat out beautiful. Colorado and Montana are the best states.

iamnotfromtexas903 karma

I drive ALOT. Besides for flashing a truck once to let them know they have room in front of me to merge, and to flash opposing traffic if they are giving me the brights, what other 'tricks' of communication are there.

often after i flash a trucker to let them know they can merge they will flash their brake lights, im assuming that's a thank you signal.

BluePocket3 karma

That's really about it other then cb chatter. And yes they are saying thank you for letting them over.

BluePocket2 karma

Who is this Jeremy Clarkson i keep reading about? Again i'm very new to Reddit.

cunger2 karma

Do you like it when cars flash you to let you know its safe to merge? I like doing this, it makes me feel cool. Like "I got yo back trucker bro!" I always get excited when they flash their flasher back.

BluePocket2 karma

Definitely! It's people like you that make big city driving not so horrible. =)

TheDDDayna2 karma

Alright, I have loads of questions and Id be chuffed if you'd answer them

BluePocket2 karma

Ask away. :)

bonedead2 karma

Do all truckers listen to Bubba?

BluePocket6 karma

I hope not. I'm a fan of the Bob and Tom show and Lex and Terry in the south.

prochobo2 karma

Does it piss you off when you're on the highway keeping your usual (large) distance from the vehicle in front and someone cuts in front of you because they think they have enough room? I'm guessing it's not as easy as take your foot of the accelerator since you have so much momentum.

Also, why do I always see cops pulling trucks over?

BluePocket7 karma

Yes it does irk me when cars merge right in front of me. They dont understand how dangerous it is for them. If a deer jumps out right when they do that and they slam on the breaks i could easily kill everyone in that car.

Trucks have a very large and strict rule set. We can get fined for many many things other then just speeding or what not. Fines are not cheap either. I got a parking ticket at a rest area once for parking on the side of the on ramp and it was over 150 bucks.

Idriveit2 karma

You're going to make me nostalgic with this AMA. I was a truck driver when I was younger. Although I probably had a different experience as a female. But, man, I miss it sometimes.

BluePocket2 karma

I can imagine you had it different! I have heard the male infested chatter on the CB when a female decides to say hello. *chuckle

Rather_Confused2 karma

How many drivers would you say are regularly abusing amphetamines in order to do their job?

BluePocket2 karma

Not quick sure. If i were to just guess i would say not many. Not only can your company test you but DoT can also so it's a double whammy. I would say the ones that do are probably owner operators.

ryancsmith20032 karma

a big rig almost killed me and my family when my lane ended and I tried to merge into the lane he was in. Then for about a hundred miles every truck shined brights in my face. And two trucks Went 60 miles an hour (65 Mile Zone) in both lanes until we got to Albuquerque. That driver almost ran us off the road by hitting the gas behind us then passing us in the lane that was quickly ending. I had to brake heavily to stop the the truck that was in front of us so he could let this reckless guy in front of him. I'm always respectful of big rigs when I drive. I use blinkers and don't cut them off. It not hard to realize you guys can't stop like in a car. But this driver maniac and the other guys that night give your trade a bad name. Thinking about that still gets me pissed that some guy almost killed me and maybe himself because my lane was ending due to construction. Maybe you are one of the nice ones.

BluePocket4 karma

Sadly some drivers are fucking morons. I run into this alot and what happens to me when cars try to merge is i slow down then they slow down even if there is room to get over then i get the finger because they had to almost stop in the merge. For him to speed up to not let you over was a douche move. He probably blasted it over the cb and told some story how it was your fault.

Bromazepam1 karma

Since I'll most probably miss the AMA I'll post my question here, and hopefully someone will remember it and paste it Sunday.

Sleep schedule: do you respect it, do you sleep enough, have you ever had to drive while tired. If you're not freelance, do your employers force you to drive for impossibly long times? Do you know of any of your colleagues who are in these conditions?

BluePocket6 karma

Do i drive a little tired sometimes. If i get real tired I always pull off the road. Sleep is precious to me LOL. Also i'm not going to risk my life or that family of 4s life in the car next to me because i dont want to be a half hour late. I tend to take longer then 10 hour breaks(which is the law to reset your driving hours) Many drivers have ruin it for the rest of us by falling asleep at the wheel. Such it is in many aspects of life.

Pantherpants1 karma

I've spent a lot of my life in Amarillo, a city you've passed through a time or two no doubt. What do you think? And have you tried that Indian restaurant / truck-stop? It's legit!

BluePocket3 karma

used to go through there all the time at my first company but only once in the last 4 years. Sadly i have not stopped there tho. I tend to try to stop at truck stops out of town because it's much easier to park.

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

BluePocket10 karma

You should but most of use are used to double and triple checking before changing lanes. But never stay right beside one because usually when our tires blow pieces fly everywhere.

willyp2281 karma

If you drive in a team, do you and a buddy just get to drive a truck and alternate who is sleeping. I always thought this sounded like fun because I had always heard that teams make more money.

BluePocket4 karma

Well yes basically. They do tend to get paid a little more and if you have a buddy willing to do it with you that's great. A lot of people just hook up with a stranger that works for the same company and lives near you which is why i never did it other then when i was training. Also I'm kinda a loner. I do bring my kids every so often.

Hristix1 karma

There's a mountain area near my house. The interstate goes pretty much straight up and then straight down it. It isn't TOO steep, but steep enough to seriously slow down large trucks.

My question is why do trucks get beside other trucks and then proceed to do 20mph up the hill, staying completely parallel, for like five miles? This makes a regular trip of mine take 45 minutes instead of 15.

BluePocket5 karma

well frankly because whoever does that is not caring about anyone other then themselves. Instead of just slowing down just alittle and staying behind the other truck he's trying to pass them even tho he might be going .1 mph faster then the other guy. Sometimes with drivers who have not driven that part of interstate are trying to pass him before the mountain then get caught next to him. In that case he should slow down and get behind him. Sometimes tho cars behind him see him slowing then move into the right lane to pass which does not help at all and is frankly dangerous for them.

el___diablo1 karma

I read somewhere that a lot of truckers make over $100,000 p/a. How realistic is this ?

BluePocket3 karma

Owner.Operators do if they run there business right. I make about 50-60k a year depending on loads i get that year.

NyranK1 karma

My dad was a truckie, most of which was doing live transport. In the truck was how I spent my school holidays. An unfortunate side effect of which is the smell of pig shit brings up happy memories.

BluePocket2 karma

*chuckle yes i know that smell all to well fueling up at truck stops.

iRunWithSkissors1 karma

Does it piss you off when you come up to a red light and right as you're about to stop it turns green. I see it happen to a lot of trucks and it seems like it would be frustrating, you know having to build the acceleration/momentum back up with a heavy ass truck.

BluePocket5 karma

Yeah when you have a heavy load(40k lbs or so) it does suck. Thats why you might see them slow down way before the light which i know ticks some car drivers off but it is so when they get to it hopefully it is green and they are still in a higher gear.