In previous stories we’ve looked at how to become a truck driver. To
recap you need a CDL license available through a school or through a
trucking company which operates their own school. Research carefully as
Pennsylvania schools are not licensed or regulated so consider those
that offer national accreditation or Professional Truck Driver Institute
(PTDI) Certification. For more information visit Professional Truck Driving Institute. You’ll receive a combination of classroom/lab hours and behind-the-wheel instruction.
But what’s it like to BE a driver?
Bill Schuler who has worked for Erb Transport in Elverson, PA, since
August 2011. This isn’t Bill’s first stint behind the wheel. His
previous driving was for his produce business, either hauling his own
produce or picking up at the Baltimore docks to sell at farmers’
markets. After closing his business, Schuler wasn’t ready to retire and,
with his he CDL license already in hand, was hired by Erb Transport.
Erb Transport is Canadian-based and with most loads going to Canada,
this is the start of every run Schuler makes. From there he’ll pick up
another load and either head back to the U.S. or elsewhere in Canada. A
third load will follow and at that point he usually heads home. Normally
he’s on the road anywhere from 12 to 14 days and once in a while three
Not every load is direct or a full trailer. If he’s hauling
LTL – Less Than Load – meaning each shipment is less than a full
truckload, he may stop four to six times in a general area before
picking up another shipment and heading to a new destination.
his first year alone Schuler was in the 48 contiguous states and all 12
Canadian provinces, and a trip out west is usually a two-week run. And
his 2015 truck? It has over 400,000 miles on it already. “It’s something
I enjoy,” Schuler says, “but I understand that not all drivers care for
In that case Erb Transport works with drivers’ preferences
for length of time away and distance where possible. As an example the
Canadian trips are an option. While many want to go, there is an
opportunity to choose as driving to Canada requires additional paperwork
and approval to cross the border among other extras. Schuler says,
“They’re very workable.”
How long Schuler is home depends on how
long he’s been gone. He’s usually home one to two days after a one week
trip; for a two week or longer run, it’s three days off, sometimes four.
on the road works just fine for Schuler. Figuring out where the truck
stops and rest areas are comes with experience (as well a book that
details them). This has become more important with the advent of
electronic logs as it is harder to find a place to park as more drivers
are stopping when they should.
His cab has all the comforts of
home. Seriously. Microwave, grill, refrigerator, double bunk, laptop,
heat and air conditioning. Even a TV that has its own antenna in the
truck. He takes most of his food with him, not only to cut expenses from
eating out, but also to have a healthier diet.
So what’s not to
like? Schuler as an older driver (he’s 66), prefers day driving. His
biggest complaint? “Other drivers that try to take advantage such as
pulling out in front of you. Trucks carrying 80,000 pounds driving 60
miles per hour can’t just stop,” he says.
As far as Erb Transport
goes, Schuler couldn’t be happier. “They’re very good to work for, very
conscientious. The people are polite and courteous.” He feels assured
knowing they run excellent and fairly new equipment. His 2015 truck
should be replaced with a 2018 soon. His truck is always serviced and
ready to go to minimize breakdowns. Any concerns are dealt with quickly.
Schuler may want to stay closer to home sometime in the future, he has
no plans to retire. “I don’t know what I’d do if I retired,” he says.
“I get enjoyment and pleasure from working, but am happy to be home for a
couple of days rest in between trips.”Source of article click here : Lancaster Online