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The Problem with Trucking Forums

Dec
31,
2008
7

by Allen Smith

Making a career change can be a big step for many of us. For those considering truck driving as a profession, they undoubtedly have an endless list of questions. In this technological world we live in today, the internet plays the major role in finding the answers to these questions. As a student or new driver stepping into the world of trucking, you have probably discovered the many trucking forums that abound through out the internet. However, there are key problems concerning certain trucking forums, that you, as a student or new driver, should keep in mind when using trucking forums as source for information.

Trucking forums are platforms where anyone can go and post comments, opinions, reviews, questions and answers…anything about trucking, trucking companies, truck driving jobs, driving schools or whatever they feel like posting or sharing. For the most part, all one has to do is create an account, log in and begin posting. This is where the major problem with trucking forums may begin.

Why?  Because the “anyone” posting to the forums could very well be a recruiter, dispatcher, manager or someone associated with the trucking company that they are posting about. The trucking company could be a bad one, yet you are seeing a great deal of positive comments and reviews about the company, not realizing that the one doing the posting could be a person who has a personal interest in the company.

Another problem that could arise with trucking forums is that you may not be receiving the other side of the story. A driver could place many negative posts about a trucking company, but the driver, not the company, could actually have been the problem. So the driver will go on all the trucking forums placing negative comments, with the sole purpose of “getting even” with the company. The trucking forums are only as good as their moderators are. The moderator being the one who oversees the content being placed on the forum, and filtering out what he or she believes to be suspicious or misleading information.

Several months ago I posted an answer to a students’ question that I found on a forum, and since I was a newcomer to the forum, the little group of drivers who ran the show, so to speak, began “attacking” me. An amazing aspect of this, is that the moderator of the forum…joined in with the “attack.” This only proved to me that this trucking forum had nothing to do with actually helping drivers or newcomers to the industry. Their forum was their little place that they could go and feel important about themselves, but any new “insider” would be immediately blasted for participating. They have no intentions of actually helping to benefit drivers or the industry.

There are some very good trucking forums available. The Truckers Report is an excellent source, as is Trucking Boards. Another one is Trucker to Trucker…all three are excellent in providing truth and attempting to better the trucking industry. As a student or newcomer to trucking, you are looking for the truth…you deserve the truth. Just understand that not all trucking sites and trucking forums are the best resource for trucking information. This is largely due to the fact that many will allow anyone to participate and post whatever comments, reviews, opinions, answers or whatever it is they want to share. Furthermore, they could have another agenda in mind, and many times, it has nothing to do with the truth about trucking.

Trucking still has a long way to go. There are still many problems, lies and scams surrounding over the road trucking. We are seeing some positive changes, but one cannot simply say, “Trucking can be a great career” and leave it at that. For three years now, the first and original, Truth About Trucking, has been fighting to “raise the standards of the trucking industry”. I will not allow myself to sugarcoat the reality of the over the road trucking life. OTR trucking can be a great career or it can be a horrible career. It all depends on finding the right source and honest, truthful information provided through an open and unbiased point of view. So just be careful. The three forums listed above are excellent trucking forums, so be sure and check them out.

An excellent example is that all through out the internet you will read about how great it is to be an owner operator. Done properly, it is great! However, the reality is that 90% of all new owner operators…fail. As you begin your search for a new career, just keep in mind that not all sites and trucking forums are the best source for information. They can allow anyone to post anything they want or they could just have another agenda in mind…and again, it is not always the truth about trucking.

© 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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7 Responses to The Problem with Trucking Forums. - Post a Comment

  1. Independent Realist

    This has been an interesting column Allen. I have had similar experiences on other forums myself. I just keep trying to take what I can out of the comments made. The industry has to admit it’s wrong before it will change. Companies truly have to want change before it will happen. Sometimes sharing truth on these forums doen’t sit well with those who have been successful using tactics that may be unsavory or illegal. Good ol’boy clubs, drinking & drug buds, under the table favoritism etc.

    IR

  2. Allen Smith

    Hi IR….after receiving quite a few comments related to certain forums, I decided to write about it. There are only a few trucking forums I will deal with….many others, I just leave alone…..thanks for the post, IR….

  3. Desiree

    I recently had a similar experience when I posted to a Trucking Forum for Women. Words like “Girlie” & “Radical Feminist” were thrown at me for trying to share with others what obstacles may lie in wait as they embark into Trucking.
    One key indicator that I should persist though was my post was get 700+ reads but only 2 main people responding.
    That told me I was hitting questions that needed answers NOW & those 700 didn’t want their head chewed off like mine was being done.
    Its importent to me people see that this is exactly the sort of reception that awaits them for their own peeps.
    I deeply appreciate Allen & Donna for letting me share my story

  4. Allen Smith

    Thanks Desiree….we appreciate all you do….Allen

  5. John A.

    Thank you Allen for listing Trucking Boards as one of the reputable sites since IT IS.

    Desiree, should you see this, go to Trucking Boards dot com and sign up.
    You will not be blasted by any moderator or anyone else.
    WE try to have fun while simultaneously imparting verified and verifiable information.
    It’s a BIG site and growing daily.

    CoopsAreOpen dot com is a GREAT site for Weigh Station information. It’s really the ONLY one yet there are copycats so be aware.

    There’s Truckers Forum dot net.

    There’s Truck Driving Jobs dot com(?) yet it is rather small and not very often attended.

    Truckers Report is kind of like a controlled group or a clique though it seemed to provide reliable information. That’s MY opinion.

    Layover dot com has quite many that disagree with everyone and appears (in ’06) to be a staunch militant group bent on sharing their narrow views HOWEVER this site does list many Trucking Companies looking for Drivers.

    You can as well do a Google search for Trucking forums and get a phone book.

  6. Allen Smith

    CoopsAreOpen.com is a site I specifically like and found quite some time ago. We have it placed on the Trucker iPhone Application as well. – Allen

  7. Thanks Allen for your post related to trucking forums. We, ourselves have been educating truckers since 1963. Our Truck School is located in WI near Madison.

    It is important to educate young drivers through online forums about the reality of the profession.

    You are correct, there are many people who are not very helpful and their comments do not do anything positive for the industry. I like your blog and the fact that you are trying to raise the standards.
    I hope your post will reach as many new drivers as possible.

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