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.