Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

Jobs and Careersotr truckingTruck Driving Jobstrucking blogstrucking companiestrucking life

Truck Driver Succeeds Through Hard Work and Sacrifice


By: Allen Smith

The trucking life is tough and is not for everyone.  In fact, many newcomers to the vocation will leave within the first six months, discovering that the exciting life on the road is not for them.  As new regulations are implemented, truck drivers are finding it more difficult to succeed in a job that already contains its share of struggles.  There are struggles for trucking companies as well, working hard to keep up with the ever changing face of the U. S. trucking industry.

The struggles and hardships of being a long haul truck driver are well known.  Often it is very easy to point all the blame toward the motor carrier.  Although many problems are fact and well-founded, it should be reiterated that there are good trucking companies to work for who do their best to provide a decent living for their drivers, while battling the new regulations and struggles within the industry.

Even with a good company, the professional truck driver will still have to possess the qualities required to achieve success.  A very good friend of mine had those qualities and proved that through hard work, dedication and sacrifice, that ultimately, it is up to the driver to determine which path a truck driving career will lead.

Mike and I grew up together and after graduating from high school, he set his sights on driving a big rig.  At the time, I thought he was crazy.  He kept telling me that he “had a plan.” For three years he basically did nothing, once taking off on his motorcycle from Oklahoma and set out on a three month trip to Alaska.  It was at this point that I absolutely knew that he was nuts.  He kept saying, “Allen . . . I have a plan.”

The day he turned 21, Mike ran down and obtained his CDL license.  This was back in the good ‘ole days, before CDL schools and restrictions.  Within days, Mike was gone, setting out on his new life as a trucker and had put his plan into motion.  For years, he was seldom seen.  Every so often, I would see his long nose Peterbuilt parked at his parents house, but within a few days . . . he was gone again.  As time went by and all of us other guys were starting our lives with families and various careers . . . Mike was somewhere out there . . . trucking.  As years passed, memories of Mike faded.

In 2007, while visiting my old home town, I heard someone from behind say, “Hey Allen, remember me?” Turning around, there in front of me was my ‘ole pal Mike . . . 27 years older and still looking crazy.  Finally, after 27 years . . . I discovered what his “plan” had been.

Having ran the road for so many years, he never bought a home, he never married and he was determined to never obtain all the debt that comes with the “normal” way of living.  His days off were spent all over the country and he continued to sock away his pay checks, spending only what he needed to for the bare necessities.  He pounded away at his company 401K plan, as well as various saving accounts.  Now, in 2007, he was off the road for good.

Six months earlier, he had bought his first home . . . with cash . . . had purchased his very first automobile . . . with cash . . . and was getting married within a few weeks.  With his savings and cash on hand, Mike had achieved his “plan” through hard work, dedication and sacrifice.  At the age of 48, he was officially retired.

I had to think to myself . . . who was really the crazy one?

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,



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"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

Tagged: , , , , ,

3 Responses to Truck Driver Succeeds Through Hard Work and Sacrifice. - Post a Comment

  1. Stephen Petit

    Hope his tirelessness continues when, at age 51, he’s on achy knees crawling around after a toddler. Seriously, all the power to him. I hope Mike enjoys retired life surrounded by family and friends.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Allen Smith, Allen Smith. Allen Smith said: Hard work and sacrifice pays off for former trucker. […]

  3. Allen Smith

    I’m sure he is. He was always a free-spirited, loving life kind of guy. Never saw him depressed or angry … always laughing. Don’t know how he did it, but he did. LOL – Allen

What do you have to say about this?

To the top