page updated January 14/ 2022

There are too many reasons for a person not to become a truck driver,  so why do you want to live the life of a trucker?   This article just targets OVER THE ROAD Company drivers not Independent Operators,  because the list gets greater as an I/O.

Do you want to live a hard life of constant danger?   You want to be away from home leaving your wife and kids to lonely days and nights?

The list of reasons not to become a trucker goes on and on and then when you get older trucking gets harder and harder.   Sitting in the seat of that truck every day for 500 or 600 miles with out regular exercise makes you fat and your health becomes a factor just passing your DOT physical.


***One of the biggest reasons is the heart ache!   The sadness of all concerned in the family missing each other.   The loss of family life is almost too much to bear.

***Listed below are more reasons to consider why you shouldn't become a truck driver.

    1. Long hours on duty.
        a. 11 hours driving
        b. 14 hours on duty (including 11 hrs)
        c. Companies will work you the 11 and 14 hours every day they means moving freight more miles..
        d. 600 miles a day is a hard way to make a living
        e, See: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    Hours-of-Service Regulations
    Hours of Service Regulations
    Click on truck for Federal Rules & Regulations

    2. Job Security?
        a. Moving violations can cost you your job.
        b. Failure to pass DOT physical--you are out of a job
        c. Chargeable accidents, big or little--they can cost you your job
        f. In some cases if you refuse a run--it can cost you your job

    3. Not enough time at home--poor family life
        a. Little quality time with family
        b. Even local runs will take all your time
        c. Short week-ends--go work early mornings

    4. Great Pay? $30,000, $40,000, $50,000?
        a. deductions (lot of them)
        b. road expenses ($100 wk)($5000 yr)
        c. what is your take home pay?
        d. is it all worth it?

    5. Layover expenses!
        a. no pay for lay
        b. lost time waiting for load
        c. who pays motel or you sleep in truck?
        f. you can't make up lost time

    6. tickets cost you money
        a. moving violations cost money and points
        b. seat belt fines
        c. weight tickets, who pays?
        d. log violations?

    7. Forced dispatch?
        a. run goes anytime, anywhere
        b. take run whether you like it or not
        c. refuse the run and you may get a bus ticket home

    8. Short miles!
        a. you only get paid when you run the miles
        b. if you get shorted on miles your pay is short
        c. insurance and road expenses remain constant

    9. Truck Stops!
        a. stand in line waiting for a shower
        b. how much will it cost to park?
        c. how much will your shower cost?
        d. are the toilets clean?
        e. will you like truck stop living?

    10. Big Money?
        a. you might make $30,000 or $35,000 starting out the first year. (This is not big money) take $10,000 off for expenses and deductions
        b. you should start making top money right off!
         A person should be earning $50,000 within the first six months!
        c. you take a bigger risk than an experience driver
        d. companies exploit new drivers
        e. you are told you need experience and they will help you! The companies have such high cost keeping front office and management personnel they cut cost on driver's wages. However the only time there is money to be made is when the rubber hits the pavement! Only the truck driver can do that!

    11. You get to see the country?
        a. you are not on vacation
        b. you see industrial sights and factories
        c. you see dispatchers and dock formans

    12. How do you know what company to trust?
        a. Do they offer top pay for milage?
        b. Do they have paid health insurance?
        c. Do they pay any road expense?
        d. Do they have good clean equipment?
        e. Talk to drivers about company you are applying at.
        f. What is the turn over for drivers?
        g. How soon will you be earning 50K?
        h. Remember, if you have to wait for a load anytime or on week ends--do you get paid for waiting? "I don't think so, they won't even buy you coffee!" "If you should get something, consider yourself lucky."

    If you become owner operator at the end of the year you may find that you have worked for nothing!

    Companies still EXPLOIT DRIVERS!

If a company wished to keep their drivers they would promote ways to bring drivers back home more often.  They could slip-seat loads and in that way bring a driver right back home.   There has been so many ways to keep the drivers wages at a minimum that the industry has created a standard means to keep the pay low.

First of all the idea that you must get trained before you can be paid full wage!   It used to be that for the first 30 days a driver was on trial,  however after that all drivers receive top pay of what ever company they were working for.  The new guy drives the same trucks or type of equipment,  takes the same risk, puts up with everyone else just like the older driver.   Granted older drivers will get pick of runs and etc.

I hope you are getting the idea of what a company driver is.   If you are a I/O then your world changes and it gets even more difficult.    Now you got that equipment to maintain and even pay for plus the up keep of all your permits,   authority and plates.

After you have viewed this list and you still want to become a truck driver, at least you have some insight what you are getting into.


It was suggested that someplace here should be explained the benefits of a truck driver.    The first benefit is a job!   Then you want to make some money!    From here on it all depends what kind of trucking job you are looking for,  local,  state,  over the road and long haul jobs like from Shakey to the Big Apple.  (California/New York City)  Main thing is to keep your family happy and you will be happy.

Send me your thought! mail to:

Dick Lower--Truck Driver-Bus Driver-Limo Driver 

Return to front page.

How to become a truck driver

Click on Truck.

A Driver explains difficulties in this e-mail---click truck to read letter!

Trucking difficulties

Click on Truck.

Another Driver tells how bad things can get working in the North Eastern states in his e-mail---click truck to read his letter!

Hard trucking

Click on Truck.

Hard Trucking in North Eastern States

Word from webmaster, Dick Lower.

Welcome!   Glad you are here!   This page has been ongoing for the past years and you will read about yearly updates each year. : I turned in my keys In 2018.!    !   I am going to be 89 years old next February 2020!   Looking back in time my first trip into Chicago was 1948 and I was 17 years old via Route 66 to downtown Michigan Avenue to pick up a Navel Pilot.  I drove a 1936 Plymouth to pick up my sister and her new husband, a Navy Commander.  

I renewed my CDL in January 2016!   My CDL was good for another year.  My DOT physical card is good till May 2017.   Trucking is still a difficult way to earn a living and at times can be a nightmare.

I was in a truck stop at Bloomington, Illinois a couple years ago just before Christmas..   I had a limousine run into that city and had to wait several hours so wandered out to the TA truck stop..   Nobody in the dinning area just one person at the counter..   I sat in a booth just next to the counter and could hear what they were talking about..   After coffee and pie I paid the waitress and standing by the counter commented to the perspn I had heard talking, "You a driver?'.   She replied, "I am!" .  Talking to her I found out she was from Dallas and was wanting to be home with her kids for Christmas but was afraid snow storms was going to keep her pinned down.

I thought to myself,.   "Trucks change and equipment change but drivers remain drivers no matter what decade it is.".   Same ole problems still haunt a driver.

I am sure most drivers would confirm that same problems haunt and stress drivers today as they did 10, 20 or even 30 years ago except now there is more paper work.

I wished her a Merry Christmas and safe journey home as I left the truck stop headed back to my limousine and back to work. End of comment!

You will find page after page telling you how trucking is such a great way to make a living.  I don't know of another web site that gives you the thoughts found here about disadvantages of being a truck driver.(There are websites now giving more of the truth about trucking and the disavantages of being a truck driver.)  With driver input there would be many more reasons added.  In my life time trucking was my life because I grew up in it.  It was a way to make money at first then it became a profession and finally a way of life.  I don't drive big trucks or buses any more!.   Don't drive Limos or buse as I turned in my CDL in 2018..  .   I retired from trucking in 1995.  

So with 40 years driving a truck and 22 years driving limousines and buses is 62 years driving commercial vehicles. However I began to drive military 6-by rag top trucks iin 1947plus drive ing small delivery trucks until I was promoted to semi's in 1995. Combine all those years driving amounts to 69 years commercial driving.!

Sixty nine years is a life time! I still miss driving and all the friends I made on the road.

For some of you reading this trucking will be your way of life and for others trucking can be rewarding but only if you keep it simple.

Truckers are some of the most dedicated to their jobs than most. They work hard, long and difficult hours. They are gone from family and home for long periods. The pay many times is not what is expected. Meantime the driver is getting older and he fights to stay healthy. If things don't go right for him he could get lost in the quest to keep trucking.

End of page.
September Sunset on I-74 in the Illinois River Valley

Sun Set, September 2007