I started out in the oil patch in western Kansas as a swamper, worked my way up to my 1st road truck, eventually the #2 tandem driver.
My 1st couple years driving were without a chauffeurs license since you had to be 21. It was quite comical when I went to the DOT to get my license. The instructor asked where I had been obviously driving & I said backroads of Nebraska. Didn't matter, he abruptly instructed me to turn around chewing my ass out all the way back to the office (we only made it about a mile). No highway driving, nothing. Got my license & a free ass chewing.
Sounds like an exaggeration but it's true.
The US made up with OPEC & the patch bottomed out. I took that experience & went to work for Roadrunner Trucking pulling flatbed. I averaged close to150k miles a year with a 68mph top speed sometimes 62. Of course I sometimes ran 3 logbooks. I'm sure it helped that I had a good attitude, kept my truck looking immaculate & never, ever
sat to wait on loads. I think the most I waited was 2 days.
To make any money, you have to keep your door closed & stay out of the truck stops. Most of the time I'd turn my CB off when stopping for fuel.
It helps if you're single as well. Also if you are married, you need to be able to have undying faith in your wife that she won't be sleeping with your best friend.
Taking your wife or a loved one with you isn't always such a good idea. For 24/7 weeks on end you're less than 10' from that other person. Maybe it's just me, but even loved ones' get on my nerves.
Another thing...you can take your driving experience & move up the ladder into other trades. I fell in lust with a cocktail waitress @ Jubitz Truck Stop in Portland. I moved up here & the lust wore off after about 4 months.
So I ended up hauling lumber for an outfit with chromed up beautiful trucks for a couple years.
I left there & went to work for a heavy haul outfit for right at 2 years. Sometimes I would haul cranes for this local crane rental outfit, sometimes a week straight of just scattering cranes. Anyhoots, they offered to bring me in as a journeyman.
So I changed trades somewhat. I went to work as a crane oiler on a P & H lattice boom crane. The money & hours were over twice what I had previously made. We were able to have a house built a mile from the hospital (where my wife still works), & I was able to step up with my classic car ownership.
I was with the crane rental outfit for 10 years when I had my 2nd new crane. This one was a 3.2 million $$ big mobile hydraulic crane.
Last month would have been 19 years with them. I never planned on quitting & loved my job. And then Nov. 28, 2003 I chased after a friend who had just sprayed me with sand over a widow's peak & paralyzed myself.
Sorry so long. My point being, this all started from my decision to give driving/oil patch a try for a year or so, then make up my mind what I wanted to be when I grew up & start college.