GG—After 30 years in the business, I sold my truck.
I’m 55 years old, and I have no idea what I’m going to do, but I can’t afford to keep my truck on the road. And I don’t know if I’m capable of listening to someone else telling me how to do what I’ve been doing for longer than most of those hot shots have been alive.
You’re right. It stinks.
Owner-operators are selling their trucks right and left. Fuel and maintenance costs are forcing many long-time owner-operators to change careers, become company drivers or retire. While change is often good, it isn’t pleasant when forced.
At 55, you have experience that few truckers possess. You’ve survived a couple of recessions, union wars and a highly competitive environment. Instead of turning your back on the industry, put that experience to use. Talk to some local companies about how you can help in safety, compliance or dispatch. I’d hold off from recruiting for a while, because your wounds are still fresh.
If you decide to make a complete career change, remember that truckers aren’t ones to sit still, nor are you in need of constant supervision. Find a job that has flexibility and independence. In time, you’ll earn your supervisor’s respect and trust, but don’t be alarmed when your decisions are initially questioned. Give it time.
More importantly, don’t lose self-worth.
Good luck and let me know where your career takes you.
You can e-mail Golden Girl at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your letter to Over the Road Magazine, P.O. Box 549, Roswell, GA 30077-0549.