The Helpful Trucker needs no introduction in the trucking community. For years now, he’s been creating valuable content that offers insight based on his personal experience in the industry.
Today we are super excited to have a real talk with the trucking’s realest Maurice Bey.
Without further ado, enjoy.
Can you describe a typical day in your life as a truck driver?
A typical day for me is pretty laid back. These days I wake up around 6am and get started in the truck by around 8am. I normally do around 300 miles a day and I’m out in the truck an average of about 9 hours per day.
I don’t touch freight and I don’t work off of appointments, so I rarely have to rush. I also don’t spend much time at truck stops. When I do stop it’s normally at a local spot.
How do you manage work-life balance being on the road for long periods of time?
Well, I’m not an over-the-road trucker. I’m home daily and my work day only lasts at the most maybe 12 hours (and that’s rare). So for me, it’s a lot like having a regular job. There are times when I’ll have to work on my truck which requires extra time spent with the truck but it’s nothing extraordinary that takes me away from my family for long periods of time.
Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter what you do though, working for yourself typically requires longer hours than working for someone else. And you just have to find a way to have boundaries. I mean, your business will require as much time from you as the owner as you allow it to, so sometimes you just have to put your foot down and be resolved how much time you allow it to take from you.
How do you decide which topics to cover in your videos?
Well, obviously I want views on my content so I sincerely try to think like a viewer. I also try to keep a pulse on what other YouTubers are creating (and not creating) and I take that into consideration when deciding what content I want to spotlight on the channel. I truly try to think about what content my audience members NEED to hear.
Considering the fact that your channel’s comment section is always active with feedback, can you share any success stories from viewers who were positively impacted by your content?
There’s too much to share. I literally have no need to share any specific success stories because they’re all there in the comments of my videos. Visit the channel if you want proof, lol.
Seriously, so many people in the trucking community have been positively impacted by my YouTube videos. I totally believe that impact and influence are my life’s purpose and it truly means a lot to me when a viewer tells me that my content helped them get their trucking career started or helped them overcome some obstacle in their life.
What would be a significant milestone in your career as a truck driver?
Buying my own truck was a milestone. Even though it was an older truck, being able to pay cash for it was a milestone. Becoming a first-time homebuyer in trucking was also a milestone.
Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re excited about that you can share with us?
Right now I have a tentative plan to open a CDL school in my area. It’s a tough transition though and I’m really not too comfortable talking publicly about it because it hasn’t happened yet and to be honest I’m just not sure if it’s going to. I don’t like the regulations (federal and state) that tend to accompany transportation-based businesses.
Could you share any remarkable or memorable experiences from your time on the road?
Just a few weeks ago, I almost turned my truck over.
It was a scary experience. I was coming around a sharp curve (that I’m used to encountering by the way), and I don’t know, I guess I must’ve taken my mind off of the road for just a millisecond.
As I was coming around that curve I basically cut the turn too sharp.
When I looked out of my driver’s window the trailer was leaning over on the driver’s side drive axles! Smoke was billowing from the tires because of the friction caused by the weight of the trailer. I thought to myself “Oh my God, this trailer is about to turn over!”
The turn was to the right, so I immediately jerked the wheel back to the left in order to straighten the truck and the trailer out and I watched the trailer sit back upright. I pulled the truck and trailer over to the side of the road and just sat there for a few minutes replaying what just happened in my mind.
On another occasion, when I was a new truck driver, I had 2 drive axle wheels come off the truck while I was driving 65 mph down the interstate! The wheels literally passed me going down the road. Luckily no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.
Needless to say, I never went back to the tire shop that had changed the tires on that axle the day before ever again.
I’ve also encountered cars/passenger vehicles coming to a complete stop right in front of me on the interstate. Not because they were trying to brake check me, but because they encountered some road hazard that they didn’t want to run over, i.e. debris on the road. I’ve had some pretty scary moments on the road over the years.
Those were just a couple of my more memorable experiences out on the road.
How has the trucking industry changed since you first started?
It’s so much more volatile now! As of this writing I’ve been a driver for 7.5 years and I believe the biggest change that I’ve seen in this industry had to do with the pandemic and the ensuing shutdown of the economy.
Talk about a major shake-up… fuel prices rose more than many veteran truck drivers had ever seen. Currently, it’s being reported that freight rates are lower than some veteran truck drivers have ever seen.
A lot of truck owners and businesses, in general, have gone out of business in the past few years. I believe that currently truck owners and small carriers feel under attack right now like never before by mega carriers, mega brokers, government agencies (not listening) and more and more regulations.
I’m not saying that those entities are in fact attacking owners and carriers, I’m just saying that seems to be the sentiment of the industry right now.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the trucking industry, and where do you see it going in the future?
Market corrections will continue to happen in this and every other industry, so what comes up will always still have to come down.
I believe that trucks will continue to be the primary method of delivery so they will always be needed.
I also believe this industry, and all industries, will continue to change and evolve in the coming years and those that want to stay relevant in this industry will have to change and evolve with it. I believe that’s the way of the world.
How do you see technological advancements impacting the trucking industry?
I believe the major technological advancement that people are keeping their eyes on is automated trucks. And although I do see that technology expanding into the industry, I would say we’re still a long way away from the general public at large being ok with trucks driving around en masse on public roads with no driver behind the wheel! I mean, airplanes are very automated and even they, at this point, still have pilots in the cockpit. But technological advancements are definitely happening, there is no doubt about that. Most technologies overall I would say makes our lives as users of the technology better. So we’ll just have to see on that one.
A lot of our visitors are just starting their careers in trucking, what advice do you have for them?
Get good at handling your money. Establish and maintain not only your credit but also your credibility. Have a good reputation. Talk to people, network and establish good relationships. Create good karma for yourself… do right by people. Ask questions and learn…be like a sponge. Have another skill set other than just driving the truck. Be thinking about your exit plan from day 1 because it’s probable that no matter how much you enjoy driving the truck the day is going to come where you either don’t want to do it anymore or you can’t do it anymore.
Check out Maurice Bey – The Helpful Trucker official Truckers Wiki article.
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