Life as a truck driver can be challenging, it takes a unique individual to willingly make the vehicle or in other words the truck’s cab, a home and office. It can be even harder to find ways to balance your personal time with your working, when your workspace and resting space is one and the same. But it is essential that you do.
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This is something that most, if not all, the professional seasoned truck drivers already know. They already have separated the fact from the fiction and discovered a whole culture; a way of life exists within the trucking community that can’t be found anywhere else!
Now before we go on, let’s dispel a few myths. The first is that the truck drivers’ life it’s not like how it’s presented in the trucker movies. Now, some might say the trucker songs are somewhat closer, but even they can’t tell the real story.
Furthermore, I would like to touch on some of the more common myths associated with the trucking industry. First, I will look into some of the professional or work related myths. Then I will look at a few of the public perspective (what the average person thinks) myths about truck driving.
Life As A Truck Driver Work Related Myths
Often people get a notion in their head about what a job or career is like. Sometimes we are not too wrong, other times we are way off the reality.
Life as a truck driver has both ups and downs, but overall it is a good career choice. However, there are a few preconceived notions and I think I should clear the air a bit. People thing that life as a truck driver is:
1. So easy anyone can do it!
Well, no not really, ask any truck driver! Driving a semi or with other words class 8 trucks is nothing like operating a car. Then, when you add other drivers’ participants, shifting loads, and/or changing weather and conditions, it can get pretty tough.
That doesn’t include having to learning new software, government regulations, trucking rules and more. Then there’s the driving training/ truck driving school and other requirements. Honestly, not everyone is cut out for it!
2. No point in having a family
This one just continues to linger. There are a few who still might debate this, but the truth is: sure you can, and many drivers do! There was a time when a driver would head out on the open road and be gone for weeks at a time.
However, most companies now get their drivers home at least every week, if not more. There are those who choose to spend more time out on the open road, but most companies try to not do that. Plus there are opportunities to local CDL jobs on local routes, so you’d be home to your family most every night.
It is all a personal choice but, if you want and if you can afford to not drive long hauls, then you can still be a full time truck driver and have a family at the same time!
3. Truck drivers don’t have insurance
This is another one of those that persist regardless. Of course there are some companies who don’t offer the best of benefit plans. And there are the owner/operators and the independents out there that are responsible for their own insurance as well as their truck insurance. But even they have options.
Sometimes the carriers will offer insurance options. Most insurance companies now have special rates for truck drivers.
Another option is to look into the various trucking associates, such as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the benefits that you can get by being a member in it. You can also check some of the other such organizations available out there.
4. It doesn’t pay well
Do you really think there would be millions of truck drivers if it didn’t pay well? As I already stated so many times, this isn’t like getting a job sweeping floors. It takes some training, driving skills, and dedication to be a professional truck driver.
So who would put themselves through that if there wasn’t a reasonable financial reward?
Now of course it varies, the rookie drivers won’t want the same as a seasoned driver. Also, truck driver salaries vary from location to location and it will depend on the experience that you’ve got under your belt and your additional endorsements (blah, blah, blah).
But according to The Department of Labor (DOL), the average salary for a truck driver in the USA is around $40 thousand a year.
5. That only men can be truck drivers
Sure there might be, on average, more male drivers, but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of female truck drivers. In fact, women current make up almost 6 percent of all the truck drivers.
However, you will find them working in all aspects of the trucking industry logistics; from administrative to dispatching and freight brokerage to management.
Another plus about the truck driving industry is equal pay. You hear people say, especially this days lately its current all over the news, that in some industries there is an unfair wage gap between men and women. Well that isn’t true in the trucking industry, a mileage pay is mileage pay, regardless.
Want to learn more about being a female trucker? Just check out Real Women in Trucking.
Life As A Truck Driver Image Related Myths
It is funny how when someone isn’t a part of something they tend to build an image in their head. The best part is they really have no clue, which is sad because everything is at our fingertips today.
A person can spend an hour on YouTube and like the Matrix they know it all! Of course it really doesn’t work that way and thus there are some silly, if not insulting myths about the actual truck drivers themselves.
1. The trucking industry is not important
Really??? Not important did they say, well huh! Do they ever stop to wonder how they get the stuff they buy? The car they drive? What about the materials used to build the roads, homes, and other buildings?