Truck Driving Career – Great or a Terrible Choice

Source: arcaworld.com

Truck driving career is essential for every industry you can think of, from food industry to automotive industry. It’s a great opportunity to travel while making money. Enrolling into the truck driving career is a way to see the US beautiful countryside and cities.

As any other job it has its positive as well as negative sides. Being on the road for several weeks in a row and dealing with loneliness can be difficult for some, but adventurous for others.

It does however require to have a lifestyle that would focus a lot around the job.

Source: gadget.ro
Source: gadget.ro

New technology makes everything much easier today. There are those who want to choose the truck driving career but are having a hard time dealing being away from their loved ones. Luckily, the messaging and phone calls can prevent homesickness.

Source: car-revs-daily.com
Source: car-revs-daily.com

This job requires you to be away from home for a longer period of time. However, you will get equally enough time for rest and spend quality time with family and friends. This so called “hometime” can be used to reintegrate into the family and the social life.

Knowing what exactly to expect from a truck driving career can help you to adapt better, faster and easier. More importantly, to overcome the emotional, mental and physical difficulties that can come with it.

Once you get a little bit of experience you will find every obstacle a challenge and every road trip an adventure.

Truck Driving Career Requires A Lot Of Sacrifice

How to be sure if the truck driving career is suitable for you?

For many, truck driving career is a dream job, but it does come with much sacrifice.

So, are you willing to make sacrifices in order to be a good driver?

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Being away from the family for days or even weeks is one of the biggest sacrifice you will need to make as a trucker. Moreover, it can easily impact your focus and mood if you are overly nostalgic and emotional.

Further, you will have to deal with not attending important family events sometimes and you will need to know how to cope with that. Not being home for the holidays or driving in a bad weather conditions are one of them.

In general, patience is key for truck drivers especially if you are a truck driver dealing with obstacles. For example, the rush hour traffic, problems on the road or weather conditions that do not allow you to get on time to deliver.

Another problem can be a hazardous load that you have to be extra careful with. These are few of the many situations that you can encounter if you decide to pursue a truck driving career.

Source: 123rf.com
Source: 123rf.com

If you are considering a truck driving career you need to balance and organize your time well. Correspondingly, you need to be able to deal with irregular sleeping hours as well as poor quality food at times. Looking on the positive side, you will learn how to manage your sleeping cycle and where to find a quality food.

You have to be self motivated and conscious regarding your own health, especially because of the long driving hours. Seat cushions are one thing that will help you through the long hours in the truck, as well as some exercising gear to use on the way.

As a truck driver, you have to also be careful on the highways. Knowing that you might fall asleep on a highway can be very dangerous, so organizing your time is key. Managing the sleeping cycle might be a challenge at the beginning but eventually you will know what works the best for you.

First Year as a Truck Driver is the Hardest

Once you make a choice that the truck driving career is for you, you will need to pass your CDL (commercial driver’s license) test. To emphasize, you need the test in order to qualify for the job. The CDL takes approximately one month to complete.

Once you complete your CDL you’ll be ready to start the first year as a truck driver.

Source: southernstatesinsurance.com
Source: southernstatesinsurance.com

Commonly it is considered to be the hardest one since it’s the year of adaptation. Dealing with new sacrifices can be very stressful, getting used to the lifestyle, overcoming the loneliness of the roads, irregular sleeping hours etc.

Finding balance between family and social life together with a job that requires a lot of dedication is not that easy. However, is not impossible. If you are really passionate about it, you will find it exciting and adventurous.

Continually, you need to maintain the positive attitude even in difficult situations, and for that you need to train your mental strength. Only a person with a strong mind can be a good over the road driver.

But of course, not only a strong mind makes a good driver, it’s a combination of several things and the physical health is one of them. Taking care of your body will help you endure the difficult situations you will encounter during the long hours driving along the highways.

Source: building-muscle101.com
Source: building-muscle101.com

Another important thing to remember on your first year is to be flexible since the transportation industry isn’t really predictable. Issues with the loads aren’t uncommon as well as problems with the roads or human mistakes such as receiving a wrong information.

You need to be able to keep a cool mind and stay focused and positive.

Working hours are also very long, most commonly around 70 hours in an eight day period and 34 hours hometime but they can also vary depending on your employer. 

Requires learning new thing all the time

Working as an owner operator it’s very important to know few things that would make your business grow and will help you save money.

For example, you’ll have to constantly searching for cheaper places to fill your tank with fuel. Further, learning which fuel stations have the best fuel prices, as well as quality of fuel, which is important for the environment. But also the quality of your working days can get better knowing where you can find cheap and healthy food.

Source: buy.garmin.com
Source: buy.garmin.com

The fact is, it’s not easy to be owner operator. Additionally, you will find out that once you have to check on all the routes alone and pick the one that fits the best at the moment.

At the beginning of your career, you might find it difficult to get enough sleep and rest, but it all comes with the experience. Time management is very important when it comes to irregular working hours.

Just because you work irregular hours does not mean you should have irregular sleeping hours. With proper organization, you will become the best truck driver because good sleep means a lot when it comes to trucking.

If you are not getting enough sleep you might find it difficult to drive, and probably will need to make more stops than you would like and expect.

You will also have to learn how to manage the time according to your family back home. Thus, you can be up to date with their everyday situations.

Driving, sleep and communication with you family is what you will need to become a pro at. Finding the correct balance, in order to become the best driver, improve and even make a progress in the career.

Better organization leads to proper sleep.  Accordingly, this leads to a more focused driver that delivers on time, which means he would get more routes and with that more money.

Trucking is a Very Lonely Job

Loneliness is the biggest problem all truckers deal with, especially at the beginning of their career.

It’s understandable when on the road, far from family and friends to feel lonely and even homesick. However, there are ways how you can overcome this and stay focused.

The best way is to have a positive attitude and stay positive. Many find playing music during driving a way to stay energetic and in a good mood. Talking with family and friends (always handsfree) over any app can be also beneficial.

Source: datingadvice.about.com
Source: www.hyster.com

Thus, you will be updated with anything that’s going on in their lives as well as stay entertained and positive.

Always try to be occupied by doing something, if reading books makes you take your thoughts off the loneliness then that’s the way to go. Nevertheless, it’s good to just acknowledge that loneliness will be part of the job and accept it as it is.

There are employers that offer team driving, which means that you will always have who to talk to and loneliness will be impossible. Your team partner can be of a great use in many occasions but most importantly the ‘falling asleep on the road’ will be almost impossible.

But today, thanks to technology, there is another side of the trucking world, a brighter one. Cell phones, tablets and wifi are important on the road in order to stay in contact with family and feel part of their everyday lives.

You Need To Be Time Sensitive and Excellent Drive

If you want to pursue a truck driver career you will be required to pass the CDL, which would take you roughly a month. After that, it all comes with experience, the more experience you gain the better job offer you can get, similar to any other job.

In order to become a good driver, it takes months of continuous hours of driving. Therefore, be patient and focused and you will get there in no time. Dedication is key when it comes to being a successful driver.

Source: gopenske.com
Source: gopenske.com

The loads need to be delivered at specific date and time. Therefore, time management is key when it comes to transportation since many industries rely on you in order to function. This is especially important for the owner-operating truck drivers.

It is understandable that sometimes outside factors will influence on you not being able to deliver on time or even not deliver at all. Nevertheless, conscious driving is important for you as well as for the other ones involved in the traffic.

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With more experience, you will be able to basically predict what could go wrong or take more time in a certain situation or specific route. In this way, you will take precautions and get to your destination on time.

Some of the things you will need to deal with working as a truck driver, that can also stop you from delivering on time are:

Finding a Suitable Truck Stop Can be a Challenge

There are several truck stops on every route where truckers gather and have a dinner or a coffee. Regardless, not everyone of them will be suitable for you. Hence, you can find those that you like and fits you the most and stop by them always.

Source: commercetruckstop.com
Source: commercetruckstop.com

There are few applications that will allow you to find a list of truck stops throughout the USA. This will be of a great use for you as a truck driver to optimize your routes and your days better.

You Have to Deal With the Freight Shippers and the Freight Receivers

Sometimes, when taking the cargo from the shippers, it can immediately be loaded to the truck but other times it might take hours for it to be done. Therefore, you as a truck driver will be basically stuck there waiting.

Sometimes, the freight shippers will have a bathroom that you can use or even a TV that you can watch. This will be a good way to relax a little bit for the time that they take to load the truck.

Source: www.cati.ca
Source: www.cati.ca

But this is not always the case, some shippers do not offer this and you will need to be inside your truck the whole time.

Continually, same goes with freight receivers. Any freight brokerage company would appreciate you coming on time more than anything in the world.

Sometimes it is Hard to Find a Truck Stop Where You Can Park the Truck

It is not easy to find a place to park the truck and get some rest. At the start of the truck driving career, most of the drivers park their trucks anywhere just to get some rest.

But is this a safe thing to do? Not at all! It is always the best to check on your tablet or cell phone for a nearest truck stop where you can park the truck and rest. For that matter, you can plan your resting time beforehand.

Be Prepared to be Long Time Away From Home

Pursuing a truck driving career requires sacrificing your social life, the time you spend with your family and friends and dealing with loneliness. If you want to be successful in this job you have to accept few things.

For example, the fact that long time away from home will be nothing out of the ordinary.

Source: thenational.ae
Source: thenational.ae

It is not easy to have your office and bedroom basically at the same place. However, you can always make the best of it bringing stuff that makes you feel comfortable. For some people, that’s man’s best friend.

Source: dailymail.co.uk
Source: dailymail.co.uk

Trucking is best for people that are not prone to nostalgia, but have more adventurous spirit and like traveling and the excitement of the road travel.

There are some bad things that come with the trucking career, and one of them is the sedentary life. This can cause lots of discomfort as well as back pain. Of course, there are ways how you can avoid all of those problems.

First thing would be to maintain yourself active during the breaks. Don’t hesitate to bring some exercising gear with you, or even just stretching exercises would be beneficial for you. Another important thing would be to add some anatomic pillows to your truck seat.

This would allow you to maintain the correct posture even when you are feeling the most tired and can’t sit correctly. It will also help you with your mood, minimizing all the pain and will help you stay focused and less tired.

Truck Driving Career Requires Respecting the Federal Regulations

Being a good truck driver means coping with the federal safety regulations when it comes to driving a certain vehicle and of course to go by the rules. This is important for you as it shows you being a responsible driver and a reliable person which is crucial in this industry.

Source: fmcsa.dot.gov
Source: fmcsa.dot.gov

A driver that does not obey with the rules is not a driver that any company would want to hire. Truckers are the face of the company and showing irresponsible behavior leads to others having a bad impression for the company. This something that no company wishes for.

There are several federal regulations that need to be followed when it comes to truck driving careers. FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) requirements that are a must are the following:

  • You need to have a minimum of 21 years in order to be able to drive across state lines
  • You must not have disqualifying criminal felonies record. Some felonies can disqualify you from obtaining the CDL.
  • Obtain CLP (commercial learner’s permit) – You can obtain your CLP at any driver’s school of your choice.
  • You need to be a holder of CLP minimum 14 days
  • Medical examination – A qualified medical examiner needs to perform a test in order for you to qualify as physically able to drive a commercial vehicle.
  • Knowledge and skill test – You need to pass a test that would have a minimum of 30 questions and the required score is 80%
  • Obtain Road Skill test for the CDL (commercial driver’s license) – You will be required to pass a Road Skill test for your CDL
  • Pay the associated fees – In order to obtain all this, you will need to pay fees that can vary depending on the state where you are.
Source: practicecdltest.com
Source: practicecdltest.com

Of course, never forget the trucker supplies, since they are essential in any truck and some are a regulation must-have.

There are some things you need to pay attention to in order to stay sharp on the road, regarding your health and the safety of the vehicle. Therefore, make sure you go by the book when it comes to rules.

Eating Healthy Meals is a Challenge

Stay away from fast food!

Source: pinterest
Source: pinterest

One of the challenging and difficult moments you will have to deal with in the truck driving career is for sure the food type, quality and price.

Even though fast food is always more convenient, high calories source for a cheap price that you can get it at any fuel station, we recommend you to search for healthier options.

In order to stay in good health you need to make sure you are familiar with all the amenities for truck drivers. Check which one of them will be on your particular route, so you will know where to stop and get some quality food.

Source: www.thehealthytrucker.net
Source: www.thehealthytrucker.net

Eating healthier food such as fruits and veggies will help you stay focused while driving. The fact is, it does not tend to make you sleepy but nourishes your body and energizes it.

Make sure to always have some healthy high energy snacks around you such as granola bar, dark chocolate or bananas.

When making the route to your destination make sure you check on the healthy food places where you could stop by and get a proper meal. Making a good plan for your breaks and meal periods is important (DOL).

That way you will already know where to stop, will not lose time to check on places for food and will not eat poor quality gas station food.

Every Day is a New Adventure

Traveling is exciting!

Driving through the USA roads is even more exciting!

When on the road every day is an adventure and a new challenge. Truck driving career is for everyone out there that likes adventurous and active work place. From delivering on time, to respecting the state traffic laws, bad weather, searching for a  truck stop, a fuel station or even good food, the trucking lifestyle is all about challenging yourself.

Being on the road will allow you to see the diversity of the nature in a short period of time.

From Montana to Arizona and South Carolina, the excitement of the road is endless.

Source: hqwall.ne
Source: hqwall.ne

Are you up for a nomad lifestyle? Trucking is the way to go!

True, you will not have the usual 9-5 job, but you will be very far from the office. Looking at the positive side, you’ll get to work with your own pace and organize your time the way it fits you the best.

If you are an outgoing person and you are having a second thought whether you should start this job or not, make sure not to forget the fact that you will need to spend long hours alone. But, let me tell you, it is not all the time this way.

Truckers have many possibilities for new friendships. True, long hours driving alone are not something you can avoid. On the contrary, every time you go to load or unload your truck or go to any truck stop, you have plenty of people there. It will be the exact opposite from the lonely hours.

People sit and talk, have a coffee or dinner at the truck stops, exchanging experiences or just have fun conversations.

Trucking lifestyle is much more fun than it looks like in the first place.

Are you up for the excitement?

You’ll get Dental, Medical, Life Insurance, Vision and Retirement Benefits

Choosing the truck driving career will bring you some great health plans and benefits packages. Trucking companies know how important life insurance is for their drivers since long hours on the road come with some risks.

Even though you are careful driver someone else might not be as much, so, having medical, life and retirement benefits are crucial in the trucking career.

Getting a dental care is very important as well, because it does influence the overall health, comfort and mood.

Source: injuredbytruck.com
Source: injuredbytruck.com

The importance of performing an annual vision exam cannot be stressed enough since truck driver’s life can depend on his good vision. The complete packages, including dental, medical, vision and retirement benefits are available for everyone that pursues a truck driving career.

Your family can also benefit a lot from your medical packages. Along with you, they will also be able to use the same benefits and have a better health care when needed.

The packages however, vary depending on the employer so make sure you get what you need before you engage into any of the trucking companies.

Free ebook

DO YOU WANT TO SAVE $950 TRUCK/MONTH?

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Retirement benefits are very important because a trucking life is something that can be done until a certain age. This definitely is not a life-long lifestyle. Therefore, good retirement benefits can allow you to feel better about yourself.

Moreover, you’ll feel appreciated for what you have done during the trucking career, and we know how much sacrifice is needed in order for it to be your years long career.

This is one of the many things that makes the truck driving career one of the most recommended careers out there. Great benefits, great salary fun and adventurous working hours, what more can you ask for?

Chance to Meet New People and Learn From Their Experience

Want to meet new people from different places and share experiences?

Trucking lifestyle is what you need!

Source: washingtonpost.com
Source: washingtonpost.com

Trucking is all about meeting new people from the same field and giving tips and advices to one another. Even though it is mostly lonely profession, it most certainly is not like that all of the time.

Source: edp24.co.uk
Source: edp24.co.uk

You will have the chance to meet new people from the trucking company as well as from the places you will need to deliver from and to. Especially, if it is a route that you will often take, you will get familiar with the same people. Moreover, you can get some truck driving tips from the more experienced drivers.

Trucking stops are a good place to meet other truckers that would help you out with new valuable information. New road regulations, things to pay attention to or things to be careful about or any information for that matter that concerns the job you can get from other truckers.

Great Salary

Your hard work will pay off!

It is well known that the truck driving career offers excellent salary wages. Working as a truck driver can allow you an income higher than those with a college degree.

Source: money.cnn.com
Source: money.cnn.com

The median annual salary for all truck drivers is $40.000 according to ATA (American Trucking Associations). However, there are many out there which have salary that goes over $70.000 a year.

In the USA only there are 1.6 million truck drivers. Trucking industry is in a continuous growth and new truckers are always needed

Conclusion

So, is truck driving career a good or a bad choice?

Whether or not a truck driving career is a good job opportunity, depends on you and you only.

As in any other job, there are good and bad sides that need to be taken into consideration. It is important to be able to cope good with the bad sides and enjoy the good ones.

The most important questions anyways are:

Do you feel the adventurous part of you waking up after reading this blog? Are you up for hitting the road immediately?

If the answers are positive, then we congratulate you! You have definitely found yourself into it.

Truck driving career is sure not a profession for everyone, but for some of you, it is the best one.

With great benefit packages and salary, far from the office desk, looking into an amazing scenery every day, it will feed your adventurous spirit.

If you are ready to enroll in this career, you can start by writing your resume right now!

We wish you good luck on your next adventure!

 

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