Driving a semi-truck for a living is unlike any other profession. A trucker’s workspace is a small moving office that sits on ten or more wheels and doubles as a bedroom. Truck drivers eat on the road and, when driving over-the-road, are typically away from home for several weeks at a time. Rookie drivers need to adapt and accept new lifestyle changes if they want to become a successful in the truck driving business.
Trucking is More Than a Job; It’s a Lifestyle.
The most immediate change in a trucker’s lifestyle is living and sleeping in the cab. Long-haul driving is the most in-demand job, and these drivers must be comfortable sleeping in the cab directly behind the driver’s seat. This condition makes it possible for truckers to travel long distances without having to worry about sleeping arrangements. Meanwhile, the travel itself means that drivers do not get home every night.
What’s the Weekly Schedule?
The average day for a truck driver consists of driving for ten hours and being on-duty for an additional four hours. On-duty time usually consists of loading or unloading the truck and weigh-ins. Each fourteen-hour day is structured in this manner by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, or FMCSA, to optimize safety standards. The regulation is referred to as a trucker’s Hours of Service.
The regulation mandates that a trucker needs to take a break after accruing sixty hours during a seven-day workweek.
If a driver has not reached their delivery point, they are allowed by law to drive up to an additional ten hours on the eighth day.
Afterward, truckers are required to take a 36-hour reprieve from driving a semi-truck. The break is mandated, but truckers often put in the full 60 to 70 hours of driving per workweek.
This is a strenuous schedule, so it is vital to weigh all of the pros and cons of becoming a truck driver before signing up. If you’re a driving enthusiast that wants to avoid a 9-to-5 office job and travel the country, you’ll find the job a great fit. If you want to work a strict eight-hour day and have many obligations at home, then truck driving is probably not for you.
Decide if the Money Is Worth It.
Truck drivers are paid handsomely for their time. With the right CDL endorsements, the right routes, and the right freight, a trucker can earn close to six figures easily. All of this financial potential will not amount to anything, however, if a rookie driver cannot stand the truck driver lifestyle. The following list is comprised of issues that aspiring drivers must balance with their desired salary.
- Wanting to have a presence at home.
- Maintaining relationships with family, loved ones, and/or children.
- Sitting for long periods of time.
- Spending days in solitude.
- Travelling all the time.
Understand, Then Decide.
Before driving into a brand-new career, aspiring truckers must understand what the lifestyle is like. This is why Step One to becoming a truck driver is to simply decide if it is the correct career path.
Rookie drivers that do not mind the aforementioned issues may find that this career suits them perfectly.
Professional truckers typically report that they love the job because it matches their personality and preferences. But it’s essential to know what to anticipate in order to transition smoothly into the truck driver lifestyle.
To confirm that becoming a truck driver is the optimal career path, be sure to adequately review the challenges associated with the profession. Take the time to discuss these difficulties with your family and friends. And give it extra consideration if you’re raising a child.
After examining the hurdles and sharing them with family, talk to truck drivers about their experiences on the road. Find a truck stop and treat them to a cup of coffee and a donut. The best truckers to approach are those who don’t appear to be in a rush. Usually, drivers are pretty friendly and enjoy chatting with complete strangers if they have the time.
Once you have carefully considered the lifestyle and made your decision to become a truck driver, then you deserve congratulations. You have already taken the biggest step. Now move onto Step Two to learn if you fit the requirements to get your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).