Will I Be Successful?
For many people, being a truck driver is an exciting career opportunity. Driving an 80,000 pound big rig all around the United States, no boss over your shoulder, and a new challenge every day.
So you’re probably asking yourself: “WILL I BE SUCCESSFUL?”
That’s an important question because the life of a truck driver isn’t for everyone. This section will explain why that’s the case and how to know truck driving is the right career for you.
Whether or not you will be successful in truck driving first depends on your natural aptitudes. While you will receive both behind-the-desk and behind-the-wheel training, there are certain areas that truck drivers must excel in.
You can see the top five most important skills for truck drivers in the chart below. You can also click on the “General Manager” tab to see how truck driving requires some of the same skills.
Data from Department of Labor via Data USA
These skills can be further divided into categories. Operations Monitoring and Control fall under basic operations. Coordination is a skill of human reaction. Critical thinking and Monitoring deal with the management of complex situations.
If these are skills that you possess, then truck driving might be the career for you. Truck driving will also give you the opportunity to hone these skills for the future.
These skills overlap with common careers, such as general or operations managers. Driving will improve your social and analytical skills while also teaching you how to handle machines in an increasingly technological world.
If this sounds like a future you want to build, then read on.
The Trucker Shortage
Currently, there is a trucker shortage in the industry. Trucking companies want skilled, committed drivers, and recently they’ve even been raising their wages to find those drivers. That’s great news if you’re looking for a job, but truck driving is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle.
The jobs most available to new truck drivers are long-haul, or over-the-road, trucking. These long-haul routes can keep truckers away from home for days or weeks at a time. If you’re not expecting this type of schedule, the life of a truck driver can be a shock to your system.
The Truckers Leaving
Trucking industry research shows that a third of all new drivers leave the industry in the first 90 days. And half leave within the first six months.
50% gone after 6 months.
That’s a lot of people that put the time, money, and effort into getting a Commercial Driving License (CDL) only to leave the career shortly after.
The reasons for this vary, depending on who you ask.
A survey of 12,502 drivers showed that men most often leave because of a lack of home time. Women mostly leave because they don’t feel comfortable in their rigs or because they believe their equipment will break down.
Whoever you are, driving a truck for a career comes with unique challenges. It’s important to know what you want out of a job before you sign up for trucking.
The Truckers’ Success
The second and third year of truck driving is when you really see success. That’s when you get to take on more lucrative freight. Truck drivers call this cherrypicking their load, because they’ll only choose the best loads to haul.
Also, local jobs and other opportunities begin to open up after your second or third year. Local trucking companies want to know you’ve got a few years long-haul experience under your belt. If you score a coveted local job, you may be able to get home every night.
Our job at ClassADrivers.com is to make sure you make it to your second or third year because this is when your experience becomes truly marketable to trucking companies. And if you can’t make it two years, then we don’t want you wasting your time and money in CDL school or driver training.
That’s why we’ve created this guide. If you want to know “WILL I BE SUCCESSFUL?” then this is the guide for you.
First, you should answer the 9 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE BECOMING A TRUCK DRIVER.
After that, read on for FIRST DELIVERY STORIES from real truck drivers. If this sounds like a lifestyle that fits your personality, then maybe trucking is the best career for you.
Finally, LEARN FROM THE PROS our collected interviews with truckers about how to define success, how to achieve that success, and how to balance the home time with the miles and money you want to earn.