Your Questions About Life on the Road as a Trucker, Answered
Choosing a career in truck driving can be very rewarding, and with it comes the ability to work independently while getting paid to travel. Without a doubt, being a trucker offers an array of opportunities, benefits, and unique qualities. Perhaps you’re considering a truck driving career, or maybe you’re a new driver and curious about what’s in store as you embark on a life on-the-road. Continue reading to discover the answers to frequently asked trucking questions.
Truck Driving Q&A
These are just a few of the most common questions regarding life on the road as a trucker. However, embarking in a truck driving career can be exciting and full of growth opportunities. In comparison to other professions, getting certified as a truck driver is simple and affordable. The trucking industry is growing steadily, and as such truck-driving recruitment is at an all-time high.
What Do Truck Drivers Like Most About the Job?
While there are several popular perks about being a truck driver, being able to visit new places and explore the country is at the top of the list for most. For individuals who enjoy traveling, driving, and visiting new places throughout the year, a truck-driving job is an ideal career.
What Are the Worst Aspects?
Many drivers agree that getting lost or dealing with traffic issues are the biggest challenges. Of course, heavy traffic, delays, and road construction are all a part of the job, but with careful planning and traffic alert notifications, many such inconveniences can be avoided. Also, taking a wrong turn or getting lost isn’t as common anymore since most trucks now are equipped with a GPS.
What Are Some Other Truck Driver Responsibilities?
Most drivers spend between 8 and 12 hours a day putting hundreds of miles behind them to meet delivery deadlines. However, depending on the route and load, there’s also a lot of time spent at the shipping and receiving destinations. To put this into perspective, driver wait times can vary dramatically while their truck is being loaded or unloaded – from less than an hour to as long as a couple of days. Other routine tasks include refueling, checking wipers, tires, fluids, and ensuring a load is properly secured.
Do Truck Drivers Ever Feel Lonely?
Aside from a brief conversation with shipping, receiving, or convenience store attendants, truck drivers spend much of their time alone. It really depends on one’s personality whether this alone time is good or bad. Many use this time to listen to audiobooks or their favorite music while taking in the sights along the way. However, many fleets not only allow, but encourage drivers to bring along a pet or family member. There’s also the option of team driving which has become quite popular.
Does the Job Pay Well?
There are a number of truck driving opportunities, and pay is dependent on the specific job and company you work for. As a general rule of thumb, long haul drivers are paid by the mile, whereas local drivers get paid by the hour. Average pay per mile is $0.35, and after 120,000 miles (which takes about a year) that rate increases to $0.36. There may also be driver referral or fuel bonuses available.
What Type of Benefits Are Available?
In recent years, truck driver benefits have improved in an effort to retain experienced drivers and attract new ones. Benefits usually include health insurance, dental insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.
Is There Job Security?
Unlike many industries that have experienced layoffs and downsizing in recent years, the need for truck drivers is more prevalent than ever. More than 70% of all freight transport is done via the trucking industry. With that being said, as long as a truck driver is reliable and maintains a clean driving record, there will be job stability.
What Is Required to Become a Truck Driver?
Similar to obtaining a standard driver’s license, getting a commercial driver’s license requires a knowledge-based training course followed by recorded driving time. There are several online courses available as well as local schools, both of which offer flexible hours. After passing the initial book exam and obtaining a temporary CDL (permit), you’ll log driving hours with a licensed CDL instructor or experienced truck driver. Compared to other professions, the upfront monetary investment is minimal, and many courses can be completed in less than two months.