Trucking companies, shippers, dispatchers, etc. all like the efficiency and expediency of team drivers. The reason is simple. Team drivers are able to move more loads because they are allowed to drive their trucks almost nonstop and cover more miles. Team driving also allows drivers to earn more money than if they were solo drivers. In fact the ability to earn more money driving as teams is one of the primary reasons drivers choose to work as teams.
Team driving can be a very profitable and rewarding experience. Team driving is basically two people sharing a truck and working together as a team. Trucking companies like to hire teams because this gives them the opportunity of run their trucks approximately 24 hours per day. One benefit of team driving is the companionship each driver offers to the other. This is a great benefit to the mental health of both drivers. Also, a partner is readily available to help if assistance is needed with a routine matter or an emergency.
One of the most important decisions you make about team driving will be your choice of a partner. You must have a partner that you get along with. This is important to the success of the team and assuring both of you successful truck driver careers as team drivers. The two of you will be working in very close quarters so it is most important that you have a partner that you have a good trusting relationship with. This does not necessarily mean a romantic relationship although it can be. Husband and wife teams are usually very successful. In fact couples without underage children at home are able to live on the road effectively eliminating most of their household bills. The main thing is to have a compatible partner. You must be able to get along with each other as you will be in small quarters 24 hours per day over an extended period of time.
It is important to be considerate and respect the others time, space, etc. Each driver would also need to be very considerate of their driving style. Many drivers get poor quality sleep just trying to sleep in a moving truck. This is due to the high noise level and vibrations that occur in a moving truck. Each of you would need to drive softly, which basically means avoiding fast turns, changing lanes too fast, braking too hard, etc. Failure to do so would mean that the driver trying to sleep might not be able to sleep very well.
Team driving would not be a good experience if you don’t have a compatible partner. Many women truckers like to work as truck drivers right along with their husbands and make excellent teams. Many drivers have had bad experiences with drivers whose personality traits were too different from theirs. For example, if you are a non-smoker, you might not want to be paired with a smoker. If you don’t drink, you might not want to be paired with a driver who regularly drinks even if it is on off duty time. What about snoring? Would it bother you if your team driver was a heavy snorer? All of these things need to be taken into consideration when choosing a team driver.
Additionally, if hygiene is important to you, you might want a partner who also has good hygiene habits. Another possible problem is that if one of you is sick with a cold or flu, the other driver might also get it. If this happens, do what you can to try to avoid catching it or passing it on if you are the one who is sick. Truck drivers who value their health might want a partner who has healthy habits also.
However, if you are considering making a transition from solo driving to team driving, it is important to do some research. Does your current company offer team driving? If so, are you familiar with their policies? If you are looking to work for a different company, you should do some research. Talking to drivers at truck stops and other places can give you information and advice about both the general policies and compensation policies of many companies. In fact, other drivers are often your best source of information.
Prior to signing up with a new company you should ask other drivers about their experiences with the company. Be sure to verify the information you have received from them with the prospective employer. Ask additional questions as well. Will the company select the driver for you to work with or can you choose your own partner? Also, be sure that you are clear about the expectations the company has for its teams. Getting answers to all of your questions will enable you to make an informed decision.
All things considered, team driving can be very good if both drivers have similar goals and aspirations and are committed to having a successful experience. Otherwise it is not likely to be a good experience.