Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be a commercial truck driver. You enjoy driving and believe you would like to drive one of those big rigs and life on the road. You look forward to the possibility of being able to travel throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Before you spend money and take the time and effort to become a commercial truck driver there are some things you need to consider. While there certainly are positive things about being a commercial truck driver there are also many negatives which you should be aware of.
Trucking is a lifestyle as opposed to a job and it is not for everyone. The very best thing you can do in order for you to make a good decision is to ride along with a truck driver for a couple of weeks to see what this job entails. The time on the road with a trucker will enable you to experience the importance of truckstops for providing among other things safe places to sleep. You will also see that limited food options are available. Additionally, you will experience shower facilities, laundry facilities and the experience of sleeping in a truck.
If you don’t know any truck drivers you can spend time at truckstops talking to drivers. They can give you the good and bad of trucking from their experiences. This can help you to determine if trucking is a good career choice for yourself. One sure thing is that the life of a truck driver is not easy. There is an extremely high rate of driver turnover. Check out some of the negative aspects of trucking.
Long Driving Hours: Currently drivers can be on duty for 14 hours each day with 11 of those being actual driving hours. Many drivers are so tired at the end of their shift that they barely have time to do anything except try to get some sleep.
Unhealthy Lifestyle: The life of a commercial truck driver has been often been referred to as one of the unhealthiest lifestyles. Drivers are primarily limited to food available at truckstops. Also, many drivers are overweight due to too much time sitting in the truck. Additionally, drivers are often too tired to exercise so this leads to weight gain. Truck drivers are also at great risk of developing high blood pressure.
Stress: Truck drivers are under a great deal of stress and anxiety. They must deal with various weather and traffic conditions daily. They can go from sunny weather to rain to snow all on the same day. Additionally, truckers have long driving hours. They must strive to be alert at all times to avoid the risk of being involved in accidents.
Lack Of Sleep: Many drivers have poor sleep habits due to having to sleep on the truck on a regular basis. No matter how comfortable their truck may be it is not the same as being in their own bed at their home. Unfortunately, this results in many drivers being sleepy while driving.
Personal Safety: Drivers risk their safety not only due to the increased risk of accidents. They can be robbed, injured or murdered if they can’t find safe places to park at night. There is also the risk that they will be victims of cargo theft.
Inspections: Drivers risk being stopped by police officers. They also risk being stopped by D.O.T. officers for random inspections. This can result in them being accessed fines or penalities for various reasons.
Pay: Drivers must work long hours each day. Longhaul drivers are paid based on the number of miles they drive. They may spend numerous hours waiting for loads, doing pre-inspections and post-inspections and other duties which they are not paid for. This can be a rude awakening for many.
There are certainly many benefits of becoming a commercial truck driver. One of the greatest factors is that truck driving jobs are readily available. Additionally most companies provide healthy insurance and other benefits beginning with the first day of employment.
Truck driving can also be a horrible career. Hence the reason for the high turnover rate of drivers. Those considering a career as a commercial truck driver should carefully weight the good as well as the negative aspects of trucking. This will enable them to make the best possible decision for themselves.