If you are thinking that the life of a truck driver seems like it’s a good one, you should know that there are pros and cons, just like in every other job. It’s certainly true that most truck drivers love what they do, and they enjoy the camaraderie that they have with other drivers. However, this does not mean that truck driving is the perfect career for everyone.
Before you head off to truck driving school, to get your license, it’s good to know some facts about the life of a truck driver. This knowledge can help you make an informed decision.
Driving times can seem odd
One of the first things that you will notice if you start work as a truck driver is that you will often work some unusual hours. Sometimes hours will be set by delivery schedules but drivers can often make their own choices about when they prefer to drive. Some prefer to make an early start in the morning while the preference of others is to drive through the night.
Working days can be long
The working day for a truck driver can often be long, and some drivers work as many as 70 hours per week. However, there are restrictions regarding the number of hours driving that can be done before a rest period. These restrictions are in place to help protect driver health and safety.
Driving is not the only task
The life of a truck driver does not just involve the driving itself. Drivers are expected to complete other tasks as part of their duties. These tasks include:
- Loading goods onto the truck.
- Making sure loads are positioned safely.
- Coupling and uncoupling trailers.
- Completing safety inspections of the truck.
- Carrying out basic truck maintenance.
- Completing any necessary administrative work.
It’s not just a case of jumping into a truck and taking to the road.
Pay is variable
Most truck drivers are paid by the mile but some are paid by the hour. Wages can be variable and truck drivers often find ways of increasing the amount of money that they earn. This can include training other drivers, transporting hazardous substances and hauling oversize freight. Trucking is not always the best way of earning great money, but it can be done.
It’s a good job for a free spirit
This is arguably the main positive of driving a truck for a living. If you like the idea of being on the road for most of the time, and seeing new places as you travel, then truck driving may be a good career choice for you. Many truck drivers spend long periods away from their home base and sleep in their truck.
There are many aspects to a truck driver’s life; not all of them positive. However, if you can deal with the negatives, and love the idea of driving to new places on a regular basis, you may find that it’s the life for you.