Life of a Truck Driver: What is a Career as a Driver Like?

The life of a trucker is very different from a typical 9-5 job. Truck driving is more than just a job; it’s a way of life. While the main job is delivering goods, being a trucker involves good and bad aspects.

You need to be away from your friends and family for a long period of time. You also have job pressure and less time for sleep, which may lead to several health problems. Besides all the bad aspects they are many good aspects too, you’ll be able to visit new places, have adventurous days and many more. So, what does a truck driver do, its best part, challenges, and what should you consider before starting a career in it? Let’s learn in this blog by Truck Driver News.

What do Truck Drivers do?

Truck Drivers do many other things besides driving and transporting among the manufacturing, distribution, and retail centers. Some of them are as follows:

Get an early start

Although the actual time depends on the specific driver and your job’s requirements, most drivers like to get an early start. You can expect to get on the roads between 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. After going early, check the weather route conditions and constantly stay alert for dangerous weather and equipment failure to avoid any potential further dangers.

Long Days

Truck drivers usually work for long days. According to the US Department of Transportation, over-the-road (OTR) drivers can drive up to a maximum of 11 hours a day, and if some adverse weather conditions occur, you can extend it up to 2 hours. As a truck driver, you only make money when driving, so if you shorten your working hours and take more breaks than necessary, it lengthens your day and cuts your profit.

Winding Down

After spending much time on the road, you get tired and want to rest. So, after a whole day of driving, you look for a place to pull off and rest. If you have a sleeper in your truck, you might spend a night there; if you don’t, you need to search for a place or facilities to rest. It’s time to take food, call your family and friends, and sleep well.

Putting it all Together

Life as a truck driver is challenging. You generally have a tight schedule that starts early and ends late. You need to work long hours, far away from your family and friends and have less sleep. Most drivers are paid for their time while on the road, so there is also constant pressure for them to get back on the road. So, you need to put in all your efforts in this profession.

The Best Parts of Being a Truck Driver

Although there are many challenges in this field, there are also a lot of benefits you can enjoy as a Truck driver.

Some of them are:

Feed Your Sense of Adventure

Life as a truck driver can be a great career choice for those who are adventurous and have a will to work hard. As a truck driver, you receive compensation for traveling, enabling you to explore the nation, witness diverse landscapes, from majestic mountains to vibrant urban centers, and engage with new individuals daily. To explore the country, see different sights, mountains, big bustling cities, and meet new people daily. From canyon to ocean views, you get to see and explore everything.

Every Day is Different

You travel different routes and deliver to customers from different places daily, so no day on the road is the same. You get to see new places, things and experience new challenges daily. Therefore, every day is different in a truck driving career.

Experience Independence

Although truck drivers have a boss while performing duties, they are their own boss. You have much control over your schedules and routes. You can work long or short hours and take breaks whenever you want. You can also listen to your music or audiobooks while you drive. This sense of independence can appeal to people tired of working in a traditional office setting.

Meet New People

As a truck driver, you meet people from different backgrounds daily. You can connect with new people at pickup and drop-off locations, truck drivers at truck stops and rest areas, restaurants and dinners, gas stations, and industry events and conferences. You can make new connections, build joyful experiences, and learn about different cultures and perspectives of different people. The new people you connect with can be your future important customers and business partners.

Have Job Security

Truck driving is a stable career in high demand for qualified drivers. The trucking industry is essential to the economy for transporting goods across the countries. Therefore, there is a high demand for truck drivers in the coming years as the economy grows and the e-commerce field continues to expand. Therefore, the truck driver’s career is secured.

Challenges of Being a Truck Driver

Despite many benefits, there are many challenges in pursuing a career as a truck driver. Some of them are:

Irregular Schedules

As a truck driver, you won’t know your schedule from one week to the next. Jobs can vary according to the time and distance spent on the road. Truck drivers have to work for long hours and be away from home and friends for days or even weeks at a time. This can disrupt sleep patterns, affect your work-life balance, and impact your overall well-being.

Health Problems

The longer hours on the road, tight schedules, lack of enough sleep, and the need to eat wherever and whenever can cause potential health problems for many truck drivers. You may suffer from health problems such as:

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea

Job Pressures

In the truck driver career, you not only have the pressure to deliver goods in perfect condition, but also you need to deliver each item on time. Many business employees set tough delivery goals, which forces truck drivers to go beyond their limits and achieve those targets. Not meeting the job’s requirements can cause you to lose your job.

Lack of Time with Family

Due to the inflexible and tight schedule, you may have to drive for longer hours, days, and even weeks. As a result, you have less time to spend with your family and friends. You may miss important family events, children’s birthday parties, and quality time with your family members, which can be a struggle for you as a truck driver.

Lack of Sleep

In the Truck Driving Career, it’s difficult to maintain good sleep quality. As a truck driver, you might have to perform your duty in any instant of time. Your sleep gets disturbed due to driving late at night, long miles, and driving more and more hours at once. Due to less sleep, you may also be prone to different health risks.

Things to Consider Before Starting Your Career

Being a trucker isn’t everyone’s piece of cake. Being a trucker means facing a lot of different challenges daily. You are often far from home, family, and friends if you drive a regional route. However, this career gives you the freedom to travel the country and schedule your work route according to your days.

Work Hours

As per the guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers are allowed to drive up to 11 hours per day within a 14-hour time frame. The 14-hour window is like a trucker’s official workday. After eight hours in a row, they have to take a 30-minute break. And when this 14-hour workday is over, they must rest for at least 10 hours before they can start driving again. The truck drivers are mostly out for three to four weeks at a time. They can work throughout the week and possibly on weekends and holidays too.

Time Away from Home

a truck driver spends most of the time on the road and away from the family. Truck driving can affect your family life due to the lack of time you can provide for them. Being on the road all day can feel lonely and disconnected from the family.
Due to the advancement in technology, it has been easier than before. You can video or audio call your family and loved ones to stay in touch. Many driver find that intentionally scheduling activities during their home time helps them get more out of their days at home. Many trucking companies provide passenger permits, allowing a family member or friend to travel with you, but some trucking companies don’t due to insurance policies.

Small Living Space

trucking is a lifestyle. You’ll spend most of your time in the truck. In this compact small, you will do everything if you are a head driver. Many people find it a drawback in this occupation due to lack of space. You can make your cab feel more comfortable by decorating your cab with your personal belongings and adding a personal touch.

Showering

Personal hygiene is very important. In trucking, you must always be exposed; you’re driving in dust, dirt, mud, and so much more. Showering becomes essential due to the sweat and other dust in particular. Truck drivers may be unable to take showers daily, depending on their location. The truck has no shower or bathroom, so the driver must stop accordingly. Many truck stops offers free shower that is earned by their points system.

Most Frequently Asked Questions as a Truck Driver

How to be a truck driver?

To be a truck driver, you must be 18 for driving in the state border and 21 for interstate travel. You must have a valid license with atleast 2 years of experience and have a clean driving record. You must have CDL and should complete FMCSA successfully.

How long does it take to become a truck driver?

Generally, becoming a truck driver will take 12 weeks, but some courses could take as little as 4 weeks or even a year.

Is being a truck driver worth it?

Truck driving is worth it because it is a well-paying job and a perfect job for someone who loves to travel and be on an adventure.

Do truck drivers have a good life?

According to a survey, more than 75% of the truck driver are happy with their jobs. If someone is interested in freedom, adventure, and an opportunity to see different parts of the country, it is a perfect job who is interested in it.

What is the average day of a trucker?

A typical day for a truck driver requires 8 to 12 hours of driving to deliver goods, route management, paperwork, and vendor interactions. It commences at the truck depot, where the driver checks the vehicle’s condition, confirms the delivery address, and sets out on their journey. Upon arrival at the destination, they verify delivery details and cargo contents, occasionally handling loading and unloading tasks, depending on the company’s procedures.

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