Is Truck Driving the Right Career for You?

  • Is Truck Driving the Right Career for You?

    Is Truck Driving the Right Career for You?

    Being a commercial truck driver can be a very fulfilling and financially rewarding career. There is high demand from employers, who are always looking for experienced truckers to handle their most important routes and freight deliveries. However, the life of a trucker is not for everyone. It is demanding work with long days behind the wheel. Long-haul truckers may be away from their families for days or weeks at a time and have to get used to life on the road. 

    Is truck driving the right career for you? Let’s take a look at what it’s really like to be a trucker, so you can decide if this is a career worth pursuing. It is a great choice for many people, and America Truck Driving School is here to help support you with the training and resources you need to get your career started off on the best foot.

    Benefits of Being a Truck Driver

    We already mentioned job stability and demand. There is always a need for good truck drivers and the pay can be very good, whether you run your business as an independent contractor or take a full-time employment role for a company. Here are some other benefits worth noting:

    Low Education Requirements—You do have to complete training to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and get your career started. However, you don’t need more than a high school diploma or equivalent to earn your CDL. 

    Flexibility—Depending on your job and route, you will have some flexibility about when you want to drive. You can create your own schedule for long hauls, as long as you pick up and drop off your loads as directed. If you are an independent contractor, you are essentially your own boss. You can pick and choose which jobs to take and how you want to schedule your routes.

    Good Pay—Entry-level pay for qualified truck drivers is very high compared to most industries, and it only gets better as you grow your experience and reputation.

    Time Limitations—You may have some long days, but you shouldn’t driver more than 70 hours within any 8-day period. After 70 hours of work, you must take at least 34 hours off. Some drivers really like this type of work schedule.

    Travel—Many truck drivers get into the business because they like driving and they like travel. A career in trucking may feed your thirst for travel and adventure. You get to see the country while you work.

    Support—Many companies will offer excellent support for their drivers, including tolls, licenses, fees, training expenses and scheduling services. 

    Downsides of Being a Truck Driver

    It’s also smart to consider some of the more challenging aspects of becoming a truck driver. As we said earlier, it’s not for everyone. Here is what you should keep in mind before starting your training:

    Solitude—Life on the road can mean long and lonely days. You can find ways to stay connected with your family and friends, but most of the time will be spent on your own as you deliver loads from one destination to the next. 

    Hard Work—Nobody will ever tell you trucking is an easy job. You will be sitting in the cab for long stretches while you drive, but will also be required to do physical work. This may include working on the truck, loading/unloading freight, washing the vehicle and conducting inspections. If you are thinking about a career in trucking, get ready to do some hard work.

    Paying Your Dues—Very few truckers come right of school and get the best jobs. You generally have to pay your dues. You may have to spend some time training as an apprentice or taking less-desirable and lower-paying gigs until you have proved your dependability. As you work your way up, you can earn better routes and better pay.

    Financial Investment—Independent truckers will have to purchase their tractor. This also means covering maintenance and repair costs. You get to be your own boss in many ways and the work can be much more lucrative, but there will be some investment required on your part. If you don’t want to own your own truck, then you can look for employment situations where you are driving the company’s vehicles.

    These are some of the pros and cons to consider when thinking about pursuing a career as a commercial truck driver. If you are looking for more information and the best training near you in Southern California, contact America Truck Driving School or visit our website to see our upcoming programs. 

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