5 Things You Should Know if You’re Interested in a Career in Trucking
The need for quality truck drivers only keeps growing. As the industry develops, and companies such as Amazon position themselves as the leaders of online shopping, the need for shipping and transit services will undoubtedly continue to expand. This means now is the time to consider a career in trucking.
Carriers are starting to place a greater emphasis on the best talents in the industry and are rewarding quality when they see it. However, some aspects of truck driving that might come as a surprise to you.
You’ll get a change of scenery.
If you find yourself wishing you could just get outside and travel more, you’re not alone. Desk jobs can be particularly restrictive and it’s hard to get out and see the world when you’re trapped in a fluorescent-lit cubicle.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a career in trucking is the ability to see the country. Trucking isn’t often viewed as a particularly glamorous profession, but you are afforded the ability to travel quite often. Who knows where your route may take you? One week, you might be able to explore Henry County, Georgia. The next, you might see Lake Erie in northern Ohio before heading to the sandy beaches of California. The possibilities are honestly endless.
Long-haul truck drivers see more of the country than even the most well-traveled individuals. You’ll get to see more sunrises and sunsets than most people and you’ll be able to develop a greater appreciation for travel and exploration.
You Need to Combat Sicknesses
Numerous studies have been done about the potential links between truck exhaust and lung cancer, so make sure that you’re getting regular checkups and researching facts about lung cancer so that you understand the symptoms and precautions you need to take if you’re pursuing a career in the industry. You’ll also be working long hours and interacting with all manner of people so you’ll be exposed to all manner of germs as well. Luckily, you can combat this.
You have a number of simple ways to keep your well-being at a high. Keep sanitizer in your cab so you can make sure your truck stays clean and germ-free. Try and opt for more health-conscious foods and snacks. This can be difficult while you’re on the road, but it’s also very doable, even if you’re primarily shopping at convenience stores and fast food joints.
Know that even when you’re on the road, it’s always important to keep an eye on how you’re doing. While your carrier probably loves a high performing driver, they don’t want to push yourself at the expense of your health. Talk to your supervisors if you think you’re doing too much and see whether you can scale your routes accordingly.
Understand Your Insurance Needs
Many carriers make sure to insure their drivers to prevent liabilities and losses from accidents. There’s a prevalence of tractor trailer accident negligence throughout the industry that can make costs skyrocket for carriers, so they’re typically doing everything they can to mitigate these losses. However, it’s possible that one of the first carriers you work for won’t be so stringent about their insurance benefits. Or possibly, you’ll want additional insurance to improve your benefits.
You have a lot to consider when it comes to trucking insurance, and it can all be a little confusing if you’re just beginning your career. One of the best ways to navigate the complex world of trucking insurance is through a broker. They’ll help you find the best rates and make sure that you have the appropriate levels of coverage to maintain compliance with road-ready standards.
Another great way to add on commercial driver’s insurance is to bundle it for added savings. Consider your location when scouting for deals as well, because this can also affect pricing and which insurance companies offer what. As you likely know, pairing commercial driver’s insurance with renters insurance in New Jersey is likely going to be an easier process than it would be in the Midwest because of the larger insurance markets in the area. You should also look into bundling insurance with DOT compliance services.
You’re the Boss on the Road
One of the biggest benefits of a career in the trucking industry is the freedom and flexibility. Most of America’s workers operate under strict schedules and tight guidelines. You clock in, clock out, and spend your days in the office with the same faces day after day. That’s not the case when you become a truck driver. Sure, you’ll still have deadlines and expected completion times, but most drivers operate within their carrier’s “workable hours,” which are the normal driving hours each day. The rest is up to you.
If you’re feeling restless and need to stretch your legs, go ahead and take a break. Are you dying to listen to the latest music releases? Do it whenever you’d like. Want to spend your breaks researching accredited online degree programs? No one is stopping you. Truck drivers are afforded various freedoms that a lot of traditional job roles never see. What your days look like are up to you. Few other workers get to say that about their occupations.
It Takes Dedication
Know that where you are when you’re starting out isn’t where you’ll be down the line. Trucking comes with immediate benefits but a lot of the time, it isn’t instantly rewarding. The turnover rates in the truck driving industry are pretty high, so seniority becomes a big factor in getting the most favorable routes and delivery lines. This means that carriers are looking for the top talent before they start giving out benefits left and right.
Carriers reward the drivers who have proven themselves and show commitment, dedication, and loyalty. While the starting salaries are nothing to turn your nose up at, the more senior drivers are making great amounts of money because they’ve proven that they are reliable and effective. While many employers like to tout this as a feature of working with them, not too many hold up to their word. The bosses in the truck driving industry definitely break that mold.
Ready to Start Driving?
If you’re tired of the daily grind and are looking to switch to a career that rewards success and motivation, truck driving just might be the perfect fit for you. Give yourself a shot at a job that affords more flexibility and pays its top talents what they deserve. Be sure to do a bit of research on the industry so you know the educational requirements and which programs might be the best for you. It’s also good to know about carriers in your market so you can have an idea of where you might find your start as a driver. The demand for good truck drivers is only going to keep growing so you should strike while the iron is hot and take advantage of this booming industry.