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CareerCareer Planning

Should I Become a Truck Driver? 5 Things You Should Know

Did you know that more than 50% of trucking professionals enjoy their job, while less than 30% dislike it?

It isn’t all about the pay rate, but they do get paid well—after their first few years.

The question of, “Should I become a truck driver?” is a tough one. We’re going to cover 5 things you should know before you decide to become a truck driver.

Ready for the long haul? Let’s get going.

1. Getting Used to Homesickness

Time away from family and friends can be lonely, as we have all found out in 2020. Weeks or more on the road stretch along just like those miles.

If you like your time alone, maybe this kind of work is for you. Just beware that not only will you not see your kids for a while, but they won’t see you either. Your partner also has to be prepared for this kind of lifestyle change.

2. Reduce Chances for Accidents

Needless to say, if you get into an accident while driving your rig, things can get nasty.

A collision with a truck ends in fatality nearly 75% of the time. Even clipping fences or stationary objects could result in your termination. It’s tough while you’re still getting used to the size of the rig, but you’ll have to be aware at all times.

One reason things sometimes go wrong is substance abuse. If you have a problem with substance abuse or foresee it being a problem, this post on DOT SAP evaluations can help.

Safety on the road is of utmost importance and technology can significantly decrease accident risk.  Some GPS devices, like the Trimble GPS, provide truck drivers with an invaluable aid for ensuring safe and smooth journeys. Many GPS devices provide real-time traffic updates, allowing drivers to avoid congested routes and potential hazards. Furthermore, it tracks driver behavior to help identify and eliminate risky driving habits. Some even offer roadside assistance or emergency services that provide crucial information about where the vehicle is, its exact location, and the quickest route to it in case of breakdowns or emergencies, such as exact vehicle locations. Using a GPS can significantly lower accident rates among truck drivers by giving them access to crucial data necessary for making safe decisions on the road.

3. Tighten Your Wallet

It’s always a good idea to be thrifty when you can. While you’re training and after you start driving, you might have to trim those expenses more than normal.

Increased eating out can be a temptation, considering fast-food chains are everywhere. Plus, you won’t always have the availability of a kitchen or homecooked meal waiting for you.

4. Getting the Experience You Need

You’re going to need a lot of experience to get the good jobs. Your first year with a CDL trainer won’t pay exceptionally well, you won’t get the best jobs, and you and your trainer might not see eye to eye on things.

It’s been said that experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. In this case, you want (and need) that experience.  Check out this article on how to become an owner operator if you are considering a career change.

5. The First Year Is the Hardest

Just like the first cut is the deepest, the first year is the hardest.

Between not getting the great paying or cushy jobs, having a tough time with a trainer, and trying to stay out of an accident, you’re going to have some challenges on the road.

But don’t worry. If you’ve made it this far, you can do it.

Should I Become a Truck Driver? It’s up to You

“Should I become a truck driver?”

No one can answer the question for you, not even your family. It’s an answer only you can give. Hopefully these 5 tips to consider have pointed you in the right direction.

Did you find this article helpful? Keep learning about other careers in our other articles and career pages on AdExchanger Careers.