If you’re feeling stuck in a rut in your current career, you might be ready to make a massive change. While some other job markets have been stagnating for a while, the need for dedicated, qualified truck drivers is only growing. That means while you’ve been sitting in a cubicle crossing your fingers for your next raise, truck drivers have been seeing increased benefits and ever-growing compensation rates. When you combine that with the added job security in an industry that just keeps expanding, it’s easy to see why you should consider becoming a truck driver. Here are a few great reasons to give it some thought.
Many mistakenly think that truck drivers are unskilled and poorly paid workers. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Truck drivers have to be licensed and capable to handle the needs of the job, and this is absolutely reflected in the wages most carriers offer. Reliable, safe drivers often make more than college graduates. These amounts can further increase based on experience and time spent in the industry. Plus, if you really dedicate yourself and a get a trucking gig with one of the top carriers, you’re setting yourself up for a stellar payday.
Granted, you’re not going to get licensed and immediately receive a life-altering salary. You’re going to have to put in the time, effort, and dedication to work your way towards a cozy spot with one of the top carriers. But if you have any doubts that it can be done, consult with your peers and some more senior drivers who can give you the ins and outs of how your compensation will scale with your experience and proof that you’re a good truck driver. You’ll likely be surprised how much some of the veterans are taking home each year.
Most carriers are also great about expense reimbursements, which is a boon to the drivers. From Hotels in North Bend, OR, to motels down in the Deep South, you never know where your routes will take you and where you may end up staying. While truck drivers often choose to sleep in their cabs, they have plenty of occasions when a room might be necessary for the night, such as in the event of a breakdown. Your carrier will work with you to reimburse the cost of a room. If your truck is broken down for too long, chances are good that they would offer breakdown pay as well.
Truck drivers often have some fairly rigorous schedules, but some people forget the level of freedom that is provided by this career. When you’re behind the wheel, you’re the boss. Though you have deadlines and destinations, if you want to take a break, you should take one. If you want to listen to your favorite books on audiobook while you drive, you can. You are put in the driver’s seat — pun intended — and the feeling of authority that comes with it is more satisfying than you can imagine.
Also, if you’re more interested in the long haul routes that can pay a bit higher, they typically come with some unusual schedules. Long haul truck drivers often work an on-off schedule that can vary from company to company. On-off refers to spending a certain amount of time “on” the job and a certain amount “off.” Frequently, this is set up as a two on, one off schedule in which the assigned driver will work a fairly heavy load for their time on, then have some free time.
If you don’t like the idea of being gone for long stretches of time, you could request local hauls. You may not be able to reap the benefits of an on-off schedule, depending on your carrier, but you’ll have the added benefits of being home more frequently and working a more traditional schedule. Carriers are frequently flexible with what their drivers are interested in, so you’ll be able to discuss some options for your schedule.
If you do pursue a haul with an on-off schedule, you might enjoy the free time that might open to you On your off weeks, you could pursue continuing education by looking into accredited online degree programs.
Raking in the Benefits
Trucking is a wholly rewarding career, but it requires an increased focus on well-being. If you’re not taking proper care of yourself, your health can suffer as a result. Carriers understand this, and the majority of them offer benefits to sweeten the deal. From your standard major health insurance to life insurance and retirement plans, trucking carriers are always looking for ways to retain talent.
You should find some ways to keep your body in great condition so you won’t have to rely on your benefits all that often. You’ll be in your truck for hours each day, so you should always try to keep your cab clean and disinfected. It’s always good to stock up on hand sanitizer to keep within arm’s reach.
A couple of studies have found a potential link between prostate cancer and truck driving because of the vibrations caused to your body by being in the cab for extended periods of time. If you’re considering being a truck driver, read up on facts about prostate cancer to understand symptoms and schedule frequent visits with your doctor to stay on top of your health and well-being at all times.
The availability for truck driving jobs is already massive nationwide, and the need is projected to keep growing. Across America, companies across a wide variety of industries are facing issues with downsizing and layoffs. That’s not the case for the trucking industry. Jobs are available nearly everywhere, and they offer an unprecedented level of location flexibility as well. Do your research on your desired job market, and you’re bound to find numerous carriers operating out of the area. That’s something that can’t be said for many other industries in the country and, because of the shortage of qualified, reliable truck drivers, you should be sure to explore this great opportunity.
The best truck drivers are flexible, have good customer service skills, boast a good safety record, and can meet deadlines. The top carriers are incredibly interested in retaining the best talent in the field. If you are a reliable employer, carriers are willing to work with you through almost anything, even cases of tractor trailer accident negligence. That means that you can count on your carrier to stand behind you.
Making the Shift
If you’re ready to get your license and start driving, you’ve chosen a great career. It’s a big change from more traditional career choices and comes with many advantages. From the unique flexibility to the benefits offered by many carriers, you have so many reasons to pursue a career as a truck driver. Make sure you’ve done your research and get ready to get behind the wheel. From the security to the benefits, few other careers can offer this confidence in your job and the peace of mind afforded by a booming industry. It’s never been a better time to dive into to the thriving world of truck driving. The roads are calling you!