There are some things you should know about becoming a truck driver. This second career option may appear attractive, but there’s a lot that you don’t know about it. There’s a lot of misconceptions with being a truck driver. Here are some important things you should know about trucking.
It’s More Stressful Than You Think
You’re not just going to sit back and enjoy driving on the open road. Stress is to be expected on the job. It can be stressful since you’re dealing with traffic and different personalities. It’s stressful when you’re looking for a certain place and you get lost and can’t find it. There’s also stress when there’s no room for your trailer at the truck stop. The customer expects you to show up on time. There are also concerns about leaving home and being away from your family when you’re expected at work. Working as a truck driver is more stressful than people think. You need to learn how to manage that stress and expect these things to happen.
Effective Communication is Important
Since you’re not always working alone, you need to learn how to communicate with the people you’re working with. Truck driving isn’t about the freedom of the road and working by yourself. You have to deal with certain people whether it’s fellow truck drivers or businesses. You also have to learn how to manage and handle the dispatcher. You should also learn how to communicate with the customers, so they’re not waiting for you to show up. You also have to learn how to communicate with the repair shop workers every time there’s something wrong with your truck. Since repair time is unpaid downtime, you want to get in and out of the shop as quickly as possible. Effective communication can help you learn how to manage that downtime.
You Won’t Get Rich Right Away
While truck driving is a lucrative career path, you’re not going to get rich overnight. You may think you’ll hit it rich, especially with the number of hours you’ll work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out to a big paycheck. Just because you work a lot of hours doesn’t mean you’ll get a massive paycheck. The cost of operating the vehicle will be factored. You’ll also be spending a lot more on the road. You’ll be spending money on coffee, meals, gas, and other things. This is especially the case if you work as an owner and operator. The cost of maintaining and driving a truck has gone up.
Your Relationships Will Suffer
One of the things you’ll quickly learn is that your relationships will suffer as a result. You’re traveling away from home, especially if you choose a home by night trucking. This can place a great deal of stress on your family and spouse. Your spouse will have to pay the bills, juggle multiple duties, and take care of the kids herself. There’s a lack of emotional and mental support when you’re on the road. It’s not something that can be saved with phone calls or text messages. Your job will take priority over your family. If you find yourself working too much, you may have to switch careers.
Changes Are to Be Expected
Sometimes changes are to be expected when you’re a truck driver. You may go through different co-workers, dispatchers, or carriers. It’s important for you to work for a company that helps you make money. It has to be a mutually beneficial relationship. Carriers have been the cause for the truck driver shortage lately. Some carriers make most of the money while the drivers don’t. You should be fairly compensated for doing your share of the work. If you noticed that you’re not making the money you should, it’s time to switch carriers. There are plenty of carriers that will pay you for your work time. Don’t settle for a trucking company that won’t pay you what you deserve.