Are you thinking about getting into trucking or wondering if it’s for you? Before becoming a truck driver, there are certain aspects of the job that you should be aware of. Some people think trucking is an easy career that they can just relax on the road and make some good money. Truth is, truck driving is not for everyone.
There are many things that people do not consider before deciding to get into the industry. It takes a unique kind of person to be a trucker, so ask yourself these questions before becoming a truck driver.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Truck Driver
1. Do you like to drive?
Although this is a simple question, it really is important. You will be driving for many hours at a time so if you don’t like driving or have to stop every 30 minutes, this may not be for you. There are regulations on hours-of-service that limit the number of hours allowed to drive, but nevertheless, you will be on the road for an average of 10 hours at a time. Also, 12-14 hour days can be pretty common.
2. Do you have patience?
Patience is a necessity in becoming a truck driver. You will be waiting at loading docks, in traffic, at truck stops, and other places. Tolerance goes hand-in-hand with patience. Dealing with other not-so-smart people on the road and not-so-great dispatchers is just another part of the job.
Road rage is also a matter to consider. Safety is paramount in trucking, so when someone cuts you off, you can’t get fired up with road rage. Trucks aren’t just huge cars… they’re huge machines that can injure or kill you or others if not handled properly.
3. Are you comfortable being alone?
While there are options to drive with a partner, most trucking jobs require you to drive by yourself. You need to be independent and be able to motivate yourself throughout the day. Trucking is a great opportunity to travel the country but seriously consider if you really want to do that alone.
Some truck drivers love the independent feeling of not having a boss to bark orders over your shoulder and find a sense of peace in being alone. If you still decide that becoming a truck driver is the right thing for you, check out some podcasts and make some great playlists to keep you entertained on your trip.
4. Are you drug/alcohol-free?
On your journey to becoming a truck driver, you will be required to take pre-employment drug and alcohol tests, followed by random ones down the road. You will be tested after any accident that occurs, no matter who is at fault. If you test positive on any of them or refuse to test, you’ll be able to watch your career spiral down or say goodbye altogether. Drivers with a CDL are held to higher standards than non-commercial drivers. There is a .04% BAC limit, which is half of the BAC limit for non-commercial drivers.
5. Are you healthy? (Physically and Mentally)
This doesn’t mean you have to be a musclehead, but before becoming a truck driver you should make sure you can handle the physical demands. You will be lifting and moving freight, sitting for long periods of time, and living in a small space. It can also be a challenge to stay healthy while on the road, so read up on some tips to stay healthy as a truck driver.
Truck driving can also be mentally exhausting. Being alone all the time, crazy schedules and hours, and lack of sleep could lead to depression. Mental illness can affect the body in physical ways as well, so it is important to be in a good spot psychologically before you begin your career as a truck driver.
Have additional questions to ask before becoming a truck driver? Let us know in the comments below!