Whether you’re an experienced driver looking for a change of pace or a rookie fresh out of driving school, team driving is an option for you! As a team, a major benefit is that you and your trucking partner are given first priority overloads. You will be doing long-haul driving, meaning you will be driving an average of 1000 miles per day. Working as a team gives drivers a way to earn top dollar on long runs. Teams typically receive bonuses for making faster deliveries and have the potential to earn over $100,000 per year. If you’re considering team driving, let’s delve into what steps you should take next!
Everything You Need to Know About Team Driving
Explore Your Options
Be sure to do your company research before applying for a team driving position. Many drivers find it hard to have a successful partnership with someone other than their significant other, because of the circumstances. Most drivers steer clear of team driving because some companies don’t allow for you to choose your own driving partner, which is typically the main perk. Not being able to choose your own partner may quickly lead to some serious conflicts, however.
For those companies that don’t allow you to choose your “other significant other”, they usually offer some type of team matching program. In some instances, companies may offer a program where you get to train your partner. This training program is usually one week long and allows your interested spouse or friend to go through a course to become fully equipped with the knowledge and professional training required for a team driving experience. Select companies may also offer very beneficial team-mentoring programs. These mentors are highly experienced in helping teams through conflicts, providing them with tips and tricks while on the road, and are ready to support you throughout your journey.
If You Aren’t Compatible, Chances Are It Won’t Work
The absolute key to establishing a successful team-driving experience is to have a productive partnership. You must be able to tolerate your driving partner 24/7 and in very close quarters, since the two of you will be cooped up in your truck –most likely– most of the time. You and your partner must be able to respect each other’s sleep time and try to drive “softly” while the other is on their “off time.”
It may be easier to coordinate driving techniques before you set out to begin your journey across the nation.
Before hitting the road make sure that you both come to a mutual understanding of how much of a priority it is to visit home. For instance, if you are more driven to earn money and make fast deliveries but your partner is more interested in stopping to sightsee or go home frequently, problems may arise.
Maximize Your Rewards As a Team Driver
The demand for team truck driving jobs in the industry is climbing. Team driving routes typically consist of trekking coast-to-coast in a timely, efficient manner. A driving partner helps make this easier. There are a lot of rewards that come along with team driver jobs, such as:
- Having the company of a partner driver abating loneliness.
- Learning from your co-driver, even when they make mistakes.
- You and your partner can cover more miles and keep the truck moving 24/7.
- You will never run out of hours because you can always trade off driving duties when appropriate.
- Generous pay.
Team truck driving positions offer more benefits than just those listed above. While on the road with your partner you will not only be averaging more miles and earning the bigger bucks, but you will also be given the chance to learn from your partner. Both of you will bring different strengths to the driver’s seat that will help you throughout your deliveries.
Although you and your partner will be averaging about 1000 miles per day, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) rules and regulations still hold value. The Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule set by FMCSA limits drivers to 11 hours of daily driving time during a maximum 14-hour workday. Team driver jobs give truckers the opportunity to alternate driving shifts to ensure that they are within the guidelines of FMCSA regulations without having to compromise delivery time. Following a long shift, each driver must have ten hours off duty. Your off-duty time may consist of showering, eating, and/or sleeping.
The Grass May Not Be Greener on the Other Side for You
Despite all of the additional benefits, team-driving opportunities may not be the best route for you. It is important to know both sides of team driving before putting yourself to potentially the most mentally draining driving experience of your life. Hopefully, if you’ve done your research you won’t run into any of the following cons of team driving. Some things that may not be the most appealing are:
- Driving as a team can be miserable if you aren’t compatible with your partner.
- Some companies may not understand how to utilize teams efficiently.
- Your co-driver may not pull their weight, but you will still have to split the money earned equally.
- You are expected to sleep in the moving truck, so you literally put your life in the hands of your partner.
- You may have no control over whom you get to drive with.
Knowing Both Sides Leaves No Room for Lies
With these pros and cons of team driving trucking jobs in mind, it helps ease the unknown aspect of team driving. The most important part of a team driving position is making sure that you are delivering for a company that knows how to utilize team drivers proficiently. You don’t want to be stuck losing money because the carrier you work for doesn’t have enough miles to give you!
LISTEN HERE for a first-hand account of what it’s like to team drive!
If team trucking is the boost you need to kick start your career, get started and apply for team trucking jobs across the United States today!