Are you lonely? Join the club! Or how about joining a team, specifically a truck driving team? How does team driving even work? It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced driver looking for a change of pace or a complete rookie fresh out of driving school, team driving is an option for you… unless you rather stay alone. As a team, you and your trucking partner are given first priority over loads. Finally! Someone realizes that you’re the top priority! You’ll be doing some long-haul driving, meaning you’ll be driving an average of 1000 miles per day. It’s all about that give and take method! Working as a team gives drivers a way to earn that 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 so you can find your partner fast!
So How Does Team Driving Work
Explore Your Options
First you have to do your research! Think of this like a dating app. You just don’t go on Tinder and swipe right on the first person you see. You read their bio and see what they have to offer. This is exactly what you should do with the company you plan on working for before applying for a team driving position. Many drivers find it hard to have a successful partnership with someone other than their significant other. Things happen and the circumstances aren’t always pretty. Most drivers steer clear of team driving because some companies don’t allow you to choose your own driving partner. How rude! That’s typically the main perk! Not being able to choose your own partner may quickly lead to some serious conflicts.
For the 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 typically takes one week 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 just like your couple’s counselor.
The absolute key to establishing a successful, team-driving experience is to have a respectful and productive partnership. You’ve got to tolerate your driving partner 24/7 and in very close quarters. Hope you’re not claustrophobic! The two of you will be cooped up in the truck –most likely– most of the time. Also, you and your partner must be able to respect each other’s sleep time. Your attitudes towards each other will be much more positive when you’re both well rested. So, for everyone’s sake, I hope no one snores and if possible, try to drive “softly” while the other is on their “off time.” I highly recommend coordinating driving techniques before y’all set out to begin your journey across the nation.
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 where your priorities stand. For instance, if you are driven to earn money and make fast deliveries but your partner is more interested in stopping to sightsee or go home frequently, you’re going to have to compromise… or completely dismiss your partner and fail at this relationship like you did the last one. I would NOT recommend the second option. Again, it’s all about that give and take.
Maximize Your Rewards As a Team Driver
The demand for team truck driving jobs in the industry is booming. Team driving routes typically consist of trekking coast-to-coast in a timely, efficient manner. A driving partner helps make the job and your life easier. Plus, there’s 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’ll not only be averaging more miles and earning the bigger bucks, but you’ll 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, playing games on your phone, eating, and/or sleeping.
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
Despite all of the additional benefits, team-driving opportunities may not be the best route for you. It’s 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.
Here are some things that may not be the most appealing when it comes to team driving:
- 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’ll still have to split the money earned equally.
- You are expected to sleep in the moving truck, so you quite literally have to 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
So now you know the pros and cons of how team driving jobs work. Hopefully this blog helped ease your mind of the unknown aspects 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. Like Tinder, keep swiping left until you’ve found the right one for you! 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!