Truck driving is a career that some forget to consider – especially women and minorities. While it’s unorthodox, many enjoy the freedom, predictability, and lifestyle this track affords. Employment gaps in this industry mean that many transportation companies are dying to fill diversity quotas. Transportation careers allow for flexible scheduling, seeing new parts of the country, and a variety of other new experiences. Before you sign up to get your CDL license, there are several things you should know.
Predictably, a job as a truck driver involves just that -- driving -- for hours on end. If you dislike driving in general or cannot tolerate sitting still in a vehicle for long periods of time, this gig may not be the right one for you. Not only that; typically drivers are alone on their trips. If you tend to get lonely without company or anxious about truck accidents, you may want to reassess.
According to Stewart Guss, about 111,000 individuals were injured in truck accidents, and 3,903 of them died in the US in 2014. Truck accidents are common, complicated, and can cause problems for the driver. Even when you’re not at fault, the ensuing investigation can disrupt your driving schedule and cost you money, and possibly even your job.
Driving lets muscles and joints lock up, but loading and unloading a truck eases them free. Often, truck drivers manage their own cargo, meaning they are responsible for loading and unloading their vehicles. This can be extremely physical work; if you are unwilling or unable to lift and distribute heavy loads, this might be another thing to think about more carefully.
Driving a truck can mean a forty hour standard work week with a commute home at the end of the day, or it can mean longer trips across the country with different routes on every assignment. You’ll want to anticipate which sort of schedule you’d do best with, and pursue a trucking company that accommodates it.
Trucking can mean being gone for long periods of time at once. You might want to speak with your significant other and the individuals in your support system about the impacts of the distance. Maintaining relationships over time and space can be tricky, as can being alone for very extended periods of time. Social supports that allow you to connect with others who care about you are especially important, especially during the first year while you’re getting the hand of your new routine.
Truck driving can be an amazing career choice for someone who enjoys driving for long distances, doesn’t mind a lot of alone time, craves a flexible, fluctuating schedule, is grounded, and doesn’t mind physical labor. If most or all of these factors have you smiling at yourself, it may be time to start researching CDL programs today. Always check our job board to see what careers are currently available. Whatever your stage of the job hunting process, you’re on your way to doing what you love.