6 Things To Mull Over If You Want To Be A Truck Driver
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6 Things to Mull Over if You Want to Be a Truck Driver

If you’re thinking of becoming a truck driver, you should know that it’s not a bad career path to pursue. The pay is excellent, and there are several other possible incentives. It’s not everyone, though. 

We’ll go over a few reasons why this profession might appeal to you, as well as some possible reasons you might choose a different career path.

You Have to Train for It

Becoming a qualified truck driver is not the easiest thing in the world. You have to:

  • Train to drive a vehicle that size
  • Get a special license

If you have trouble handling something like an SUV, maybe this isn’t the way to go. After all, a truck is so much bigger than that, especially the eighteen-wheelers that you see barreling down the highway. 

You need to have a knack for operating enormous vehicles. It seems as though some people naturally have an aptitude for it, while others don’t. You need to be patient and eager to learn if you’re seriously considering this career choice.

You Can Be Your Own Boss

When you get a commercial trucking license, you have a couple of options. You can work for a company where you sign up with them and get to drive one of their vehicles as part of the package deal. The other thing you can do is purchase your own truck and work for yourself.

For some truckers or would-be truckers, this second option sounds perfect. If you own your truck:

  • You can drive as little or as much as you like
  • You answer to the individual or company that hired you but not to any boss other than that 

This relative independence appeals to some truckers. You can make your hours and craft your schedule. You can take time off whenever you like, provided you have the money to do so.

You Might Not See Your Family Very Often

There’s also an aspect of it that many individuals don’t enjoy: you probably won’t see your family as much as you’d like. You may be on the road for multiple days at a time. When that happens, you might miss your spouse or significant other. 

If you have kids, you won’t get to see them every day, either. Maybe you have an older relative, and the job will keep you away from them during the last years of their life. 

It’s not easy, but it’s a sacrifice some truckers make. It’s not dissimilar to a military job where you’re away from the family for long stretches at a time. 

Of course, if you live alone, then this isn’t an issue for you. Just know that this is a job that occasionally breaks up a family, simply because the trucker is not around enough to keep those relationships going.

It’s Potentially Dangerous

Some truckers are on the road for decades, and they never have a significant accident. If that’s true for you, you’re one of the lucky ones. 

Truck driving is inherently dangerous because you’re behind the wheel of a multiple-ton vehicle. If you fall asleep for a second or two, you can run another car off the road and injure or kill someone.

That’s never the sort of thing you want on your conscience, and it can ruin your life financially as well if the survivors bring a negligence lawsuit against you. 

That’s why you’re accepting a significant responsibility when you take this job. You must know that you can never start a shift if you’re exhausted. Coffee and energy shots will probably become your new best friends if you decide this is the career for you.

You Get to See Different Regions

One positive is that you can see many different parts of the country as a truck driver. Most truckers only operate in a few specific states. They’ll make the same run over and over, sometimes for years at a time.

If you ever do want a change of pace, though, that’s probably readily available to you. You’ll get to check out some of those bizarre roadside attractions for which America is famous. You can familiarize yourself with Texas’s best chicken-fried steak, or Montana’s most scrumptious cherry pie. 

You can even take an off day to visit national monuments or historical landmarks. Traveling around is one thing that appeals to most truck drivers, and if you have the wanderlust, that might be a reason to pick this job.

It’s Steady Work

You also might feel attracted to this job because it’s steady work. There are millions of goods that need truckers to get them from state to state, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. You can start this career, and if you’re good at it, there’s no reason to think that it can’t support you and your family year after year.

However, at the same time, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that probably at some point, truck driving is one job that might disappear because of automation. Some companies are working on perfecting self-driving trucks.

What’s not completely clear is the timeline on that. Yes, truck driving will eventually disappear, like some factory assembly line work. Some experts disagree, though, as to how long this transition will take.

It’s probably not going to be for at least a couple of decades till totally self-driving trucks appear. Even then, it will be a gradual phase-out. Still, if you want to be a truck driver, you need to be aware that automation is on the horizon.

Truck driver seems to be one of those American jobs that’s romantic to some individuals. It’s the thought of being part of a convoy, communicating via the squawk box, and greeting the sunrise with fresh, black coffee on your way to Memphis or Reno. 

Truck driving attracts goodhearted, blue-collar individuals, and if you like driving, you might want to become one of them. Just be sure to weigh the cons and pros before starting your training.