By MTS Staff
It can be said that truck drivers are the life-blood of America. Our country depends on the dedication of these committed drivers to get our goods from coast to coast and in the safest way possible. Truckers provide an important service that without could undoubtedly collapse our economy. Needless to say, being a truck driver is a very important job.
Have you been asking yourself if trucking could be for you?
For someone who may be trying to determine the best career path for him or her, deciding whether truck driving is a good fit can be hard to do. For one, truckers are always on the go - and honestly, who ever will get the chance to hang out with one, day and night, for an undetermined amount of time to see “if they like it”? That could get pretty tricky with someone you don’t even know!
So, we have put together this list of Career Truck Driving Facts to help you choose.
Truck Driving is a Highly Regulated Industry
There are many laws around commercial motor vehicles, including limitations in size and weight. Truck drivers are responsible for checking the axle and gross weights of their vehicles, usually by being weighed at a truck stop scale. Truck weights are monitored for limits compliance by state authorities at a weigh station and by DOT officers with portable scales.
Truck drivers are also required, by law, to log every hour in a log book, otherwise, they will be fined with hefty fees.
Other regulations include drive time (no more than 11 hours), rest time (10 hours) and 3 more hours for additional needs such as fueling, hitching up trailers, etc.
Being on the Road is more than a Career – It’s Your Life
Truckers are typically away for 3-4 weeks at a time, as such, trucking becomes your life. You eat, drink, and sleep around driving cycles and often inside the rig. Many truckers have tricked out their cab to include TV’s, DVD players, refrigeration and lots more to make it homier. Sleeping in a truck is like camping and can be fun at first, but may wear on you after a while.
Trucking can be Dangerous
There is a higher-than-average level of danger that comes along with being a trucker. Dangerous road conditions (truckers truck on regardless), lack of safety information for general drivers and high levels of fatigue can all contribute to trucker safety on the road.
Truckers also tend to have more non-fatal injuries that other workers. One government study found a 233% increase, mostly due to back injuries. It is suspected that long hours of siting, followed by heavy lifting tend to cause these injuries.
The Benefits are Nice
Good pay, benefits, and bonuses are typical. Many companies give great raises year-after-year and offer a sign-on bonus.
Other benefits include flexibility, freedom to travel the country, job security and the option to work as a team with your spouse.
In short, choosing to become a truck driver cannot be taken lightly. For the right person, it can be a dream job, but for others it can prove to be lonely, demanding and challenging. If you decide to take this career path, it is recommended to give it some time… at least a year to truly know whether this is for you. And, whatever you decide we’re behind you!
If you think you may be interested in a career as a truck driver, be sure to do your own research. Training is required. Standards may vary from company to company. Check out eTrucker.com for resources and a list of career opportunities.