Getting Started As A Truck Driver - Trucking Job Career
Truck Drivers and Trucking - An Introduction
Ask one-hundred truck drivers why he (or she) is a truck driver and you are likely to get one-hundred different answers.
Many truck drivers will tell you that driving a truck is something they dreamed of doing ever since they were a kid. Others will tell you they turned to truck driving because they were laid-off or wanted a change of pace from a dead-end job. Some will tell you it's the lure of the open road and the desire to control their own destiny.
Whatever the reason, driving a truck for a living can be a satisfying and lucrative career.
However, trucking isn't for everybody. Truck drivers work long, hard hours and are away from home and family for extended periods of time.
Truck drivers must deal with all kinds of rules and regulations, all kinds of weather conditions and all types of people. Driving a truck is an awesome responsibility, but it can also provide awesome rewards, the primary one being job security.
Being a professional truck driver means never being unemployed or underemployed again, and in today's world that means a lot.
So, You Want to Be a Truck Driver
If you are looking for your first job, or a new job, and think a truck driving job may be for you, you need to ask yourself if you are ready to make some major changes in your lifestyle.
Unless you know someone who is a trucker it is impossible for you to even begin to understand everything that is involved in being a professional truck driver.
Statistics show that 90% of people entering the trucking industry as first-time drivers leave the industry within 90 days. It's what driver recruiters call the 90/90 rule.
Turnover among new drivers is extremely high - the main reason is difficulty adjusting to the lifestyle of an over-the-road trucker.
Most people are nervous about their first day on a new job but they know in a few hours it will be over and they will be home sleeping in their own bed. For entry-level truck drivers, the first day on a new truck driving job usually lasts about two weeks. And, after the initial company orientation, they will be sleeping in their truck. When they do get the chance to sleep in their own bed again, it will only be for a couple of nights then it's back on the road to do it all over again for another two weeks.
People will say they don't mind being gone from home for a couple of weeks at a time, and that's true, the problem comes after being gone from home a couple of weeks at a time for a couple of months and knowing that they will be gone from home a couple of weeks at a time from now on. It's a lifestyle change that many people can't handle.
So, if you still want to be a truck driver, let's get started.
Do Your Homework
If you know someone who drives a truck professionally, pick their brain. Ask them how they got started, what their daily routine is like, and what they like/dislike about driving. Find out from the voice of experience what driving a truck is all about.
If you don't know anyone who is a professional driver, drop by the local truck stop and spend some time walking around, get a glimpse of the world where truck drivers live. Check out the fuel island, the scales, the service desk, the restaurant - truck stops are the employee break rooms of the trucking industry, as a professional driver you will be spending a lot of time in truck stops.
Check out a local truck driving school, talk to the admissions representatives, talk to the students, and find out what is involved in training.
Visit your local truck dealership, and see the trucks up close. Try to imagine yourself running down the road in a big rig four times the size of your old pick-up truck and think about maneuvering in and out of rush hour traffic with fifty-three feet of trailer behind you.
And finally, have a discussion with your spouse, partner and other family members about your decision, it's going to be a major lifestyle adjustment for them too.