Are you considering becoming a truck driver? If so, you aren’t alone. Truck driving can be a pleasurable and lucrative career, and countless individuals look forward to hitting the open road each day. If you want to be a professional trucker, however, you will need to consider the pros and cons of truck driving and carefully factor them into your decision.
Pros and Cons of Truck Driving
Before you make a lasting career decision, there are various aspects of trucking to consider.
Trucking has many advantages over other career options.
No Degrees Required
Do you have a college degree? If you don’t, that’s fine if you intend to become a truck driver. Driving a truck is a relatively lucrative job with a low cost of entry. Very few careers offer such high salaries without a college degree, or in many cases a high school diploma. Numerous driving schools around the country are happy to teach students from any educational background how to safely drive a truck. Once you graduate from trucking school, you will typically have multiple job opportunities and offers to choose from.
To become a truck driver, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license to qualify you to operate different types of large vehicles. There are three types of CDLs:
- Class A CDL – Qualifies drivers to handle double and triple trailers, tankers, livestock carriers, tractor-trailer combinations, and flatbeds
- Class B CDL – Qualifies drivers to operate vehicles smaller than those operated by Class A CDL holders, including dump trucks, delivery trucks, and some buses
- Class C CDL – Qualifies drivers to operate large passenger buses and other specialized vehicles
The majority of truck drivers choose to obtain a Class A or B CDL.
Truck driving as a career can be lucrative. On average, truck drivers earn around $50,909 annually, while those who transport freight over long distances can earn up to $64,000 annually.
Private fleet drivers, or those who only deliver freight for a single company, are paid higher salaries than other drivers. Drivers who own and operate their own trucks earn significantly more. Often, drivers are eligible for multiple types of bonuses for safe driving, referrals, signing on, and more. Many of these bonuses amount to several thousand dollars.
Excellent Job Benefits
If you are seeking great benefits, working as a truck driver may be for you. Since professional recruiters aim to attract the best drivers, they typically offer excellent benefits that often start on your first day of work. These can include health, dental, life, and vision insurance. Most truckers are even offered a retirement saving plan that matches their contributions. The best employers offer holiday time off, paid vacation, and bonuses for working holidays. If you dream of owning your own trucking company, some employers offer appealing leasing-to-purchase plans.
Driving a truck is one of the most secure careers in the country. It is not uncommon for many truck drivers to work for decades without any employment gaps. In fact, there is actually a shortage of drivers, so once you graduate from trucking school, you will have your pick of great jobs. To make matters even better, truck driving is typically considered a recession-proof career because exceptional drivers are always needed.
If you are an independent person, truck driving may be the right profession for you. Truck drivers have a wide latitude of freedom, and often they are only accountable to themselves. Although they may need to interact with dispatchers and adhere to schedules, they aren’t forced to sit at a desk and work under the direct supervision of someone else all day.
For all the benefits, truckers do face certain challenges with the job.
Truck driving can strain family relationships and friendships. If you are a parent, your spouse may need to be responsible for caring for your children alone for long periods of time. Truckers also frequently miss family events and milestones since they are on the road so much. All of these things can damage relationships and result in marital distress.
Are you a highly social person? If you are, you may want to consider another profession. It is not uncommon for truckers to get lonely while on the road. Loneliness can often lead to poor decision-making and psychological problems such as depression. In other words, if you are an extrovert, a person who relishes the company of others, the social isolation associated with truck driving may be overwhelming. To combat loneliness, many trucking companies now allow drivers to take their pets with them on the road.
Stress is a part of most people’s everyday lives, and in some professions, it is simply unavoidable. Unfortunately, truckers face a variety of stressors they must acclimate to while working. Operating an 80,000-pound vehicle on crowded roadways can be stressful enough even without the prospects of mechanical problems, accidents, and weather delays. Many drivers struggle to eat regularly and get enough rest.
If you drive a truck, you will need to prepare for a few personal hygiene challenges. Truck stops typically have showers, but they may not be up to your standard of cleanliness. Also, the cleanliness of truck stops varies from stop to stop. Illnesses are also more common among truck drivers since they are required to interact with so many people regularly.
Consider the Pros and Cons of Truck Driving
After considering the pros and cons of truck driving, you may decide this career is for you. If you do, you will need liability insurance. Here at Rev Insurance, we can help you find a policy that meets or exceeds your standards and needs. Contact us today to get a quote.