Is A Career As A Commercial Driver Right For You?
It seems that everywhere you look today there are media presentations on the TV, computer and in print about different careers options and how that career is perfect for anyone. In reality this couldn’t be further from the truth and matching your own talents, interests and skills to a trucking career is essential.
Choosing a career starts with understanding just what that career actually entails. For those interested in becoming a commercial truck driver it also starts with determining what type of driving career best suits their lifestyle, ability to travel and their comfort in being on the road.
Looking honestly at the different options open to commercial truck drivers is an excellent first step in deciding if this career path is right for you. Making a list of the pros and cons of the career is another strategy that can be high effective in giving you the 司機 information to make this important decision. To determine if truck driving is a match for you start by evaluating the following aspects of the career and determining how you feel about each category.
Over-the-road or Local
Most people thing of over-the-road or long haul types of drivers when they first think of getting their commercial driver’s license (CDL). However, there are just as many CDL holders that work locally, driving for businesses and companies within a limited geographic region.
Long haul drivers may be away from home for several days to weeks at a time, depending on the specific requirements of the job. Long haul drivers may be hired by freight companies or businesses and may travel nationally, internationally or between specific cities and locations on a regular basis. Most long haul drivers will have a Class A CDL as well as different specializations and endorsements depending on the types of loads they are hauling.
Local drivers typically work fairly standard work week hours and may or may not be required to work on weekends. This option gives the driver the time to be at home with the family or to be at home most if not every night. Local drivers typically will spend more time driving in cities and they may or may not have set routes and scheduled deliveries that are fairly routine.
Most local drivers will have either a Class A or B CDL with or without endorsements. This will vary based on the type of vehicle you are driving and the trailer types and loads you will haul. With the Class B CDL drivers are qualified to drive other types of heavy vehicles including dump trucks and the like.
Comfortable with Variety
Most commercial drivers have to be flexible and comfortable with dealing with a variety of different situations. Scheduling, delays in traffic, waiting to load or unload, working with different people and sometimes irregular schedules and work weeks can all be a part of the job.
While some drivers will have a set route and routine, most drivers will find that there is a lot of variety in the job from day to day. If you are comfortable with change and variety and like the idea of doing something different and working with different people on a regular basis you will enjoy the flexibility of the career.
Organized and Detailed
Although many people see long haul drivers as free-wheeling and independent workers, there are actually several different logistical and record keeping requirements to the job. Driver logs, records of fuel consumption and purchases, managing required company paperwork and submitting signed paperwork such as invoices and billing have to be completed in a timely fashion.
Electronic logs and fuel cards make record keeping easier than it has been in the past but failure to maintain these records can cause serious complications. This is true for those CDL holders that are driving for a company or those that are owner/operators working for themselves.
Enjoy Being on Your Own
Unless you are driving as a team you will find that you really have to be comfortable with your own company as a commercial vehicle driver. Of course with cell phones and WiFi now available you can easily get in touch with friends and family from most places on the road.
People that have difficulty being on their own and spending extended amounts of time driving are probably not the best match for being a long haul driver, even with the technology of today. Lots of drivers that work the long haul routes bring a pet, partner or spouse with them, which may be a good option to consider.