Today's economy depends upon truck drivers to get products from factories and warehouses to stores where they can be purchased by consumers. However, as more truckers start to retire, the need for new drivers is greater than ever. Offering excellent pay and opportunities, it attracts people from all walks of life. But before starting this new career, here are five things potential truckers need to know about the industry.
Choose Your Training Program Wisely
While there may be many driver training schools, make sure you choose one that is accredited and certified by your state's Department of Education. Otherwise, you may not get what you pay for. If possible, try to gain employment with a trucking company that has its own training program, since you'll get a much more thorough training course.
Long-Hauling or Nine to Five?
Once you know how to drive the truck, you'll need to decide what type of job you want. If you don't mind being away for home for long stretches at a time, long-distance hauling may be for you. However, if you want to be with the family at the end of each day, you'll want a local hauling position. More information about this can be found here.
Unpaid Work Time
According to Wikipedia, truckers can expect to have several hours of unpaid time when they are waiting for the truck to be loaded or unloaded. While it used to be as much as eight hours, new regulations have cut this time to less than four hours.
Get Through the First Year
Based on information from ARG Trucking, the first year is the hardest. Between adjusting to a new schedule and the rigors of the job, many truckers leave the profession within their first year. To keep this from happening, have a strong support network of family and friends, and also remember why you chose this profession.
Be Prepared for Accidents
If a driver is on the road long enough, truck accidents are bound to happen. Whether it's an accident with another vehicle or just experiencing mechanical issues, it's always best to be prepared. To do so, always have such items as duct tape, jumper cables, and a tool kit with wrenches and screwdrivers available at all times.
By having realistic expectations of what to expect from the industry, new truck drivers will be able to not only get off to a good start, but also have success for many years to come.