While life on the road may seem intriguing, it’s important to be aware of all the things that come with a career as a truck driver. From the amount of time you’ll spend on the road to learning about laws and regulations and more, we’ve broken it down into a few things you should keep in mind:
- The Type of Freight You Want to Haul
- Laws & Restrictions
- Time Spent on the Road
- Communication Is Key
Ready to become a driver? Contact Beacon Transport today to learn more about our job opportunities.
The Type of Freight You Want to Haul
One of the first things you’ll need to do if you want to become a truck driver is consider the type of freight you’d want to haul. This is because there are three different types of commercial driver’s licenses depending on the type of truck you’re driving and how heavy the materials are. All of these classifications are all determined by the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and other specific requirements.
If you get a Class A commercial driver’s license, you’ll be able to drive vehicles like tractor-trailers, livestock carriers, and flatbeds. A Class B commercial driver’s license will allow you to operate vehicles like city buses, delivery trucks, and dump trucks with small trailers. If you’re interested in operating any type of vehicle that is able to transport 16 or more people or transport hazardous materials, you’ll need a Class C commercial driver’s license.
Laws & Regulations
In order to keep yourself and other drivers safe, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a variety of laws and regulations in place. It’s important to be aware of them and monitor any changes or updates to make sure you’re not violating any laws that could cause you to pay fines or lose your license. Here are a few that you should be aware of:
- No commercial vehicle can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Trucks must be no wider than eight feet and no taller than 13 feet, six inches.
- Property-carrying drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours followed by 10 hours off duty while passenger-carrying drivers are allowed to drive 10 hours with 8 hours off duty.
- You must be able to maintain your vehicle to be compliant with FMCSA guidelines. This includes being familiar with the standardized inspection format, which covers the vehicle’s tires, fluids, brakes, and lights.
Time Spent on the Road
If you’re thinking of becoming a truck driver, it’s important to keep in mind how much time you’ll spend away from family and friends. On average, a truck driver spends about 300 days on the road. Many truckers start their careers as on-the-road truckers which requires them to drive long distances for days or weeks at a time before moving into regional or local truck driving jobs and can often take up to two years.
This likely means that you’ll miss out on things like holidays, birthdays, and other important milestones. As this can be a big shift in your life and daily schedule, you’ll need to consider how it will impact various aspects of your life including your physical and mental health.
Communication Is Key
Not only will you have to maintain ways of communicating with friends and family while you’re gone, but you’ll also have to communicate daily with a variety of people. For example, you’ll be working with a dispatcher. They’re responsible for trip scheduling and will be helping you with a variety of things like monitoring traffic delays, vehicle breakdowns, and delivery issues. It’s important that you’re able to communicate effectively and stay in constant contact as they’ll be the one responding to any issues you may face. It’ll also help you keep a clear head as you can focus on driving and know that any complications will be resolved.
Get Started with Beacon Transport
At Beacon Transport, our mission is to develop and maintain a respectable, profitable reputation as a valuable truckload carrier company. We specialize in hauling non-hazardous dry freight throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest and have an in-house maintenance staff that handles all of our servicing needs.
Interested in joining our team? Contact us today to learn more about us and our job opportunities.