Did you know that only 6% of commercial truck drivers are women? Nevertheless, if you’re looking to make a career change, a career as a commercial truck driver could be the perfect choice. A career in truck driving might be right for you if you enjoy long hours on the road, value your independence, and love exploring new places.
Many people find working in the trucking industry quite rewarding. Commercial truck driving does not require a four year college degree, and typically, you’ll have the opportunity to travel almost anywhere, at your own pace. Even so, there are some things you should know about how a commercial truck driver spends their day.
A day in the life of a commercial truck driver may look something like this:
- Early Start to the Day
- Enjoy the Open Road
- Personal Hours
- Independent Schedules
Early Start to the Day
In a commercial truck driver’s daily life, you’ll discover that you’re often on the road earlier than the average driver. Truck drivers may have to arrive at work as early as 5am, depending on the company. Before hitting the road, drivers should check the weather and route conditions, inspect their trucks, and complete any required logs.
Often, truck drivers are held to a strict schedule once they’re on the road. There may be delays, slowed vehicles or accidents that drivers will need to be aware of. In a commercial driver’s day-to-day life, such issues are less frequent than delays caused by inclement weather or equipment failure. There are federal regulations limiting the amount of time drivers can spend on the road to 11 hours, so don’t worry that you won’t have time to rest between drives.
Enjoy the Open Road
According to federal regulations, truck drivers may work up to 11 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean they’re always on the road. With added bathroom breaks and food breaks, a drive may take about 9 hours. It is important to remember that truck drivers typically make money only when they are on the road. Due to this, many drivers avoid taking more breaks than necessary.
While driving, commercial truck drivers need to be alert to traffic around them, as well as think about their destination. In order to make the most of their time, trucking companies often provide drivers with effective routes. Despite these routes, many hours can still be spent traveling due to unpredictable delays.
Some trucking companies prefer to have their drivers on the road at different times. With this in mind, as a commercial trucker, you’ll likely have some portion of your day to yourself. The majority of this is due to safety concerns- and companies want their drivers to be in top condition.
Toward the end of a work day, a truck driver will have probably spent quite a bit of time driving. By this point, they’ll probably be ready to take a break and eat. Sleeper units are available on some trucks so drivers can spend the night or take a nap in their vehicles. However, if this is not the case, drivers will often rest in various trucking facilities or hotel rooms for longer, across state line drives.
Usually, a day in the life of a commercial truck driver is spent alone. During a lunch break or at the end of the evening, most truck drivers are able to connect with family or friends. Commercial truck driving may be a great career choice for those who thrive off of the lone wolf mentality.
Listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or listening to their favorite songs during their shifts can help truck drivers pass the time. Even though driving a commercial truck can be challenging, there are some great benefits associated with this profession.
Over the past few years, trucking companies have begun to make changes to better suit their drivers. Depending on your company, this may include more efficient routing to keep drivers closer to home and even more flexible delivery and pickup windows to reduce those long hours behind the wheel.
Becoming a truck driver can be a fun and rewarding career choice. Once you’ve completed your certifications and requirements by state, you’ll be ready to hit the ground driving.