Today, we’ll be getting honest about commercial truck driving. When people think about a truck driving career, what do they think about? For many people, they think about the feeling of being free, out on the road and sightseeing. While a career in commercial truck driving will allow you to travel and see new places, it is definitely not all fun and games. Let’s take a look at truck driving career expectations vs reality!
One of the most common expectations of truck driving is sightseeing. As mentioned above, you will be able to see new cities, states, and other parts of the country that you may not have had the chance to go to before. However, the extent of which you will get to sightsee is limited. The reality of truck driving is that you will be spending the majority of your time driving. This leaves little time to actually explore and sightsee– In fact, most of the sightseeing you’ll be doing is from your window as you make your way down the freeway. Since you’ll be delivering loads in a timely manner, there probably won’t be too much time to check out landmarks or explore downtown areas. Plus, you can’t really take a semi truck into tourist areas like the Grand Canyon, anyway. The bottom line? Commercial truck driving is adventurous, unpredictable, and rewarding, but it is not a vacation.
Some people considering a career in commercial truck driving assume it will be similar to traditional jobs where you go to work in the morning and come home in the evening. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Truck drivers spend hours on the road and can be gone for days, or sometimes even weeks at a time. When drivers do get to go home, their hometime is often limited to two days, due to the high demand in the industry. With that being said, it is important to remember that truck driving is not a 9 to 5 or Monday to Friday job– It is often more like a lifestyle. Not only can you be on the road for days at a time, but you must also be prepared for unexpected events, such as inclement weather or shipping delays that can extend your time on the road. Being away from family quite often is something to keep in mind if you are choosing this career path.
In order to become a truck driver, you must get your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s actually a little more complicated. In order to get your CDL, you must go to a truck driving school or community college. This training takes about seven weeks on average, but can take as long as six months, depending on the school you choose. Not only will you have to take and pass courses and a driving test, but this doesn’t come for free. Unfortunately, getting your CDL can be a bit costly. Most schools will charge an application fee and a skills test fee, on top of the costs of the actual courses and training. Truck driving school can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $9,000 on average. However, some trucking companies offer paid CDL programs, apprenticeships, or tuition reimbursement. The total cost will depend on the truck driving school you choose, and whether it is public or private, with private schools being more costly.
With all of that being said, there is a common misconception that anyone can be a truck driver. This is partially true: Anyone can become a truck driver with proper training. However, truck driving is not for everyone. If you are not willing to put in hard work, obey road laws, adhere to rules and regulations, be committed to handling freight safely and efficiently, and be willing to spend a lot of time away from home, then trucking probably isn’t for you.
Additionally, some people think that being a truck driver is easy. Most truck drivers would probably laugh at this statement! Being a commercial truck driver is far from easy– It is not as simple as getting your driver’s license, and truck drivers do a lot more than just sitting in a truck and driving. They are constantly on the move, transporting, loading and unloading freight, and making sure to do it in a timely manner, all while traveling safely. Truck driving requires sitting for long periods of time, which can lead to issues, including back pain and other muscle problems. Plus, they have to have a pristine driving record!
In our last post, we talked about how to start a career as a commercial truck driver. There are a few important things you should know about the process, so that you can get started on the right foot. This includes getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL), taking an exam, and more. If you are interested in getting started with your career as a commercial truck driver, we encourage you to check out our last post!
As you can see, commercial truck driving expectations vs reality can determine if it is the right career for you. We hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you are looking for a job as a commercial truck driver, we hope you’ll consider driving for BW Mitchum! You can learn more about our career opportunities here. We hope you found this article informative, and we hope to see you back on the blog soon for more tips and insight on topics involving truck drivers. If you are currently seeking new opportunities in the commercial trucking industry, we are always interested in adding new talent to our team! Thank you for reading!