Training And Mentoring Opportunities
As you become a more experienced truck driver, youll know first-hand what it takes to succeed on the road. After youve been here six months, Schneider offers several opportunities to share your experience with new drivers and get rewarded for it:
Training engineer Run for about a week with a driver during his/her final stage of training, providing a positive first exposure to life on the road. Enjoy additional daily pay and bonus opportunities. Train full-time or part-time and earn up to $10,000 more than an average solo driver.
Changes Are Sometimes Necessary
Finally, Ive learned that while it can be tough to make a change, sometimes its the best thing to do.
The object of the game is to put money in your pocket.
Youve got to be working with a carrier that is not only making themselves money, but is allowing you to make money as well.
Its got to be a mutual relationship.
Too often, especially these days, the carrier is making money, but the driver not so much.
Youve got to be compensated for all your time on the road, all your time away. After all, its work time too.
You may find yourself in the position where you are not making money.
Youve met with the carrier and voiced your concerns about being paid for your down time or waiting time or whatever your concerns are.
But you and your carrier dont seem to be able to work it out. Id say its time to start looking for a better carrier.
There are better carriers out there that will pay you for your time.
Your time is worth money.
While it is stressful to switch jobs, often its the best thing, because youve got to make a good living at this.
Dont let yourself stagnate at a trucking company, whos not treating you well or not paying you fairly, just because youre afraid to move.
Make the move.
Ive had to do it a few times in my career in trucking and each time, it was the right thing to do.
Do consider a change if youre not being compensated fairly for your time.
Learn From The Experts
There are also options to drive solo or as a team. Although driving solo provides a lot more independence than teaming up with someone, when just starting out, that companionship can be advantageous. For example, long hauls can get extremely lonely as you clock hundreds of miles on the highway. In a team, drivers can switch off and remain compliant with the hours-of-service limits. Also, if you team up with an expert driver, youll gain lots of knowledge and advice that may prevent costly or dangerous mistakes along the way.
After all, driving a semi-truck comes with a lot of responsibility and in order to advance, its imperative to keep a clean driving record. Receiving advice from seasoned drivers could make a positive impact on your driving skills and future.
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Provides You Much Needed Benefits
When youleave your established career, perhaps one of the most significant losses isthe loss of your benefits. Losing health insurance, life insurance, paidvacation and sick time can be a significant blow. This is especially true ifyou or your family members have significant medical needs. Thankfully, becominga truck driver provides you these much-needed benefits even after leaving yourlifelong career.
Easy Access To Training
A career change is always a bit frightening. You cant help but worry about the training. Many people choose truck driving as second careers because the training is easy to access and fast. To become a truck driver, youll need to get a commercial drivers license . You can earn your CDL at a truck driving school. You will choose the type of CDL you want to get when you enter school. Regardless of the CDL you choose, you can expect to make it through truck driving school in a matter of weeks. Thats a short time to spend to start a new career.
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Career Transition From A Trucker To A Techie
Do you believe that age is really just a number? If not, then this story might make you believe it. Whats new about the story? Well, its a career transition story of a 48-year-old tucker who is now a techie. No big deal! So we ask again, is age really just a number? May be, yes!
Heres a career transition story of Tony Boswell who transformed his life to become a Techie after working as a trucker for 14 years. This was first published on Medium.
I DID IT!!! And for anyone doubting themselves or their skills, this is for you:
For the last 14 years I have been an over the road truck driver. I had never thought that I could ever share a career transition story. I graduated the Front End Web Development track on September 1st from Udacity.com on a Scholarship that was awarded to me by . Since then I have worked on my transitional resume and . I have been following Udacitys career development guidelines, getting my reviews and polishing them up.
I was so bummed.
Thats like a 2 hour commute every day, and just not feasible as my old F-150 has a V-8 in it. I also was not keen on being behind the wheel that long anymore. I had just watched 14 years of my life pass me by holding on to a steering wheel. Thats exactly why I wanted out and transition my career! Im sick of seeing asphalt!
Not one to ever give up, I continued to paper this town with my resume. Meanwhile, I completed a certification in responsive design from another course provider.
How Often Do Truck Drivers Get Tested
The United States Department of Transportation cites on its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website that the DOT drug and alcohol tests include pre-employment, in which an employer must receive a negative drug test result before permitting a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, and then post-accident, in which drug and alcohol tests may be required after crashes.
The New York Post, however, reported in November that more than 72,000 truck drivers have been taken off U.S. roads since January 2020 because they have failed drug tests that are now required by the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. This registry was established in 2020 and is enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Its a list that employers are required to consult before hiring a driver, and employers are required to add data to the list when their employees fail a random drug test.
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Start Building Or Updating Your Cv
If you are on the lookout for a new job opportunity, now is a good time to start working on your CV. A CV should be tailored for the job you’re applying for so knowing where to start, how it should be structured and how much information to include can be daunting. There are tools available to help and this blog along with its handy accompanying video outlines how you can use our CV templates to create the perfect CV.
You Are Better Able To Handle Problematic Situations
Because you have lived life for longer, you have seen more. Not much will surprise you on the roadways. By contrast, young drivers are more apt to get rattled when things dont go as expected on the road. For example, if weather conditions change and the roadway becomes slippery or there is a wreck of mechanical issues. You are also less likely to lose your cool when other drivers dont respect your space.
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What Retraining Options Are Out There For Truck Drivers
Many Truck Drivers utilise their time out on the road to undertake distance learning courses. If you like the idea of learning something new in your downtime there are plenty of free online courses available:
- Learn Direct – English, Maths and I.T functional skills
These four providers offer 100s of free online courses in a huge variety of topics from financial literacy to fitness and nutrition. Each course can take anywhere from one week to 12 weeks or more to complete.
Look out for providers who offer the opportunity to purchase a certificate at the end of your course or to download a learner record for free so you can show potential employers how much work you have put into developing your knowledge and skills.
The aforementioned Alison site has an excellent search feature where you can find free courses based on the industry you are hoping to enter.
Getting On The Road Each Day Having Already Made Progress
Many people wonder how to change your career focus for Ramoundas, the path forward was shown by those around him.
I have drivers and owner operators in my family, with their own companies. They told me about the difference trucking could make in your life if you go at it seriously.
However, his first trip into trucking was down a rough road. Before Hermes, he spent about a month working for a different company.
But there was a problem pay. While theres plenty to love about a truck driving career, no one can be expected to live the lifestyle without fair compensation. Luckily, Ramoundas knew that a true career change to better his life didnt just mean finding the right field. It meant finding the right company.
We come into this to better our families and our position in life. Because trucking is a life changing career. I didnt get that with the other company I was working for, so I ended up meeting someone who was working with Hermes at a truck stop.
It wasnt just Hermes great culture that prompted him to leave his old company and join us. He knew there was the opportunity for better pay, and he was ready to rise to that bigger responsibility that came with it.
What stands out to me about Hermes is that they do pay more and way better than the other companies do.
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A Rewarding Career Change And A Bit More Balance
Theres no doubt about it: truckies tend to work fairly long hours. According to Monash Universitys Driving Health Study, over half of the truckies surveyed work between 41-60 hours per week, and 37.5 per cent work over 60 hours per week.
Of course, if youre a truck driver, you know all too well that the job means long hours on the road and quality time away from family and friends. One thing many arent prepared for is the loneliness caused by lengthy stretches of time on the road completely solo.
For some people, solitude sounds like bliss! For others, particularly drivers who have spent years driving heavy vehicles week in and week out, the demands of truck driving can lead to a search for more balance. Some drivers start visualising more consistency in their career: fewer weekends away from home, and more time spent with family and community.
For truckies considering a career change, but not wanting to completely jump industries, a role in driver training is a highly attractive option.
Armstrongs Driver Education has been delivering high-quality heavy vehicle training and assessment for over 50 years. The team has trained thousands of heavy vehicle drivers over the years, and has even welcomed many graduates into the business as driver trainers.
We are always on the lookout for the best trainers and assessors to join our friendly team and we currently have a number of full-time positions available for individuals with the right outlook.
Major Perks Of Having A Truck Driving Career
The job market is booming, and youve got a lot of options on your plate. If youre new to the working world or if youre looking to make a career change, professional truck driving could be a great fit for you.
Theres no denying that the American economy runs on trucking. The truck driving industry brings goods of all kinds across the country, contributing millions upon millions of dollars to the economy on a yearly basis.
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Gives You A Way To See The Country
Perhaps, your dreams after retirement included traveling the country and seeing all the beauty that it holds. Unfortunately, traveling can cost a great deal of money. Becoming a truck driver gives you the ability to drive all over the country and get paid to do it. Of course, to actually visit specific tourist spots or destinations, you will likely have to schedule your vacations around your routes, but its possible, and a great way to still bring in a paycheck yet be able to see America as well. Some say truck driving is similar to taking a long-distance RV trip, but you are making money along the way, instead of just spending money.
Spend Quality Time With Your Spouse
Some people choose to switch to truck driving, so they can spend quality time with their spouses. Their younger years were spent raising children and handling commitments. Now, they want to have one-on-one time with their husbands or wives. Truck drivers and their spouses can travel the country together. This often feels like a second honeymoon. Nothing beats traveling the country with the person you love.
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Why Might Truck Drivers Change Careers
Truck drivers can decide to change their careers for a variety of reasons. It’s common for individuals to change their careers when they feel tired of their current position, so truck drivers may want a position that involves different duties from truck driving. Though, they still may want to pursue a career that involves similar skills they developed as a truck driver, like attention to detail, organization and mechanical knowledge. They may also want to change careers to gain new opportunities, like achieving career advancement, earning a higher income or receiving different benefits than their previous company offered.
Why Change Careers From Being A Truck Driver
Changing careers might appeal to you for several reasons. For example, truck drivers often spend long periods of time driving and can spend time away from their families, friends and home areas. Here are some common reasons for career changes for truck drivers:
Not enough time for personal life: Some truck drivers find that driving full-time leaves little time for their own personal endeavors. They might want to reclaim some of their time and pursue hobbies, create more time for family or have more time to relax.
Inadequate pay: Some truck drivers may find that their careers don’t offer adequate pay for the amount of travel time they experience. Salaries often vary by area, and more experienced drivers typically earn more than entry-level drivers.
Long hours sitting down: Sitting down for hours isn’t comfortable for some people, and there isn’t much room in a truck to stretch or change positions. Some people want to move around more and desire a job where they’re on their feet more often.
Little room for advancement: Truck driving typically lacks ample opportunities for advancement and higher pay. While drivers can become freight managers, fleet managers or other managerial employees, the advancement options are often limited.
Desire to explore different industries: Some truck drivers get bored with their job and want to explore other industries, or they’re curious to see if there are other jobs available for their skill set that might be a better fit for them.
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Great Income And Consistent Raises
When it comes to truck driving jobs, you definitely wont need to worry about your income. Entry-level salaries for truckers are typically around $45,000, and this number only increases as you gain experience and become a better driver.
Image: Unsplash | Matthew T Rader
Those with truck driving careers typically see consistent raises as the years go by, and many make around $70,000 to $80,000 after five years. A truck driving job will help you pay the bills, and then some.
Is Truck Driving A Good Career Everything Couriers Need To Know
Truck drivers are in demand. Understanding whats needed to be a successful courier can be overwhelming. This guide will walk you through.
Some people are born with a love of the open road or the joy of cruising city streets.
If youre one of them, you might be wondering: Is truck driving a good career? The trucking industry is certainly one that needs drivers, and will likely continue to need workers.
The American Trucking Associations recently reported in its annual Trucking Trends Report that trucking in the United States employed 3.36 million professional truck drivers in 2020. The trucking industry moved 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020, generating $732.3 billion in revenue.
And the face of truckers is changing too, as women made up 7.8% of the nations drivers an all-time high and minorities accounted for 42.3% of truck drivers.
So if youre one of those wondering about truck driving, whether you work now as a courier or youre looking for a new career, were here to help with our answers to the question Is Truck Driving a Good Career? Heres what we will cover in exploring everything couriers need to know:
- What is truck driving?
- How do I start driving my own truck?
- Do truck drivers make good money?
- Truck driver reviews
- Tips to prevent truck driver burnout
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How Do I Start Driving My Own Truck
The requirements for driving can vary by state and are different if you own your own vehicle. For instance, you may need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. If youre on your own, all long-haul truck drivers must have a commercial drivers license . Qualifications for obtaining a CDL vary by state but generally include passing both a knowledge test and a driving test.
According to the career site Indeed, once receiving a CDL, drivers can then work to get special endorsements to their CDL that display the ability to drive a specialized type of vehicle. For instance, to transport hazardous materials, truckers must have a hazardous materials endorsement .
Generally, a prospective driver attends a professional truck driving school to get training on maneuvering large vehicles on highways or through crowded streets. Classes will also cover federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. To qualify for truck driving school, applicants typically must be at least 21 years old, be able to pass a drug and alcohol test, obtain a CDL and have a clean driving record.
While some states allow drivers to be 18 to travel within the state, interstate drivers must be 21 years of age. The American Trucking Associations reports that in February of 2022, a single, national standard for obtaining a commercial drivers license will apply to new drivers.