Just like any other career, driving trucks has its challenges. Truck driving has one of the highest turnover rates when it comes to jobs in the US.
Here are some of the challenges that come with the trucking career.
Strain on relationships
One of the biggest reasons most truck drivers quit their job in a few months is because of the kind of stress put on the driver’s relationships.
When one starts out driving a truck, getting a local driving job or a job that will at least let him/her be at home a couple of days within the week is very hard and.
This means that the driver has to be away from his/her family for weeks at a time and when they get some time off, it’s just for a couple of days.
Very few couples can handle this kind of sacrifice. Especially if they have young kids.
I have talked to many drivers that are divorced and have lost their families just because they started a truck driving career.
Starting a truck driving career works better for those who are still single when starting out because after you have six months to a year of driving experience, it becomes easier to find something that will allow you to get home more frequently.
If you are married and have kids, make sure you sit down with your loved ones and make the decision together. The first year of trucking will be very stressful.
You all must be in agreement if trucking is to work out for you.
Loneliness and boredom
Before I started driving trucks, I used to consider myself as a person who liked to be alone. I quickly realized this is not true after I had finished my training and was driving solo.
Driving a truck solo (by yourself) is very lonely.
You listen to the radio, talk on the phone, talk to yourself, think and do all you can imagine, but soon run out of what will take away the boredom and loneliness.
I have come to realize that human beings were not meant to be alone and there is nothing that can replace the company of a fellow human being.
To help overcome the loneliness, some drivers bring along family members on their trips and some travel with their pets.
I don’t know if a dog, cat or any other pet would help take away the loneliness but I guess every driver is trying to find a solution to this problem.
Usually in other careers other than the commission based ones, one usually knows what their paycheck amount is going to be since the pay rate and hours worked are usually the same.
In truck driving, your paycheck is inconsistent because you are paid by the miles (generally speaking).
A driver could have a good week where he/she runs 3000+ miles followed by a lousy week where they can’t even get 2000 miles. This can make it very difficult for a driver to budget his/her finances.
There are ways to overcome this issue. Go read and listen to this.
One of the biggest issues faced by truck drivers is health.
Many drivers have left the truck driving career because of bad health. In addition to a commercial driver license, truck drivers have to carry a medical card.
This card is obtained by undergoing and passing a department of transportation medical and physical test. Failure to pass the DOT test means losing your commercial driver license.
The reason most drivers have bad health is because of the nature of the job.
Drivers sit for long hours driving and do not endeavor to do any exercises. In addition to that, because they are always on the road, “junk” food becomes their number one choice of food.
This combination of inactivity and bad eating has not only put people out of the truck driving career but has killed many drivers too.
Hard to pursue other things
Currently, this is my number one challenge.
Finding the time to pursue other things like going to school, going to church, socializing, getting involved in communities, etc becomes very hard when you are a truck driver.
It is easy to be caught in just driving trucks and fail to socialize or even have an exit plan in case you want to do something else with your life.
Trucking can easily take all your time if you are not careful.
Lot of hours
While most jobs usually have the standard 40 hours a week of working, truck driving is different.
Truck drivers work 10 to 14 hours a day and put in 60 to 70 hours a week. And I only say that because legally, truck drivers have a 14 hour and 70-hour rule.
Most drivers look for ways to work above the legal limit not because they want to but because they want to put in enough miles or hours to be able to make a good paycheck.
Just think about it. Tens of thousands of accidents happen on US road EVERY DAY. Millions every year. You can go here to get an idea of the stats.
Every time a truck driver gets behind that wheel, he/she is driving a long, tall and heavy equipment.
Most people we share the road with have no clue how the 18 wheelers work and so do not care how they drive around them.
Every working day for truck drivers is a day faced with safety challenges.
That is why I encourage my fellow truck drivers to always ask and thank God for his protection. If you are not a truck driver, always remember us in your prayers as we drive on those roads.
Until next time,