Although truck driving can be a lucrative career choice with a starting salary somewhere in the range of $800 to $1,000 a week depending on how many runs you take and whom you work for, there are drawbacks.
Truck driving is one of the most heavily regulated industries. Drivers often get denied the work-life balance enjoyed in other professions, and diet and exercise are difficult to control. The driver can often control the effects of those, but roadside inspection failures and traffic tickets typically require legal assistance.
# 1 — Denied Work-Life Balance While Truck Driving
Many in the truck driving industry can enjoy a harmonious work-life balance by driving mostly local routes that allow them to return home at night. However, that is rarely ever true for over-the-road (OTR) truckers who spend weeks at a time out on the road.
Trading home time for dollars is often a necessary evil in the truck driving industry. When you get paid by the mile to deliver goods across America, your work-life balance is bound to suffer. You might make less money driving a local route, but the trade-off with quality of life might be worth it.
# 2 — Truck Driving is Over-Regulated
Many in the truck driving industry agree that the truck driver’s life behind the wheel is over-regulated. Even those making the rules know it is true. Recently, the FMCSA has been working on relaxing areas of the Hours of Service (HOS) rules. They are currently looking at making the mandatory 30-minute break within eight hours of the start of work, and the 11-hour maximum driving rules more flexible.
Many drivers believe more flexibility toward when they take their 30-minutes would allow them to take that break while waiting out a traffic jam over a cup of coffee, or further into their shift when they spend three or four hours waiting to get loaded.
Split-sleeper beths are another area that might make life less miserable for drivers who want to take more frequent breaks/naps in the sleeper. Many older drivers cannot sleep for eight hours straight, especially those with a full bladder from drinking too much coffee. The average age of truckers is currently 59.
Note: The FMCSA is still considering allowing interstate driving for 18, 19, and 20-year-olds until 15 July 2019; you can get your comments heard here.
# 3 — Diet & Exercise
Even as some fast-food establishments get better at offering healthy alternatives, most still have a long way to go. Undoubtedly, chicken burgers provide less fat than red meat, but still, most get covered in batter and deep-fried. Likewise, a bottle of water costs twice as much as a fountain drink, and a salad that’s usually filled with wilted lettuce and a dried up tomato costs three times as much as a regular burger and fries, plus it doesn’t do much to fill you up.
There isn’t much exercise involved in truck driving after you ensure the load is secure and hit the road. Sure, you can do some range-of-motion exercises with your neck and shoulders, but truckers are sitting stationary for five to six hours at a time.
# 4 — Roadside Inspections
No matter how well you do your daily vehicle inspections and fill out the daily vehicle inspection report (DVIR), when inspectors start looking they will likely find something you missed or that popped up during your trip. Roadside inspections turn up blown lights, dirt-covered reflectors, brakes out of adjustment, and worn or missing equipment.
Usually, trucks and buses pulled into the weigh station are driven across a scale, and if their weight meets the standard they can continue. However, vehicles that are in the 75-100 percentile of the Safety Measurement System (SMS), through the Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) severity points, and random vehicles might get further inspected by the CHP for:
- Lights & reflectors
- Fluid leaks
- Cargo securement
- Brake adjustments or malfunctions
These violations can lead to on-spot-corrections, warnings, CSA severity points, traffic tickets, and out-of-service (OOS) orders. Maintenance safety issues must get fixed before you can continue.
# 5 — Truck Driving Traffic Tickets
Traffic tickets when truck driving can be quite inconvenient and bothersome enough in your home state. However, when you get tickets and inspection shortcomings in another state, these will only get more serious when ignored. Everything is computerized now, so there is almost no way to escape an out-of-state traffic ticket. The best possible solution is to consult a local traffic ticket attorney from that state.
The Driver’s License Compact (DLC) is a cooperation between states, the District of Columbia, and Canadian Provinces to forward unresolved traffic tickets, suspensions, at-fault accidents, and convictions to the home state. In California, under CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear makes a failure to appear (FTA) a misdemeanor offense. Therefore, if you do not resolve your ticket or show up in court by the due date, your name and offense will likely be forwarded to your home state, and your name and offense registered with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or FBI database. Consult with a traffic ticket attorney by phone or email to work out a solution.
Ask a Law firm That Regularly Handles Tickets in Roseville Traffic Court
How you handle work-life imbalance, diet, and exercise while bus or truck driving might be a personal choice. However, violations from roadside inspections and traffic tickets will typically require the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced traffic ticket attorney. Call Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300 when you are unsure of how to handle violations and tickets. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We handle tickets in Roseville, Woodland, Truckee, Placerville, Sacramento, and South Lake Tahoe to intercede on behalf of CDL holders with alleged overweight, bad equipment, and other violations from roadside inspections at the Truckee “chicken coop” or from roadside stops for speeding, following too closely, and others.
We only handle traffic violations and use a flat fee so that you will know how much you will pay for the resolution of your ticket. We know you’re busy, you must keep trucking, and you don’t have time for court. However, ignoring the ticket will not make it go away. We can!
Send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.