There are many pros and cons of a truck driving career. Whether or not you decide to attend a truck driving school, the expense is one of the first disadvantages to a career driving trucks.
Truck Driving School
Although it is not always necessary to take a truck driving class, these can be expensive. Even when you take the DIY route, you will still need to pay for the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and medical exam. However, some carriers or trucking/charter bus firms will assist with tuition costs (usually up to 90%) if you decide on school, though typically only after you get your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Some schools extend a payment program with the bulk payable after job placement.
Also, some offer job placement while you’re in school, which means you could be assigned to a driver as part of a mentorship program.
Unless you know someone in the industry who is willing to take you on as an apprentice or have a military truck driving background, truck driving school is probably in your best interest because the school will give you practical experience and hands-on training.
If you have experience driving trucks in the military, look into the Troops to Trucks Program, which allows the DMV to waive some CDL testing requirements. In addition, former military without a background may still be able to take advantage of the Post-9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill to fund tuition and housing while in driving school.
Salary for Truck Driving
First-year drivers average $41,110 annually. Although this does not seem like much for all those days and nights on the road away from home, third-year drivers typically earn more than twice that, or roughly $88,710.
With careful driving and ticket/accident avoidance, the pay usually gets better year after year. Experience and safe driving are the most substantial factors in how much you get paid for truck driving. However, the type of truck and freight you haul can significantly affect your salary as well. Flatbed drivers earn more than other tractor-trailer drivers and hazardous material (HazMat) haulers generally earn more than regular flatbed drivers. However, flatbed drivers typically require more manual labor securing equipment , and the risk of hauling HazMat is not worth it for some.
Some rookie drivers must accept an offer from a carrier in another area away from home and at a lower salary to get started. Which some would see as a disadvantage, but everyone has to start somewhere.
Diet & Exercise of the Average Truck Driver
Most truck drivers find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet or exercise regimen. Doing so might require more intricate planning. Although maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program is challenging for bus drivers and truckers, it is not impossible.
Weather & Irregular Sleep
You may think you can sleep when you want as an independent trucker or even as a member of a fleet; don’t count on it. Even when you can stop when you want, you might not be tired, and when you can’t stop, you might need to drive tired. You just have to figure out ways to overcome the hurdles.
The weather is another uncontrollable element of truck driving. It might be bright and beautiful when you start your drive, but chances are the weather will change. Be prepared for that.
Parking Spaces & Breaks
Although the FMCSA requires all truckers to take a 30-minute break within eight hours of beginning their driving day, parking spaces along major highways are a premium. Moreover, even though you spend hundreds fueling your truck, many places will still charge you for parking!
Shippers & Shipments
Dealing with shippers and shipments is a fact of life you will need to learn to deal with as a driver. Shippers do not care about your convenience or your schedule. Get ready to lose an average of four hours per load for pick up and drop off. Other inevitable delays are fuel, hours-of-service (HOS) regulations and other government red tape, traffic, accidents, and tickets.
Who Can Handle My Riverside County Traffic Ticket?
Call Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300. When you need assistance with a traffic ticket in Riverside, SLO, Los Angeles, or San Bernardino County, we can help. We offer CDL holders with traffic tickets or those who need assistance with a DMV Hearing a free consultation.
Many drivers do not realize a DMV Hearing could give them additional leeway with Negligent Operator Treatment System points. Instead of four points in a year, due to the added exposure of driving nearly every day as a trucker or bus driver, a DMV Hearing could up your total to six NOTS points. However, the best method to avoid a suspension is to challenge every traffic ticket. Call our office for a consultation.
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The alltrucking.com article, First Year Truck Driver Salary
The careercrawlers.com article, 5 Best Truck Driving Schools in California