Long haul truckers have an exciting job that could see them drive all over the country, meet amazing people, and see amazing things. However, it is a difficult job that requires a lot out of you as a person. You might want to be a truck driver, but you need to have a much deeper understanding of what truck driving is all about. The only way to do that is to read through this list and grapple with the issues that you see here. You need to know what you are getting into before you start hauling over long distances every week.
1. Long Hauls Take Time
Long hauls take a long time to complete. You can only drive so many miles in a day, and you can only go so fast. This means that you might spend a week pulling just one haul because it requires that you go very far from home before coming back. Some people think truck driving will be fun because they get to see so many places, but they might not like the fact that it takes a week to do just one haul. Some drivers would prefer to do shorter hauls or only work regionally. You need to consider this before deciding to take the national routes with higher pay.
2. Who Owns Your Truck?
You could buy your truck, but you have to always be working to pay it off. However, you are at the beck and call of a trucking company every day. They could send you anywhere, but the pay is consistent. You need to be sure that you are comfortable with the amount of work you get, where you are going, and how long it takes to handle each haul. If you are the extroverted type, you might be able to own your truck, find clients, and keep working while making your schedule.
3. Do You Have A Family?
You will be away from your family for days at a time, and you need to be sure that you know how to handle these long gaps between being away and being home. Someone who is hoping to have a family might not cope well with a long-distance truck, but another truck driver might do very well because they have a spouse who is happy to tend the homestead while they are gone. Every family is different, and you need to be sure that your family can handle the long-distance hauling lifestyle.
You need to have enough stamina to drive for long periods. This has to do with both your physical and mental health. Some people cannot stay focused for long periods of time like this, but other people can do very well because they like having those times of solitude.
5. Short Turnarounds
The short turnarounds at pickup sites could be too much for you. You need to be confident that you are ready to turn back and drive home on the same day. You need to be prepared to get back on the road, and you need to know how to manage the turnarounds so that you do not get confused or lost. Someone who wants to be successful in this field needs to be prepared to make changes in an instant, take another shipment, or come home with a brand new shipment that was waiting for them.
6. Trucker Culture
You need to get used to trucker culture because there are stops along every major highway where there are other truckers, places where you can shower, food that you will get used to, and other things to do. You need to decide if this is the kind of lifestyle you would like to have. Many people will use trucker culture as a way to escape from a routine, and others love it because they have gotten to know people on the road. You might get to know attendants at certain stations, and you will get to know people where you make your deliveries. If you are the chatty type, you will love going out to meet people every time you leave for a long haul.
You might get bored on the road, and you need to have a way to deal with boredom so that you do not feel as though you are wasting your life behind the wheel. You could find many different things to do on the road that will be exciting to you, and you could listen to books, listen to podcasts that teach you something, listen to lectures as you take a class that you found online, or listen to the radio. You could learn a lot of different things, and you could even take a language course in your truck. You need to find a way to pass the time, and you could become something of a renaissance man that is learning new things all the time.
8. Trucks Are Not Comfortable
Trucks are not comfortable to drive because they have big engines and ride so hard. It is very taxing to ride in a truck where you are continually changing gears. You need to be repaired to deal with this level of discomfort, or you need to get a nice cab that has all the extra amenities that you need so that you can remain as comfortable as possible.
9. The Pace
The pace of driving can be very close just because of traffic and other issues that happen on the highway. You have to stop at weigh stations, and you might even get pulled over just because a cop wants to check your permits. This is a huge deal because it could make you feel even more bored. Be sure that you know you can keep up with the slow pace of trucking without getting frustrated.
10. Other Long Haul Truckers
Other drivers on the road could cause problems for you because most regular drivers have no idea how to act around a big rig. They think that they can drive around you like everything is normal, but it is tough to steer and stop a big rig. Be sure you are comfortable in heavy traffic that could be a part of every trip.