A recent survey by a CDL test preparation site reported that 24% of commercial drivers want a competitive salary. Additionally, 20% of big rig drivers chose the profession because they love trucking. However, the same survey reported that 19% of drivers felt the salary is low, and 18% said the job could put a strain on the family.
Surveys like these send a message to the trucking industry that change is needed to retain drivers and gain the required new drivers in the industry to keep America moving in the right direction. Some of the trucking outfits have not only heard but responded to the drivers requesting respectful treatment and a family-friendly workplace.
Trucking Companies that Build a Family-Friendly Workplace
There are trucking companies that have policies that make it easier for a truck driver to balance work and family responsibilities. Family-friendly workplaces benefit the employer, families, and society in general. Trucking companies in the trucking industry try to create a workplace that is family-friendly by acting in the following ways.
- They work at having a positive attitude.
- Treat everyone with respect.
- Practice the art of active listening.
- Connect with fellow workmates on a personal level.
- Work together with drivers for the bigger picture.
- Offer flexible work hours and time at home.
- Offer leave arrangements for family emergencies.
Many trucking outfits understand that a team is like a family. Each teammate brings skill, experience, and is an integral part of the whole team. Not everyone on the team can be part of management or in the office. And, not everyone can deliver loads safely; it takes an entire team or family to get the load to the right place, on time, and in a safe manner. The team has to stick together during the good days and the challenging times, just like a family. Each member needs to take pride in the role they play on the team and be considerate of the other team members to achieve a victory. Each successful and safe load delivered on time is a victory. Each time flexibility is shown for members of the team is also another victory for the whole team. This attitude creates an environment of respect and loyalty.
Some trucking companies, as part of their family-friendly approach, have a family passenger program and pets are permitted on the road. These programs help truck drivers with loneliness and being away from their family so much of the time. These benefits that companies offer make a difference in not only the quality of life of over the road drivers but they also make a difference in the driver’s work performance. A big rig driver that is happy and has fun with their job will stay a long time and do a better job.
Skilled Truck Drivers Attain and Maintain Respect
Truck drivers need to help rebuild the image of the over the road driving professionals. The reputation of truck drivers has been marred over the years. Unfortunately, some have ruined the reputation for most. This negative trucker image and being treated poorly by others does not have to continue. It may be easy to react defensively or maybe even get a little belligerent when injustice comes your way. It is better to walk away then to lash out at the disrespect.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you regain the positive image of the trucker community once enjoyed. Take a reflective look at the reasons why respect was lost. Now let us outline a few techniques that skilled drivers are using to regain a clean reputation. Here are some things that experienced drivers do:
- Dress for success, meaning qualified drivers look presentable while in public.
- Speak in a respectful manner refraining from vulgar language.
- Act respectfully and appropriately while dealing with the public, shippers, receivers, customers, the office, and other drivers.
- As problems and discrepancies arise, skilled drivers explain their situation with dignity and look for a positive solution.
Being a skilled professional commercial driver is more than taking 18-wheels from one point to another. Professional drivers understand that respect begets respect. So they treat others with dignity and respect and in turn, gain self-respect.
A Competitive Trucking Salary Can Be Yours
The American demand for freight is on the rise. This demand makes the salary of drivers increase. According to ZipRecruiter.com, the average trucker salary is $59,158 per year. The variable is from $17,000 for what seems to be a part-time driving position to the high end of the pay scale of $166,000 per year. The salary is dependent mainly on location, experience, and the company. Experienced drivers can increase their pay by working for a higher paying company, expanding to specialty loads, or taking the leap to become an owner-operator.
For new commercial truck drivers, the salary ranges typically from $28,000 to $68,000 per year. What does it take to make that kind of coin without a college degree? Here are a few of the requirements for becoming an over the road driver.
- Enjoy long road trips and being independent.
- Commercial Drivers License CDL training and licensing.
- Meeting I.C.C. Regulations.
- Perform duties at loading and unloading docks
- Maintain a driving log.
- Maintain regulation standards.
- Drive a maximum of 11 hours per day.
- Take a full 10 hours of rest from driving as required.
- Maintain a professional code of conduct.
Following the trucking regulations is imperative not only for your safety but for public safety. If a driver is involved in an accident and the rules have not been followed, there are consequences. The consequences could be hefty fines, losing your license, and the worst outcome is there could be a loss of life. The regulations are set in place to prevent drivers from falling asleep behind the wheel and losing control of those 18-wheels and thousands of pounds of truck and cargo. Following the regulations is an integral part of obtaining a competitive salary.
Truck Drivers that Happily Drive the American Roadways
Salary and happiness depend primarily on your skills, experience, and the company you choose to work for. It is essential not just to take the first job offered to you. It is wise to either research the trucking companies yourself or go to a recruiting company. Recruiting companies are in the center of the trucking industry and can help you find a good-paying, trucker-friendly workplace. They understand that some of the key elements to look for in a trucking outfit are:
- The salary offered
- Deadhead policies
- The miles they have available
- Time at Home Policies
- Benefit Packages
- Vacation TIme
- Trucking Fleet
- Family-Friendly Policies
It is important that you are satisfied and have a work-life balance in your job as a truck driver. Having a life outside of your truck protects you from burnout and making choices that you might later regret in life. Truckers with a more balanced life and job schedule also perform on the job better.
There is no perfect job in any profession on the planet. There are suitable trucking outfits to work for that you can find happiness and satisfaction in your career. Family-friendly trucking outfits that offer a competitive salary, excellent benefits, safe working conditions, and a teamwork atmosphere are looking for over the road drivers now. You deserve to be happy trucking down the road for America. Do not wait to find a company that is right for you.