A long-haul truck stops to unload in Trego, Nevada, USA – Photo Courtesy: Jacob Davies
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that careers as long-distance truck drivers are projected to grow 21% through the year 2020, which is faster than average when compared with all other occupations. Growth should be particularly prevalent as economic conditions improve.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the perks and downside of choosing this job so you can decide whether it might be right for you.
Small Amount of Formal Education Needed
Unlike some jobs, truck drivers are usually only required to have a high school diploma or GED, because most of the instruction received comes in the form of short-term, on-the-job training. In addition to likely spending time on the road with more experienced drivers during the early stages of a career, trainees are also required to possess a commercial license or CDL.
Great Deal of Independence
If you’ve always loved the feeling of being out on the road, and don’t need constant supervision to meet deadlines, you might have a bright future as a trucker. Truck drivers often transport goods across several states, so the job offers a great way to see other areas of the country and get paid while you’re at it without having to always report to a supervisor whoâ€™s nearby.
No Need to Perform Repairs
As a truck driver, you can get ready to be around heavy rigs on a near constant basis, so if you get a thrill from having a higher vantage point than many other drivers on the road, that might be a sign you’d be well suited for a life on the road. Also, more importantly, even though you’ll be using these vehicles on a regular basis, you shouldn’t be expected to be solely responsible for repairs, because that responsibility would usually be given to a specialized company.
That said, it’s smart to become familiar with the major parts of your rig, including brakes, shocks, hitching mechanisms and axles. Some of the components might be tiny in size, but they play a big role in helping you stay safe. For example, shocks that are too worn make it more difficult to stop efficiently, especially while carrying heavy loads across wet or otherwise slick surfaces.
A Sedentary Lifestyle
Although there are the perks listed above and more, there are also a few downsides to long-haul trucking. As a starting point, researchers from Utahâ€™s Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health have found that someone who is a long-haul trucker is more likely to have health problems like diabetes and high cholesterol, plus have a higher body mass index. This trend may partially be occurring because many trucking shifts can span for at least 12 hours per day, and the food available at truck stops is often unhealthy.
As a long haul driver, one of the biggest challenges youâ€™re likely to face is learning how to keep yourself content without company from others. While at truck stops, youâ€™ll probably have the opportunity to bond with people who share the same lifestyle, but if long-haul trucking is something you want to pursue over a long period of time, keep in mind that itâ€™ll almost certainly require long amounts of time away from loved ones.
Like any career path, a position as a long-haul trucker has several benefits and potentially negative factors. Since itâ€™s a vocation far outside the boundaries of a traditional office environment and requires substantial personal sacrifices, itâ€™s especially important to consider each factor carefully before coming to a conclusion about whether this job would be a good fit.
Writer Dan Nielson is an avid blogger. Looking for ways to improve your ride for long distances? Consider using bilstein shocks to upgrade.