Driving a truck is more than a job. It’s a lifestyle that can be pretty demanding, both for you and for your family. At the same time, it also is very rewarding for a number of reasons. You should explore this career if you value higher pay, flexibility, and freedom in addition to following a different path.
Have you thought about a job in the truck driving industry?
You need to think about the following things when considering a career as a professional truck driver:
The Workday Can Start Early
After you receive your CDL certificate, you are likely eager to earn the most money as fast as possible. After all, you must earn your certification to make money. Days can get very long for truck drivers both on the interstate and the local roads.
There are also some truck drivers who like driving through the night. However, there are no fixed hours for over-the-road truck drivers, except when they call in when returning from a “time off.” You can start work at any time, typically early in the morning.
How Far You Drive Will Determine Your Pay
Despite the fact that you get paid hourly in some companies, most companies pay their drivers by miles rather than by the number of miles they drive. This is of interest, since the amount you earn has little to do with the speed at which you drive.
Expected Working Duration
The maximum maximum number of hours in eight days you can work is 70. After working for that many hours, you are not permitted to drive again.
Truck drivers can only return to driving after 34 hours off duty. Truck drivers can reach the 70 hours limit by working 14-hour days. However, you cannot drive more than 11 hours in a single day. Your hours of service must be punctuated by a 10-hour break.
All Miles Are Not Given the Same Preference
Some trucking companies that pay drivers “practical miles” pay based on the miles the driver covers while on the job, although actual mileage may be a bit different from what is paid for.
You Don’t Always Get to Do It Alone
As the truck driver, you will either do live loading and unloading or “drop-n-hooks.” Unloading freight is not your responsibility. You will likely still have to depend on several receiving and shipping departments observing your schedule.
There are Strategies to Increase Your Earning
The end of the year is usually a great time to find out your exact pay range. Some drivers even earn $75,000 to over $100,000 a year. You can increase your earnings significantly by:
- Becoming a driver trainer
- Haul hazardous material types or oversized freight loads
- Sign on with a company to earn a percentage pay of every load you haul
Your “Office” is on the Road
Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road. They are expected to cover around 125,000 miles in a year. This amounts to about 2,500 miles per week, which is about 500 miles per day.
This is a pretty long distance to cover, and it is what you will be dedicating your time to if you pick a career in this field. You will be driving very long distances, spending most of your time on the road. However, the compensation is really worth it. It is even an enjoyable and fun thing for most drivers.
Truck Driving Comes with Some Goodies
Most people have always wished to have a tour around the country. Interestingly, the wish of others is the lifestyle of truck drivers. Truck drivers get to see different parts of the country and enjoy some unique views with a CDL schedule.
Another fascinating thing about it is that you would mostly be driving modern trucks. These modern trucks come with ergonomically designed, comfortable seats that will help you remain focused on alert while on the road.
Tips for Maximizing CDL Schedule and Making More Money
Plan Your Trips
One of the best ways to maximize your time to make more money is to plan your trip. Planning your trip is very important, and many truck drivers fail to do this. Rather than planning their trips before starting the day’s work, they just enter the truck and hit the gas pedal, and this can cost them money out of their paycheck.
- Before you hit the road, get clear directions from the customer and find out if truck parking is available.
- You should always have a paper map as a backup
- Know the gas stations before time
- Plan your driving hours every day
Plan Your Routes
Planning your route is another great way to maximize your time and make more money. Before you hit the road, you should consider the routes you need to take.
The routes that are longer might have the best road conditions, but they might be very crowded. You don’t want to spend too much time in traffic on the shorter routes. Time is very important in the transportation business, so you don’t want to waste your time traveling.
Pull Over and Take Breaks
If you drive 11 hours a day, it is important you take breaks. Taking breaks is necessary both for your safety and your mental health. During these breaks, you should take a quick nap, fuel up, eat, or use the bathroom.
Trucking is one of the most profitable industries you could enter. Truckers are well taken care of and the pay is great. However, it does take the right mindset to be a truck driver. You need to be able to time on the road, consider your CDL schedule, and more.
Request CDL training information from our enrollment specialists for free. The CDL Academy can help you ace your CDL test date and succeed as a professional truck driver.