Is Truck Driving Hard? Updated 2024

If you’re considering getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you’ve probably thought, “Is truck driving hard?” Like any job, truck driving has its challenges, but if it’s a good fit and you’re a skilled driver, the career can be extremely rewarding. The trucking industry is always looking for new aspiring drivers, and with hard work, almost anyone can go to school for their CDL. While a career in truck driving has its challenges, commercial drivers are able to have flexible hours, rewarding experiences, and reliable pay. To most, the benefits outweigh the difficulties. 

Is Truck Driving Hard?

Truck Driving Expands Your Opportunities

Truck Drivers Get to See the Country

While your time on the clock will be spent on the highway, many truck drivers will set their breaks in parts of the country they want to visit—and some drivers recall stopping to see college and pro football games, NASCAR races, and more. Additionally, you will be able to choose your own hours including where you take breaks. This makes the job even more rewarding and unique. A career in the trucking industry is not just fulfilling in pay, but in experiences as well. You’ll probably visit places you haven’t heard of. And if you’re taking on a new route, you might discover something unexpected. What better career than to be able to travel the country, gaining new experiences? There are very few other careers where you get paid to travel.

Understanding the Training and Licensing Process

Obtaining a CDL is a vital step in becoming a truck driver. The process involves classroom learning and hands-on driving experience. Prospective drivers need to have a strong understanding of the rules of the road, how to properly maintain their vehicles, and ways to stay safe and keep others safe while on the road. Courses typically run for several weeks, and costs can vary, but at TDI, you can get your CDL in just 3 weeks for as little as $225 out of pocket. Once you finish your program, you need to take your driving exam to obtain your CDL. At TDI, you can take the test on campus, further expediting your journey to trucking.

Truck Drivers Have Tons of Work Opportunities

Truck driving is one of the most popular jobs in the United States.

truck driving is hard

But according to the American Trucking Associations, at the end of 2018, there was a shortage of over 60,000 drivers from those needed to meet the high demand for freight services. And according to the Department of Labor, the need for truck drivers will increase by 5% between now and 2028. To keep up with demand and to replace retiring drivers, the industry will need to hire 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade.

The truck driving industry is always looking for new drivers. Currently, many companies have been willing to increase the pay of their drivers, as well as add additional benefits. 

That means that top-notch CMV drivers will never have a hard time finding work. And recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that wages for truck drivers have increased in recent years, with a national average of $57,062 per year. The job security of truck driving can’t be beat. At Truck Driver Institute, we are partnered with over 20 carriers to ensure you are placed with a company that will give you the job you’ve always wanted.

Opportunities for Continuous Learning and Development 

The trucking industry is an industry that is always encouraging drivers to seek out new educational opportunities. From learning the latest logistics software to attending safety workshops, drivers are always able to enhance their skills and knowledge. Many companies support ongoing education and certification in areas like hazardous transport and eco-friendly driving techniques to help drivers pursue their desire to continue learning, which may even lead to a new career path!

Career Path and Progression in Truck Driving

A truck driving career offers numerous pathways for career advancement and specialization. Licensed drivers can specialize in various types of hauls, such as flatbed, refrigerated, tanker, hazardous materials, and more. Each specialization has its own challenges and rewards. Some, however, might require additional endorsements, but with those enhanced qualifications, there are opportunities for higher pay. 

Experienced drivers can also advance into owner/operator, dispatcher, or manager roles. When you obtain your CDL, it’s not just for one career path but a gateway to endless opportunities.

Driving a Truck Gives You Independence and Flexibility

Many truck drivers are able to set their own hours and schedules as long as they’re able to meet their delivery deadlines. Plus you get extra independence and flexibility over your work. Being a commercial truck driver allows you to be on your own, and complete your job independently. You don’t have to worry about being micro-managed and have minimal supervision. And since you’ll be on the road on your own, you have the freedom to be yourself. While most jobs require a set number of hours during a specific time, as a commercial truck driver, you have the availability to choose your own hours. A lot of the time, your hours may be unconventional, allowing you to allot your time to personal commitments as well. 

Recognition and Rewards for Safe Driving

Safety is paramount in the trucking industry for drivers and those on the road. Companies often recognize and reward drivers for adhering to safety standards and maintaining clear driving records. The awards can range from bonuses and pay increases to awards and public recognition. These incentives are straightforward to achieve; they just require you to be mindful on the road. 

The Health and Wellness of Truck Drivers

Maintaining health and wellness while driving long hours on the road is essential for truck drivers. The nature of the job can lead to health issues if not properly managed. Successful drivers find time to incorporate exercise into their routines. You don’t need a gym membership or equipment; you just need motivation and your truck!  Drivers should also prioritize selecting healthier food options and ensure they get adequate rest between shifts. Check out our video on healthy habits when on the road to help you make informed decisions! 

Is Truck Driving Hard? Breaking Down the Difficulties

Truck driving isn’t for everyone, but for some, it’s a dream job. There are a lot of well-paying job opportunities, you get to travel, and you get a lot of flexibility by not sitting at a desk from nine to five. Before going to school to get your CDL, it’s important to understand why some people think truck driving is hard so you can know if it’s for you. While any job has its challenges, if truck driving is something you would like to pursue, the hard work will be worth the opportunity in the long run. So, is truck driving hard? Let’s take a closer look at some of the real difficulties truck drivers face.

Truck Drivers Spend a Lot of Time Alone

If you like having time to yourself, truck driving is perfect. Imagine that feeling you get on a long road trip when you get into the groove of driving. Plus you’ll get to meet lots of new friendly faces from places across the country. Not to mention the new experiences you will have traveling to new places. Traveling alone can be very rewarding as you get to do exactly what you want along the way. Additionally, many truck drivers appreciate the alone time they are able to have while gaining new experiences they likely would not otherwise. 

Driving trucks and other commercial motor vehicles (CMV) is a solitary gig. You’ll be driving for hours on end, and most of your interactions will be with strangers at truck stops, gas stations, and warehouses. But most CMV drivers love the time alone to reflect, listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more.  Learning to be alone, but not lonely, is a great skill to have in more areas than just being a commercial truck driver. Being alone can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you already enjoy your alone time. 

If being alone is not for you, some drivers choose to team drive with a partner so that they can alternate shifts. Plus, you’ll be part of a giant community of drivers across the country.

Community and Support Systems for Truck Drivers

Despite the solitary nature of the job, truck drivers have an incredibly supportive community. Online forums, social media groups, trucking associations, and even your trucking school can offer a space for drivers to share experiences, advice, and camaraderie. Many drivers find mentorship within this community and are able to form friendships, receive and give driving tips, and build connections in a solitary line of work.

Working Long Hours Can Be Hard for Truck Drivers

If you ask a CMV driver, “Is truck driving hard?”, some may mention how long the hours are. In fact, some drivers will rack up around 3000 miles each week on the job, which sometimes requires early mornings and late nights to meet deadlines. While many would assume having to maneuver a big truck would be the most difficult part of the job, the long hours are often what truck drivers say is the hardest part. But one of the best parts is that most CMV drivers get to choose their own schedules. You may clock more hours than someone at a Monday–Friday desk job, but you get to set your own pace, have a degree of financial stability, and get to see new places every day. To most, a career in truck driving is much more rewarding than a stereotypical office job because of its unconventional nature. Being a truck driver is a unique career path that can be the best career move for someone looking for a fresh start.

Is Truck Driving Hard on Your Body?

As a truck driver, you may get to travel across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but traveling that much can be hard on your body. It is important to ensure that you are maintaining your physical health while traveling long hours, as they can be taxing on the body. Some ways to stay healthy include picking up pre-washed fruit and vegetables for snacks at convenience stores and gas stations, making sure you’re getting some exercise during stops and breaks and taking time to get a good night’s rest. There are also cushions that can be added to your seat to ensure your muscles do not ache while you are sitting for a long period of time. 

Truck Driving Can Be Hard, But Rewarding

Truck driving isn’t always easy, but once you complete TDI’s three-week truck driving school and launch your career on the road, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. A career in truck driving is a unique experience and defies the demands of a normal office job. Making your next career move to the trucking industry will be rewarding in more ways than one. So, the next time someone asks, “Is truck driving hard?”, tell them that you’ll be able to travel the country, find job security, and get independence that you could only dream of working in an office.

If you want to know more about the advantages of becoming a truck driver, give us a call today.

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Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!