Pandemic layoffs forced many to change careers this past year and if you’re considering truck driving as a new career, you should learn the pros and cons of trucking. When changing careers, job culture and workplace environment pivot dramatically. Before changing careers, make sure you love the industry you move into.
Read on to learn the pros and cons of trucking as a career change.
Truck Drivers are in Demand
Before investigating the day-to-day of trucking, consider the trucking industry’s status in 2021.
Right now, truck drivers are in demand. To meet current shipping industry needs, the market needs about 50,000 new truck drivers by the end of 2021. Between the pandemic and home-delivery services, more Americans purchase shipped goods than ever.
By far, trucking is the cheapest way to transport items across many miles. Shipping by rail is 50% more expensive per mile. Considering the average truck driver covers over 80,000 miles each year, that 1.5 times difference adds up fast.
Has it ever been a bad thing to be employed in a growing industry? Want to get in on the profits of trucking? Decide if truck driving is right for you with this list of pros and cons of trucking!
Pros and Cons of Trucking: Explained
An average trucker’s day could consist of wall-to-wall traffic, loading tons of goods, or even complex engine maintenance. Despite the variability in each trucker’s day, keep reading to hear the consistently good aspects of the pros and cons of trucking.
Pros of Trucking
Trucking is highly reliant on up-to-date road conditions and maintenance emergency response. Over time, these factors built a well-connected network of truckers. Historically, CB radios kept truckers in contact. Imagine yourself as BurtReynolds in “Smokey and the Bandit” or Kris Kristofferson in “Convoy.”
Today, the trucking community has their own social media apps. These apps allow truckers to coordinate stops, communicate traffic, and discuss the specifics of life on the road. On CDLLife, truckers coordinated a lost hat exchange from Florida to the Pacific Northwest.
When joining the community, new truckers have thousands of experienced truckers as friends and resources.
Long-distance truckers work shifts according to the Department of Transportation’s driving limits. Meaning, drivers go for the maximum amount of driving hours, usually eight, rest their mandated time of 30 minutes, and then complete the total allowed driving time per day of 14 hours. Often, this adds up to a four-day driving schedule without full nights off. To compensate for long hours, truckers then get a long weekend. For those who want extra days off to travel, take care of children, or anything else, consider this a win on the pros and cons of trucking list!
Make Money Quick
The average annual salary for entry-level truckers depends on where you are. In 2021, truck drivers with less than one year of experience averaged $60,000. Certain trucking specialties make even more. Trucking specialties include oversized hauling and hazmat shipping which both make up to $90,000 a year.
Grow Technical Skills
A large factor on the pros and cons of trucking is the job’s technical side. Often, a truck will malfunction on the highway far from an automotive shop. Unless aided by a good samaritan, you get to troubleshoot and fix the problem yourself. Don’t worry, part of the commercial driving license process includes learning about auto maintenance.
Over years of trucking, you will build up advanced automotive knowledge, and that makes doing maintenance on your own car easier too!
In the trucking industry, you may work for a company, but on the road you can do what you want. Unlike a desk job, supervisors cannot micromanage you out on the road. This means picking out music you like, operating the vehicle as you see fit, and even deciding driving routes. Drivers can confidently add independence to the pros and cons of trucking list.
Cons of Trucking
The cons of commercial truck driving overlap with the cons of operating a passenger vehicle. Traffic, dangerous drivers, and spontaneous conditions rank highest on the list of pros and cons of trucking. Consider this list when becoming a truck driver:
Constantly on the Road
The nature of trucking means constant travel. Regional truckers often drive the same routes, but long-distance truckers can cover routes coast to coast. If you despise constant movement, get harsh motion sickness, or dislike new environments, trucking may not be right for you.
For some, constant travel is ideal. In fact, many of trucking’s cons are positives for certain personalities.
Strict Physical Requirements
To drive a truck in most states, you must pass a physical exam according to Department of Transportation standards. DOT standards may disqualify drivers for hypertension, respiratory dysfunction, diabetes, vision impairment, epilepsy and mental disorders. However, these conditions might not disqualify drivers if well-managed.
To avoid traffic, many truckers drive at night. Though truckers alter their sleep patterns, some people are genetically predisposed to favor mornings. Additionally, those who have trouble seeing at night may struggle with late hours. If night highway driving is not for you, consider this is a con of truck driving.
Learn More About Trucking at Truck Driving Institute
Still not sure about trucking? Let the experts at Truck Driver Institute (TDI) further explain the pros and cons of trucking. At TDI, we offer job seekers the chance to earn a career in the trucking industry with our affordable hands-on commercial driver’s license (CDL) training led by experienced drivers.
No previous truck driving experience is required to train for a trucking career at TDI. With locations in seven states, TDI is conveniently available for anyone 18 years or older to receive their CDL in as little as three weeks.
Experts at TDI work with more than 20 major carriers to recruit and place TDI graduates in leading trucking companies. Additionally, TDI offers affordable pricing and can help put together financial assistance so that everyone is able to get their CDL. Contact us to see the pros and cons of trucking for yourself!
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!