If you are considering moving into the freight industry, you may wonder what it is like to be a truck driver. That is why we are answering all your frequently asked questions about life as a trucker, ranging from daily to yearly expectations.
What is it Like to be a Truck Driver? And Other Frequently Asked Questions
So what is it like to be a truck driver? It depends first on what kind of driving you are doing.
In this case, we will answer your questions about life with a class A commercial driver’s license (or CDL), which allows individuals to transport goods between state lines and operate any combination of vehicles with a gross weight of 26,001 or more pounds. This includes tractor-trailers, livestock carriers, and more.
What is it Like to be a Truck Driver on the Day to Day?
There are several aspects to life as a truck driver, with pros and cons depending on what you want from a job.
Time Away From Home
Because truck driving involves being on the road a lot, the drivers sometimes spend less time at home. The long drive can make individuals feel lonely and disconnected at times. However, modern technology allows drivers to chat on the phone and video call frequently.
Depending on the company and what types of routes you prefer, many drivers can schedule time home for important events. Others can choose to travel for days at a time rather than week shifts. This schedule allows them more flexibility between work and home life.
A huge part of being a truck driver is traveling. You can travel all across the country in this industry, seeing parts of the United States that are often unexplored. There is a reason that so many people associate the open road with freedom – many people feel strongly about driving freely and feeling good traveling.
An average trucker’s commute can be affected by several factors, including:
- Road conditions
- Land topography
- Transit fares
- And more.
However, on average, a driver can cover around 715 miles per day, which is a little longer than the width of Montana.
Drivers cannot travel more than eleven hours a day and are not allowed to drive more than 60 hours over seven days. In addition, drivers must take 34 consecutive hours away from work before restarting another seven-day schedule. This means that drivers who do multi-week runs can explore the area they are working in on their days off.
Small Living Spaces
As a truck driver, you spend most of your time in the cab, including driving, sleeping, relaxing, and often eating. This is a significant drawback for some, but others prefer the compact space that is entirely theirs. In addition, many drivers choose to decorate their cabs by their tastes.
What is a Typical Day Like?
No day on the road is the same as another. Truck drivers experience new routes and customers regularly, which means new challenges and places to explore.
Is a Truck Driver an In-Demand Job?
Truck driving is currently in high demand. However, as the aging workforce retired and the love of online shopping has grown, the industry needs to be balanced. The American Trucking Association has estimated the industry is short nearly 80,000 drivers.
Beyond the job’s actual work, a large part of the enjoyment one gets from their job is how it makes them feel. Having a job that makes us feel valued is essential to many. This is one of the many reasons that more than half of truck drivers rate themselves satisfied with their jobs.
Will Truck Drivers Remain In Demand?
Not only are truck drivers needed now, but the need will be steadily rising for several years. It’s currently expected that the industry will grow by around 4% by 2031 as the demand for goods delivered directly to one’s door continues to rise.
How Much Money Do You Make as a Truck Driver?
Truck Driving Institute graduates often make between $0.35 to $0.50 miles at the beginning of their careers. Driving 3,000 miles a week can add up – between $1,050 and $1,500 in just one week.
In 2023, a truck driver’s salary ranged between $49,557 and $138,959, averaging $82,984 per year. Many individuals get paid by the mile. Considering the nationwide truck shortage, salaries for drivers continue to increase. This makes it a great time to join the truck driving industry.
Is Truck Driving a Stressful Job?
If you have wondered, “What is it like to be a truck driver,” you have probably also wondered just how stressful truck driving can be. A stressful job doesn’t inherently mean it is difficult, but knowing if you’re considering moving into the transportation industry is essential.
Like many other careers, truck drivers experience some stress on the road, usually due to the need to meet deadlines, haul high-value or hazmat freight, or drive in dangerous conditions, like bad weather or unknown construction. However, many truckers can alleviate that stress through various methods, including:
- Building strong support networks with other drivers
- Eating health
- Stopping at trucker-friendly gyms to stretch, workout, and relax
- Taking up travel-related hobbies like photography
- And more!
Like any job, it can be stressful at times – but it can also be gratifying.
What is it Like to be a Truck Driver? Learn More With TDI!
Still wondering, “What is it like to be a truck driver?” Our faculty comprises former drivers, which allows students to truly understand day-to-day life as a truck driver. If you’re ready to learn more, contact TDI today!
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!