What It’s Like to Be a Truck Driver
Maybe you’ve heard how much money truck drivers can make, and you’re considering if the career might be right for you. Whether you want to drive an eighteen-wheeler or run a 24 hour truck service, you should be familiar with what truck drivers do all day besides hauling loads. There’s a lot more to the job than just cruising interstates and highways. You have to be willing to interact with customers and dispatchers and maintain relationships with people you drive for to ensure you continue getting their business.
The first thing to know is that most truck drivers start their day before the sun comes up. It’s not uncommon to get up and accept a load at 3 or 4 a.m. if it’s far away. These are prime time spots to get heavy loads that payout the most. Waking up early also helps them to have ample time to check their truck and complete any required logs without losing valuable driving hours. They also use this time to check weather conditions and traffic updates so they can plan the quickest route to the pickup and drop off destinations.
Driving a truck can be a tedious job, especially if you don’t like long road trips. Although some drivers have the option to only work locally, the further they haul a load the more they can get paid for it. This means some drivers will be willing to drive one or two states over to pick up cargo and deliver it to yet another state. This can lead to long days on the road and sometimes overnight trips to deliver one load. There are rules for how long a driver is allowed to operate his truck without a break, so distance deliveries can easily turn into overnight trips if you’re forced to rest after eight hours of driving.
Nights on the Road
Spending a night on the road is a little different for a trucker. Most drivers who work long hauls will have a sleep truck, which means there’s a bunk in the back of the cab where they can comfortably spend the night. These drivers might park at a truck stop to grab some food and a shower, then spend the night in their truck. Drivers without a sleeper truck would have to find places to stay along their route because trucks can rarely travel into cities on the narrow roads.