Working in the trucking industry is hard work that requires skill and devotion. Long hours spent on the road can sometimes be quite challenging. However, that being said, the life of a truck driver can also be extremely fun. It can take you to places you have never been and introduce you to colorful individuals from all around the world.
But truck drivers often say that this type of job is more of a lifestyle than occupation. Simply due to the fact that this type of job will often require you to spend weeks and sometimes even months away from home, looking to join the industry should never be a solitary decision. With that in mind, here are 4 important things you should know if you are considering joining the industry and becoming a truck driver.
Find the right company
If you have considered becoming a truck driver, you have probably already checked out current job offers. And as you probably already saw, job offers can vary greatly. With so many different trucking companies out there, you can’t really expect all of them to be the right choice for you. That is why you will first need to determine what you are looking for. Do know that not all companies will offer benefits to their employees, so make sure you inquire about those as well. On top of that, the salary plays another important role as not all companies pay their employees the same, so keep that in mind as well. Finding the right employer to work for is extremely important, regardless of the industry you are operating in.
Learn how to communicate
Learning how to properly communicate with others is extremely important if you are looking to become a truck driver. Contrary to popular belief, most of the time, it won’t be just you and the road. Instead, you will be required to communicate with various people during various stages of your work. These will mostly include communicating with your dispatcher(s), customers, and other individuals involved. Needless to say, you will be required to remain professional and respectful, even in the situations you are not being addressed in the same way.
Stress is part of the job
Another important thing to note is that stress is – unfortunately – an integral part of the job. Let’s put it this way: Imagine you are transporting perishable goods in your reefer truck and due to uncontrollable circumstances you get stuck in a traffic jam. No matter how much you are confident that the load is safe – due to the type of truck it’s being transferred in, you really won’t be able to just relax and not worry about it at least a bit. On top of that, there can also be other situations that will mostly be out of your control, but that will make you stressed out nonetheless. So, probably one of the best pieces of advice you can get is to prepare to face stress on a regular basis and learn how to manage and control it accordingly, to keep your health and your well-being in check.
Personal relationships may suffer
Next, as mentioned earlier, do know that your personal relationships may suffer because of your job. Generally speaking, do know that you will spend more time away from home and family than with them. So, that’s definitely something both you and your partner need to be fully aware of. And even though – in theory – that may not seem like a big issue, the stats suggest otherwise. Needless to say, this can greatly affect not just one’s personal well-being but their overall performance as well. On top of that, you also need to realize that a trucker’s day-to-day life may get quite lonesome as in most cases you will be the only one in your vehicle at a time. That’s why many truck drivers choose to adopt a pet that will keep them company while on the road.
With all of this being said, it becomes clear that choosing to join the trucking industry and become a truck driver yourself is not a decision that should be made on a whim. Aside from all the pre-requirements you will need to meet in order to actually be eligible to become one, you will also need to decide if that type of lifestyle is suited for you. In the end, if you feel like none of the aforementioned things will pose an issue, find the right trucking company, learn how to communicate with others, identify proper stress management techniques and enjoy your new life on the road.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.