The trucking industry is booming; in fact, there are more than 3.5 million truck drivers on America’s roads. Trucking is not only one of the largest driving forces behind the United States economy, but it’s also essential to daily life as we know it.
The American Trucking Association stated recently that they need nearly a million more drivers to meet the demands of the public. And that doesn’t even account for the 25% growth in demand they expect to see by 2030.
Needless to say, America needs truckers. But are you cut out for being a truck driver? With any job search, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons when making your choice.
If you’re considering a career in truck driving, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled a list of both the best and worst aspects of being on the road full time. Keep reading to learn more!
Pro: Get Started Quickly
One of the most appealing aspects of becoming a truck driver is that you can be behind the wheel and making good money fast. Truck driving doesn’t require any college or even a GED, all you need is your CDL (commercial driver’s license).
You can be an independent contractor or work for a specific company such as Walmart, depending on what you’re looking for in your career. If you need help choosing which company to work for, this article can help you on your way.
Con: Inconsistent Sleep Schedule
To protect you and other drivers, there are laws in place governing where and when you sleep during a driving cycle. However, those rules aren’t always obeyed, so your sleep schedule is likely going to change often, making it difficult to adapt to this lifestyle.
Pro: Job Security
If job security is high on your list of priorities, truck driving may be the choice for you. As mentioned earlier, truckers are in high demand, meaning if you keep your driving record clean and your CDL up to date, you will have a job as long as you want it.
Con: Low Human Contact
There’s no doubt about it, the road can be a lonely place. As a truck driver, you’re going to spend long stretches of time alone on the road. You’ll have a radio to talk to other drivers, and your phone to call loved ones, but if you’re not a fan of spending time by yourself, trucking isn’t the right choice.
Pro: See the Country
Being a truck driver is a great option for those with a strong sense of wanderlust. You’re on the road full time as a trucker, so you will see and do all sorts of things that you might not ever get to experience at a desk job.
And like air travel, truck drivers have layovers. Except instead of being stuck inside of the Dallas airport for 12 hours, for example, you’ll be in the city of Dallas, free to explore whatever you wish.
Con: Your Truck Becomes Your Home
On the flip side of the last point, you will likely spend more time in your truck than in your home. If you prefer the nomadic lifestyle, this might not be an issue for you, but if you have a home and a family, this could be a serious problem.
You can always bring your partner with you every now and then, or work as co-drivers if you’re both interested in trucking. But chances are, you won’t see them as often as you’d like.
Pro: More Independence Than Other Careers
Tired of your boss lurking over your shoulder every minute of the day? Well, as a truck driver, that annoyance will be in the past! Truckers do have set responsibilities, such as paperwork and logs they have to fill out, but they’re completely independent otherwise.
You will be able to schedule your day to day life, from what route you take to when you break for lunch. So if that strict 9-5 schedule isn’t your thing, trucking might be for you.
Con: Poor Personal Hygiene is a Possibility
Possibly the most glaring drawback of being a truck driver is the problems it poses to personal hygiene. Trucks don’t have showers, or even sinks, after all.
There are showers meant for truck drivers at certain stops on the road, but there’s no guarantee that they will be clean. The bottom line: a nice pair of shower shoes is a must.
Pro: Low Physical Demand
Unlike many of the other options with similar requirements to truck driving, trucking comes with very low physical demands. So instead of toiling away in a manual labor job like construction work, you’ll be in your air-conditioned cab listening to your favorite podcast as you watch the landscape change.
Con: A Good Meal is Hard to Find
If you’re extremely health-conscious, you might find that truck driving makes it difficult when it comes to meal choices. Remember, you’re on the road almost 24/7, meaning most of your options will be greasy fast food.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t stock your truck with fruits and veggies and make smart choices at restaurants, but it will be more difficult than stocking your fridge at home.
Are You Ready for Life on the Road?
Although truck driving can make for a fulfilling career, being a truck driver isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t prepared to be away from home for the vast majority of the year, trucking may not be for you.
But if you have an adventurous streak and hate the idea of staying in one place, you might just find that truck driving is your dream job! The open road can be a lonely place, but keeping yourself occupied has never been easier thanks to modern technology.
Choosing a career path is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, don’t be afraid to take some time figuring out what you want out of life. By making the decision carefully and weighing the pros and cons of each option, you’ll be less likely to have to make a change down the road.
Looking for more tips on choosing the right career for you? Check out our blog!