Truck driving is a demanding and essential profession that keeps our economy moving. Behind the wheel of those massive rigs are real people who spend long hours on the road, and without their dedication and perseverance we all would be at a major loss. If you’re thinking of getting into the industry, or are already in the industry, we put together a list of rewards and challenges faced daily in life of some of our country’s most essential workers.
The Early Start
A truck driver's day often begins before the sun rises. Early mornings are crucial to avoid heavy traffic and make timely deliveries. The day begins with a thorough inspection of the truck, checking tires, brakes, lights, and other vital components to ensure safety on the road. Afterward, it's time to plan the route, considering factors like weather conditions and road closures.
Hours on the Road
One of the defining aspects of a truck driver's day is the extensive time spent behind the wheel. They navigate highways, city streets, and rural roads, covering hundreds of miles in a single day. Long hours of driving can be physically and mentally exhausting, requiring constant focus and attention to the road.
Challenges on the Road
- Traffic Jams: Dealing with heavy traffic, especially in metropolitan areas, can be frustrating and time-consuming. Civilian drivers who have to battle out rush hour have nothing on the patience it takes to make a living navigating traffic to this extent.
- Weather Conditions: Truck drivers face various weather challenges, from rain and snow to extreme heat. These conditions can affect visibility and road conditions, making safe driving a top priority. Truck drivers aren’t granted the luxury of snow days or cozy nights in, when delivery deadlines need to be met!
- Loneliness: Long hours on the road can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Truck drivers sacrifice time with family and loved ones, and often have to miss out on the day to day milestones in lieu of the big picture. Many truck drivers cope by listening to music, audiobooks, or podcasts to stay entertained and connected.
- Health Concerns: The sedentary nature of the job and irregular eating schedules can lead to health issues like obesity and fatigue. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the road is a constant challenge. Sitting all day can also lead to muscle aches, bone density loss, and stressed pressure points.
- Independence: Despite the challenges, many truck drivers appreciate the independence the job offers. They have the freedom to plan their routes and schedule, which can be a refreshing change from traditional office jobs. You feel like your own boss and don’t have a manager breathing down your neck.
- Scenic Views: Truck drivers often witness breathtaking landscapes as they crisscross the country. From rolling hills to majestic mountains, they get to see it all from their unique vantage point.
- Competitive Salaries: Truck driving can be financially rewarding, with competitive salaries and opportunities for advancement, especially for experienced drivers.
- Job Stability: In an ever-changing job market, truck driving offers a sense of job stability. The demand for goods transportation ensures a steady demand for truck drivers. Trucking is a job that can’t be replaced by technology and requires reliable humans to get the deadlines met, and the job done!
- A Sense of Purpose: Truck drivers play a crucial role in keeping our economy moving. They ensure that products reach their destinations, and their hard work contributes to the well-being of countless communities. They truly are essential workers in every sense and valued members of our communities and global economy.
If travel, stability, and a sense of pride and self worth are appealing to you, a career in trucking has all of that in spades. With every career comes it’s own unique set of challenges, of course, but entering the trucking industry is also drive in the direction of independence. As a truck driver you are spending your life contributing to your community, and the communities all over the country. It’s certainly a contribution to be proud of in our book.