Life on the Road: The Routine of a Typical Truck Driver
We rely on truck drivers to transport a variety of products across the country. Whether they’re hauling clothes or food, each driver is solely responsible for their goods and making sure they get to the client in a timely manner. While the job can be difficult, those with a career in the trucking industry find it just as rewarding. These are the routine basics of being a truck driver.
Demands of the Job
On top of knowing the basics of the trade, a driver needs to have the stamina to drive for extended periods with few rest stops. According to FTI Trucking, “The average small business trucker can travel as much as 115 to 125,000 miles annually.” On most days, the standard driver will spend up to 14 hours behind the wheel if they stop for breaks in between. If they want to complete a shift in one drive, they cannot drive for more than 11 consecutive hours. Drivers are required to track their hours and miles traveled throughout the day, as well as make note of any rest stops and how long they take.
With this much time spent on the road, truck drivers will often find themselves away from home for extended periods of time. As a balance, for several consecutive weeks out on hauls, each driver gets a few days of home-time to spend with their friends and family. A career in trucking requires determination and a love for the industry.
Driving Rules and Regulations
While a job that gets you out of the office is appealing, this career isn’t just for anyone who likes to drive. Truckers have several hours to get the product to their client, and they need to account for every minute they’re out on the road. Taking too many breaks or leaving too late can result in a late shipment. This can place delays on all additional steps of the delivery process and have a driver working longer without pay.
It isn’t enough to just be quick, though. Drivers must also perform periodic roadside checks to ensure their cargo is secure and protected. This is especially important if there’s harsh weather approaching in the forecast. The performance of these checks requires the trucker to have an extensive knowledge of how the semi works and the differences between brands—such as the differences between Peterbilt mirrors and Volvo models.
Despite the long hours on the road, a career in the trucking industry is extremely rewarding. Not only do these professionals get to make a lucrative living while doing what they love, but they also get paid to visit various parts of the country. During their down time, many truckers take the opportunity to explore the local communities and experience a series of different places.