Becoming a Truck Driver

man driving the truck

You own a trucking company based in Indianapolis. Your customers include manufacturers of industrial materials, construction, and utility companies. You move items from cement slabs to heavy-duty electric cables to water pipes.

One of your good friends is a customer and owns a company specializing in sewer line repair. His company is co-sponsoring an event, and he invited you to be one of the speakers. The audience is composed of prospective long-distance truck drivers. Your friend taught that your story could be an inspiring one since you were once a truck driver before owning a business. What would be your tips for aspiring truck drivers? How does one deal with safety and security issues while on the job? These are some of the questions your friend thought you could focus on.

Slightly unsure, you agreed to give the talk. Here’s what you might say to prospective truck drivers:

A Background of the Trucking Industry

As of July 2019, the long-haul freight trucking in the USA recorded $223 billion in revenue. Should they become successful as truck drivers, your audience will join the estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in the country today.

According to the report released by the American Trucking Association (ATA), freight trucking accounted for 11.49 billion tons of load transported in 2018, which represents 71% of the total load for the year.

truck driver checking his side mirror

Initial Steps

Go to school! Truck driving isn’t the same as driving your Ford F-Series. You need to get your CDL or commercial driver’s license first. There are many schools across the nation where you can enroll. These truck driving learning programs require a full-time commitment. This means that you need to be prepared not to have a job for the duration of your training.

Becoming One

There is a high demand for truck drivers. Getting a job would be relatively easy, especially if you studied at a well-respected trucking school. Here are a few other points that aspiring truck drivers should know:

  1. Think it through. The pay is good, but the hours are long. It’s also a high-pressure environment wherein you need to meet tight deadlines regularly. You also need to account for driving in dangerous weather conditions. Make sure that you have deeply deliberated on the pros and cons before making a final decision.
  2. Don’t Do it in Wintertime/Do It in Wintertime. This is like the two opposing basketball aphorisms: the best defense is the best offense, and the best offense is the best defense. Depending on who you talk to, you are likely to get both advice. Not starting in winter allows you to refine your skills under normal conditions. By contrast, starting in winter will enable you to face immediately a challenge you would eventually face. So why delay the inevitable?
  3. Avoid Diners for Truckers. Truck drivers eating at roadside diners and restaurants are for clichéd scenes from a B-movie. Pack your healthy meal. You won’t become fat, and you’ll end up saving money.
  4. Stay Safe. Keep your seat belts fastened. Stay on the speed limit. Don’t use your mobile phone while driving. Don’t drink alcohol. Make a list of all these rules of the road and turn it into a prayer. It will save your life and those of others too.

Also, planning is essential. Check the news for any road closures or hazards. These are a few tips to remember in your quest to become a truck driver.