Every profession has its ups and downs. Even if you are lucky enough to say that you have your dream job — that does not mean that there will never be hard days. There are always going to be both “fun” parts of the job — things that you love — and parts of the job that you don’t like as much.
Truck driving is no different. Drivers are a unique breed, and truck driving is a career with a lot of benefits — but as with any profession, that doesn’t mean it is for everyone. So if you have ever wondered, “is truck driving for me?” here are some things to think about.
The Pros of a Career in Truck Driving
There are a lot of benefits of truck driving as a profession. In fact, it is difficult to divide aspects of the job into specific “pros and cons” because there are certain things that some people may view as a negative, but others absolutely love. Many truck drivers love the freedom and autonomy that come with the job, and even love the hours spent by themselves on the road. There is even a lot of opportunity to turn presumed negatives into positives — for example, maybe you don’t like spending hours alone, but you spend that time learning through audiobooks; or maybe you avoid those kinds of routes and seek out shuttle driving or local driving opportunities.
Here are just a few more things that people love about being a truck driver:
Truck driving is one of the most in-demand jobs, and it’s not going anywhere. If you are trained as a truck driver, the chances are you’ll always have a place to work.
As mentioned, there’s a lot of freedom that comes with being a truck driver. Even if your route is the same every day, you’ll soon find that no two days are exactly the same. What’s more, you can switch up the kinds of routes you drive through extra training or applying for new positions at any time in your career.
Few professions offer you the flexibility of location that trucking does. And every time you move somewhere new, you are able to see that area in a way that most miss, from the seat of a commercial vehicle.
Challenges That Truck Drivers Face
As mentioned, truck driving is not without its challenges. So the most important question might be, is truck driving hard enough to outweigh all those benefits? Or, with each of the challenges faced, is it still worth it? As with the pros, discussing the cons of truck driving is difficult because each one is subjective. As such, our goal is to present all of the ins and outs of truck driving, so that when you are asking the question, “is trucking for me?” you can better decide.
Can anyone learn to drive a semi truck? In short, yes. With some caveats. You must be healthy and fit to drive a vehicle, pass a basic background check, and undergo a certain level of CDL training depending on the type of vehicle that you want to drive. Truck driving is not something that you can just decide to do and apply for jobs the next day — you must first get the necessary skills down.
One of the things that can make truck driving hard is the irregular scheduling. Sometimes you do not know what hours you will be working from one week to the next. This can also affect your pay week over week. However, if you work for Matheson, you will be paid hourly and have a set schedule; that way, you always know when you’ll be at work and home, and exactly how much pay you’re taking home each period.
Lack of home time
Similar to scheduling, some people find truck driving difficult because of the lack of home time. If this is an issue for you, you can pick up jobs that will allow for more hometime, such as local or even some regional routes.
Sitting in one place for hours at a time can take a toll on anyone’s health — and is very common in the modern workforce. Combine that with irregular hours and you have one of the more difficult aspects of truck driving. However, the Department of Labor (DOL) requires that trucking companies provide a health and welfare wage to drivers, and as such you will find that you have the resources to take care of your health.
“Can anyone learn to drive a semi truck?” is one question, but “is truck driving for me?” is a different ball game altogether. While most healthy and qualified people can technically be a truck driver, it takes a specific type of character and skillset to thrive in the profession. Matheson’s goal is to make it easier for our drivers to thrive, through pay by the hour, set schedules to maximize home time, and various options for benefits. If you have the right qualifications, check out our available truck driving jobs today.
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