If you’re out of work or looking at trucking as a means to earning money, save yourself some grief if you:
- don’t know what the job of being a professional truck driver requires; and
- don’t have the situation in life that will allow you to give it your best effort.
Please allow me to explain.
One guy not in our class had been nicknamed “Elmer Fudd” by someone because he just couldn’t maneuver the truck sufficiently well to pass his CDL test.
He had tried many times.
In his case, knowledge without skills equals failure.
School Does Not Equal Occupation or Lifestyle
Some people graduate from truck driver training school just fine only to wash out of becoming a truck driver within the first few weeks after being hired.
Perhaps they didn’t understand the demands and requirements that would be placed on them.
These folks should have done more research on the requirements of the job before going into the occupation!
Other folks can’t handle
- the long work hours,
- the time away from home,
- the smells, the noise and the vibrations,
- the constant delays for multiple reasons,
- unpaid time spent waiting in docks,
- being squeezed by dispatchers on one end and receivers on the other,
- competing with other truckers for loads at terminals,
- the ever increasing bureaucracy and regulations and
- countless other aspects of driving professionally over the road.
That Critical First Year
Everyone in trucking knows that the first year is going to be the worst, the hardest, and most likely the biggest challenge to your fortitude that you’ve ever faced in life — especially during that first winter driving season.
Not only will you be a rookie, but you’ll be paid like one (unless something miraculous takes place).
You’ll be the “low man on the totem pole” (so to speak).
Do you have what it takes?
There are plenty of websites and videos online that give real-life scenarios of what it’s like to be a trucker.
If you’ve got what it takes, welcome to the trucking industry!
If you don’t, save yourself some grief, a whole lot of time and a whole lot of money.
Find another line of work, possibly here.
Note: This article — which was originally written and published on January 23, 2014, by Vicki Simons — was updated slightly in 2018.