Tag Archives: Truck driving career

trucks on highway

Four Reasons to Consider Trucking as a Second Career

Let’s face it. Trucking isn’t considered a glamorous career. Parents don’t think about encouraging their children to grow up to become truckers. The last time trucking was portrayed as glamorous was sometime in the 1970s. However, despite the rough exterior of the trucking industry, a job seeker who looks beneath the surface just might discover that trucking as a second career can provide the income and stability they need.

 

This is especially true in today’s economy, where globalization and automation continue to fundamentally disrupt and change the economy. Many people are finding themselves downsized or outsourced and thrust into an increasingly chaotic job market.

 

For a lot of these folks, driving semi-trucks is a good career move for those in need of a career they can quickly enter and advance in earnings. Is your current job situation not making the cut? Here are four reasons why trucking as a second career might be the best move for you.

 

2. Ease of Entry

Many careers require years of training, education, and experience before being considered a full-fledged member of the profession. However, someone who chooses a trucking career can become a qualified trucker in six months at most. Many community colleges and truck driving schools offer courses that will prepare you to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in three to six months.

 

Even better, some companies offer on-the-job training, so you can generate an income even while you’re learning to operate a tractor trailer. Transportation companies often partner with driving schools; some even reimburse fees for training and obtaining commercial licenses. Such a program can save you a lot, so whether or not a potential employer has a reimbursement program is a good consideration before accepting a job offer.

 

2.  A Competitive Salary

Another reason to become a truck driver is that, once you get your feet wet in the industry, you can quickly begin earning more money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers’ median pay in 2016 was $41,340, but many drivers earn more than this. According to a 2021 poll taken by the job search site Indeed, truck drivers can expect to make over $67,000 a year. Truckers with over 10 years of experience can earn over $75,000.1

 

The American Trucking Associations found pay rates have been increasing. Between 2013 and 2018, its survey found a $7,000 increase in the median salary for truck drivers. The median salary for those working a national, irregular route was over $53,000. That’s a 15% increase, while private fleet drivers saw an 18% increase in pay over that time period, from $73,000 to $86,000.2

 

If you have your own rig and act as an owner-operator, you can expect to earn even more—about $141,000 a year. Additionally, you should also think of the money you’ve saved that would have otherwise gone to pay for a two-year or four-year degree. The financial aspect is, therefore, one more reason to think about trucking as a second career.

 

3.  Strong Job Outlook

Unlike many careers in the past year, trucking is a stable industry with solid prospects. A driver shortage has taken hold in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, so trucking companies are looking to hire. Also unique to the trucking industry are abundant opportunities for retirees. With an increasing number of Americans over age 65 employed part-time or full-time, truck driving affords consistent work once you receive a CDL and are hired by a trucking company.

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects over 163,000 truck driving job openings each year for the next decade. As if a driver shortage isn’t enough, many workers will need to be replaced as they retire, choose different occupations, or move out of the labor force.3 Autonomous trucks may one day cut into trucking career opportunities. Nonetheless, the technology and legal framework that would allow this to happen is still at least 10-20 years away, by most estimates.

 

4.  Job Flexibility

One of the perks of being a truck driver is the flexibility the job offers once you get established in the profession. Truckers can live just about anywhere, and well-established professionals can often choose how much or how little they work. A flexible work schedule plus competitive pay and projected job growth? Trucking as a second career doesn’t sound so bad!

 

Truckers will also have the opportunity to see the United States of America in a way that few other people get to do. You’ll be able to drive through the country’s national parks and observe country and city landscapes. A trucking run can take you cross-country, and then you may get a week off at home before going back on the open road. Even better, with the right commercial truck accessories, you’ll be almost untouchable by road fatigue even during a long haul.

 

truck driver dirving the truck

 

Contact Suburban Seating & Safety to Optimize Your Ride

If you’re thinking about careers, don’t overlook trucking as a second career. Driving a truck offers a combination of salary and flexibility that many other jobs just can’t match. It’s also very easy to enter.

 

Suburban Seating & Safety is ready to help new members of the transportation industry with great deals on truck seats and truck accessories. Shop today to find the equipment that will make your new working environment comfortable. Feel free to start browsing our online catalogs; if you need any kind of assistance, call us directly at 844-727-7328 to speak with a representative.

 

Sources:

 

  1. https://www.indeed.com/career/truck-driver/salaries
  2. https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/new-survey-data-reveals-increases-driver-compensation
  3. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/delivery-truck-drivers-and-driver-sales-workers.htm#tab-6

 

white and blue truck on road during daytime

9 Essential Tips for New Truck Drivers

With the trucking industry growing, beginner truck drivers need to be prepared for their new careers as professional truck drivers. Many new drivers do not take the time to research and prepare for life on the open road. As a result, they can make common mistakes that easily can be avoided by using these great tips!

Tip #1: Remain with the same employer your first year or longer.

The first year is going to be a time of learning as you develop your truck-driving skills. It is essential to establish yourself as a reliable and dependable truck driver. One of the best ways to do this is to remain with the same employer during your first year.

Doing so can open up opportunities down the road for better pay and competitive offers from other trucking companies. The longer you stick with the same employer, the more reliable and responsible you are considered to be.

Tip #2: Upgrade to a comfortable truck seat.

You will be sitting for most of the day driving. You want a comfortable truck seat so your back and bottom do not get sore. Take the time to find a seat with the features and options you want.

If you are driving for a major carrier, get their permission to upgrade. Most are accommodating and may even reimburse you for the new truck seat.

Tip #3: Develop a relationship with your dispatcher.

It is essential to develop a relationship with your dispatcher. After all, they are the one person who ensures you get loads. Take the time to ask how their day is going when you call or message them.

Don’t be afraid to inquire about their weekend plans or ask how their kids are doing. The more you get to know your dispatcher and build rapport with them, it can go a long way later on by leading to better, choice loads.

Tip #4: Keep your truck organized.

You will be living in your truck while you are on the road. Keeping the cab cleaned, picked up, and clutter-free makes it easier to relax and unwind after driving all day. Plus, you will not have to worry about funky odors or foul smells from dirty clothes, uneaten food, etc.

Tip #5: Keep your paperwork organized.

Invest in a portable file folder system to help keep track of receipts. There are also mobile apps you may want to use where you can snap pictures and digitally store receipts, file driving logs, and other job-related information.

Tip #6: Openly and professionally communicate.

You will have days when things do not go as planned, such as getting delayed in traffic, blowing a tire, or having to wait to pick up a load. Be prepared to make phone calls to your dispatcher, customer, shipper, etc., and keep them informed when there are problems. They will appreciate the your professionalism in letting them know what is going on.

white van on road near trees

Tip #7: Accept all loads.

Unless there is a valid reason, like you are sick, you should never refuse loads when starting your truck-driving career. Being willing to accept all loads shows your dispatcher and trucking company that you are reliable and willing to put in the time to advance your career.

Tip #8: Take care of yourself to stay healthy.

You need to make sure to get plenty of rest, eat well-balanced meals, and get in some exercise. Adjusting to life on the open road can seem different from sleeping and eating at home or in a hotel while you completed truck-driving school and CDL training.

Invest in a quality truck mattress and pillows for restful sleep. Purchase various appliances for your truck like a mini-fridge, microwave, cooking plate, or InstaPot, so you can prepare some healthy meals in your cab. Spend about 30 minutes each day exercising, even if it is walking or jogging around your truck.

Tip #9: Always follow safety protocols.

Your safety, the safety of your truck and load, and that of other motorists should always come first. Always be a defensive truck driver, obey speed limits, and keep extra space between you and the vehicles in front of you. If road conditions deteriorate or there are problems with your truck, find a safe location to pull over and stop.

While we’ve touched on nine of the more common tips for new and beginner drivers, there are others like using a map to learn the best routes, instead of your GPS, or asking for help when you require it. Just remember to be prepared, take your time, get plenty of rest, always accept loads, and rack up some experience during your first year as a new truck driver.

To find new truck seats, truck accessories, and other items for your truck to make life on the open road easier, please feel free to explore our online store or contact Suburban Seating & Safety at 844-727-7328 today!