In this blog, we are talking about how to know if being a trucker is the right career for you.The pandemic has changed the way the world works and how we as individuals view our work/life balances. With more people than ever continuing to work from home, changing their careers and trying new things after years of familiarity, the job landscape is a very interesting place to be.
There is much more to it than just driving heavy goods vehicles. A career in trucking is also a lifestyle and it is not for the faint-hearted!
No day is the same and you will meet people from all over the country, maybe even the world as you drive from A to B. It is an incredibly unique career, but also demanding. Firstly you will need to attend school specifically for trucking, study hard, take exams and also obtain your Commercial Driving License (CDL) for driving heavy goods vehicles. It is during the schooling process where many prospective truckers have moments of doubt as to whether this is the career for them; this is totally normal. It is a huge change from the norm, and nothing can really prepare you for that until you find yourself doing it.
A big reason why people decide to move from their current career into trucking is because they are seeking change. The office life of 9-5 is not for everyone, or maybe you just want to take a break from that and see the country from a new perspective. If that is the case, and you enjoy driving and working independently, then trucking may very well be for you. The freedom that trucking brings can feel quite liberating to people, especially those who have been in more of a routine for a long time. The hours are long, but the places you get to see can be amazing.
Trucking will improve your communication and time management skills and problem solving abilities. These three things are crucial for being a successful trucking driver, as you will rely on them to do your job well. Communicating effectively with your manager, the dispatcher and the customers will ensure that everyone is on the same page and the loads arrive where they need to be. Time management enhancement and problem solving go hand in hand in this career. You will need to be aware of your routes ahead of the drive, plan for any potential problems or delays, and figure out how to get the load there on time and safely.
Enjoying driving and feeling confident while doing so is vital for pursuing a career in trucking; you will be provided with all the necessary tools and information during your studies, but it is imperative that you feel comfortable and confident driving a heavy goods vehicle and even regular cars. This is because you will be driving for long distances, sometimes on minimal sleep. Driving for extended periods will ultimately hone your skills as a driver, which for many is a big appeal of the job. Becoming skilled in driving is an undervalued skill that should not be overlooked!
While there are many pros to a career in trucking, there is a lot of stress that comes with it. Whether that is stress from traffic, customers, keeping to a schedule, or the stress from being away from your loved ones. Trucking takes you away from your family and friends/home life for long periods of time. Many people who do not have children often travel with their partner as it is a way of both seeing each other, and experiencing the travels together. However, if this isn’t possible due to health, other work commitments or if there are children at home, a career in trucking might be worth reconsidering. With one partner on the road, all of the household duties, running the house and dealing with bills, along with taking care of the children/pets, all fall on your partner. This is something that would need to be discussed at length before considering switching careers, and if your family supports you and is willing to compromise with you, then a career in trucking may be considered. Ultimately you need to think about what is best for you and your family!
Dealing with stress and emotions on the road is very important, as you will be on your own most of the time. This means there is no one to talk to about your feelings, to gain a different or fresh perspective on things to help your mindset. If you can handle stress and being away from home, then evaluate if you feel you could cope with this.
Make sure you go with a company that drives in areas you want to drive in. For example, if you are not too keen on driving in areas that will have high levels of snow throughout the year, then do not choose to drive with them. Otherwise you’ll find yourself not enjoying the drives and it could impact your mental health. Location is key and driving for a company that values their drivers and treats them with respect is important.
Trucking can be incredibly rewarding if it is the right career for you. Do your research, talk to your loved ones and really think hard about whether this is something you can see yourself doing. Feel free to get in touch with us here at Ready Machinery if this is something you are interested in and would like to hear more about from our experienced truckers.