Many drivers today work for owner-operator trucking businesses, and thousands of truckers drive the highways across this country every single day. It can be a unique and challenging way of life, but it has many great rewards. However, there are some things you need to know about this way of life before you choose it for your career. You may be surprised to hear the following facts about trucking.
Days start really, really early. Many drivers work around the light so when the sun goes up they hit the road and start the day. Long distance drivers often start before the light and finish the day’s driving after the sun goes down.
Driving restrictions. There are regulations for how much you can drive in a certain period of time. You might hit 70 hours in an eight day period on the road but once you have reached 70 hours, you cannot be on the road driving again until you take a full 34 hours off duty. You may have a 14 to 15 hour day that includes loading and unloading times but you cannot be on the road in most cases for more than 11 to 12 hours in a single day.
Different pay rates. Some drivers are paid hourly, usually for smaller shorter drive times and local routes, but in most cases truckers have a pay rate that is calculated by mile. You may get hour pay added to your mileage if you are responsible for loading and unloading at your stops. A delivery driver typically will not be paid when they are not delivering.
Salary. Your salary can increase depending on the loads you are willing to haul and the schedule you are willing to work. If you become a trainer, are willing to work with hazardous or oversized loads, are willing to work holidays and weekends, or pulling the less desirable routes and schedules, you can often get compensated with more pay. Keep in mind that your invoices may not get paid immediately and that you may need to use freight bill factoring to get immediate funding.
Time on the road. Most truck drivers and haulers are expected to cover somewhere around a minimum of 125,000 miles per annum. This works out to around 2,500 miles a week or 500 miles a day. This is important to consider when thinking about this career as it means a lot of time on the road, in your truck, alone.
There are many perks that come with a truck driver’s schedule, but only you can ultimately decide if this is the career that is best for you and your family. If you want to become one of the many drivers working for owner-operator trucking businesses and companies, then take the steps today and start enjoying an exciting and rewarding career as a truck driver!