Having a trucking career in the United States means being part of the very fabric of American life. Without truckers traveling up and down the highways of this country all commerce would come to a halt, the economy would crash, and citizens would suffer great hardship.
However, not everyone can handle the heavy demands of a noble profession like a trucking career, which has some definite pros and cons that come along with being an Asphalt Cowboy.
Top Five Pros to a Trucking Career
- Free Training – many of the big trucking companies offer free Class C CDL training, and will often even pay a stipend while you are training
- Good Starting Salary – the average starting wage for a new trucker with a trucking company is around $35,000 and goes up from there depending on whether you are a local or OTR driver, and owner-operators can earn even more.
- Job Security – Unless they invent a totally safe and totally reliable self-driven truck, drivers will always be in high demand. In fact, there is almost always a driver shortage.
- Employee Benefits – When you go to work for a trucking company you will almost always receive the typical benefits non-truckers enjoy, including vacation, medical/dental/vision insurance, as well as retirement benefits like 401K and pension plans, plus life insurance.
- No Job Boredom – being a trucker means that you will see a lot of country, meet new people, and experience American life on a whole new level.
Top Five Cons to Being a Trucker
- Loneliness – You will spend hours without human contact and away from your loved ones. This can put a strain on relationships and cause mental and emotional stress. To alleviate some of the loneliness, some truckers have furred companions.
- Unhealthy Lifestyle – Too many drivers smoke, often to stay awake on the long drives. It is often difficult to get in the amount of physical activity necessary to stay fit. Then the food too often is unhealthy, full of harmful fats, high in sugar, and full of bad calories and carbs.
- Road Dangers – The law of averages says that the more you drive the greater your chances of experiencing a vehicle accident. Then you add in 40-80,000 pounds of vehicle and freight, plus other drivers in smaller vehicles, and you have a recipe for tragedy.
- Weather Dangers – In the United States a truck driver can face a blizzard in Montana on Monday, complete with icy roads and high winds, then face blistering heat and humidity in Texas by Friday. Some drivers experience difficulties due to allergies and the ever-changing environment.
- Other Cons – a few other negatives to keep in mind if you are considering a trucking career are the irregular sleep patterns, the impact of a badly secured load, a shorter-than-normal lifespan, and the challenges to personal hygiene.
Never forget that a truck driving career is NOT glamorous, but can boring, dirty, and deadly.
So now is the time to protect your loved ones… because sometimes a trucker doesn’t come home.
At Hammer Lane Consultants we can’t help you to decide whether a trucking career is a good direction for your life. What we can do, is help you protect yourself and your loved ones against the financial impact of some of the negatives you will face as a trucker.
Click the button below to learn what Hammer Lane Consultants can do for you.