Trucking is a career that provides travel opportunities and a stable income. It’s also a growing industry in need of new drivers. As established truck drivers retire and industries grow, companies will need to hire 898,000 new drivers over the next 10 years, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). In its modern form, trucking is not only an inclusive and lucrative business, but it’s also a career path that offers freedom.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Truck Driver?
Trucking Industry Shortage
With the increased need for drivers, trucking companies are willing to spend more to entice drivers to the field. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted in May 2018 that new drivers make an average of $43,689 a year.
As you gain experience, you will become more of a commodity, especially when it comes to delivering sensitive shipments on tight deadlines.
You can also apply for endorsements to your commercial driver’s license (CDL), as highlighted by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Once you pass the tests, you’ll be able to take on different types of trucking jobs that offer more money.
The cabs of modern trucks have more room than ever before. They’re more driver-centric, providing amenities and space to move around when you’re not on your shift. The sleepers have full-sized ergonomic beds, along with enough space for a fridge and cooking devices like crock pots, portable skillets, stoves, and microwaves.
To eat comfortably, you’ll have access to a dining area with a fold-out table with opposing seats. With enough room for a second person, you can bring your spouse or child along on drives or become a team driver.
Team driving means you’ll share a rig with another driver and drive in shifts. You’ll be able to keep your rig constantly in motion, making deliveries faster. It also opens the door to more jobs that are at greater distances, which means a larger paycheck.
By sharing the responsibilities, you’ll also share the expenses of fuel and maintenance, allowing you to save money while on the road.
Hydraulics have made your vehicle more accessible. Dollies that provide increased traction and the hood release that gives you access to your engine are now activated at the press of a button. The BMV also notes that an increased accessibility and simpler loading and unloading of shipments have made trucking a viable career for people from all walks of life.
Keeping You Close to Home
Even if you aren’t team driving or using your CB radio, modern truck drivers aren’t alone on the road. The rigs have electrical outlets to keep your phone, tablet, and laptop charged. You can use apps like Skype®, FaceTime®, WhatsApp®, and Messenger® to stay in touch with friends and family in real-time.
What’s the Future of Trucking?
Advanced Trucking Technology
Trucking is no longer an industry where its workers do the heavy lifting to load their vehicles. According to Kenworth®, their rigs like the T680 and T880 tractor-trailers are built with ease of use and the driver’s comfort in mind.
Under the hood, automated manual transmissions make rigs easier to maneuver, especially for new drivers, according to Demand Detroit.
While you must always remain alert on the road, autonomous vehicles make the job easier. CDL Career Now references the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which includes automated gear changing, cruise control, and power steering.
Autonomous rigs also have self-driving software, which can take control of the wheel. Combined with its advanced radar systems, it helps drivers with their reaction time and reduces accidents.
There’s more to trucking than the open road. Truck drivers must log their hours and keep fuel receipts when delivering shipments.
In the past, this created an administrative burden for truckers, who would have to spend their time off catching up with their paperwork.
However, in 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted a new policy requiring all commercial vehicle drivers to use electronic logging devices (ELD). The ELDs not only keep a record of your miles, but they also make logging your receipts simpler.
The devices are also used for safety. By logging your hours, the ELD ensures you’re only spending the maximum 11 hours of driving in one shift, in accordance with the Department of Transportation via The Balance. This reduces the chances of driving while tired.
The device is connected to your rig’s diagnostic port, which actively monitors the vehicle’s functions. If there’s a problem, the ELD can detect them well ahead of time. You’ll be able to make repairs while the damage is still minor, keeping your time off the road to a minimum.
Fleet managers and dispatchers are connected to your truck’s ELD, allowing them to track your progress. They can help determine the shortest routes and get you to your destination faster.
While driving school teach caution, not all drivers on the road are as safe. In case of an accident, the ELDs are admissible as evidence in court, which will prove you weren’t at fault.
They also decrease the likelihood of accidents occurring. ELDs have fault-code monitoring, can detect driver fatigue, and select the best routes. According to the FMCSA, ELDs prevent 1,844 crashes, 562 injuries, and save 26 lives every year.
The ELD helps you and your dispatcher find the best route. However, you can also use the NOAA Radar app. It’s connected to the government’s weather monitor systems, which updates faster and more accurately than any of the other weather apps currently available.
By merging traditional trucking with technology, you can also make more money.
The Trucker Path Pro app lets truckers with extra room in their trailers to make secondary deliveries on the way to their destination. It also provides truckers with information on local restaurants, where to park, fuel up, and the locations of weigh stations.
As a trucker, you’ll your rig’s weight will need to be inspected to ensure it’s not too heavy for the road. You can bypass these stations by using the Drivewyze app to avoid inspections and keep you ahead of schedule. In instances where your truck needs to be weighed, Weigh My Truck streamlines the process.
With truck driving becoming more reliant on technology, there are fewer and fewer available drivers who understand how it works and how it can benefit them in their careers. Millennials grew up with computers and the equipment being used in the trucking field today. Their understanding and adaptability make them desired candidates by companies looking for new truckers for their fleets.
Why Should Millennials Become Truck Drivers?
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Trucker?
1. Bypass College
You don’t need a college degree to obtain a CDL. After graduating from trucking school, you can get to work without obtaining the debt many millennials experience by going to college, according to Forbes.
2. Get Paid to Travel
Office jobs aren’t for everyone. As a truck driver, you’ll have no office. Every shipment will take you to a different destination. This is especially true for cross-countries drivers who experience all facets of American towns, cities, and the beautiful places in between.
3. Substantial Benefits
Not all jobs are able to offer healthcare or a 401k plan. Nagle Companies notes the benefits you’ll have as a trucker will include both plans.
With a health insurance, you’ll be able to cover your family, ensuring that if they need medical help, the financial burden will be lessened.
A 401k will allow you to save money early in your career and will improve your financial security when you retire.
The contributions you make, the compounding interest you earn, and the gains made through investments aren’t taxed. If you decide to move from one trucking company to the next, your 401k will roll over to the next employer without penalties.
401k plans also benefit you in the short-term, as it can reduce your taxable income, according to The Balance.
4. Stable Income
From holiday gifts to propane tanks, items need to get from one place to another. It’s the truckers who get them there, making it a stable industry.
The BLS has reported competitive trucking rates based on a per-mile scale. This will provide you with a consistent income that increases with experience and with every mile you put behind you.
If you’re interested in becoming a truck driver, you need to take accredited CDL classes with a driving school that will prepare you for your new career. Since 1980, Hamrick School in Medina, OH, has provided both day and night classes with experienced instructors. They also offer financial aid to those who qualify. You’ll prepare for the CDL exam in both a classroom and in on-the-road instruction. Once you’ve graduated, Hamrick School will help you find your first position as a driver. For their class schedule, reach out to them online or call them at (330) 239-2229.
OH Reg. #2057
ODPS License #1439-2369