Is a truck driving career right for me?
If you’re reading this, chances are good you’ve been considering a truck driving career. If you’ve read our “How to Become A Truck Driver,” Q&A, you know truck drivers can make good money.
You also know truck drivers are in high demand and you won’t have any trouble getting a job. And it’s obvious there are men and women all over the country who love being truck drivers, but the question you’re asking yourself is this — “is trucking a good career for me?” That’s a smart question to ask, and one you should definitely explore before signing up with a CDL school or training program near you.
Obviously, we think there are benefits to becoming a truck driver, and love it even more when drivers attend our Halvor Gold CDL training program. But we also want it to be a good fit for you. With 55 years of experience in trucking, we know there are some key traits that successful truck drivers share. This list can help you decide if a trucking career will make you happy for the long haul.
- Are you tired of working retail or in an office setting? Ask most truck drivers what they like most about their jobs and they’ll tell you they don’t have to spend their day in an office or behind a counter helping people. While they often work for a trucking company, many often say they “feel like their own boss,” while they are out on the road.
- Are you comfortable spending time away from home? While some trucking jobs have you home every night, many will require you to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks at a time on the road before you have home time. This is a deal breaker for some people, but many others settle into a rhythm that works for them and their families.
At Halvor Lines, we offer a mix of routes that can have drivers home daily, home every few days or home weekly. We also accommodate drivers who want to stay on the road for even longer periods.
And if you like some companionship, we have one of the friendliest pet and passenger policies in the business. Pets are welcome from day one for all drivers. Experienced drivers can have passengers from day one, and new drivers can have them after 90 days.
- Can you handle unexpected changes to your day? When things are going as planned, pick ups and deliveries are on time, the GPS directions are accurate and you aren’t held up by weather or traffic delays. While there are plenty of days like this for a truck driver, it’s almost certain you will have days where customers don’t have a load ready, you run into unexpected road detours, or weather means your delivery is delayed. If you’re the type of person who can roll with these punches, a trucking career might be right for you.
- Are you comfortable spending time alone? Over-the-road truckers spend most of the day alone in their trucks. So being comfortable with your own company is key. Many of our Halvor Lines drivers spend their road time listening to music, talk radio, podcasts or books on tape. In fact, we have two brothers, one who has been with us 40 years, another nearly 20, who have listened to thousands of books on the road.
- Or, do you really like spending time with people? While many truckers work alone, at Halvor Lines we have nearly 100 professional drivers who train new drivers – which means they share their truck cab with a trainee 24 hours a day. If you want to drive, like to share what you know, and like company, you might want to become a driver trainer. You won’t be able to do that right away (you’ll need some time on the road first), but if you do like this option, you’ll also earn more money. For example, Halvor Lines driver trainers earn an additional .15 per mile for every dispatched mile they run with a trainee.
- Are you comfortable with a paycheck that can vary from week to week? In most long-haul trucking jobs, drivers are paid for the miles they cover, not the hours they work. This means that your take-home pay could vary from week to week, depending on the number of loads you accept and the miles you drive each week. Experienced drivers are quick to share budgeting tips with new drivers, so most drivers adjust to this fairly quickly, but if knowing what you’ll make to the penny each week is important, you’ll want to find a driving job that pays hourly or choose a different career.
Because we’ve been in the trucking business for 55 years, we know this is a transition for many people. That’s why we have $1,000 weekly guaranteed pay for drivers during CDL and over-the-road training. That’s eight weeks to get you established in your new career.
- Do you enjoy travel? When asked what they love most about their jobs, many of our drivers say the biggest benefit of becoming a truck driver is getting to travel across the U.S. and Canada. We’ve gotten photos of Florida beaches, Yellowstone National Park, the Oregon coast and mountain ranges in Alaska and Canada. Sometimes drivers are just passing through; other times they arrange some time off to hike or relax on the beach.
- Do you like to drive? This is an obvious question, but one you should think about. If you join a company that invests in late-model trucks, like Halvor Lines, you will definitely drive in comfort. But you’ll still be driving an average of seven to 10 hours a day, so it’s something to keep in mind.
Hopefully, answering these questions will help you decide of a professional truck driving career is right for you. If you’re ready to sign up for training, or want to learn more, reach out to a Halvor Lines recruiter online or call 833.4.HALVOR. We’d love to hear from you!
How To Become A Driver
OTR Finishing Program
“I’m independent by nature. Driving for Halvor lets me feel like my own boss, but with the perks of steady work and a good income.”