If you have ever gone to a store and found food, electronics, clothing, or any other type of product in stock, you should thank a truck driver. The truth is that much of the efficiency of the United States depends largely on carefully scheduled and planned truck deliveries, which also means relying on CDL drivers.
You can make good money as a truck driver, with salaries ranging between $60,000 and $90,000 a year (At Duncan and Son Lines, Inc), depending on experience, certifications, education, and other skills. Some drivers are paid hourly while others are paid by the mile. As with any job, when you first start out as a driver, you need to get used to a lot of new routines – how to safely operate your vehicle, how to manage your time, and how to get the routes you most want. Most of this comes with time and experience. If you’re just breaking into the world of trucking driving, how do you know what to expect with the life of a truck driver?
The Day in the Life of a Truck Driver
There is no typical start time for drivers. But there are some strict rules regarding how long a driver may drive for – for example, in a single shift, truck drivers may only drive for 11 hours and no more than that. Their driving must also be finished for the day by the fourteenth hour after they started their workday. CDL drivers must also take 10 hours off between each shift. These rules are put in place for the safety of the drivers as well as other travelers on the road. At Duncan and Son, our safety team will help you understand these rules because violating any of them could result in fines.
The first thing a semi-truck driver does before beginning their route is inspect his or her trailer and truck to make sure everything is in order and operating as it should. The next step is usually to do their logs, check messages, and check on their route of travel for weather conditions and safety alerts. Once this pre-driving routine is finished, the driver can hit the road.
The main part of the day is likely spent on the road. Depending on each company’s policy, drivers may choose to eat while they’re traveling or pull over somewhere for a break and some food. They continue on their way until they reach their destination or need to pull over because they’ve reached their hours limit.
Once drivers reach their destination, they are likely to do one of three things: drop off their loaded trailer and pick up a new trailer, wait for their cargo to be loaded before leaving, or unload the trailer and continue to the next destination.
If drivers are still en route to their destination or heading back to home base, they may choose to overnight at a truck stop or pull over somewhere safe to sleep. This sleep is often done in the sleeper berth, essentially a small room inside your semi-truck with some comforts of home, such as a bed and television. This is also the time many drivers take to shower, eat dinner, and call home. After at least 10 hours of break and rest, drivers can start their next shift. Many truck drivers choose to make their hauls at night so they can take advantage of less traffic on the roads.
The truck driving lifestyle is pretty unique, and much depends on the company you drive for. Working with the right company like Duncan and Son, drivers are able to take advantage of many distinct benefits:
- More Home and Family Time: CDL truck drivers have specific regulations regarding how long and how often they can work. There is mandatory time off built into every schedule, which means you can allow more time for home and your family. While some driving routes could take you far from home, other routes could keep you close by – much may depend on your wants, needs, and availability.
- Newer Trucks: Some drivers purchase their own trucks while some companies provide the trucks. When you rent or lease, or the company provides a truck for you, you are more likely to have access to newer models with the latest technology and safety features.
- Dedicated Runs: The benefits to a dedicated run or regular route are that you know where you’re going, you’re more likely to become familiar with the location, and you can more accurately predict how long the run will take you and how much time you have off
- Health Benefits: Good companies know how to value their drivers, which means offering benefits outside driving. As a truck driver, your health is important – the healthier you are, the better you can perform at your job. With full-time work, you should be able to enjoy health benefits.
That’s Just the Beginning
Truck driving is essential for keeping people connected and keeping business flowing. Good trucking companies know how to take care of their drivers and offer them plenty of incentive to drive as well as time to spend at home and with family. For truck driving employment opportunities and more information about becoming a driver, contact Duncan & Son Lines, Inc.