The nation is and has been for a long time experiencing a severe driver shortage. The reasons are many but it’s due in large part to extensive time away from home that is usually required. While the industry has gotten a little better about getting more drivers home with regional and short haul runs, the fact remains that trucking continues to be more of a lifestyle than just a job. Whether a driver is away from home for a few days or a few weeks it all takes a toll sooner or later. Still, for those who can understand the true requirements and are willing to pay the price, it can be a good career choice. It does take some effort and a little question asking but overall getting a job as a truck driver isn’t really that hard.
Large companies may provide some or all of your initial training, and you will usually be able to get decent medical coverage and other benefits there too. Smaller companies tend to offer fewer benefits, but may be able to offer more time at home – sometimes. Buyer beware, or in this case driver beware. Not all trucking companies are created equally, and some will flat out abuse you. Especially when it comes to getting you home.
The biggest obstacle most people wanting to become truck drivers may face is their driving records. Insurance companies govern who trucking companies can hire and who they can’t by controlling whether they insure a trucking company or not and if so at what cost. The drivers they hire and retain are the biggest determining factor in what their liability insurance will cost.
Age is another consideration – minimum of 21 for interstate commerce (federal regulation) , and those drivers over 65 (insurance criteria) will find it increasingly difficult to find or keep trucking jobs. They may not say that, not to your face anyway, but that’s often the unofficial truth. If you want to check the federal regs on specific detail you can do so at www.fmcsa.gov but remember that company policies and criteria and insurance criteria also cover additional limits.
Because of all the restrictions, limitations, and time on the road away from home trucking is a very high turnover industry. Many come in – and many go right back out the door. If you can hack it, there are plenty of openings available for qualified drivers. If you think you might like to become a truck driver then buy my book, Introduction to Professional Truck Driving Careers . It’s available on amazon.