Trucking is considered to be a huge industry in the United States,asmany of us rely on to get the goods and services we need.
According to an American Trucking Association survey, trucks movemore than 70% of freight in the U.S. transporting almost 12 billion tons in 2018.
So what many people do not know about trucking? Here are 10 things that you may not know about being a truck driver:
1. Drivers have education:
It’s estimated that 35% of the professional drivers who have been driving trucks for more than seven years have extended educations, and are trained in driving professions.
This number goes up to 45% of drivers who have been driving trucks fewer than five years.
2. More than 80% of Americans depend on trucks for delivery:
Whether you are shopping in-person or online, the things you order have to be packaged, shipped, and delivered from the place you shopped from to your doorstep.
If you are buying from groceries, clothes, or even ordering book online, all of this can be delivered by truck.
This is especially true for rural areas that may not have a local airport or train station.That’s where trucking comes in.
For more than 80% of the United States, trucking is the only way to get their goods and the things they order.
3. You won’t be rich with trucking:
Some people think with long working hours that truck drivers are rich.
Truckers earn a median annual wage of $37,930, which is $4,000 more than the median wage for all jobs, according to the BLS, The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $58,000 per year.
You may think that you can invest, but the time you invest doesn’t often turn into a big payout. It’s a thingyou need to know and accept before starting your driving career.
The expenses while driving on the road has gone way up and that cuts into your bottom line.
There is no $2 breakfast anymore;nowadays itis a $12 breakfast. The only thing you can do with the $2 is to have your coffee and nothing else.
What if you are a truck owner operator, can you become rich? It is tough to get rich these days if you are an owner operator, because the cost of maintaining and repairing a truck has gone toohigh.
4. Truck driving is one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States:
Driving on the road can be highly dangerousfor drivers staying at the wheel for long hours each day.
It isdue to stress, excessive working hours and a low quality of life among the day-to-day challenges for many truck drivers.
In addition, there is potential for accidents, and the job is more risky in bad weather conditions.
There is limited time for truck drivers to do exercises and sports and limited options for healthy meals on the road.
They even may not find enough time to see the doctor when they need to.
One of the reasonsthe Department of Transportation highly regulates commercial driving is due to high risk related to the industry.
5. Truckers work more unpaid hours than any other profession:
Truckers that get paid on mileage used to say:“If the wheels ain’tturnin’, you ain’tearnin’”.
So in order to get pay you need to have your wheels running in the road.
You may be in work stopping in traffics but you won’t be paid for this, waiting time at some docks can be as long as four to twelve hours, simply because you get paid on mileage.
Most long haul truckers earn a per-mile rate; many without time paid for loading or unloading, without during-work-stopping time, and even break time.
So in this profession you may find unpaid hours more than any other one.
6. Trucking is not about semi trailers only:
When someone says TRUCK to you, a hugesemi trailer probably comes to your mind.
Variety of job titles and specialized job types you can apply for can be considered as one of the greatest benefits of working as a truck driver.
You need to know that Long haul drivers have an important role in trucking, but they are not the only type of trucker in the industry.
There are many types of truckers depending on various factors such as:what you are driving, where you are going, where you drive, and how much you drive.
Here is a list with various types of truck drivers:
- Dry Van Drivers
- Flat Bed Drivers
- Tanker Drivers
- Refrigerated Freight Drivers
- Freight Haulers
- LTL Freight Drivers
- Local Drivers
- Regional Drivers
- OTR Drivers
7. Truckers may drive up to 3000 miles a week:
How much a driver drives per day, depends on various factors, and we don’t mean just the weather.
If you are looking forward to working as a truck driver, many companies require you to drive under a certain speed limit, such as 65 miles per hour, even if the posted speed limit is higher.
According to the Hours of Service regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers are required to drive a maximum of 11 hours per day.
In another words, a trucker will drive about 55 to 60 miles per hour. Thisseems to be 605 to 650 miles per day.
When it comes to weeks, sometimes truckerscan drive up to 3000 miles a week.
According to the ATAIn 2017, there were 36 million trucks registered for business use, while those associated with the government or farming were not counted.
Those trucker drove their trucks about 300 billion miles in one year.
Take in your consideration that the distance from Earth to the moon is 238,900 miles.
Half of the employers of the trucking industry (all are 7.8 millionpeople) are drivers
8. Trucking is not only about to drive:
Driving on the road is not the only thing a professional driver does. Here are other things that a truck driver makesbesides driving:
- Load and unload cargo.
- Record cargo deliveries.
- Refuel and clean vehicle.
- Report road incidents to the dispatcher.
- Inspect trucks and record issues.
- Report mechanical problems to maintenance personnel.
- Plan routes using GPS system.
9. Most large fleets have governed speeds on their trucks:
Half of the top 10 trucking companies listed in the CCJ Top 250 this year are governed at speeds between 62 to 68 miles per hour.
10. Relationship Problems:
As a truck driver, you need to know that in some types of trucking jobs, you are away more than you are at home,you haveto adapt to the truck driver lifestyle.
Some truckers suffer emotional and moral support. You may say that they can use their cell phones, but believe me it is not something that can be recovered with phone calls.
So truck drivers stay far from their home, wives, children, and friends for a long time, which something not easy at all.