Do you want...

  • Ultimate job security?

  • Benefits and insurance?

  • Be your own boss?

  • Have a chance to make good money?

  • Travel the country?

  • Retire young?

  • And all this without a college degree and minimal training?

Got your attention now?

Be a truck driver!

A yellow truck driving under a cloudy sky. Photo by Rhys Moult on Unsplash

Truckers Are Essential

Similar to doctors and nurses, truck drivers are considered essential workers.

Essential services keep societies and countries running 24/7 — even in a state of emergency!

Trucks are necessary to keep supply chains running smoothly (think food, medications, and utilities).

Food and bottled water

Medications

Utilities and tools

So yes, we need truckers to survive!

But how will you survive as a driver?

A joyful trucker making a playful arm gesture sitting in his truck.

Answer the quiz below to find out about some essential elements of the job.

Quiz

To be a truck driver, you should expect:

The Pros

If you decide to drive a truck...

  • You'll enjoy the freedom of the road, be your own boss.

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  • You'll be able to travel the country, and perhaps even cross the continent.

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  • There's always demand for truckers. You're much less likely to become unemployed!

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  • The training is quick and easy — although you should enjoy driving to start with.

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  • A six-figure salary for truckers isn't unheard of in the US.

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The Cons

The daily grind...

  • Drivers spend a lot of time away from home.

  • Getting a good meal can be a problem. You may have to survive some trips on snacks!

Some more serious disadvantages:

  • Trucking can be dangerous. Every year in the US, thousands of fatal accidents are reported due to poor weather conditions, driver fatigue, or rushing to meet a tight delivery window.

  • Some delivery jobs may require carrying hazardous materials.

Scared cat. The text reads,

Types of trucking jobs

A trucking job is a trucking job?

Not quite.

You can choose from some 9 categories of jobs, depending on vehicle size and type of cargo:

  • Dry van haulers 53-foot single trailer semi-trucks carry dry, nonperishable, easy-to-move goods. You don't need to move the cargo yourself.

package

  • Freight haulers — Transport oversized contents, hazardous cargo, or liquids.

Poison

  • Flatbed haulers  — Open-air trailers that carry large machinery or vehicles.

Digger

  • Tanker haulers — Specialize in liquids. One of the best-paying jobs, although relatively complex!

truck for liquids

  • Refrigerated freight haulers — The so-called "reefers" carry medical goods or food. These are the longest trips and may require you to pair with another driver for efficient switching.

Freezer

  • Long-haul or over-the-road (OTR) — Continental journeys, good for the traveler in you!

A map showing yellow bus on the road

  • LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD (LTL) haulers — LTLs typically transport small loads over shorter distances. This often requires muscle power for loading and unloading. Expect to earn less than taking OTR jobs.

Muscle

  • Hotshot haulers  — Carry multiple loads per day. Expect to be on the call and be fast!

Truck with a clock face

  • Auto haulers — Specially meant for transporting cars.

Car

Quiz

Which one of these are most suitable for drivers just starting their careers?

What About Women Truckers?

Meet Shelby. Yep: she's a trucker, too!

Trucking in the 21st Century is a job for women like any other occupation. However, female truckers may face extra challenges while on the road, including sexual harassment.

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Still, many women truckers know how to stay safe and find their job satisfying. Maybe even more than satisfying!

Check out the TikTok superstar #clarissarankin, a lady truck driver from Charlotte, VA, with over 30M followers!

Take Action

Some people are well-suited to become truck drivers. If you're one of them, you can have a satisfying career!

So, what are you waiting for? HONK HONK!!!!

Purple-dressed man with purple turban and beard pointing down

Weigh the pros and cons above and ask yourself:

  • Do I want to be sitting behind the wheel for most of my working day?

  • Am I comfortable being alone and away from my loved ones for longer stretches of time?

Find a truck stop near you and talk to a few people!

  • Why did they opt for this job?

  • What do they love about it?

  • What do they dislike or struggle with?

Still interested?

License:

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This Byte has been authored by

MT

Maria Turek

Learning Specialist