With the impeding growth of the trucking industry in the next couple of years, truck drivers will be in constant demand to meet the supply. Right now, the industry has been suffering from the shortage of qualified drivers. Small trucking businesses, private or commercial have been turning away from the business because of this alarming development.
The industry only employs over 3 million commercial truck drivers, 160,000 to 200,000 short of what it needs currently. The long haul sector is the major hit in the shortage. Freights are hauled in long distances making drivers away most of the time from home like six to eight weeks. Thus, this is the primary suspect why there is a shortage – the lifestyle of a long haul truck driver.
One more thing is the demand for qualified drivers not just any driver. This requires passage to a barrage of qualifying and medical exams. There is more to being a truck driver; they must be experienced, exceptional and excellent in their performance. They need to be adaptable to change since the technology has been adjusting and are now incorporated in truck driving. A truck driver should be literate and a plus would be a wide knowledge of the industry, business and interpersonal skills. These are the qualities that can bring you to your own trucking business.
Truck drivers do not just drive but they have many tasks to do in connection with driving. A truck driver should always treat his truck as his partner on the road, therefore, he should always check and monitor its condition before leaving the warehouse for a long drive. He should see the oil level if it is enough for a long drive. He has to monitor the various parts of the truck that are necessary for safe driving like the tires, brakes and wipers. He should also be complete with safety equipment in case of emergency on the road. Truck drivers report their days’ work to the dispatcher especially if there are emergencies. They should be alert at all times especially when driving. They also do reports of what they have delivered, list of the items, size, weight, description and conditions of the delivery and maybe more.
Since truck drivers are expected to be adaptable to new technologies, one responsibility of the driver is to learn this new integration in the trucking industry. The newest innovation in the industry is the satellites and positioning systems that allows the company to monitor their drivers in long distances and send information in an instant to the drivers especially when there is impending weather disturbances on the way. The company can locate the truck’s position anywhere, engine performance and fuel consumption.
As it is, being a truck driver is not an easy task. In fact, it is so demanding that truck drivers will think twice of continuing the job or make it as a long time career. Truck driving will allow the driver only a few hours of rest at home and stops while driving for food, loading, unloading and fuel. Usually, truck drivers work 60 hours a week but they are required a rest of 10 hours after 11 hours of driving.
If in case this still convinces you to try it out as a truck driver, here are some hit-the-road tips for you:
• Go and attend a driving school to gain knowledge of the transport industry, to understand the rules and regulation and safety issues of truck driving and master the art of driving.
• If you enter truck driving, expect irregular hours of sleep. So always condition yourself physically in this reality.
• Even if its hard because of your diet and conditions in work, always watch what you eat so you do avoid getting overweight.
• Try to stay in a truck driving job in one company for at least year so that you would learn the job and maximize the experience.
If you have what it takes to hit the road and be the king of the big rigs, then do not hesitate. Enjoy the pay and the benefits and see America in its finest.