Every occupation has advantages and disadvantages. When deciding if driving a truck is a good career fit it is best to weigh carefully those disadvantages and advantages against your likes, dislikes, and what you know about yourself. Do you like to be by yourself? If not, long hours without people while driving may not be comfortable. Is patience one of your virtues, because loading and offloading may be an exercise in patience since what is imperative to you may not be to the shipper. You will fit into their schedule, not the other way around. So what exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of a truck driving career?
Disadvantages of truck driving can include:
- A lot of time alone, unless you are team driving or you have a rider it is just you behind the wheel. This can get lonely and make one feel isolated. It can take effort to stay connected with family and friends especially when gone for long cross country hauls.
- Delays, delays, delays can be frustrating and inevitable. Accidents, lines to fuel, slow shippers or recipients that seem to operate in a timeless universe, bad weather/road conditions causing extra time from point A to point B and of course construction all mess up time tables and cause extra time to be spent.
- No parking left at the truck stop or rest area that is relatively clean and nice, so sleeping happens in your cab or in the berth parked on the on or off-ramp, or in the Walmart lot.
- Sleeping when not tired, awake driving when tired.
- Rapid season changes, for example, leaving snow falling in the mountains and a couple hours later being in the balmy coastal tropics. Flannel or T-shirt?
- Bad food, or at least food that is bad for you such as heavily salted prepared food, or greasy spoon entrees that taste good but are heart attacks on a plate.
- Yucky stuff, that can offend your senses or your morals such as dirty showers because of heavy use, streetwalkers plying their trade in the parking lot of truck stops.
- Weigh stations, logbooks, regulations, and physicals and just plain paperwork that takes extra time and organization, or can entail large fines.
Advantages of truck driving can include:
- Riders, coming on some of your runs where a wife, girlfriend, friend, children or even pets can come along and see part of the country with you while you are working.
- Job stability since trucking school in Tacoma is a growth industry and the demand for truck drivers is projected to go up. It is a stable career with a lot of opportunities.
- The job is important to others. Almost everything that is bought and sold is transported eventually by trucks, this includes necessities such as food and medicine.
- Quick training that is inexpensive compared to college or trade school, Most people can earn their CDL training in Tacoma in less than two months, and some companies offer programs that let new drivers earn while they learn. This leaves far less debt and expense than college or vocational school generally does.
- Some trucking companies help new drivers earn their CDL and endorsements.
- If working for a company, some have benefits such as insurance and retirement plans.
- Pretty much left to manage your truck as you see fit. Unless you have fines or tickets or accidents you pick up and drop off your loads. What you do, how you structure your time is up to you.
- The best advantage is the chance to see the country while earning a comfortable living.
If driving a truck is the career path you choose, it has serious benefits as well as drawbacks like any other job. The biggest disadvantage seems to be loneliness while the biggest advantage is being able to see the country while getting paid to do a necessary service.
Regardless of what you are hauling someone, somewhere wants it and the way it gets from the manufacturer or grower to the individual or store is via truck. These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a truck driving career.