Truck driving is not for everybody. While millions are still unemployed in the US and Canada, the trucking industry is projecting a driver shortage in the coming years. The reason behind such an anomalous situation is because not everyone is cut out to be a truck driver. The lifestyle of a truck driver is different from the rest of mankind. He has to be sitting behind the wheel for many hours on many consecutive days, away from the family for days or weeks. The pay is good but not that really attractive considering the trade-offs, foremost of which is to having to live on the road away from family.
Still, many people want to be a truck driver. They are fascinated by the idea of being on the road for days on end, touring each nook and cranny of the country. They love being in the outdoors, in the company of giant machines that haul great loads thousands of miles from one point to another. Truck drivers are the modern-day outdoors men that keep the economy going.
Choosing a Carrier
The trucking industry is made up of thousands of carriers, each competing for the services of the available truck drivers. Truck drivers, therefore, must choose wisely the carrier they want to work for in order to get the best working conditions and best remuneration package. Some of the things drivers have to consider in deciding which carrier to join are the following:
- Compensation package – Some carriers offer a signing bonus that may sound too attractive to pass but the other aspects of their compensation package may be inferior to what most carriers offer. Choose a compensation package that works best for you.
- Profitability of the carrier – Find out if the carrier is profitable and is continuously growing. A carrier may offer big pay but you will be left empty-handed if it turns belly up. Look for a carrier that is stable to ensure long-term employment.
- Better than most – You don’t expect to be employed by the best carrier in the US but your carrier must not be at the bottom of the pile in terms of working conditions and benefits.
- Carrier operates in the area you like – Some drivers are comfortable driving in certain areas and distances. Choose the carrier that operates within your comfort zone, such as driving only within the state, driving out-of-state, or cross-border.
The best carrier for a truck driver is one that makes the driver comfortable and gives them the feeling that they are an important part of the operation.