Pro's N Con's of Trucking Part 1
by American Trucker (Carl.S)
Guide to the Pros and Cons of Trucking
If you’re considering a career in trucking, most likely you are looking at driving
long haul, or as it is normally called, over the road. Over the road trucking is the
fastest and easiest way to get started in a trucking career. This is because there are
so many companies always hiring drivers willing and ready to go “over the road.”
Because of the events of 911, strict insurance and hiring policies, went into effect.
Once you receive your CDL, insurance requirements determine that you must have
at least six months to one year of verifiable driving experience before any company
will hire you. Basically, the only way to achieve this experience is by hiring on
with a motor carrier and going over the road. These large trucking companies have
the power and ability to get you pushed through their insurance requirements, or
simply have additional insurance to cover students and new drivers.
Undoubtedly, you have done some research if you are considering a trucking
career. I’m sure you have seen many negatives or “cons” about the trucking
industry as a whole. But what about the pros? Aren’t there ANY pros to trucking?
All the negative comments you read and hear just may cause you to run away from
what could be an exciting and rewardable career that you really want to do. So,
instead of focusing on the cons of trucking, for now . . . let’s look at the pros.
The United States has the largest trucking industry in the world. Presently, there
are eight million CDL drivers in this country. Although they are mostly men, lets
not forget that five to seven percent of these drivers are women, and that figure
continues to grow each year. So, one of the best pros to trucking? Once you have
a CDL, you will never be without a job!
In an economy that can constantly be changing, it is always a good feeling to know
that no matter where you live, you can always find a decent paying job. If the
company you’re working for does not work out, simply move onto the next
company until you find the one that does.
When we read or hear about all the layoffs and downsizing by corporate America,
isn’t it a good feeling to know that, no matter how bad things become, the CDL you
hold in your hand will always provide you with a means of support? Be it driving
locally, regional, dedicated or long haul, you will always have the opportunity to
provide for yourself and family when times get tough for the rest of the population.
Many times people write me and will say something like, “I think I would really
like trucking because I enjoy traveling.” To old pros like me, the first thing we
think is, “Yea, you will definitely do some traveling!” But you know what?
You’re right, This is and can be a great pro to trucking . . . you get to travel all
over the USA, and get paid for it!
Also, not just the USA . . . how about Canada? Mexico? Some of my fondest
memories of OTR trucking are running through Canada . . . Montréal , Quebec,
Ontario . . . and Mexico? I’ve seen Monterrey, Nogales, Chihuahua, Ensenada . . .
and I received a decent pay check for doing it! Do you always enjoy the
opportunity for sightseeing? No . . . but if you’ve never gotten to visit many places
in your life, trucking will provide you with the ability to see the country side like
no other vocation can. From Caribou, Maine to San Diego, California . . . Tacoma,
Washington to Miami, Florida . . . South Padre Island, Texas to Cody, Wyoming . .
America is a beautiful place . . . this is no doubt, a great pro to trucking.
One more side note to this pro of trucking, is if you have a family, most companies
will have a rider policy . . . so your spouse or kids can ride along with you on your
trips. Not all together, but one at a time. This is great . . . once the kids are out of
school for the summer, they will get to enjoy the thrill of “trucking across
America.” It’s a great learning tool for kids. Finding the right company is the key
to success in trucking. Find that key, and not only can you travel the USA and get
paid doing it . . . you can actually have some fun along the way.
Have you ever been without a job? Have you ever worked for a company that
didn’t offer any benefits, or if they did, the cost was simply too expensive to
afford? Scary isn’t it? Being without insurance . . . Ever been self employed?
Have you ever investigated getting insurance benefits on your own?
We all know how expensive health insurance can be. That’s why the large majority
of the population is without benefits. Even though everyone can get the medical
treatment they need in this country, isn’t it a good feeling to be able to hand that
medical card to the receptionist when they ask, “Do you have any insurance?”
Thus . . . another pro to trucking. Especially, these large trucking companies give
you the ability to provide medical insurance and other benefits for you and your
family at a very affordable rate! They also make it even easier on you . . . by
deducting it from your pay check per a weekly basis. My last over the road
employer had a great benefit package. The total monthly cost for a “family plan”
was only $227.12 per month! To make it easy, they deducted $56.78 per week out
of my check. I didn’t even feel it.
Now, to have that plan on my own would have cost $768.34 per month. No way I
could have pulled that off! We all know trucking is not an easy life . . . it can be
down right tough! But the peace of mind knowing that you and your family are
covered through a great medical plan with benefits, at an affordable price, may out
weigh the rough times.
Dependable, affordable medical/insurance benefits . . . another pro to trucking.
Another pro to this industry needs to be touched on also. Have you ever worked in
an office, cubical space, factory or warehouse? Wasn’t your “cup of tea?” Many
times there seems to always be that one “boss” or “supervisor” that can make your
life miserable. Even though you will be dealing with a dispatcher or load
coordinator, this is usually done by way of satellite communications, and you
seldom ever actually “speak” to a live person. Another pro of trucking? No “real”
boss standing over your shoulder.
Sure there will be orders and instructions you will have to take, but again this is
most often done through electronic communications on board the truck.
No boss or supervisor watching over your shoulder . . . nobody standing over you
making sure you’re doing what your suppose to be doing . . . sounds great, right?
Of course, someone is ALWAYS watching you through the G.P.S. system . . . but
this is necessary in order for the company to communicate with their customer . . .
but, as long as you do your job . . . you shouldn’t have to worry about that one boss
. . . that one supervisor . . . making your life miserable, just one more pro of