Before you finally commit to becoming a truck driver in Colorado, there are a few things you should discuss with your loved ones before even considering a job in that field. Being a CDL driver is an actual lifestyle change. A truck driver position demands most of your days on the road, meaning that your time at home is very limited. Whether you’re home weekly or home every other week, your partner deserves some say in your deliberations before you decide if driving a truck for a living is for you.
However, if you like the idea of flexibility along with 20 hours of solitude daily and following a different routine from the rest of the population, then truck driving is definitely worth exploring. To help you with the discussion and to help you understand what you should expect in this line of work, consider the eight facts below about truck drivers in the US. You may be surprised on what you learn.
8 Facts About the Truck Driver Life
- Drivers can begin working early. Many drivers like to move with the light, while others prefer to drive through the night. Most OTR truck drivers don’t have set starting hours unless they’re calling into dispatch after returning from time off.
- Some drivers are paid hourly, but in most cases compensation is calculated by mile.
- You may be expected to work up to 70 hours over an eight-day period. After you’ve worked for 70 hours, you can’t drive again until you take a full 34 hours off duty. The 70-hour limit could be reached by working 14-hour days, but you can’t drive for more than 11 hours in a day. You must conclude your “Hours of Service” with a 10-hour break.
- There are many perks that come with a truck driver’s schedule. One of the main perks is that you get a unique view of the country. You’ll mostly get to drive modern trucks with comfortable, ergonomically designed seats to help you stay alert and focused.
- Most drivers are expected to cover 125,000 miles per annum. That breaks down to around 2,500 miles a week, which equates to 500 miles a day.
- Employers who pay “practical miles” pay based on every mile driven while on the job. On the other hand, “paid miles” is more like drawing a straight-line on a map from point A to point B, even though routes aren’t always straight.
- You will either do “drop and hooks” or live loading and unloading, which can take two to three hours each. An OTR driver will almost never have to unload any freight, but you are reliant on various shipping and receiving departments observing your strict schedule.
- Often times you won’t know what you’ll be paid until the end of the year. A good estimate for first year drivers is around $35,000 and $45,000-$55,000 thereafter.
Truck drivers are the backbone of the economy; without them, manufacturers and stores wouldn’t have the goods to sell products. It’s not always the easiest job, but with so much job security and benefits, it’s hard to pass up. So talk with your loved ones today and get ready to start your new career as a THC Global Inc. truck driver.