If you are debating becoming a truck driver, first you need to ask your self these questions:
How does your family feel about you becoming a truck driver?
– Are they OK with me being away from home for extended periods of time?
Why Do you want to become a truck driver?
– Driving a truck is not for everyone
Do you like to drive?
– A basic question, yes, but very important. If you get bored quickly or have to stop every 30 minutes then this is not the career choice for you.
Are you a patient person?
– There’s a lot of sitting around and waiting involved — in loading docks, traffic, truckstops, etc. Lack of patience can cause serious problems.
Are you safety orientated?
– Trucks are NOT just oversized cars. They’re heavy equipment, and can quite easily kill you or someone else. Even small things can turn around and bite you.
Are you ok being alone for extended periods of time?
– This is another big question. Some carriers may not allow riders right away, or ever. You must be ok with the fact of being alone in your truck.
Are you a self starter? Do you have a good work ethic?
– Out on the road, there’s no boss standing over you with a stick. You’ve got to get up and move the freight down the road under your own power. Hours can be very long — 12 to 14 hour workdays are common.
Are you in good physical health?
– You’ll be climbing around the equipment, moving freight, coupling and uncoupling trailers.
You need to be drug and alcohol free, can you commit to this?
– You’ll be taking pre-employment, and thereafter random drug and alcohol tests. If you’re involved in a crash (even if it’s not your fault) you’ll also be tested. A positive test, or refusal to test, is the absolute kiss of death in the industry. A little known fact is the reduced alcohol limit for CDL holders. If you have a CDL, the legal alcohol limit is .04 — half of what it is for everyone else. Yes, even in a car. Also, any detectable trace of alcohol (even below the .04 limit) will get you a 24 hour out-of-service order — which is also the kiss of death.