Ask anyone in the trucking industry to describe the perfect driving job; you might not hear the same things twice.
What is the perfect driving job? Is there such a thing?
Asking people in the trucking industry to describe the best driving job, and you will probably get a different answer every time.
For some truckers, the perfect gig is a good seat behind the wheel of a rig with plenty of power, enough clearance, a good set of chains, nice CB, good radio and a cab that cleans up easy. Other drivers look for things like benefits, expected mileage and operation area.
After deciding to be a driver, there are a number of puzzles to solve. What may be the perfect opportunity for one trucker might not suit someone else. There is a wide variety of positions available in the trucking market, so the best driving job for you depends on a combination of your skill, knowledge and experience.
Start by thinking of what type of truck driving job you want. Simply getting behind the wheel is not enough. You want to be happy with long or short hauls and know which one is more preferable for you.
Will you be involved in the pickup and unloading process for loads you carry? Perhaps you will be an owner-operator. Will you want to move up, becoming a manager in the future? Knowing what equipment you will use, as well as pay, expected mileage, home time and operation area.
The answer to all these questions will help you find a company that suits your requirements.
In the eyes of some drivers, the perfect driving job is all about pay. Even if a job pays well, other drivers think a fantastic job should also include health benefits. Many drivers in the trucking industry see driver training as a “meat grinder,” where the only drivers to succeed are those who are better at it and enjoy driving the most. Others see training as an indispensable part of a career.
The most popular features of the “perfect” driving job:
- Pay and benefits
- Home time
- Management to employee relations (and vice versa)
- Customer relations
- Equipment maintenance and upkeep
- Mobility (how a driver spends his or her time—spending time driving or just sitting around)
It is not about how terrific a job sounds on paper. It is about the way a company treats employees. With driving in the trucking industry, a perfect job is about the amount of money earned, compared to sitting around waiting. The value in a trucking job is the actual work required, time spent away from home, benefits, equipment and maintenance.
As in virtually every industry, the worst jobs, ones with the highest failure and turnover, are with companies where owners look like they have no idea what they are doing.
What makes a perfect trucking job? When management understands what it is like to be on a work floor, warehouse or on the road. Passing judgment is much more effective when supervisors understand how a decision affects the rank-and-file.
Even in the cases of managers promoted from warehouse operations, there are many with utterly no idea of the transportation end of the business. Frequently, new rules and regulations come down to a driver, making it much harder for them to do the job. Solving many of these problems could only be a matter of dispatching more efficiently to reduce (or eliminate) wait time at warehouses. Just a small increase in efficiency for the consignee or consignor could make an inferior trucking job considerably better.
If there is one thing many drivers will agree on, you do not choose a career as a trucker. The career chooses you. The majority of truckers simply drive for the passion of driving.
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