Just about anyone associated with the trucking sector can likely tell you that there are plenty of misconceptions about the industry - some are understandable, and others are just bizarre. It's not always easy to separate fact from fiction, so those outside the industry might want to do a bit more research.
The following facts that are vital to know about truckers, their jobs and the industry as a whole serve as a good place to start:
1) It comes with lots of opportunities
There have been a lot of headlines about the national trucker shortage - one that is actually global - so any skilled driver should be able to easily find a job that pays well and provides great benefits, according to Today's Trucking. Because the industry as a whole is short tens of thousands of pro drivers for current - let alone future - needs, drivers can likely see serious financial benefits.
2) It's easy to find training opportunities
Likewise, many companies will give drivers an incentive - and financial help - to pursue more training that will give them the qualifications to haul more than just standard materials, Today's Trucking added. Even drivers who are interested in getting their start in the sector may have their training paid for in full by employers, and may be able to become certified for driving double trailers or hazardous materials as well.
3) It takes high-quality communication skills
Many people may think truckers are by themselves on the road without talking to people for most or all of the day, but that's often not the case, according to Smart Trucking. Typically, drivers must be in regular communication with dispatch, clients, other drivers and more. There is, of course, there are still plenty of hours spent just listening to music, podcasts, call-in talk shows and the like, but drivers spend a lot of time on the phone or radio as well.
4) It pays well
As mentioned above, drivers are in a stronger position today than at any point in recent memory because of supply and demand, Smart Trucking noted. Companies are not only willing to give drivers more flexibility and per-mile pay, but also provide bonuses for various milestones - including signing on. Doing so is largely a means of both attracting and retaining talent at a time when competition among freight companies is likely to keep increasing in the years ahead.
5) It requires a ton of driving skill
As you might expect, truckers need to be excellent drivers, but the average person may not realize how much skill it takes to operate big rigs for tens of thousands of miles per year across the nation's highways and byways, which is why drivers have to go through such extensive training, according to ATBS. With so many different considerations to keep in mind, from routes to weather to traffic conditions to what they're hauling and more, truckers are experts at getting just about anything where it needs to go.
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