Trucking is a challenging profession. Most people don’t really know much about it. In fact, most people are incoherent about what a day in the life of a trucker looks like. Truckers are the bloodline of our economy. Without them, there would be no products on shelves. Toilet paper, milk, bread, formula, and many other daily necessities that we depend on all arrive at your local store on a truck.
In case you’ve ever wondered what a typical day of a trucker looks like then this article breaks down a highlight of a trucker’s day. Additionally, if you are considering becoming a trucker this might be a great insight for you to understand what you’re up against. Being a trucker is a tedious profession. However, it is one that is extremely rewarding because many truckers feel empowered to serve the community. If it wasn’t for truckers, we wouldn’t have the goods and supplies we all depend on daily basis.
Here’s a highlight of what a typical day in the life of a trucker looks like.
Rise and Shine: Time To Move
Observing a truck driver in action will quickly reveal that the majority of them prefer to rise early. An average day begins between 3 and 5 in the morning. Although, the actual time will depend on the particular driver as well as the demands of the job. Getting up early is a common endeavor for truckers, however, that can vary on certain jobs, pickup times, etc.
Weather, Road Conditions, & Safety
Before heading out for the day, truckers will evaluate the current weather and the conditions of the route. Next, the truck will be subjected to a pre-trip inspection, and any necessary logs will have to be filled out. Safety first! For the trucker and for other surrounding motorists. It’s imperative to be thorough and detail-oriented.
Truck drivers are frequently subjected to stringent time constraints once they hit the road. Because of this, truck drivers need to maintain a state of constant vigilance for any potential unexpected delays. Some of those consist of unforeseen accidents or traffic delays. Very common when commuting through major cities. There are certain circumstances that are beyond the control of the driver. Hazardous weather or a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Nevertheless, there is an expectation set in place that the delivery will be made in accordance with the schedule.
Strap In for The Ride
There are a number of parties besides carriers who have an interest in the amount of time truck drivers spend driving. In accordance with federal regulations, the maximum amount of time that a driver can spend driving behind the wheel is 11 hours. The pressure on the truck driver to finish their route within the allotted time frame is increased as a result of this.
Yes, we said 11 hours. If you’ve ever been on a lengthy road trip you can probably comprehend how exhausting 11 hours of driving can be. It is not only physically taxing but also emotionally and mentally. While truckers can make quick pit stops, in the reality of things there isn’t much room for delays. Especially since there is an expectation of a specific time and date for delivery of a shipment. Not only is the customer dependent on the goods but most importantly, the consumer. In essence that is all of us so it comes back full circle.
In the State of California, any commercial truck vehicle carrying more than 10,000 lbs is required to weigh-in. These are the weigh stations you’ve probably seen on the side of the highway. They can get quite busy too. Especially around major holidays.
Weigh-ins are required by federal law in the State of California in order to help avoid potential fatal accidents. Carrying a shipment that is less than 10,000 lbs does not require you to make a stop at a weigh station. However, if you are carrying a shipment weighing more than 10,000 lbs, a trucker must stop. It takes a lot longer for a semi-truck to come to a stop if carrying over 10,000 lbs. This can be detrimental to average commuters and other surrounding traffic.
Once a trucker arrives at their destination, it is time to prepare for unloading. Before that begins though, the semi-truck must be backed into a designated bay for unloading preparation. A common issue is delays in open bays. For instance, delivery of shipment to a Costco or UPS might cause potential unexpected delays due to heavy traffic. There are other semi-trucks coming and going and coordination with them might create potential unexpected delays.
On average, a trucker will spend 2 ½ to 3 hours waiting for a shipment to be loaded or unloaded. Typically this is downtime for which most truckers aren’t paid for. There are very few companies that will actually compensate a trucker for loading or unloading times. Mainly due to the fact that the trucker is not doing any actual work besides waiting patiently for their shipment to be loaded or unloaded. So, to put it in further perspective, a trucker spends 2 ½ to 3 hours of their day waiting patiently and for free.
Wrapping Up The Day
A truck driver will have spent a significant amount of time on the road by the time evening begins to approach. The truck driver will be looking for a place to pull off the road and rest by the time evening arrives. They will remain in the cab
of their truck throughout the night if it is fitted with a sleeper compartment. In the event that this is not possible, they will require access to facilities where they can rest. During the evening time, a truck driver will typically get some food, make a call to their family, and then go to sleep. In the morning, they will begin the process all over again.
Staying In Touch with Family
On most days truckers are on the road. This means that their communication with family can be quite limited. Even though technologies like FaceTime or common alternatives are a secondary option for communication, it still isn’t quite as viable as in-person. There are a lot of truckers with families and children. Being on the road for an extended period of time can be challenging to remain proactive in their children’s lives.
When the holiday season rolls around every year, staying in touch with family can be the most taxing for truckers. This is the time when trucker families really have to strap in for the busy times otherwise known as peak season. Improvising and making the best of each situation to stay in touch is really the best option for a trucker. It is also a prime indicator of a trucker’s commitment to the community in ensuring goods are delivered in a timely manner.
When viewed as a whole, a typical day in the life of a truck driver can be quite difficult. The average workday for truck drivers is a long one that begins very early and doesn’t wrap up until evening time. Sometimes even very late. They spend the majority of their time, up to a maximum of 14 hours per day traveling throughout various parts of the country. Their workdays are filled with stringent deadlines that must be met.
Truck drivers are required to maintain a state of constant awareness throughout the course of their workday. Most truckers are only compensated when behind the wheel. As a result, this creates a vicious cycle of pressure to be constantly behind the wheel.
A day in the life of a truck driver is also characterized by a significant amount of time spent alone. Truck drivers spend the majority of their workdays by themselves, isolated from the company of other people. The majority of truck drivers talk to their families during their lunch breaks or at the end of the day after they have finished their shifts.
However, this relatively low level of human interaction can be difficult for many truck drivers to deal with. One of the reasons that the trucking industry as a whole is having trouble bringing in new CDL drivers is due to the largely solitary nature of the jobs that are available for truck drivers. The long hours and limited time spent at home are a second factor contributing to this. Young drivers who are also trying to raise a family face difficulties when they have to spend days or even weeks away from home.
There are a lot of great perks that come along with being a truck driver, despite the fact that the job can have its share of difficulties. Truck driving is still one of the professions with the highest average salaries for people without college degrees.
Are you a truck driver looking for a company that will not treat you like a number? Do you want to be a part of a family instead of a company that treats you like a notch on the belt? We are always looking for self-motivated, driven, and energetic people to join our family. Reach out to us at (909) 746-0370 or by email at: email@example.com. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.