What You Should Know Before Getting Into Trucking

Posted on: 26 August 2019

The trucking industry is in trouble. Changes in commerce patterns—more people than ever are buying online and all those things need to be shipped. Since a large percentage of experienced commercial truckers are "aging out" of the profession, there is now a massive driver shortage. And the shortage is expected to get bigger. It's estimated that the industry needs to get about 900,000 more drivers on the road to meet the demand. 

If you're interested in joining the trucking industry, there are a few things to know.

The Industry Is Remarkably Inclusive

Why are so few people willing to take the job? Well, partially, a negative perception of truckers developed over the years that made trucking unappealing to a lot of newcomers. They were often portrayed in movies and television as hostile to newcomers and minorities. 

Now, trucking companies are going out of their way to hire drivers who don't fit the stereotypical "trucker" mold, and that includes immigrants, women, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. So, if you've been hesitant to obtain your commercial driver's license (CDL) and try your hand at trucking because you thought you wouldn't fit in, you will be pleasantly surprised at how inclusive the industry has become.

You Still Have to Expect Certain Adjustments

The life of a trucker isn't always easy and there are certain adjustments that new truck drivers typically have to make -- and that hasn't changed due to the shortage. Just like any other job, seniority "pays" in that the preferred routes often go to drivers who have been with a company for a while. That means the out-of-the-way trips to desolate areas and the less-desirable schedules get handed to the new-hires.

If you go into the job with the understanding that this is the way that most occupations work, you'll have a much more realistic set of expectations. If you have a family, you may want to make sure that they understand the challenges to expect in your schedule at first. Realize, too, that things will improve as you continue with the same company and prove your worth.

You Always Have Options

If you find yourself unhappy with a specific trucking company or job and don't feel like you are getting the respect (or pay) you are due, you won't have a hard time finding another opportunity. There are plenty of CDL truck driver positions available. This makes for flexibility in your life, as well, because it's a skill that you can take with you just about anywhere if your family wants or needs to move to a different area. You aren't stuck in one position.

If you're interested in finding a career that welcomes diversity, rewards experience, and gives you plenty of options, obtaining your CDL and becoming a trucker may just be right for you!