Long haul drivers get the most miles of all drivers. If you always wanted to see the whole country from coast to coast, and maybe even Canada, too, then long haul trucking may by for you.
TruckingJobFinder has exclusive interviews with experienced long-haul truck drivers who share their experience of life on the road. We’ll show you what it’s really like to travel the country and haul every kind of freight.
One of the advantages of long haul driving experience is the chance to develop a solid record of safety, which will make it easier for you to move into other job opportunities.
Many long-haul drivers enjoy the opportunity to see so much of the country, particularly the wildlife like bear and deer. If you fly the maple leaf flag, then check out trucking driving jobs in Canada – we cover that topic too!
Long haul driving is also expected to see more job growth over the next decade than local driving. The more the economy expands, the better the opportunities in long haul driving will be.
If you’re interested in driving, but you don’t like the idea of spending weeks on the road alone, you might be interested in driving as part of a team. Team drivers usually work as a pair so that one person can drive while the other sleeps. This arrangement lets the cargo spend more time moving and less time waiting. If you can find one person who would not make you crazy over the course of several weeks and months of 24-hour-a-day together time in a tiny rolling cubicle, you can make some good money hauling freight as a pair.
TruckingJobFinder also explains federal trucking laws and regulations that drivers have to follow, like how many hours you can drive without rest and how many hours, total, you can be on duty. In general, drivers can’t be on-duty more than 14 hours per day. But what is included in the term on-duty? There are rules about how long overall you can spend behind the wheel, how often you have to take breaks, how long you have to be off-duty before you start driving again, how many hours total you can drive over a week, how fast you can drive, how much weight you can haul, how long you can let you engine idle, and how you need to keep track of all these activities.
Since a truck driver only makes money when he’s rolling, he will avoid stopping whenever possible. That can make routine activities challenging – for example, showering, stopping for lunch, and going to the restroom. Although the sleeping quarters in a truck can be quite luxurious, they don’t usually include toilets and showers. TruckingJobFinder shows you what it’s really like to live on the road, sleep in a berth, and drive as part of a team. You will also learn about some of the lifestyle tradeoffs that long-haul drivers accept in exchange for good pay.
Long hours on the road and irregular sleep patterns can take a toll on your health. Although it’s important to stay healthy so that you can do your job, your job won’t always allow you easy opportunities to stay healthy. After 10 hours of driving plus a few more hours of paperwork or waiting at a loading dock, you’ll be worn out. The last thing you might want to do at the end of a shift is carve out time to go for a walk, but if your health is important to you, you will have to find ways to squeeze in some kind of exercise most days of the week. If you are lucky enough to have a small refrigerator or cooler, you can stock up on healthy snacks to reduce your intake of high-fat, low-vegetable truck stop food.
Some people are drawn to long haul driving because they like the idea of getting days or weeks at a time where they can just drive without having to interact with people. For someone finds other humans annoying, the solitude of the road can sound like paradise. But loners may be frustrated to find that even on the road, it’s hard to escape interpersonal communications. With wireless communication systems that reach you 24-hours a day no matter where you are, and dispatchers assigning you loads and asking about your progress, drivers have to deal with people only a little less than those in jobs that stand still.
The way you mesh with the people you work for can affect your ability to get work. Just because you land a job as a long-haul driver doesn’t mean you’ll automatically start racking up the miles. TruckingJobFinder shows you how to manage your new job and become one of your dispatcher’s favorite drivers so you spend less time sitting and more time driving.
The first year of driving is the hardest. TruckingJobFinder offers practical advice on getting your CDL, landing your first job, surviving your training year, and finding the right company that will keep you happy over the long term.