9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Trucker
Do I Actually Enjoy Driving?
This probably goes without saying, but if you're planning to become a truck driver you need to enjoy driving. You also need to have good driving practices and a safe driving record with no major violations. If you have a checkered past, it doesn't mean you will never drive professionally, but you may need to wait a few years to be considered employable.
Why Do I Want To Do This?
Trucking is attractive to many because of the potential for an excellent income, but if your reason for entering trucking is money alone you will be disappointed. While the money can be great, the lifestyle can be hard. You should also ask yourself if your motivations are internal, or if you are feeling pressure from others to pursue trucking. It isn't enough to think that trucking is a good fit, it has to actually work for you and your family.
Who Will Be Affected By My Absence?
Am I Ready For Friendships To Change?
Am I Ready to Commit The Time and Effort?
Am I Ready to Be Alone with My Thoughts?
Am I Ready for the Changes to My Sleep Schedule?
Different sectors of trucking have different schedules, so this doesn't apply to all sectors, but from time to time trucking will cause you to keep an odd sleep schedule.
While it is possible to sleep at night and drive during the day most of the time if your dispatch team is willing to work with you, and they should be, or you've picked the wrong company, you will likely have some early mornings and late nights from time to time.
How do you feel about driving at night in order to make a delivery, on occasion? Are you able to sleep anywhere or do you need a special mattress, sound machine, and blackout curtains? If you have trouble sleeping well at home, those troubles probably won't be helped by life on the road.
Am I Prepared to Take Charge of My Health?
Am I Ready to Deal with A Wide Range of People?
As a driver you will see all areas of the country, and you will deal with all types of people from very different walks of life. This can be a wonderful and fun experience, but it can also be frustrating and make it hard to find common ground and communicate.
You will meet people who think you are amazing, and people who think you are dirt. You will meet dock workers who treat you well and those who definitely don't. Do you know how to release your frustrations without retaliation? If anger is an issue for you, it will become an issue on the road at some point.
With a CDL one bad decision can have catastrophic consequences for your future career. Make sure you have the right temperament to let things go.