Every career you might think about will have its pros and cons. Choosing to be a truck driver is not an exception. Before taking the first step to obtain your commercial driver's license (CDL), weigh the following pros and cons. Driving a truck for a living can be a rewarding career for those who are not bothered by the disadvantages of the truck-driving lifestyle.
Truck driving might be hard for you if you have a family. Many truck drivers are gone for long periods of time, especially when first starting out with a new company.
One of the biggest advantages to being an over-the-road truck driver is the travel. You will get to see places you might never thought you would ever see--and get paid for doing it.
Most truck drivers, especially those who are over-the-road or long-haul drivers, can expect to make a minimum of $45,000 their first year. Short-haul drivers or drivers who are home daily can expect to start out at an annual rate around $35,000 for their first year.
The alone time can be a pro or a con. After a training period, you will normally be doing your runs alone. Many truck drivers enjoy being able to manage themselves without a boss hanging over their shoulder at every turn. Others might feel lonely and become depressed at the amount of time they are alone.
You might find it hard to stay in shape and eat healthy if you are on the road for an extended amount of time. You are driving, and therefore sitting, for hours at a time, and most of your meals will come from a fast food restaurant or truck stop. Consistent dining out, along with lack of exercise, can lead to weight gain and many other health problems.
Unfortunately, the more you drive, the higher your risk of being involved in an accident. One of the biggest disadvantages of being a truck driver is that you are driving sometimes 12 or more hours per day. Driving this often is dangerous, especially when bad weather makes driving conditions deadly during very wet periods or in the winter.
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