“You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow straight ahead.” – George Lucas
Becoming a trucker is a big decision.
Especially in the early days, this job will take up a lot of your time. Becoming a trucker is like starting a new relationship. Only, instead of person to person, the relationship is between you and your truck.
So, what are some things that you should think about when you’re about to become a trucker?
Here are the 5 biggest questions you should ask yourself before you take the leap and become a trucker:
Is getting my CDL worth it for me?
This article isn’t about how to get your CDL, what it takes to become a trucker, or the ins and outs of the industry (however, we have talked about this here).
The truth is, getting your CDL is worth it only if you use it. It’s nothing like going online or heading over the Walmart and getting a fishing license, it is hard work, and it’s a bit expensive.
There are fees, requirements, and other hoops you have to jump through.
If you don’t plan on actually becoming a trucker, getting a CDL is not worth it.
If you plan on building a career as a trucker, a CDL isn’t just worth it, it’s essential.
Why do I want to become a trucker?
There are a lot of benefits to becoming a CDL driver. Trucking is a profitable, stable career that offers lots of benefits that many other jobs just don’t.
However, if someone doesn’t want to drive a truck, why would they become a trucker?
The answer is easy: money.
Don’t be one of those drivers. Those drivers don’t last. They quit, burn out, and look for other careers.
To become a trucker, you have to stomach nights away from friends and loved ones, extended time on the road doing nothing but driving.
If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, you’re not going to be able to become a successful trucker. You won’t even get to enjoy the amazing benefits of this incredible industry.
Do I know myself?
If you don’t know yourself before you spend days at a time on behind-the-wheel shipping a load, don’t worry, you’re going to get to know yourself really well during that time.
If you can’t handle extended time alone, on the road, being stuck with your thoughts, becoming a CDL driver might not be the thing for you.
However, if you’re self-aware, self-sufficient, and don’t mind a bit of alone time, trucking is exactly the career for you.
Am I a healthy person?
A CDL career is a marathon, not a sprint.
Long hours seated, changes in sleep schedules, and dietary challenges can make managing your health very difficult.
If this is already something you struggle with, you should consider addressing your health before you become a CDL driver. Longevity is the name of the game in trucking, and the same is true in health.
There’s a saying in fitness, “you can’t out-train a bad diet”, and the same is true for truckers. You can’t out-truck poor self-care.
If you’re looking for some tips on how to avoid burnout in trucking, check out this article.
Am I a people person?
Trucking is a challenging business because drivers experience a lot of “hurry up and wait”.
Drivers will spend hours driving, hardly speaking to anyone, and then the next thing they know they’re dealing with strangers who they’ve never met before.
If you’re someone who struggles when meeting with and interacting with new people, this is something you’re going to want to work on before you begin your career as a CDL driver.
To be a trucker, you truly have to be an “introverted extrovert” or an “extroverted introvert”. You need balance!
Truckers work hard, and this career is not for everyone.
However, if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be more than compensated for your time on the roads.
The best part is that most trucking companies and logistics companies are always looking for more CDL drivers and truckers, both new and experienced.
If you’ve answered these questions and know that trucking is for you, apply for a career at Legacy today!