What You Should Know About Truck Driving

What You Should Know About Truck Driving


If you’ve ever passed a semi-truck on the highway or watched one of those “artful” commercials about driving trucks, you might have developed some ideas about what it’s like to be a truck driver. Whatever your thoughts are on the subject, the reality of being a professional truck driver is very different from what most people expect. There are plenty of great things about being a truck driver and some challenging elements as well. If truck driving sounds like something that interests you, read on to learn more about what it’s like.

The Equipment

Drivers have to be skilled at operating everything from the massive engine at the back of the truck to the giant steering wheels in the cab. It takes training to be able to safely and efficiently operate these machines. In fact, you’ll probably need a commercial driver’s license before you’re allowed to drive even a small truck. The engines in these trucks can be upwards of 400 horsepower, which is why they emit so much noise. Along with the sounds of the road, the air brakes of a big truck are also very loud. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a truck with a hydraulic brake system that makes less noise than the typical air brakes used today.

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The Personnel

Being a truck driver requires working with a large team of people, from dispatch to mechanics, but you’re on the road alone for most of the week. You’ll likely spend a lot of time talking on the radio with your dispatcher and other truckers, but most of your communication will be one-sided. This can be a positive or a negative depending on your personality, but you’ll have to spend a lot of time inside your own head. That said, if you’re a natural extrovert who enjoys company, there are some trucking positions that involve riding with a partner.

The Safety Risks

Because you’re on the road all the time and driving in all kinds of weather and conditions, truck accidents are a very real possibility. The most important thing to remember when driving a truck is to not rush. Give yourself time to get to your destination if you’re on a deadline. Driving too fast, especially in severe conditions, can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and result in a serious accident. And even in a situation where the accident was the other person’s fault, you may be blamed because you were driving a much larger vehicle. This is where a qualified legal professional, such as a tractor trailer injury attorney, should be helpful.

The best way to navigate the challenges of being a truck driver is to come into the job with an open and realistic mindset. You need to be flexible and adaptable to a very different lifestyle than most people experience. If truck driving sounds like something that you would be good at and enjoy, then go for it. There are very few people who are well-suited to this kind of lifestyle, and you might have a lot of competition, but don’t be afraid to try.