Veterans can get out of the military when they’re senior citizens or after they do a single tour while still in their 20s. Having military experience is a great plus for many veterans looking for new careers. Those who have experience that they can parlay into a new career might have more choices than others. An attractive career choice for a lot of former service members is commercial truck driving. Though this job path has a lot of promise for veterans and civilians alike, there are also some very real and inherent risks. Check out these three facts about being a professional truck driver before you start studying for your CDL.
1. There are Approximately 700 Fatal Accidents Involving Truck Drivers Each Year
By and large, the trucking industry has gotten safer over the years. With cellphones and improved weather monitoring technology, professional CDL holders can plan out safer routes and stay connected to company headquarters. On the other hand, truck drivers still haul heavy freight and there are still loads of motorists who do not respect the road. If you do choose to become a commercial truck driver you have to know that this is a potentially dangerous job.
2. Stress Is a Big Part of the Job
As a professional truck driver, you might not ever drive the same exact route twice. You’ll also have to learn how to sleep on the road, including in the cab area on the side of the road. Commercial drivers are always on a tight schedule so they are constantly aware of the time and will take the most direct route even if that means they’ll be driving down narrow roads. Expect to feel a large amount of stress during your shifts and begin to look forward to time with your family. Truck drivers might have several days off only to return to the road for several weeks straight.
3. Truck Driving Is One of the Most Dangerous Careers in Existence
Being a truck driver can also be hazardous to your health. Sitting in a truck for 8 to 10 hours a day can be hard on your back after a few years. There are also commercial truck drivers who load and unload their own freight, adding to back strain and the potential for injuries. Truck drivers may haul explosive materials so they have to be aware of their surroundings as something as small as a discarded cigarette butt could be deadly. It may be nice to have a lot of vacation time off as a truck driver but you won’t get any breaks while you’re on the job.
If you’re a veteran and you believe that becoming a commercial trucker is what you want to do for the rest of your life, just be aware of the risks. If you get into an accident it could be very serious, and getting too many driving infractions may put your CDL in jeopardy. Those who are disciplined and love the idea of traveling the country can make some of the best applicants for commercial truck driving jobs.