Life of a Long Haul Trucker

Life of a Long Haul Trucker

Life of a truckerIf you’re looking at long haul trucking as a career, here are some things to consider.

As long haul trucker, you may work up to 70 hours a week or 120 hours in a two week period. Work includes loading and unloading, inspection of loads, driving, etc. 70 Hours a week sounds like a lot of work time for one week, but not every week will be so full. Much depends on your route; if it includes a big city or two, you are likely to stay quite busy, but there are always down times.

A day for a long haul trucker may begin quite early in order to get in as many daylight hours as possible and to hit the road before traffic gets too heavy. If you’re picking up a load in a city, it’s best if you can get loaded and out of the city before early morning rush hour. This is not always possible, especially if your source doesn’t have hands available to load freight that early. In that case, timing it for a low traffic time is advisablel.

There are mandatory rest/relaxation/sleep periods after 13 hours of driving or 14 on-duty hours in a day. It is essential to adhere to these for your own physical and mental health, and for the safety of the other motorists you encounter. At least 10 off-duty hours a day are required, 8 of which need to be in one block for sleep.

You may be compensated hourly or per mile. Pay rate will depend on varying factors, such as experience, track record, employing company, and type of load; transporting extra high or heavy loads or dangerous goods will pay better. The average first year driver earns about $35 000 per year, increasing significantly after that.

Total distance covered can amount to about 800 kilometres per day. That’s a lot of road! You need to enjoy driving, the monotony of the road, and being alone for days at a time. The job is ideal for those looking for a different kind of adventure, enjoying seeing new parts of the country. And you’re never really alone; there is constant access to other truckers via cell phone and at truck stops.

And family life? Well that’s a topic for another article. Stay tuned for “Life of a Long Haul Trucker’s Wife”  and “Life of a Long Haul Trucker’s Kids”.

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