by Contributing Author
So, you are considering becoming a truck driver. Well, it is essential to know that this is not an easy job. Truck drivers play a crucial role in the economy of an industrialized country. They act as a link between manufacturers and distributors.
Being a truck driver requires skills and endurance to long hours on the road. However, it can be a gratifying career if you have what it takes to become part of the truck driving noble community.
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If you are weighing on a career as a truck driver, here are things you should consider;
Truck Driving Skills
If you think driving a truck is similar to driving a car, you are gravely mistaken. Before becoming a qualified truck driver, you need to go back to class and undertake driver CPC training.
For a first-timer, you will need to be over 18 years and a holder of a full car license before applying for a provisional HGV license. To qualify for a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), you must pass the 5 tests. After every 5 years, you will have to take a 35-hour refresher course to stay qualified.
Apart from the qualifications, truck drivers need to have excellent concentration skills. Other skills you will need are good people skills, loading and unloading a truck, and minor truck repairs in case of breakdowns.
If you want to become a truck driver to earn a living, you will need to know how to abide by the traffic laws. Each year traffic laws governing truck drivers are getting stricter. Truck drivers need their CDL to earn a living. Therefore, receiving a CDL ticket can be a massive blow to your job.
You might escape with a warning, but on the extreme side of it, you can end up losing your CDL and being fired by your employer. Knowing the traffic laws governing commercial drivers is crucial to avoid jeopardising your job.
Some of the unique violations that can land you in hot soup are:
• Grade violations
• Weight violations
• Speeding while towing a trailer
• Logbook violations
Being a truck driver means spending long hours behind the steering wheel, moving between cities, being away from your family and home. Truck drivers are expected to work in all weather conditions, day and night. Typical working hours for truck drivers range between 38 to 52 hours a week and must not exceed 56 hours a week.
Therefore, before you embark on a truck driver’s career, it is essential you evaluate your mental and physical capabilities. Ensure you can handle driving for hours and staying away from your loved ones for days; otherwise, your career will be short.
If you want to become a truck driver for the money, you need to know how much truck drivers earn. The salaries of inexperienced truck drivers in the UK range between £19,000 and £22,000 per annum. This is according to The National Careers Service.
Experienced truck drivers rack up to £28,000 per annum. However, in this industry, it is specialist fuel and chemical truck drivers that take home a more significant share which can go as high as £36,000 per annum.