Tips For Trucking With A Passenger

Trucking is often a solitary profession, but there are many ways to stay connected with friends and family back home. Depending on your motor carrier, you may even be able to take a loved one along with you for a haul so they can see what your life on the road is like. Trucking with a passenger can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to plan ahead for a successful trip.

Here are some tips for bringing a passenger on the road with you:

1. Know And Follow Your Company’s Policies

Motor carriers typically have a written policy outlining whether they allow passengers on board and any rules you must follow. For example, there are typically restrictions for the minimum age of passengers and you’ll need to document that your company has approved of your passenger.

There are also Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations that allow regardless of which motor carrier you work for. These include having written authorization from your motor carrier and having documentation for your passenger. Failing to follow these regulations could result in a ticket and other consequences.

2. Make Sure Your Passenger Is Up For The Trip

Some individuals find the idea of taking a trip in a semi-truck exciting. Others may not be as interested. Even if you really want a specific friend or family member to come on a haul with you, it’s important to consider whether this is something they also want and are ready for. This is especially relevant if you are taking one of your children with you. Even if they meet the age requirement, you’ll need to make sure they are mature enough for and interested in the experience.

3. Prioritize Safety

Safety should be your priority any time you’re behind the wheel, whether you have a passenger on board or not. If you are trucking with someone else, you need to maintain your focus on safety. Make sure your passenger understands that they can’t distract you while you’re driving and continue to follow all relevant trucking rules and regulations.

4. Choose A Suitable Haul

If possible, your first trip with a passenger should be a shorter haul, preferably in an area you are familiar with. This makes it easier to make your delivery on time and safely while also keeping the length of time on the truck manageable for your passenger.

5. Remember That You’re Still Working

Even if you have a passenger on board, a haul is different from a road trip. You can enjoy your time with your loved one while remembering that you’re still working. If you aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to get to your destination on time and safely with a passenger, you shouldn’t bring one on board.

Interested In A Trucking Career?

Individuals from all walks of life are drawn to the trucking industry due to its competitive pay and unique lifestyle. If you’re interested in becoming a trucker, Yuma Truck Driving School can help you get started in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about our commercial driver’s license training, contact us today.

Differences Between Rookie and Experienced Truckers

There are more differences between rookie and experienced truckers than the number of years they’ve been on the road. As drivers gain experience, there are many skills they can build that help them perform better. If you’re just getting started in the trucking industry, it’s helpful to know what separates rookies from experienced drivers so you can start working toward becoming the best trucker you can be.

Here are some of the key differences:

1. Relationships

Trucking may seem like a solitary career at first, and while there is some truth to this, there’s also a great deal of communication and teamwork involved. Experienced truckers have taken the time to build relationships with their dispatcher, driver manager, shippers, receivers, and other individuals. These relationships can make your life easier on the road, and if you build a strong reputation, you’ll notice the benefits over time.

2. Stress Management

There’s a certain amount of stress in any job and almost anything else in life, for that matter. In trucking, there can often be a lot of pressure to get in miles and arrive on time for deliveries. Anything that interferes with these goals, such as traffic or bad weather, can cause stress. Experienced drivers learn over time to focus on what is within their control. That doesn’t mean they never get stressed, but they are often better equipped for potentially stressful situations and can focus on staying safe and doing their best.

3. Getting Miles

Long-haul truckers are typically paid per mile. It can take time to get the hang of how to do this effectively to maximize earnings while staying safe. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service (HOS) regulations truckers must follow. Rookie drivers may struggle to keep track of their HOS compliance, but over time, experienced drivers learn how to stay compliant and safe while still maximizing their miles.

4. Finding Balance

In many ways, trucking is about balance. You’ll need to learn to prioritize your health while still getting the miles you want and making deliveries on time. You’ll also balance your home time with time on the road. Rookies can take some time to get used to this. As you gain experience, finding a balance that works for you is easier as long as you are willing to put in the necessary effort.

5. Growth Mindset

Some individuals think that once they get through their first year (or another set timeframe), they will no longer be rookies and know all they can about the trucking industry. The truth is that while many things get easier after you’ve gained some experience, the best truckers realize they always have more to learn. They view every day as a new opportunity to improve and continue growing.

Start Your Trucking Career

Before you can get out on the road and start gaining trucking experience, you’ll need to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Yuma Truck Driving School can help you do this in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about our CDL training program, contact us today.

Pros and Cons of Team Trucking

One decision you will have to make when entering the trucking industry is if you want to work solo or with a driving partner. A solo truck driver is solely responsible for transporting their freight, while team trucking involves a pair of drivers taking shifts in the same semi-truck. Both driving styles have pros and cons, and we have laid a few of them out to help you decide which type suits you best.

Pros of Team Trucking

The Road is Less Lonely

One of the hardships of a career in trucking is all the time spent alone. While some truck drivers love alone time, others crave moments at truck stops where they can socialize with other drivers. If you are the second type of trucker, then a driving team may be well suited for you. Being away from your family while you’re on the road can be difficult, but sharing the experience with another trucker can make the trips less lonely. It is also comforting to know someone has your back while you’re on the road. 

You Can Drive With Your Spouse

Another perk of team trucking is the opportunity to partner with your spouse. Some of the most successful trucking teams are husband-and-wife teams. Not only do you have the opportunity to earn more money, but it also allows you to spend more time together. Depending on your schedule, you can sightsee or try new activities during your downtime. 

Team Drivers Typically Make More Money

In many cases, team drivers earn more money than solo drivers because they can log more miles. A truck driver can only drive for 11 hours during one shift. With team trucking, however, truckers take turns behind the wheel, meaning their rig is on the road at all times. Although teams split their total pay, they can cover far more distance than a trucker driving on their own, making more money in the process. Trucking teams are also given more high-priority loads, which typically pay more.

Cons of Team Trucking

You May Frequently Be Away From Home

Team truck drivers often see their families less than solo drivers because they transport high-priority loads. Depending on the trucking company you work for, you and your partner could be away from home for weeks or even months at a time. If you want to be home most nights of the week, solo driving may be a better career choice for you. However, this depends on the company, so be sure to ask about the home time policy for the specific motor carrier you are interested in working for. 

Sleeping Arrangements May Be Difficult

Another possible downside of team trucking is the sleeping arrangements. To maximize your hours, one driver will have to sleep in the truck while the other drives. You may also have to adjust to sleeping during the day. It may be difficult to make this switch, especially with the rhythm of the road and sound from the cab. Some drivers find this more challenging than others. 

Drive Your Future Forward

If you’re eager to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) to get started on your new team or solo truck driving career, consider Yuma Truck Driving School. We offer several options for aspiring truck drivers, including classes with flexible schedules, training for military personnel, and financial assistance for qualifying students. We can get you on the road in as little as four weeks. 

Contact us today for more information on our CDL training programs.