What Is It Really Like to Be a Truck Driver?

Here at the HDL Truck Driving Institute, we pride ourselves on providing marketable lifelong skills and nationally recognized truck driving training. However, driving professionally is as much a lifestyle as it is a career, and rookie drivers can easily be caught by surprise if they don’t know what to expect from the job. Below is a closer look at life on the road.

Trip Planning

Most drives don’t simply “drop and hook” a trailer and follow nearest highway signs to their destination. Inclement weather, accidents, and rush hour traffic jams all affect the schedule and potentially waste hundreds of dollars. Expect to spend time looking at traffic, accident, and weather alerts and plotting the route around weigh stations and roads that do not allow large trucks.

Work Schedule

Your actual work schedule may vary significantly depending on whether you focus on local or regional deliveries or long haul drives. Local truckers may spend all of their time on the I-10 or I-8 and be back home every night, but long haul drivers may be on the road for a full week and have several days off in between. Safety is a paramount concern, so drivers often have to schedule time around the Department of Transportation time clock to avoid any violations.


A driver’s wages can be determined in many ways, but most companies pay by the mile for rookie drivers. This means that time wasted in loading docks or stuck in traffic usually translates to less earnings. However, how many miles you actually drive in a day doesn’t always determine your take-home pay; many companies use software to calculate “practical miles” between area codes, which usually averages out over time but may not always reflect the actual distance you drive.

HDL Truck Driving Institute has been training professional drivers for more than 20 years, and are committed to providing our students with all of the training and job placement resources to pursue successful careers. For more information about our CDL training programs in Tucson, call (877) 205-2141 today.

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