Most truckers will choose a career as an owner-operator because of the independence. You’ll be given the opportunity to make your own schedule, travel your own routes, and be in charge of your own rig. However, as the tax deadline rapidly approaches, you’ll be required to file your own taxes as an owner-operator. While it’s a little trickier than just filling out the traditional tax forms for an employer, there are a few tips and tricks to help. It’s also important to be mindful of the owner-operator tax deductions that are available as well. Please note that we here at AllTruckJobs.com love to talk about all things trucking, but we are not accountants, so please be sure to seek an accountant that can provide you with the best deductions for owner-operators.
Owner-Operator Tax Deductions
As the tax deadline approaches, it’s important to know exactly what deductions you’ll have available to you as an owner-operator. These deductions are different than those you might normally have if you were driving a company rig. Even some of the smallest, most trivial things can be deducted, so let’s look at some of the owner-operator tax deductions that you should know about.
Business-Related Loans and Mortgages
Did you happen to take a loan out to purchase your rig? Or maybe you decided that you needed some financial help to add that home office addition to the side of your home. When it comes to owner-operator tax deductions, you can actually deduct the interest you paid on payments during the calendar year. A loan like that may take awhile to pay back in full, but you can at least get some financial help during tax season.
Casualty Financial Loss and Maintenance
Accidents happen, and if you or your rig has been damaged during the year, you might qualify for a deduction. These types of owner-operator tax deductions also include damage that may have been caused by severe weather. You also don’t want to forget to save your receipts from any maintenance you may have had done on your rig. If you do your own repairs, you can deduct the cost of parts, but not the labor.
Per Diem Costs
Did you know that the IRS actually allows a per diem cost of meals, lodging, and other expenses? Currently, that amount sits at $63.00 per day. This is a great option for those who don’t want to deal with saving a year’s worth of receipts. If you are a self-employed driver working for a carrier, you can only deduct the traveling expenses you incur that are not reimbursed by the carrier.
Home Office Fees
To qualify for this owner-operator tax deduction, your home office must be the place that you spend the majority of your time conducting business.
ATM, Bank, and Credit Card Fees
You may deduct these fees, but only if your ATM, bank, or credit card is being used during a business transaction.
Tax Deduction Tips
We’ve provided some common tax deductions that you can use this season, but let’s take a look at some overall tips to ensure that your tax refund process runs smoothly. Owner-operator tax deductions can be tricky, but we think we can help!
Staying organized is probably the most important tip that we can give owner-operators when filing his or her taxes. It can be so easy to toss away those old receipts, or just assume that maintenance isn’t deductible. Try to keep a filing system that will organize all your information. There are even apps that allow you to scan and organize documents right on your phone.
It’s also a good idea to keep a calendar handy so you can make a list of the days you’re on the road and days that you’re not. It can be as simple as just putting a red X on the calendar for “away days” and a black X for “home days.” This will let you more easily figure out things like per diem write-offs later or estimate fuel expenditures if that is needed.
Consult a Professional If Needed
We know you like your independence. After all, you are an owner-operator. However, when it comes to these tricky owner-operator tax deductions, it might be a good idea to seek out professional help. Tax professionals should be consulted for business-structure advice, as should insurance professionals, and business lawyers. It’s also important to do your research. Just because people call themselves professionals does not mean that they aren’t prone to making mistakes. At the end of the day, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re not getting duped.
Don’t Be Afraid of an Audit
Most owner-operators believe that the only time you can be audited is if you’ve done something wrong. While the IRS does usually keep an eye out for shady filings, they will also randomly select people to audit. Telling the truth is no guarantee that you won’t be audited, but no need to worry! If you are on the road more days than usual or work for a variety of different companies, these unusual (but accurate) filings might raise flags with the IRS. However, there’s no need to be worried. As long as you filed correctly, you’ll be fine.
If you’ve got other tax deductions tips or questions, feel free to comment below! If you’re an owner operator looking for a new assignment, make sure to explore the thousands of jobs we have to offer!
It’s obvious that, as a trucker, you hear a lot of different things on the road. Whether it’s over the radio or at a truck stop, there’s plenty of room for misinformation. Depending on who you’re hearing the information from, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish myth from fact. When it comes to owner-operators, there’s potential for a lot of false information to be floating around the trucking world. Lucky for you, we’re here to correct some of the common owner operator misconceptions that drivers have! You’ll definitely want to make sure you know the realities of these owner operator myths.
Common Owner Operator Misconceptions
Myth #1: You Need Perfect Credit and a High Income to be an Owner Operator
One common misconception about owner-operators is that you need to have flawless credit and a high income in order to obtain financing for commercial trucks. This causes some individuals to not even bother applying for a loan because they assume that they won’t be accepted because their credit is poor or they don’t have a high enough income. However, there are ways for individuals with a not-so-hot credit score to get financing for a new truck. For instance, it’s possible to get past issues with your credit history by paying a higher down payment to obtain a loan. By the same token, if a driver has a lower income, they can calculate the income that they anticipate earning with their truck in order to estimate whether or not they’ll be able to make the loan payments. That said, it’s important for owner-operators to be smart with their money!
Myth #2: Owner Operators are Always Away from Home
Another one of the popular owner operator misconceptions is that these drivers rarely get to spend any time at home. False! While some drivers may choose to be on the road most of the time, it’s ultimately their choice. Owner-operators have the luxury of being their own bosses. They set their own schedules and decide for themselves when and how often they want to be home. Drivers who work for a company usually have their schedules set by someone else, but owner-operators have the freedom to choose when they want to work.
Myth #3: Owner Operators can Deduct Out-of-Route Miles when Filing for Taxes
While we are not an accountant, we do know that there are a lot of tax-deduction myths when it comes to owner-operators. One of the biggest is the belief that owner-operators can deduct all miles driven in their truck when they file for taxes. However, this is not the case. Owner-operators only pay tax on profit. Come tax season, these drivers need to provide proof that all of the miles driven in their vehicle were strictly business related. Miles that were driven out-of-route cannot be claimed on taxes.
Myth #4: Owner Operators are 100% Independent
There are some owner-operators that are truly independent. However, the majority of them usually choose to work for a shipping company. They are given assignments and have the ability to choose whether or not they want to accept them. That said, owner-operators are not required to sign a contract that makes them exclusive to one shipping company in particular. A benefit of working for a shipping company is that drivers can choose to limit their driving time to the highest paying trips to generate more income.
So, now you’re up to speed on some of the common owner operator misconceptions that some truckers have. Unfortunately, these myths can spread like wildfire in the trucking industry. With that being said, it’s important to stay educated about such myths and make sure you distinguish fact from fiction. Have you heard any other misconceptions about owner-operators? If so, let us know in the comments below!
Trucking is a professional field that leans heavily on tradition. Many truckers come from a long line of drivers, each carrying on with pride. When it comes to the trucks themselves, technologies are always improving but their implementation is another thing entirely! By now, everyone in the industry is aware of the huge changes involved with switching from paper to e-logs. Now over a quarter of the way through 2018, we’re still wondering just how effective these devices are (or are not.) Nonetheless, it’s still a reality that nearly all drivers are facing, so it’s important to look on the bright side of ELDs and what these devices can improve in the industry.
No matter where you stand on the issue, it’s clear that paper logs are quickly going extinct in the industry. Forests will rejoice but many log hauling drivers have different opinions… Still, certain drivers who value convenience and accuracy find e-logs to be a superior option.
Switching from Paper to E-Logs | 4 Reasons Why
1. Reducing User Error
We all make mistakes and when a task is confined to paper, there’s no computer system to check your work. After a long day of driving, exhausted minds are prone to mistakes. When it comes to hours of service requirements and logging miles traveled, trucking companies require these to be as accurate as possible. And why would someone choose to physically write out the details of their haul when computers can easily track and record this automatically?
Critics will say that the rigidity of ELDs doesn’t always reflect the experience of real drivers. If you’re several minutes from home but your e-log is requiring you call it a day, there’s the chance of a nasty violation without proper explanation. In any case, the technical accuracy of switching from paper to e-logs is mostly desirable across the industry.
2. Convenience for Drivers and Companies
In addition to providing higher degrees of accuracy, e-logs are virtually impossible to lose. Papers can get shuffled and mismatched but hardwired devices cannot. Again, when drivers would rather not deal with the technicalities of their work logs, switching from paper to e-logs is the way to go. Similarly, companies with massive fleets most certainly do not want to file stacks of papers to achieve the same results. When they need information, it’s readily available at the click of a mouse. Additionally, preparing quarterly IFTA reports, identifying costs, and general planning is made considerably more streamline.
3. Avoiding Hours of Service Violations
The most avoidable, yet common violations are caused by drivers working beyond their required hours of service (HOS). Rather than having drivers spend time logging trickier tasks, switching from paper to e-logs eliminates these headaches. Instead of miscalculating when taking breaks is necessary, truckers can drive until the computer’s clock indicates it’s time to pull over.
When we think about the driver shortage, it’s necessary to continue recruiting the next generation of drivers. Younger drivers used to technology easily adapt to the idea of using e-logs over paper — and generally prefer doing so. With the notion that using these devices means less chance of violations and smartphone connectivity, there’s good reason to believe why switching from paper to e-logs is beneficial.
4. Reducing Driver Liability
Although we hope they never occur, serious accidents require the review of critical information like logging hours and violations. If a driver mistakenly records their HOS on a paper log, the possibility of mistakes makes a lack of e-logging technology a particular liability. Essentially, if a violation and accident occur during the same haul, lawyers may point to HOS violations as a possible reason for the crash. By switching from paper to e-logs, there is much less of a chance that these claims can be made, ultimately protecting the driver and their company.
What are your thoughts on this transition? Any benefits or drawbacks to using ELDs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
March is notorious for high winds, and this year the month arrived with quite a gust in the northeastern United States. A storm now known as the “Bomb Cyclone” of 2018 brought with it strong winds, rain, snow and wreaked havoc on the region. And another storm is on its way, the Weather Channel warns. During the “Bomb Cyclone,” Media covered stories of trees falling, millions of people without power and semi-trucks blowing over from the force of the wind. With windy weather upon us, it’s important to remember why driving a semi in high winds is dangerous, and how you can do so safer. Here’s how you can navigate a windy weather forecast.
Reasons Why Driving a Semi in High Winds is Dangerous
There are all kinds of bad weather that truckers encounter, but some would argue that high wind is the most dangerous of it all. Semi-trucks, simply because of the height and long flat sides of their trailers, essentially become sails in windy weather. The wind can easily catch and pull trailers, causing the entire truck to overturn. Driving a semi in high winds is especially dangerous for new drivers unfamiliar with the truck, as well as those driving trucks that have a light or no load. It’s important to be familiar with how to drive during windy weather so that you can ensure your safety, as well as the safety of others. Check out these five tips for driving a semi in high winds.
Five Tips for Driving a Semi in High Winds
1. Check the weather
First things first. Check the weather before your trip so you know ahead of time what to expect. Are they calling for high winds, and what other weather will blow in with it? High winds by themselves are one thing, but they usually indicate that other weather is on its way, whether that be tornados, hurricanes, or blizzards.
2. Prepare your truck
The second thing you want to do is prepare your truck. Make sure that all of your cargo is secure and that your doors are locked tight. The last thing you want to happen while driving a semi in high winds is for doors to fly open or cargo to get damaged during the trip.
3. Consider your load size
If you’re driving with a light load, keep in mind this will be easier to blow over than a heavy load. Depending on your truck and load size, you may want to consider rescheduling your delivery (if possible) in order to stay safe.
4. Pay attention
When driving a semi in high winds, pay attention. If you see that road signs are moving more, that means the wind is picking up. Keep both hands on the wheel and watch out for other drivers who aren’t paying attention. In addition, consider your route. If there are lots of bridges, this can make high winds even more of a threat to your safety.
5. Know your technique
Lastly, you want to know your technique for driving a semi in high winds. It’s important to have a firm grip on your steering wheel, as the truck is going to pull the direction the wind is blowing. Also, you should reduce your speed and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. It is also a good idea to stay in the right lane. Not everyone is going to be driving cautiously in the wind, so stay out of their way. By remaining in the right lane, people who are driving fast can get past you. To learn more about technique while driving in high winds, check out this YouTube video by Cory Draper. The footage shows him driving through intense 65 MPH winds in Wyoming. He shares his tips, tricks, and experience in this high wind scenario.
HOW TO drive in 65mph winds Westbound I-80 in Wyoming - YouTube
Do you have any additional tips or tricks for driving a semi in high winds? Share with us in the comments below!
This week, people around the globe will celebrate International Women’s Day 2018. An annual event that occurs on March, 8th, this year’s celebration will focus on rural and urban activists. However, International Women’s Day is a great time to celebrate all women, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves activists. Given that we write about trucking here at AllTruckJobs.com, we wanted to highlight women in the trucking industry. Of course, women fulfill many roles that are integral to trucking, however, this blog will focus primarily on women as truck drivers.
Women in the Trucking Industry
As the average age of truck drivers in the United States has steadily grown, many industry experts are discussing the need for a shift in demographic composition. That said, the average age of truck drivers is now well above the average age of all U.S. workers. While this is not concerning in and of itself, when considered alongside trends in the data and the growing driver shortage, many people are worried that there will be far too few drivers on the road soon. While there are 3.5 million truck drivers employed in the U.S. alone, a mere 38.75 percent of these individuals are minorities and 6 percent are women. With this in mind, it is worth noting that there is a tremendous opportunity for growth in terms or recruiting female drivers.
Recruiting More Women
Obviously, there is a large need to recruit more women in the trucking industry. However, what is the best way to do this? Of course, there is no single right answer. The best way to recruit one woman can vary greatly for another. This said, there are a few things to keep in mind when trying to recruit more women. Ellen Voie, president of Women in Trucking (more on them later), shared a few pointers with Fleet Owner. Voie highlighted five things to keep in mind when trying to recruit women. First, women want to make a difference. Second, women want a challenge. Third, women are team players. Fourth, women desire a sense of work satisfaction. And finally, fifth, women want recognition for their efforts. While there is nothing inherently different here than what men want, it can be helpful to keep these five points in mind when structuring brand and job messaging.
Of course, encouragement of women entering the trucking industry has to come from multiple sources. This said it is important to recognize a specific organization working on this issue. The Women in Trucking Association, mentioned above as well, is a non-profit organization focused on the transportation and logistics industry. According to their website, WTA works to:
Educate and raise awareness of women’s issues
Promote career opportunities for women in the industry
Improve conditions for women already working in the industry
Increase the number of women in leadership positions in the industry
Increase the number of women drivers
Serve as a resource for women working in the industry
Obviously, organizations such as Women in Trucking cannot be the only groups working to promote women in the trucking industry. Yet, it is certainly encouraging to note the organized support behind this movement.
Meet Some Female Drivers
Finally, it is only fair to recognize a few specific women in trucking. While there is no way we could introduce all of the inspiring women who help keep our industry moving forward, hopefully introducing a few can help put a face to the issue. Salena Lattera is a female owner-operator who runs her own blog as well. Tiffany Deering is a military veteran and team-driver who travels cross-country delivering freight with her husband. And Allie Knight, though not driving trucks anymore, was a CDL-flatbed driver who maintained an impressive collection of youtube videos. As we mentioned above, there are countless other examples of women in the trucking industry. However, these three are great examples of how trucking does not have to be a man’s job!
With countless truck driving jobs available, there are many opportunities for women to get involved in trucking. Have you had positive experiences either with or as women in the trucking industry? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
As we continue living in the post-ELD mandate era, concerns over these devices persist. At this point, the FMCSA estimates that 3 million drivers use electronic logging devices. Failure to comply means the risk of out-of-service violations among others. Although many are still fighting the sweeping decision by the Supreme court requiring these devices, there are other concerns in need of attention. Hacking ELDs and cybersecurity in trucks is something we can’t ignore, no matter where you stand on the current mandate.
Just like many of the other devices consumers adopt each year, ELDs feature a connectivity that adds them to the growing Internet of Things (IoT). Sure, being able to sync our entire array of phones, tablets, watches, and other appliances is convenient, but the question always comes back to security and privacy. In 2016, AT&T issued a report wherein they discuss a 3,198 percent increase in the number of attackers scanning for vulnerabilities in IoT devices. In a follow-up survey, 58 percent of businesses utilizing devices with cellular connectivity were not confident in the security of these technologies.
Now, with e-logs required to connect via cellular data plans, among the many other technologies coming online in modern vehicles, concerns over hacking ELDs and cybersecurity in trucks are as tangible as ever. Skeptics of these devices often cite their intrusive nature, but the possibility of security breaches brings this to a new level. As billions of dollars worth of cargo are hauled each year, ELDs present themselves as the obvious prey of hackers, cargo thieves, and others. Still, the main questions focus on the extent to which vehicles remain vulnerable in terms of their mechanics and actual operation.
Understanding the Vulnerabilities
Another study from 2016 conducted by the University of Michigan made headlines when researchers showed just how vulnerable some big rigs actually are. By electronically accessing a 2006 tractor’s diagnostics port, the researchers changed readouts from the truck’s instrument panel, trigger unintended acceleration, and even disable one form of the vehicle’s braking system. Of course, this is incredibly alarming considering that since the late 90’s fleets began implementing a range of telematic devices used to capture data from engines and other systems.
In terms of hacking ELDs and cybersecurity in trucks today, experts like Marco Encinas from Teletrac Navman contend that hacking these devices is virtually impossible. He writes,
“we don’t give (our application) rights to be able to write or make requests — all we do is read. There is no protocol in the system that allows us to engage, change code for or manipulate the ECM computer on the vehicle.”
Other companies like PeopleNet have actually embedded chips in ELDs to authenticate their connection between the vehicle and cloud management systems. Eric Witty, vice president of product for PeopleNet also told Equipment World:
“Our latest devices will all ship with an encryption chip built in to authenticate the device to the cloud in addition to standard authentication of the driver’s credentials upon login. That way, we have the assurance that both the device and the person are authenticated in our system.”
Cyber Safety for the Future of Trucking
Luckily, most if not all ELD manufacturers prevent their devices from communicating directing with vehicles themselves. This means any vulnerabilities inherent in these other systems in trucks experience greater security through ELD connectivity. In terms of hacking ELDs and cybersecurity in trucks, we still have a long way to go in terms of their adoption throughout the industry. Still, a lot of the data provided and processed by ELDs is company-specific information, meaning there’s little chance of a driver’s personal details becoming compromised. Additionally, most devices also report faults or errors immediately to their host clouds, making it well-known when a potential threat or cyber attack is underway.
Do you have experience in the cybersecurity of ELDs or trucking? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
There’s nothing like hittin’ the road in your rig on a beautiful day. You might have the windows down, the radio on, and you’re making great time. This seems great, right? Did you know there’s one thing that could make the trip even better? Your very own rig! That’s right, an owner operator job provides the freedom that you get on the road, with the ability to make your own schedule and become your own boss. You might want to pump the brakes though – before you can become a certified owner operator, you’re going to need owner operator insurance first. You’re in luck! Below is an owner operator insurance guide that will give you the tools you need to navigate and find the ideal policy.
Owner Operator Insurance Guide
Which Truck Insurance Do I Need?
This is the most basic insurance policy and it is required for vehicles of all types. If you don’t have this type of insurance, you probably shouldn’t even be on the road.
General Liability Insurance
This will cover any accidents that happen off of the road. This can include slipping and falling during your delivery.
Motor Truck Cargo Insurance
This covers any damage to your cargo while it’s in transit.
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
This insurance covers any accidents you may have while driving your truck while not on a job.
Medical Payments Insurance
This insurance covers any medical bills you may incur if you or your passenger is injured while in the truck. However, this insurance varies from state to state, so make sure to do all of your research.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
This will provide protection if you get in an accident with someone who does not have insurance.
Trucking Umbrella Policy
Believe it or not, you might need even more insurance than stated above. An umbrella insurance policy provides excess liability coverage for anything that isn’t covered.
As always, this owner operator insurance guide can’t tell you exactly which insurance coverage you’ll need, but we can offer the various options you should consider.
What About Health Insurance?
While medical payments insurance will cover some of the medical payments you might deal with, you should also have traditional health insurance. Below are just a few tips from our owner operator insurance guide to help you find the ideal health insurance plan.
Check With the Company
Even though you’re an owner operator, if you’re leased out to a company you can often join in their insurance program. Even if the trucking company does not offer insurance to leased drivers, they still should be able to give a good recommendation, so start the conversation!
Check Out OOIDA
The Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association also offers some health insurance plans for truckers. They even offer insurance rates for things like dental and vision, so make sure to give them a look as well!
Look Into Medicaid
Although the Affordable Care Act seems like it’s in jeopardy right now, our owner operator insurance guide says that this is a great option for health insurance. These policies vary by state, but depending on your income and a few other factors, Medicaid might be exactly what you need!
Join a Spouse’s Plan
If your loved one has insurance through his or her employer, it might be a good idea to get on that insurance plan. In many cases, the rates will be much cheaper than getting your own individual insurance.
With a trucking shortage hitting the industry hard, owner operator careers can be very lucrative.
Navigating the owner operator insurance landscape can be tricky. Hopefully, our owner operator insurance guide gave you the tools and resources you need to become a successful driver. If you have any other insurance owner operator insurance tips, feel free to comment them below. If you’re an owner operator looking for a trucking assignment, don’t forget to check out the thousands of jobs we have to offer today!
No matter the time of day, road rage is something that can strike at any minute! Maybe it’s rush hour or it’s passed midnight — either way drivers need to think about how they respond to enraged passenger vehicles and even other truckers. Of the 94 percent of traffic accidents caused by driver error, 33 percent of those are linked to road rage. For drivers young and old, dealing with road rage is a vital skill that keeps truckers and other drivers safe. Here are 5 ways to avoid road rage:
Although you may feel like running an aggressor off the road, it’s never the right move to make. When someone is tailgating your 80,000 pound rig, the best you can do is maneuver safely to let them pass. Even if they are swerving to throw off your path, slowing down to avoid engaging in their dangerous activity is key. Showing any aggression toward another driver only escalates a situation. Whenever possible, allowing the driver to distance themselves from your rig is the appropriate decision. All things must pass, and that’s true for aggressive drivers too!
2. Keep Your Calm
Yes, random acts of rage and aggression can boil your blood, but keeping your cool is sometimes all you can do. Think about it this way — if you get angry you’re just giving into what your aggressor wants. This is one of the most important ways to avoid road rage and can’t be overlooked in the slightest. Keeping your calm not only ensures you don’t put yourself in danger, but also that surrounding drivers are in the clear. I like to think of anger like a hot coal. You could hold onto it and continue burning yourself, or drop it to the floor to cool. Recognize that this choice is yours!
3. Don’t Take it Personally
In many cases, road rage and full-blown aggression are misdirected outbursts. When other drivers get enraged, there may be many reasons behind their outflow of anger. If it’s a random person who’s the aggressor, it’s not likely that they are targeting you specifically. More likely than not, you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don’t take road rage personally, even if you were specifically a victim in the situation. Letting negative experiences affect your driving won’t help. If anything, try to learn how you best respond to road rage in order to prepare for when it happens again.
4. Warn Other Drivers
If someone is swerving dangerously in an attempt to injure you or other drivers, or even just acting aggressively, in general, try to warn other drivers. Turning on your hazard signals and or flashing your lights when necessary allow other drivers to be aware of potential dangers. It’s also important to mention that drunk driving can often be confused with aggressive driving. If someone is swerving near your vehicle or changing speeds at a dangerous pace, it’s best to distance yourself from the driver and call the police.
5. Consider Your Own Driving
Although we like to think of our own driving skills as impeccable, one of the ways to avoid road rage is keeping yourself in check. If you are prone to tailgating, forgetting to signal, or speeding, it’s possible that you are creating road rage around you. Acknowledging the ways you may be frustrating other drivers is another aspect of preventing danger. Not only that, but your employer will appreciate your commitment to staying safe on the road from one haul to the next!
What are some ways to avoid road rage that you’ve made use of? Let us know in the comments below and stay safe out there!
It’s no secret that trucking can be a pretty lonely gig. In many cases, you might end up traveling for months with no other company than you, your rig, and the open road. While solo driving does have its perks and is great for someone who enjoys solitude, some just want someone to share the journey with. This is where team driving comes in. Team driving partners up drivers so they can not only truck for longer periods of time, but they also can have a companion to hit the road with. We’re going to show you how to become a team driver as well as the responsibilities and benefits of team driving.
How to Become a Team Driver
Is it Right For You?
The first thing you should consider when you want to know how to become a team driver is whether or not it’s the right career choice. While this may be hard to answer without actually trying team driving, there are a few things you should think about before you embark on a new career.
The first thing you should ask yourself is whether or not you’re able to spend that much time with someone. Even married couples need some sort of space between them, but in this case, you might be riding with a stranger for weeks at a time. While it’s one thing to feel lonely, it’s also important to realize that team driving is a big commitment.
The second thing you should do is consider the financial implications. Remember that you’ll essentially be splitting the money you make with the other driver, so it’s important that team driving is a financially feasible option.
Before you can figure out how to become a team driver, it’s important to know what team driving entails. It should be obvious that the reason why a person becomes part of a trucking team is to try to run twice the number of miles that a solo driver can run. It should also be clearly worked out how much a person plans to drive during each shift, and what other tasks they’ll be responsible for. This can include everything from cooking, to cleaning, to washing the rig. Communication is key, so it’s important that you all know what your responsibilities are.
Who Should I Drive With?
When you’re figuring out how to become a team driver, you’ll also need to think about whom you want to drive with. Many trucking companies will pair you up with a random driver, but it’s always possible that you bring your own. In many cases, a couple will decide to embark on the team-driving journey together. In one instance, podcaster Todd McCann decided to take up team driving with his wife. A more common occurrence is when two solo truckers who’ve become friends decide to try team trucking. Even the best of friends can have disagreements, so it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right person to bring on the road.
Find a School or Recruiter
When you get to this step in “how to become a truck driver,” you usually have two options. For the inexperienced trucker, finding a trucking school that covers team driving is probably your best bet. Keep in mind that the curricula of most schools are geared toward individual drivers because most truck driving is now solo driving, and the skills for team truck driving are essentially the same as for solo driving. Most of the specific team truck driving skills are social in nature: the ability to work with an individual over long periods of time, to sleep in cramped quarters while the truck navigates traffic, and to go for long periods without seeing your family.
The other option you have is to find a recruiter or job board. A site like AllTruckJobs.com will provide hundreds of team driving opportunities, and all you have to do is submit an application! Working with a recruiter will allow them to do the heavy lifting and find you the best possible trucking assignment as soon as possible. It’s time to start a rewarding and exciting team truck-driving career today!
Truck drivers keep America moving forward, hauling almost 70 percent of all freight in the United States. From local to over the road, truck drivers spend countless hours making sure that goods get from point A to point B. However, many truck drivers find that those long hours can be extremely uncomfortable. So, if you’ve ever experienced a long, uncomfortable day or even month on the road, you might wonder how to be comfortable in your cab. While some people might think that this is impossible, it is not! With the proper preparation and product, there is no reason that you can’t enjoy your time on the road. Next time someone asks you how to be comfortable in your cab, send this article their way!
How to be Comfortable in Your Cab
Those long hours on the road are much more bearable when you’re comfortable!
1. Start With Your Sleeping Space
Regardless of where you work, you’re bound to be uncomfortable after a night of bad sleep. For truck driver’s who often have to sleep in their cab, it can be difficult to ever get a solid seven to eight hours. However, even if you can’t sleep for quite that long, having a comfortable bed can make whatever sleep you do get more restful. Unfortunately, the sleeping quarters in trucks are usually far from satisfying. You might want to consider investing in a high-quality mattress pad. Laying down on a bed that suits your preferences will definitely make your evenings on the road more enjoyable. Plus, when you’re well rested the next day in the driver seat will be much more manageable!
2. Consider Your Driver’s Seat
After your bed (and likely even before!), you probably spend most of your time in the driver’s seat. After all, when you’re working up to 70 hours in eight days, you’re going to be behind the wheel quite a bit. Obviously, seats are not necessarily as easy to make comfortable as your bed, but there are definitely things you can do to help. For example, you could add a seat cover with extra lumbar support. Sitting upright in the same spot for hours on end is likely to wear anyone down. However, with proper support, you’ll be able to feel good for longer during your drives. Otherwise, simple products like gel cushions can add to your overall driving experience.
3. Keep it Clean
Although keeping it clean means different things for different driver’s, we can all agree that some organization is nice. Keeping storage and convenience products in your cab is sure to prevent at least some unwanted clutter. However you choose to tackle the mess that is bound to accumulate when you spend some time living in the cab, you’ll feel more at home after you do. Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house! It is always a good way to start the new year in your cab too.
4. Eat Well
Let’s face it, there are few things more frustrating than being hungry on the road with no snacks and a hundred miles ahead before your next stop. While fast food may be satisfying in the moment, you are much more likely to feel good in the long run if you have healthy meal and snack options easily accessible in your truck. Of course, this requires some additional planning and preparation before and during your trip, but it will be well worth it later on. Once you’re well fueled by a tasty and healthy home-made meal, you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of your journey head on!
Sticking to the same idea as tip number four, feeling good is one of the best ways to stay comfortable. Even though you spend a lot of time driving, getting some exercise on the road goes a long way! We know that this can be difficult, so consider some of these exercises specifically for truckers. Our very own Troy Thunder has great tips on how to stay fit on the road. Of course, there are many health benefits to staying in shape. However, one underrated reason to exercise is that it will help you stay comfortable day in and day out!
5 STEP TRUCKER WORKOUT PLAN WITH TROY THUNDER - YouTube
Looking for a new start where you can figure out how to be comfortable in your cab? Check out our available job listings here at AllTruckJobs.com! In the meantime, how do you stay comfortable while on the road? Let us know in the comments below!