Truck drivers quit for a variety of reasons. Lets face it, truck driving is not for everyone. A lot of drivers see a glorified version of truck driving in movies or in their own head that is just flat out inaccurate.
Driving a truck is not a way to see the world or to get away from problems. If you want to see the world you should do it on your own time, not from the windshield of a truck. If you are trying to get away from problems they will eventually catch up with you again while you are on the road.
In this article I am going to explain the 13 most common reasons truck drivers quiet, especially new drivers. If you contemplating becoming a truck driver make sure you think about the pros and cons of truck driving.
There are a lot of things new drivers need to know before deciding whether or not to become a truck driver.
If you do manage to make it to the bottom of this list and you aren’t convinced you can put up with these 13 reasons you shouldn’t be a truck driver. Save your time and money and search for something else to do for a living.
If you do manage to make it through this list and think truck driving is still the job for you I encourage you to read these truck driver newbie tricks and tips before you head out on your own.
1. Not Being Able To Adjust
Some truck drivers just don’t have the personality to live out of a truck. They think that it is going to be a breeze but quickly learn that being on the road for extended periods of time alters your lifestyle.
You have to be able to adjust to living out of a truck. Living out of a small truck means you lose a lot of the creature comforts you would enjoy being in your home. You have to sleep differently, prepare your food differently, maintain a healthy lifestyle differently, clean your clothing differently, and be able to keep yourself entertained for extended periods of time.
Being away from home and living out of a truck is not something all drivers can do. New drivers often figure out that being on the road is not for them and therefore quit. This is the reality of trucking. Welcome. If you are still interested keep reading.
2. Money Not What They Expected
Your first few years of truck driving are going to be difficult. Many newbie drivers expect to make over $60,000 a year their first or second year. It isn’t going to happen.
I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen for some drivers, it does. But it’s rare. Most drivers are not going to be making over $60,000 their first few years. Add this to the frustration of constantly being on the road and you can see why some drivers would quit. No shame in that. If truck driving is not for you then try to find something that is. Better to figure it out sooner than later.
3. Trucking Is Not Easy
Being a truck driver is not easy. A lot of drivers breeze through CDL training/school and think that they are ready to be a truck driver. You are not.
CDL school helps you get a CDL so that you can drive but it doesn’t prepare you for what it means to be a truck driver. Trucking involves so much more than driving. You have to be able to work long hours followed by mandatory down time in lousy locations. There is a physical aspect to truck driving too, especially if you get into flatbeding. A lot of companies could care less about you and will run you until your hours are gone and you are stuck somewhere far from your friends and family.
There will be times that you will want to go home but you won’t be able to. This is the job you chose, be prepared to live it.
4. You Won’t See The World
A lot of truck drivers have this image in their head of driving the country and seeing all the fascinating nature and culture each city/location has to offer. The reality is that the nature you will see will be through a windshield. The only nature you will get close to is what you catch a glimpse of while parked at a truck stop or rest area. Trust me, there is not but nature to see at truck stops. It’s mostly piss bottles and lot lizards.
You won’t have time to see the world because you will be working, not vacationing. For the most part you will be trying to avoid big cities, the congested streets, and the traffic that goes along with them. The most you will see of any city is the warehouse districts, everything else will be off limits to you.
5. Your Truck Sucks
Are you thinking that you’ll get a shiny new model that has every accessory you need to make your driving life easy? Wrong. A lot of companies (not all though) give you an older model truck that is for the most part destroyed and full of trash. To make matters worse it is up to you to get it detailed.
Here you go, your new tractor. Now go make us some money!
6. Your Driving Is Bad
Some drivers get pushed out because they are bad at driving. CDL school teaches you what you need to do to get a CDL. It doesn’t train you for the day to day application of driving skills and decision making. Nor does it teach you common sense. Some drivers forget to make wide turns and break lamp posts. Other drivers make illegal u-turns. Some drivers cant stay awake. Some drivers drive too fast for conditions. Other drivers can’t back up their trailer without damaging other trucks in the truck stop parking lot. Other drivers can’t shift properly. You get the idea. Eventually bad drivers are weeded out and forced to find another profession.
7. Far Far Away
Truck driving will get boring. When it gets boring your mind starts to wander. You start thinking about your kids, wife, family, and everything else that is a part of your life. Being away from loved ones is a killer, it is by far one of the most common reasons truck drivers quit.
You won’t be home for birthdays, holidays, graduations, sporting events, anniversaries, and family emergencies. Are you ready for this? Are you sure? Talk to you family and make sure that they are ready for it too. Make sure they know that your family dynamic is going to be a lot different while you are driving. Truck drivers have a high divorce rate because a lot of spouses just cant deal with their husband or wife being on the road so much.
8. No Respect
Trying telling someone that you are a truck driver. It doesn’t demand the respect that a lot (most) other jobs get. Non truck drivers think all truck drivers are fat, dumb, and lack thinking skills. There are some drivers that fit this mold, but there are a lot of truckers that don’t. They are hard
working, intelligent men and women that are professionals. If you need others to validate your profession then truck driving is not for you.
Some drivers just freak out when they realize they are so far away from their comfort zone (home). Before you commit to truck driving you need to understand that a lot of what you do will get you out of your comfort zone and you have to be able to adapt and adjust in order to be successful. You will find yourself in places that you would have never imagined existed. Deal with it and move on to your next load. If you can’t do this say bye bye to your truck.
10. Bad Training
Let’s face it, not all training is equal. The training you receive will have a huge impact on how long you last as a truck driver. A good trainer has a passion for the profession and will do everything he/she can to help you succeed. A bad trainer is there to collect a paycheck and move on to the next student as soon as you are finished.
If you don’t click with your trainer you need to ask for another one. A bad trainer can mess up your driving career before it even starts by teaching you the wrong way or not teaching you at all. You have too much at stake to get stuck with a bad trainer.
11. A Lot Of Waiting
Truck drivers do a lot of waiting.
Get used to it and make sure you can stay entertained. A lot of drivers can’t deal with waiting several hours at a terminal to get loaded/unloaded and then sitting several hours at a dock waiting to get unloaded/loaded.
12. Recruiters Lie
Recruiters are going to lie to you in order to convince you to drive for their company. So many drivers have no idea what they are in for until it’s too late. Don’t believe everything a recruiter tells you. They are trying to get as many people to sign a contract so they make more money.
Make sure you meet a recruiter in person before you sign any contract and ask the right questions before you sign on the dotted line.
13. Did You Do The Homework?
Investigate a lot of trucking company’s before you commit to one. New truck drivers quickly find out that they picked the wrong company because they didn’t research the company enough. Talk to other truck drivers on forums or on the roads and ask them about trucking how the company they are driving for treats them.
These men and women know which companies have a bad reputation and which have a good reputation. If you end up driving for a bad company you are doomed. Look around the internet to learn as much as you can about your options before you commit.