A Day In The Life Of A Container Truck Driver

container truck driver

Thinking of choosing the trucker lifestyle? Or simply just curious what a day in their lives looks like? A truck driver performs a valuable duty of ensuring the safe and timely transportation of goods and is facilitating our society. But unfortunately, very few people take the time to think about what their job is like. 

In this article, we’ll explore all the happenings of an ordinary day in a truck driver’s life. A container truck driver’s life isn’t much different from other drivers. Although you may be interested in life on the road, there are numerous challenges that the long hours of service bring, the time away from home takes a toll on you, and leading an unhealthy lifestyle can all affect your performance. 

Getting an early start:

Most drivers prefer getting an early start. You can expect them to start as early as 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., but what time exactly depends on the requirements of a particular job. 

Travel checks: 

A container truck driver will always check the weather and route conditions before he takes the road. He will also perform some form of safety inspection of the truck, followed by filling in all required logs before starting the trip for the day. 

On the road, truck drivers have a tight schedule. They must remain on schedule and stay alert for any potential delays like traffic jams or accidents. Some events are beyond a driver’s control, like dangerous weather or some failure in the vehicle. Still, they’re expected to deliver on time, so it is the driver’s responsibility to be careful and maneuver around any difficulties to reach his destination on time. 

It’s not just the carriers who are interested in how long a driver spends on the road, according to federal regulations; the maximum number of hours a driver spends on the road is 11 hours. This regulation again pressures the truck driver to complete their routes within the given window. 

Long days:

Truck drivers work long days generally. The actual length of their workday depends upon the route, availability of rest areas and food, weather, traffic, the destination, and other unforeseen events. The 11-hour rule by the Department of Transportation also says that the hours must be completed in a 14-hour window. This implies that the truck driver may work for 11 hours, but any additional time on the road is subject to substantial penalties. Truck drivers spend a little longer time on duty if they have, let’s say, nine hours of drive time. Their workday will be a bit longer than that as he will make two to three stops for food or rest at a truck stop.

Truckers make money while driving, so truck drivers are aware of the fact that taking longer or more rest stops not only lengthens their day but also reduces their profitability.

Winding down:

As the evening approaches, a container truck driver will look for a place to rest, as he has already spent the better part of his day on the road. Some container trucks are equipped with sleepers, so truck drivers spend the night in the truck. In this case, they’ll find a place with access to facilities.

When the morning comes, they’ll start the cycle once again. Taken together, a day in the life of a truck driver is quite challenging. He spends most of his day alone on the road with minimal human interaction. They talk to their families on breaks or when they’re done for the day. Their solitary life can sometimes take a toll on them. But on the bright side, truck driving is one of the professions that pay the best for non-college-educated individuals. 

There are pros and cons for every profession, and truck driving is no exception. Still, getting an understanding of a day in the life of a trucker can be enlightening for aspiring young drivers as well as the rest of us who depend on their services.

Also Read: ELD Trucking: Common Myths Busted