One of the biggest motivating factors to join the trucking industry is the sense of freedom it provides: the freedom of the open road, the absence of a boss looking over your shoulder, and the ability to manage your daily schedule. However, there is also a great deal of responsibility in trucking. The best truckers can balance freedom and responsibility to set themselves up for success.
Being Your Own Boss
Owner-operators are truckers that own their semi-trucks and run their own trucking businesses. These drivers are their own bosses in a more traditional sense. However, even company drivers who are technically employees have more similarities with business owners than many other types of workers.
Although truckers typically have supervisors and other individuals they report to, they are in charge of their daily schedule within reason. You’ll be told where/when to pick the freight up and where/when to drop it off, and it’s up to you to get between these two points on time while following hours of service (HOS) regulations. Since long-haul drivers are paid per mile, this also means that you can determine how much you earn.
On the flip side, you are ultimately responsible for making each delivery safely and on time. If you can’t manage your time efficiently, you’ll develop a poor reputation and will earn less over time. If you are consistent, however, you have the opportunity to get more miles and take home more pay.
Safety on the Open Road
Trucking is a lifestyle as much as it is a career. Being an over-the-road trucker often involves waking up in a new place every day and seeing the country from the cab of a semi-truck. People who are interested in a unique and adventurous lifestyle are often drawn to the industry for this reason. Plus, the vehicles have their own appeal. Big trucks, for many people, are just plain cool.
However, as adventurous as trucking can be, it is still a career and not just a vacation. Additionally, while semi-trucks can be cool and exciting, they’re also massive vehicles that take skill and care to operate safely.
This is where balance comes into play again. It’s important to recognize that every time you are behind the wheel, you have a responsibility to yourself, your company, and everyone on the road to be safe. This includes resting regularly so you don’t suffer from fatigue, staying calm even when other drivers frustrate you, driving defensively, and inspecting your vehicle. It’s not always easy to keep up with all of this, especially when you may see four-wheelers neglecting their responsibility to stay safe, but it is essential.
Drive With the Best
Working with a great motor carrier can help you strike the perfect balance between freedom and responsibility in trucking. At DSW, our management is made up of former drivers that know what life on the open road is like. We will work as hard for you as you do for us.