Professional drivers are the mainstay of the American supply chain. Those considering a career on the road, or new to commercial driving, may have questions about entering the field.
Pros of Being a Truck Driver
While driving can mean long days behind the wheel and stretches away from home, there are several great reasons to take on the career and lifestyle, including:
High Demand for Trucking Talent
In 2021, trucking companies reported a deficit of 80,000 drivers. By 2030, this number is expected to grow to 160,000. This shortage means that driving talent is in high demand, and drivers have greater choice in driving options.
Goods will always need to be transported across the country, so drivers can be assured job security. There will always be a need for drivers to help move freight and keep our economy moving 24/7.
There are opportunities for drivers to travel all around North America, depending on their chosen route. Opportunities could include coast-to-coast, regional, state-to-state or cross-border. As a result, drivers have the added benefit of seeing more of the country. At Werner, we even work with many of our drivers to help them plan their routes so that they can spend their off time visiting new destinations.
A Typical Day as a Professional Driver
One of the perks of being a professional truck driver is the variety in day-to-day routines. For most drivers, a typical day consists of the following:
- Pre-trip inspection: A driver’s day often begins with a pre-trip examination to ensure the truck is secure and roadworthy.
- Getting the trailer loaded/unloaded: If the driver is picking up a load, they must go to the shipping destination and work with the dock personnel to get it loaded. They need to work with the customer in advance to unload the trailer when the driver delivers a load.
- Driving: A driver will start the journey to their destination once the load is loaded or unloaded. That journey can last anywhere from a few hours to several days and sometimes include multiple stops, depending on their route.
- Breaks: To avoid driving while exhausted, drivers must take rest breaks throughout the day – the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that professional drivers take a break of a minimum of 30 consecutive minutes after eight cumulative hours of drive time. These breaks may involve eating, using the restroom and stretching.
- Paperwork: The driver will be required to complete paperwork for the load at various points throughout the day, such as logbooks. If you drive for Werner, a lot of this work is done electronically through our EDGE Connect telematics device. This includes using the CAT scale app at truck stops and submitting trip info to the associate team.
- Overnight stops: If a driver travels a longer route, they may need to stop overnight to rest before continuing their trip.
How to Become a Truck Driver
To become a commercial truck driver, you must be at least 18 years old, possess a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), and adhere to specific medical and physical requirements. At Werner, we require drivers must be at least 21 years old. A CDL can only be obtained when you pass a written knowledge test and a skills test. It’s recommended that those interested in getting their CDL complete a training course, like our RoadMaster program, to help them develop the abilities required to drive safely and effectively.
To obtain your CDL, you must keep a clean driving record, keep up with business requirements, and understand the position’s challenges.
Driving for Werner
We are, of course, a bit biased, but we believe that driving for Werner is the best opportunity out there for drivers. Want to know why?
At Werner, we make sure our drivers are compensated for their hard work and dedication. More than half of our professional drivers make more than $75,000, our top 25% make more than $85,000, and team drivers earn between $72k and $81k+ per driver.
Werner drivers are guaranteed weekly pay of $1,000-$2,000 depending on the account they drive for, and sign-on weekly pay is available depending on the account.
We know that everyone needs something a little bit different to accommodate their home life and family. That’s why we offer more than 250 home-time and pay packages.
Also, we know how valued pet companions can be! We have both a rider and pet-friendly policy.
We believe that the best way to keep our drivers, and the motoring public, safe is to ensure that our drivers have access to the latest equipment and tech the industry offers. As a result, our average fleet age is 2.1 years.
We also continuously look for new integrations we can implement to improve the over-the-road experience for drivers. This includes forward-facing dashcams, lane departure and braking systems, and our EDGE Connect telematics device.
Interested in helping Werner keep America moving? Click here.