What You Should Know Before Applying For Over-The-Road Truck Driving Jobs 

Are you considering an over-the-road (OTR) truck driving job? If yes, there are things you need to know about this job before applying. While truck driving might be an ideal job for some individuals, it might be a nightmare for those who can’t drive for extended periods. 

Here’s what you should know before applying for OTR truck driving to make a better decision: 

Driving Trucks Is More Of A Lifestyle  

Driving trucks isn’t the job that allows you to be home for supper each night. Mostly, you’re out ferrying cargo back and forth for a couple of days, then a few days off before getting back to your job. With this kind of job, it’s nearly impossible to lead a typical life since you’re always on the road. 

Even on your days off, when you’re supposed to spend quality time with loved ones, you’re most likely to catch some sleep, do other things requiring your attention, and before realizing it, you have to get back to work. Therefore, before applying for truck driving, remember that you’re signing up for a lifestyle and not just a job. 

It Isn’t Difficult To Find A Job 

Truck driving jobs, such as otr truck driving jobs, aren’t difficult to find as there’s an immense shortage of drivers. Therefore, getting employed is as easy as getting a commercial driver’s license.  

All you need to do is enroll in a 10-week program to acquire the certificate, and by the time you’re done, you’re likely to be employed. Some companies might even pre-hire and pay for the training, making it easy to break into the industry. 

Stress Is Part Of The Job 

Though driving might be enjoyable, stress is unavoidable in this arena. For instance, there’s stress when you’re stuck in traffic or lost and can’t find your destination. There’s also the stress of finding a safe spot to park for the night. 

On the other hand, you’ll be stressed when you’re away from home, worrying about your loved ones. And last but not least, there’s the stress of driving professionally for a living. The important thing is to understand how to manage these stressors for safe driving. 

Effective Communication Is Key 

Another essential aspect of truck driving is effective communication. You need to learn how to communicate with the parties involved. Contrary to what most people think, truck driving isn’t just about freedom on the road as you’ll be coordinating with various individuals.  

For example, you have to deal with your dispatcher by communicating with them effectively, such as giving them updates about your schedule, and sharing concerns that may hinder you from delivering the cargo on time.  

Also, you need to communicate with your customers in a professional manner. It’s critical to be courteous and pleasant. By doing so, you maintain the good reputation of your company. 

Finally, it would help if you learned how to communicate with the repair shop workers. You should be able to describe in detail any mechanical problems you’ve observed with your truck, so you can get in and out of the shop as soon as possible to minimize time wastage. 

The Pay Will Improve Eventually 

At the beginning of your employment, the pay might not be satisfying. But as time passes by, it will rise, and you’ll be receiving more.  

Pay raises are regular in truck driving, especially if you hit goals every quarter, make on-time deliveries, maintain the speed limit, drive without accidents, and have years of experience. 

The Job Can Be Lonely 

As previously mentioned, truck driving is more of a lifestyle, meaning you’re always driving. When you drive alone for an extended period, you tend to be lonely. Although most truckers drive solo, you can also opt for team driving.  

Many drivers, especially women drivers, are accompanied by a partner driver for protection. This way, you’ll be able to relax a little since you’ll be driving in shifts. 

It’s A Dangerous Job 

Every year, trucks account for hundreds of fatalities and non-fatal crashes. Often, drivers get tired, rush to make deliveries, or are simply bored, which could lead to reckless driving. Even if you’re a capable truck driver, it’s challenging to operate such a massive vehicle for an extended period. 

Truck drivers drive in different weathers, increasing the risk of accidents. Fortunately, trucking companies have better insurance policies to protect their drivers against accidents. 


Many truck drivers find their job rewarding and satisfying. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be happy too. To ensure you understand what you’re signing in for, do your research on what truck driving entails, its ups and downs, and base your decision on your findings. 

June McGown