Is there a clear benefit to team truck driving? With regulations on the number of hours an individual driver can run, it sounds like it should be a simple answer. Two drivers in one truck can turn more miles in less time than one driver, and therefore can get more work done. But is it really that easy when it comes to driving as part of a team?
Here’s a breakdown of some team truck driving pros and cons.
The old adage that 2 is better than 1, applies here. Team truck drivers can sleep in shifts and keep the truck moving down the road longer, covering more miles daily.
Additionally, there’s now 2 sets of eyes and ears on the road, and an extra set of hands for anything that needs to be done. Breaks can be more efficient. One driver can run inside the truck stop for food and the other driver can fuel up the rig outside. Multitasking makes for more productivity, and less idle time not logging miles.
Pro: You’re Never Lonely
Truck drivers consistently report that one of the biggest hardships of being a truck driver is all the time that spent alone. Team truck driving provides built-in company across the miles. There’s always someone to talk to, map out logistics, discuss current events, and otherwise pass the time over the road.
Con: You’re No Longer the Boss
One of the things many truck drivers love about their jobs, is the autonomy that comes along with it. Outside of the orders from the dispatchers, truck drivers are in charge of how they spend their time driving. Solo drivers can decide their schedules, when to take breaks, what to have for dinner and where to stop for the night.
Team truck drivers must be great at compromising, on everything! If not aligned on preferences from cab temperature to music channels, and food and rest break frequency, things aren’t going to go smoothly. Being compatible in general is the only way to make team truck driving work well.
Con: You’re Never Alone
For some people, it’s a huge change from driving solo. Team truck driving for cross-country runs will be a LOT of time in a confined space with someone else 24/7. Additionally, team drivers tend to run longer stints over the road. You could be in the equivalent of a 10×10 box with the same person for days or weeks at a time.
This could be too much to take for someone used to spending time alone. Even with the other person sleeping, personal phone calls might get overheard. Or if there’s a disagreement on anything, there’s no place to go and cool off for a little bit.
With two drivers instead of one, more miles can equal a bigger paycheck as well. More miles in less time will likely equal more pay, and the ability to take on additional jobs. However, deciding on how bonus checks get split, and who drives the tougher parts of the runs, ultimately depends on how well both work together and pull their own weight. Work ethics in this case, need to be equally compatible to ensure fairness in take home pay.
Overall, there are certainly benefits to team truck driving.
However you’ve got to be 100% sure you’re very compatible with the other driver. If not, the pros can quickly be outnumbered by the cons.
One of the most popular team truck driving duos are couples. Spending more time with your partner/spouse can help strengthen your relationship, as you get to experience all facets of your life together.
When speaking with husband and wife team truck drivers, David and Valerie Lopez, they note that “sharing experiences is part of what makes trucking together special” for them. And overall, team truck driving together has worked out well financially for them and improved their communication at the same time.
Have you considered driving as part of team? Do you currently drive as part of a team? We’d love to hear your opinions on this topic, sound off on our Facebook page here.
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