Team driving: Why more truck drivers are choosing this option

Team driving: Why more truck drivers are choosing this option

Have you ever felt lonely on the road? 


Truck drivers face many challenges throughout their career, but few are as persistent as the feeling of loneliness that comes with being far from home for hours on end. Some might simply view trucking as a solitary profession, but this doesn’t have to always be true. 


What if there was a way to drive with a companion while also earning more money and increasing your chance of receiving priority loads?  


For many truckers, the solution is team driving. Keep reading to learn the benefits of being a team driver, as well as what other truckers have had to say about how they earn more and better enjoy driving when they’re part of a team.  


What is team driving? 

Simply put, team driving is when two (or more!) professional drivers ride together in the same truck and share driving duties while transporting freight. Most carriers allow team driving, and many even encourage it, due to the more efficient mileage covered and turnaround allowed by alternating drivers.  


Team driving is an especially popular option for married drivers or close friends who already know they work well together and don’t mind the close quarters required of OTR truck driving teams. Team driving allows one partner to drive while the other takes a break, either in the passenger seat or in the sleeper berth. This way, both drivers can receive valuable downtime while keeping the truck moving.  


This arrangement is also a smart way to abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations on commercial driving breaks.  


According to the FMCSA, truck drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. With team driving, one team member can drive for 11 hours while the other driver catches up on sleep, allowing the truck to be on the road for longer periods of time.  


The FMCSA also mandates that a driver must take a 30-minute break after driving 8 consecutive hours. During this break, the driver cannot be behind the wheel. With team driving, the driver can take their 30-minute break to rest while their partner continues the drive, resulting in fewer stops and faster deliveries. 


What are the benefits? 

Team driving is an increasingly popular option for many truckers because of the higher earnings, increased safety, and companionship.  


Although team drivers split their earnings for each load, they still make more on average than solo drivers. This is because team drivers can drive nearly double the number of hours per week as solo drivers, and they are often first selected for priority loads and loads that are in higher demand. In fact, according to Prime Inc., team drivers log an average of 4,500 to 5,000 miles a week, compared to an average of 2,400-2,800 miles a week for solo drivers. As a result, team drivers can find more consistent work and earn more money per mile driven than solo drivers.  


Besides providing a solution to the potential loneliness of trucking, bringing another driver along for the ride also increases the safety of yourself and your freight. Team driving allows you to ensure that your truck and freight are never left unattended. While one driver grabs food or hits the truck stop showers, the other driver can remain in the cab and keep watch.  


Team driving can also be a great option for female truck drivers who have valid safety concerns and might feel more comfortable sharing their cab with a trusted colleague while at truck stops and on the road.  


Are there any cons? 

While team driving is the perfect solution for many truckers, it’s important to consider the potential downsides as well.  


For drivers who are used to having the cab to themselves, it can take some time to adjust to a partner, even if they’re your spouse. Team drivers must always take into account another trucker’s opinion when making decisions, whether it’s about break times, what route to take, or even what speed to drive at.  


Trucking might feel lonely sometimes, but it can feel overcrowded quickly if you don’t get along with your partner. It’s important to get to know your partner before you set out on the road, so consider comparing your driving habits and personal interests to make sure the fit is right.  


The alternating schedule of team driving can be beneficial, but it can also affect your sleep quality if you’re not a heavy sleeper. Adjusting to sleeping during the day can be harder if there’s additional noise from your partner and the road, not to mention the bumps and braking that could keep you awake. Being well rested and alert is essential to trucking, so keep this in mind if you think sleeping in shifts could impact your ability to sleep while on the road.  




Whether you’re looking to earn more money per mile, gain experience by driving with a seasoned driver, or just feel a little less lonely on the road, team driving could be the right option for you.  


For more tips and strategies to make the most of your trucking profession, be sure to check out our social media or check out our other recent Truck Driver Blog posts.