Truck drivers can make over $69,000 a year* and it only takes a few weeks to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and get started. The high earning potential brings many individuals to the trucking industry, including those with families. Over-the-road (OTR) driving is as much a lifestyle as it is a career, and it will affect your loved ones’ lives as well as your own. With some effort on both ends, trucking with a family is definitely possible, and it can be a great way to earn a stable living doing essential and in-demand work.
Here are some tips:
1. Use Technology to Stay in Touch
With modern technology, it’s easier than ever to stay in contact with your family even if you are far away from home. Try to call at least once a day and video chat a few times a week. This helps you stay up to date with what is going on in everyone’s lives. You can also text during breaks and send photos of interesting truck stops or roadside attractions. Just make sure you don’t text while driving!
2. Involve Your Family in Trip Planning
When you’re planning your route, get your family involved. Let them help you pick out stops and give them a timeline of where you’re going to be at different points of your trip. This gives you something to talk about when you check in since they will know what area you are in. Even if plans change and you don’t follow the route exactly, this can help your family feel like they are a part of your daily life on the road.
3. Take Advantage of Home Time
After spending time on the road, you will want to have some time to relax. While it is important to take the time you need for yourself, you should also make sure you are taking advantage of the time you have with your family. Prioritize the most important events, but also be realistic about when you will and won’t be able to get home. It’s better to surprise your family by being home earlier than you expected or making it to one more event than planned as opposed to missing out on something you said you’d be there for.
4. Consider Taking a Family Member on the Road
Many trucking companies give you the opportunity to bring a passenger on a haul. Consider taking one of your loved ones out on the road for a short trip so they can see what your day-to-day life is like. If you are interested in bringing your child, make sure to check the age requirements for doing so. You should plan ahead and pick a short and relatively easy haul when possible.
5. Discuss Your Goals
It’s important to be on the same page as your partner when it comes to what is best for your family. In many cases, drivers do one year OTR and then transition into a regional or local job that can get them home more frequently. A CDL can open many doors for you, and not all of them require you to spend weeks on the road. However, if you do prefer long-haul, make sure your family is on board with this decision.
Start Your Career with HDS
HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) can help you earn your CDL in as little as four weeks. Our job placement assistance team can help you find companies hiring new drivers and will look for openings that match your needs and goals.
To learn more about joining the trucking industry, contact us today.
*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $48,710. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $69,000 per year according to the 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics.