After you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you have many different options for jobs that can fit your needs and goals. Team truck driving is one example. This is when two drivers work together to transport freight. Since it makes hauling more efficient, many trucking companies pay more per mile and may even offer a sign-on bonus. However, team driving is not for everyone, and you will want to consider the pros and cons before deciding if you would rather work with a partner or on your own.
The Basics of Team Truck Driving
The way team trucking works is that two different drivers take turns behind the wheel. One will be driving while the other will either be in the passenger seat (up to two of the ten required off-duty hours) or the sleeper berth. This allows the truck to keep moving while following hours-of-service regulations. The company you work for will pay you based on the miles you drive and this total is split between both drivers.
Who you drive with depends on your preference. Some truckers have a friend, family member, or spouse who also has their CDL. Having a driving partner you already know can be beneficial as you generally have an idea of how you will get along and work together. Husband and wife teams are common for this reason. Alternatively, many companies offer team matching. This will pair you with another driver based on your personality, location, and goals for weekly pay and miles.
Questions to Ask Yourself
If you are considering becoming a team truck driver, these are some questions you should ask yourself to determine if this is the right path for you:
Can you trust your driving partner?
Trust is absolutely essential in team truck driving. You will be asleep while someone else controls the vehicle and vice versa. The two of you will have to rely on each other to drive safely. As a result, it is important to find a driving partner you can trust. If you simply don’t feel comfortable with this, then team driving may not be the best fit for you.
How do you feel sharing your space?
A tractor-trailer is a small space and as a team driver, you will be sharing it with someone else. This means you will need to be mindful of cleanliness, organization, and other factors to help you both stay comfortable.
Are you willing to compromise?
As a solo truck driver, you have a large amount of control over how you spend your day. While you have to follow orders from dispatchers, you can generally choose when to take your breaks, where to stop, what to listen to on the radio, et cetera. You should consider whether or not you are okay with compromising on some of these decisions if you choose to drive with a partner.
Would you benefit from company on the road?
Many people get lonely as a truck driver. One of the major benefits of team driving is that you can enjoy the company of another person while working. If you choose to drive with a spouse or someone else that you already have a close relationship with, this can be especially beneficial.
The Road to Team Driving
If you are interested in becoming a team truck driver, the first step is to earn your CDL. At HDS Truck Driving Institute, we provide a high-quality education and can help you determine what type of trucking career is best for you.