Interested in becoming an independent truck driver but worried that you're making the wrong decision? Before making any long-term financial and lifestyle commitments, use the following tips to determine whether it's right for you:
Lease a Semi Truck
Leasing semi trucks for three months or so is an excellent way to determine whether a career in the trucking industry is a good fit for you. As an independent truck driver you'll need a truck of your own to transport your customer's goods from one place to another, so you might as well see how comfortable you feel driving a big rig around before committing to a purchase. You'll have the opportunity to see how well you hold up to sitting behind the wheel every day, and determining whether the solitude is something you enjoy.
If you end up not wanting to create a career as an independent truck driver, you can just take the semi truck you've been leasing back to the dealership. On the other hand, if you enjoyed your experience and planned to pursue the path of an independent trucker, you may have the option of buying the leased truck, so you don't have to get used to a new one.
Take at Least One Long Road Trip
It may not be enough to drive around your local community in a big rig to get an idea of what life would be like on the road. Whether or not you decide to transport goods long distances, it's a good idea to plan at least one long road trip during the time that you're leasing a semi truck. Make sure that you'll be on the road for at least three days to reach your destination, which will give you about a week to experience all the different aspects of living as an independent trucker.
Make sure that you're on the road as many hours of each day that you plan to work when starting your trucking business, and plan your accommodations, meals, exercise, and enjoyment accordingly. And if you plan to work alone, don't take anyone along on the trip as you'll lose the opportunity to gain insight into many aspects of the job you'll be doing.
Take on a Temporary Position
If your road trip goes well, consider taking on a temporary trucking position to see how you adapt and respond to the pressure of meeting real deadlines and keeping customers happy. Offer one-time transportation to each store in your community until one of them takes you up on your offer and decides to try your services out.
You can offer a discount on the services as a way to draw customers in, and to give yourself an opportunity to prove yourself. Alternatively, you can work with a temporary agency to gain a little experience in the trucking field.
After putting these tips to use, it should be easy for you to decide whether a career as an independent truck driver is the right decision for your life.