It’s an industry we depend on every day – but it’s still shrouded in mystery.
For those on the outside, and even those who just started a trucking career, there are a lot of questions about the field.
What does it feel like to handle 20,000 pounds of power? How do you manage the fundamentals of life when you live on four wheels? Some of these questions are asked so sparingly, that seeking answers feels like peering into the back of a forbidden freight container.
But today we’re swinging the doors wide open – these are some questions about the truck driving industry you may have been unsure, afraid, or even embarrassed to ask.
What’s on the Menu? What Foods Should You Choose or Avoid?
Even if you’re not a foodie, the first trucking question on most people’s minds is, when you live on the road and stay moving most of the time, when (and how) do you eat?
While some truckers don’t mind stopping for carryout, some play the role of trucker and chef within the same day. Some of our own drivers here at Hermes cook their own meals, taking advantage of their company-supplied truck’s amenities and some personal cooking equipment they brought along.
But as far as the best and worst places to pick up your own food, it really depends on your appetite. One rule trumps all – play it safe. Stick with foods you know agree with your stomach, and don’t overdo it on the liquids. Typically restaurants that offer healthier menus and post nutrition information like calorie/carb/fat counts and ingredients lists are a better option.
What Happens if You Get Sick and Can’t Drive?
Let’s say the worst-case scenario happens when you’re out on the road. Whether it’s something you ate, something you caught, or just something that’s not feeling right, how do you halt a journey and pick up later?
Many carriers use a team driving system to ensure drivers get plenty of rest. Hermes utilizes a pilot program, which can help drivers switch out with others no matter the situation. If you’re ever out and feel embarrassed, worried, or scared about moving forward, never hesitate to pull over.
What Are the Dangers of Truck Driving? How Do You Stay Safe?
Speaking of reaching out, many questions about the truck driving industry go unasked because people feel uneasy about asking them, almost like they may be judged.
Truckers are known to be tough and durable, but that doesn’t mean there are no dangers on the road. Frequent questions about truck driving often center around how drivers get over these concerns.
In some ways, they don’t – drivers don’t become “unaffected” by the risks of the road. Weather, traffic, and distraction will always be factors. But as Hermes drivers will tell you, the job gets much easier the longer you drive.
What About Driving with no Trailer?
Usually we picture the truckers of the world hauling trailers full of freight, and usually this is the case. But sometimes you’ll see a trailer-less truck cruising down the road – ever wonder if that changes the handling?
This is one of those truck driving questions that people may feel uneasy asking because the answer is (seemingly) obvious. It seems like the only thing that impacts a tractor trailer’s handling is the powertrain and connected components – but physics also play a role.
Skillful truckers use compensatory steering and maneuvering to manage their rig around curves and in high winds to keep their trailer in line. Since this much longer and often heavy component of the truck can sway easily and move the tractor, the driver must compensate accordingly. Without an attached container, the maneuvering may be easier.
Where Do You Sleep as a Truck Driver?
Most of the trucking questions we get involve the exciting process of seeing new sights and adjusting to life with the wheels rolling. But what about when they stop for the day?
Winding down and sleeping is an important part of safe truck driving – drivers are required to rest for certain periods, and as for the location where they do this, there are traditionally two options.
The first is to get a hotel. This can be a bit tricky in the sense you may need to go a little out of your way, and also find parking lots that are trucker friendly. The advantage is that you may feel more secure indoors.
While some people feel uneasy about sleeping in their truck, it’s a viable option if you can find a parking lot you feel safe in. Especially in trucks like ours, which offer spacious and comfortable sleeping quarters, sleeping in the truck can be the better option overall.
What’s it Like Being Away from Home So Long? Do You Miss It?
Of all the questions about truck driving that career truckers get asked, the subject of missing home has to be near the top of the list. While the topic is subjective as different people like different schedules, we can definitively say that it’s possible to at least stay connected between home visits.
During their down time, many of our truckers enjoy video calls back home where they can fill their loved ones in about the journey thus far. Some people even bring a loved one along with them.
Is It Easy to Bring a Pet with You?
While some people prefer to bring a spouse, sibling, or other relative, many drivers bring along their furry friends.
While pets require more care and supervision than a person would, they can provide just as much, if not more, companionship. Just make sure that if you are looking to bring a pet that you pack plenty of supplies for them, they have ID tags with up-to-date information (including your phone number), and that your hotels of choice are pet friendly.
Before you set off on your first trip together, have your vet sign a certificate that verifies your furry friend is in good health. Keep a copy of the document in your vehicle—it may be required when crossing certain state lines.
How Often Do You Get Time Off?
Time off can vary depending on the company, the contract, and of course, the preferences of the driver. One quality that drivers should seek in their schedule is flexibility – it’s not always about how many days off you have, but when you can use them and whether any of your downtime is paid. At Hermes, we value that flexibility. If you’d like to visit home, we’ll make it a priority to plan your routes in a way that allows you to. And all our drivers receive paid vacation time and holidays off, regardless of how long they’ve been on the team.
The Last Big Truck Driving Question – How Do I Start?
The final question you may have been wanting to ask for a while concerns how to get started in the trucking industry.
Here at Hermes, all it takes is a CDL A to get the conversation going, and we can help you earn one. Whether you are brand new to the field or experienced, we want to hear from you.
Hermes offers competitive pay, flexible schedules, paid holidays and vacation, plus much more. Don’t be afraid to reach out with your questions or concerns about getting involved in trucking – we’re a company that genuinely cares for our dedicated drivers and eager applicants. Reach out today.