There’s never a bad time to start looking into a new career path, especially with so many options available on the market nowadays. In a bid to get away from the ever-growing urban sprawl, many people are considering truck driving as a career. Is truck driving a good career?
There are many benefits to building a career as a truck driver, including the high demand for truck drivers in Australia. This career offers flexible hours, adventure, and challenges different from many other job fields. The pay is competitive and will allow a driver to support their family very well.
Let’s look at the ins and outs of a truck driving career.
What are the pros of a career as a truck driver?
There are many upsides to choosing truck driving as a career. But, as with most careers, it depends on the type of person you are and the type of work you enjoy. Generally speaking, however, here are some great pros to the job.
Truck driving tends to be flexible in terms of working hours. Many companies allow you to choose a schedule that suits your individual needs, allowing for a better work-life balance. What do you say to a couple more outings with your family or drinks out with your mates? You can take more time off to spend with your family as a truck driver than you would in a lot of other jobs.
Australia needs more truck drivers! Currently, truck drivers are in very high demand in Australia. But this is also a career that never runs out of work. We are constantly needing supplies to be transported across and trucks are our main transportation source. This provides lots of job security if you work as a truck driver. These opportunities can take you all around our beautiful land, to places you possibly never thought to visit. All the while, maintaining your job security and getting paid.
Speaking of getting paid, truck driving offers competitive pay rates. Plenty of jobs start out around the 35k mark, but the typical salary in Australia averages around 75k per year. Over the last few months, truck driving jobs in Australia have been advertised between 50k and 100k. Hourly rates average $20-30 an hour, with night shifts having even more attractive pay rates. Many companies offer performance-based rewards, too. The pay is a big part of what makes truck driving a good career.
Adventure opportunities within the field
If you enjoy driving and travelling, truck driving could be a great career choice for you. As we mentioned, this kind of work will take you far and wide from your spot behind the wheel. You will cover sprawling landscapes and visit lots of different towns. Lots of workers find this part of the job quite enjoyable, especially when compared to sitting behind a screen all day. There are some truckies who argue that a career in truck driving is the best way to see the country. Getting in touch with a labour recruitment company is a great way for truck drivers to find a huge range of travel opportunities. Contractors can approach recruitment companies with all kinds of transportation jobs that will be extended as an offer to truck drivers. So, if you love driving, why not give truck driving a go?
A truck driving career is a good challenge
Alongside adventure and good pay, a career in truck driving can also provide you with good work challenges. You could find yourself being asked to transport almost anything from bottles of soft drinks to livestock. All the different produce on board will need to be kept in mind when travelling to avoid breaking or injuring anything. Given the variety of terrains in Australia, you will be challenged in your transport methods and driving skills. This can make every drive different and boost the excitement of a truck driving career.
What about the downsides to a career as a truck driver?
With every career, there are downsides to consider, and truck driving is no exception. So, what should you be taking into account before deciding if truck driving is a career for you?
Long hours of driving
While you have more flexibility in your work scheduling, truck drivers do have to travel long distances which results in long hours. This can include some night driving and require you to adjust your sleep cycle. You will need to learn how to manage fatigue and continue to drive safely after a long period of time behind the wheel. This is part of why truck drivers are workers in high demand. The more truckies we can get, the more we can spread out driving hours.
Loneliness as a result of independent travel
As a truck driver, you can expect to spend many hours on your own. Even if you only drive locally, you’ll still be spending most of your shift time on the road by yourself. Longer trips, of course, can be even more challenging – some truck drivers spend days or weeks away from home. This can result in feelings of loneliness. But this is why the schedules can be more flexible as companies are becoming more understanding of the importance of mental health.
Stress is an unavoidable component of almost any job, truck driving included. You are likely to face delays, poor directions, traffic, bad weather and deadlines constantly, which all add up. What matters most, of course, is how you tackle stress when it comes your way. If you can properly manage stress and recognize when you need a break, you could handle a career as a truck driver well.
When you are travelling, it’s easy to lose track of the diet you are maintaining. As a truck driver, it can be hard to find a large healthy meal to consume on your trips. With the different work hours as well, you can find yourself limited to fast food, convenience store finds and service station meals. Businesses are trying to provide healthier and more nutritious options for truck drivers, but currently, it can be hard to maintain a balanced diet when working as a truckie.
What duties does a truck driver undertake?
Truck drivers (also known as HGV or lorry drivers) transport cargo from one place to another safely using a truck or other heavy goods vehicles. This can include both short distances and long, cross-country journeys by road. It’s not uncommon for a truck driver to cover hundreds, even thousands of kilometres to complete a job.
Cargo can come in all shapes and sizes and may include building materials, live animals, cars, fuel, industrial products, or perishable food requiring refrigerated transport. Some truck drivers work independently for their own transport business, while others work for trucking companies.
Aside from the actual driving aspect, truck drivers can be asked to complete documentation relating to their trips. This documentation can include timesheets, logs, and delivery dockets. Plus, any logging of safety incidents that happen along the way. A truck driver also needs to check on the condition of the cargo throughout the trip. Communication with the dispatcher is an important part of a truck driver’s career to update the cargo status.
It is also part of the responsibility of a truck driver to regularly examine their trucks and analyse the truck condition. They should be keeping the vehicle in the best shape possible and reporting any maintenance that needs to be completed.
What qualifications do you need to become a truck driver?
Truck driving is a great career option for people who enjoy travelling and independent work. But before you can begin working as a truck driver, you need to first obtain an unrestricted, state-issued driver’s licence. This licence will need to be held for a period of time while you establish a good driving record. Once you can display your ability to drive responsibly, you can obtain a licence that will permit you to drive trucks.
You will need to decide what kind of trucks you’d like to be driving in your career. These options include heavy rigid truck driving, medium rigid truck driving, and multi-combination truck driving.
If you’re interested in becoming a truck driver who transports dangerous goods, you will need another special licence. These drivers are required to observe a series of specific safety regulations that differ from general truck driving.
Additionally, you can complete a Certificate III in Driving Operations through TAFE or another institution. It’s an entry-level certificate for truck drivers looking to obtain a qualification. During the course, you’ll learn all sorts of handy skills that are favoured in the industry such as load handling, fatigue management, route planning and navigation.
Overall, there are lots of learning opportunities in a truck driving career that could make it just the right challenge for you. While you’re considering career opportunities, check out our article all about working as a carpenter. To hire labour workers, get in touch with our Rednax Recruitment team today!