25 July 2018 Posted By : Administrator

4 Risks of Being a Truck Driver You Should Know

Truck driving is an extremely popular occupation, largely thanks to the constant demand for it. Each year, American businesses require the movement of 10.55 billion tons of freight. This requires more than 68 million heavy-duty trucks and 3.5 million truck drivers working long hours to accomplish the job.

For this reason, truck driving is one of the most popular jobs in the country. It also pays well compared to other similar jobs.

If you’ve been considering truck driving as a career, it can be a great opportunity. You’ll travel a lot, receive competitive pay, work in the solitude of your truck cab, and avoid the stresses of a corporate job.

However, being a truck driver also comes with plenty of risks. Before signing up to get your CDL and getting behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, consider these challenges.

1. Chances of severe injury and death of other parties is higher.

With any vehicle your drive, your risks of hurting someone else go up significantly with the size.

“Large 18-wheelers and similar commercial trucks can weigh more than 10,000 pounds and carry up to 80,000 pounds of cargo,” explains Bert Parnall of Parnall Law. “Their impact in a collision with a passenger vehicle can be catastrophic, particularly if the truck is moving at full speed. Occupants of cars, pickups, SUVs and vans are likely to suffer serious injury, if not death, while the trucker walks away from the crash.”

Along with the size of the vehicle making it more dangerous, you’ll also have decreased visibility and other challenges associated with driving a huge vehicle on the road. You run the risk of jack-knifing and causing a serious accident on busy roadways.

There is training for this, and many truck drivers go their entire careers without an accident, but you should be aware of this risk and be very careful on the road.

2. The financial obligation is more than you might think.

While you can be contracted to work for a company that owns their rigs, many truckers are required to purchase their own rigs and are contracted for each load. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a rig, and the payouts aren’t always enough to cover your investment.

“This is the experience of many truckers,” says Steve Viscelli in an article for The Atlantic. “They are convinced to work as independent contractors by trucking carriers trying to rid themselves of the financial responsibilities of employers and shift the risk of owning and operating trucks to workers.”

You may be fortunate enough to avoid taking this risk on yourself, but if you end up as a contractor with your own rig, know that it takes a significant financial investment. The payouts are typically higher for this type of work but weigh that against the yearly cost of your rig to calculate the value of your investment.

3. You’ll probably eat more with little physical activity to make up for it.

Unfortunately, truck drivers are typically pretty unhealthy. According to Keith Veronese of Gizmodo, the “interstates are a food desert.” Truckers don’t eat three nutritious meals per day because they’re rushing from one delivery to the next. Instead, they purchase highly processed, pre-packaged meals and fast food and eat liberally throughout the day to stay awake and stave off hunger.

“The hours spent sitting in a truck cab along with poor food choices lead to a disproportionally obese workforce,” Veronese explains. “Only 14% of the 3 million truck drivers in the United States are not overweight or obese. Of these 3 million truck drivers, only 8% exercise regularly compared to 49% of the general population.”

When you’re on the road for 14 or more hours per day, and the farthest you have to walk is from your cab to the gas station bathroom, there’s simply not enough physical activity to counteract the calories consumed while in your truck. Truck drivers often suffer from obesity-related problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart attack, hypertension, and more.

4. You could experience a variety of social and mental health issues.

When you’re spending hours on the road in solitude and are away from home for several days at a time, it tends to take a toll on your relationships. Families, especially those with kids, tend to feel neglected. Unless you have a family that can handle the sacrifice and is deeply understanding, your relationships can suffer.

These relationship problems, along with constant solitude in your truck, can also lead to mental health problems like anxiety, stress, and depression. Your lack of human interaction can make it difficult to stay positive and find satisfaction.

To combat some of these issues, many companies allow you to drive with family members on occasion. They might also allow you to take a pet to keep up your spirits. Try to work for a company that understands mental health needs and will be supportive when you’re struggling.

These risks shouldn’t necessarily stop you from being a truck driver, but you should go into the job with eyes wide open. It could be a great job with great benefits as long as you’re willing and able to handle the associated risks.

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