Team Truck Driving
As many drivers know, being out on the open road alone has it perks, but at times, it can get lonely.
If loneliness doesn’t particularly strike a driver, there is always the potential hazard that comes with driving long routes along and facing fatigue on the road.
The seat next to a driver can look awfully empty when the route still has quite a few miles left and there seems to be no end in sight.
One remedy to this situation that is frequently employed by truck drivers and the trucking industry is a system of team driving. It’s certainly nothing new – two drivers out on the road switching off to get the job done.
Many large names in the transportation industry have active and current openings for team drivers. It’s a way of life that subverts the solitary nature of truck driving, but it may be highly beneficial for many drivers in the long run.
Why Drive in A Team?
One of the primary reasons truck drivers choose to run in a team position versus a solo position is due to the fact that many companies offer more pay in cents per miles to team drivers than solo drivers. Granted, this payment must be negotiated between two drivers, but striking a balance for payment can be easily accomplished with the right salary.
Another incentive that entices truckers to work with a team driver is the ability to push through runs with more ease and accountability than drivers who are alone on the road. Overdrive reports that the secondary reason drivers prefer teams (behind pay) is due to the fact that routes can be accomplished more easily – and with more routes completed comes the potential to tackle more jobs as well.
Finally, the idea of having a partner to depend on for keeping the other seat company – or simply keeping a driver awake – is a major plus for drivers. There is only so much solitude a driver can take before an issue may potentially arise – it may be healthy for a driver to combat the issue early and ride with another trucker.
Factors to Consider In A Team
While team driving can certainly have its benefits, this is not to say that every driver is cut out for working with a partner.
One obvious conundrum that may occur is the inescapable nature of close quarters in a cab. Even for the most gung-ho operators that wish for a partner, the best of friends can get on one another’s nerves in the confines of a small tractor for hours on end.
Drivers must also consider the issue of getting an adequate amount of sleep in their trucks. While teams are generally devised in order to allow one driver to rest while the other does the driving, this is not always a guarantee. Some truckers may have a difficult time resting or sleeping in a moving truck, and if a driver in unsure about their partner’s driving habits or the terrain they are making routes on, sleeping may be nearly impossible.
Some truck drivers like things done a certain way as well. It may upset certain drivers to have a partner operate in a way that is different than what they are used to. It’s important to have a discussion about operating with your partner if you are particular and find a way to satisfy both parties.
Finding A Partner
For drivers that do decide to work with a partner, there are several ways to go about finding a job that works for both seats.
Many companies will hire prefab teams that have some experience together and who have proven to be a good match on the road. Companies like to have some reassurance in hiring a team that is going to perform well and who will likely encounter minimal conflicts on the road.
For drivers without a partner looking for a match, many companies will be happy to set them up with one. Depending on the company, a personality test will be issued to drivers to match up those with similar habits, taste, experience, and other factors on the road.
Sites that match truckers do exist, but drivers ought to be forewarned – they may not always be the safest option, especially if a potential partner wants to meet in person outside of a work setting. These sites may also be less effective than a company matching system – simply because two drivers have similar interests does not mean that they will work well together on the road.
Some truckers even choose to work with their spouse as a team driver. This helps distribute the payment together as a unit in addition to aiding in any separation anxiety that may occur couples.
Inquire with a company recruiter to see what their team hiring policies are. There’s a good chance that a company who hires teams will be more than happy to find you a partner, or will work with you and tour partner in a scenario that benefits both drivers.