Many people think that truck driving is an easy job. And the only reason people for becoming a driver is the lack of talent. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The job of a trucker is hard, which is why the requirements for drivers are quite high. This is one of the reasons the industry is now facing a shortage of drivers.
Driving requires multitasking, which requires alertness. To be alert one needs to be in a good physical condition. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all drivers to pass a DOT medical exam before earning a commercial driver’s license. During the physical examination, your doctor checks your overall health and each body system, marking it as normal or abnormal. Including tests on your urine, blood pressure, eyes, and hearing. At the end of the exam, you receive one of three answers – you are clear to drive for two years, you may be allowed to drive but with periodic follow up, or you may be denied the right to drive a truck because you don’t meet the health standards.
From then on, candidates pass psychological tests which check their mental suitability for the job. Truck drivers need to be patient and flexible. They may be on the road for ten hours in a day, numerous days in a row. They might not see their family for months. This requires mental strength and adaptability. Moreover, unlike typical office jobs, there will be no people around them at all. Drivers need to be comfortable with being alone and not let solitude get to their heads.
Last but not least – the mechanics knowledge. Truck drivers should have a basic understanding of the truck’s engine and mechanics so they can fix minor problems like changing a light bulb. Most of the times there is no manager or supervisor they can ask for advice right on the sport if a failure occurs. They have to be self-dependent and find a solution on their own. The more a truck driver knows about mechanics the better for him and his packet in fact.
These might seem like regular requirements, but these are only the essentials. It is funny when you think about the fact that a huge part of the economy depends on people with such characteristics. And that has turned in to a problem. According to different sources, the industry currently lacks between 50-90,000 drivers. According to the American Trucking Associations, however, The US will be short 175,000 truck drivers by 2026. And this lack of drivers is already delaying orders and making goods more expensive as freight rates climb.