How to Ensure Job Security When You Work as a Trucker
Posted: Jun 21, 2016
You got your commercial driver’s license because you looked into trucking and you saw a lot of good things there: a competitive salary, good benefits and – you thought – a career that’s in demand. After maybe working in other fields for a time that don’t seem to offer much job security, you don’t want to be stuck in a position again where you might lose your job at any moment through no fault of your own. However, even in trucking, your career might not be as stable as you hope.
Businesses go bankrupt without much warning. Trucking agencies decide they have too many drivers on the payroll and not enough jobs for them and so they trim the excess. When you look for other trucking jobs in the area, you may find there are none left as the job market is flooded with candidates. As long as you work for someone – be it a single company that delivers products or an agency that changes the jobs it assigns you from one month to the next – you’ll never truly experience job security. If you want to know that time and money you’ve invested into your career will pay off until retirement, take steps to prevent unforeseen job loss.
Buy Your Own Truck
If the truck you’re driving breaks down, if you’re driving for someone else, you have to wait on their schedule to see if and when they can fix or replace it for you. If the business is already struggling or doesn’t need as many full-time drivers as it currently has, they may use this opportunity as an excuse to let you go. If you own the truck, you can make fixing it a priority so it never impacts your ability to work a job. Contract with the right transportation logistics company, and you can rely on them to assist you when it comes to getting your truck fixed at the best price and as fast as possible.
Become an Owner-Operator
Owning your own truck means not only will you not have to rely on a company to decide your fate in the event of a truck that needs maintenance, but you can become an owner-operator and contract work on your own schedule. That means you can work more shifts whenever you need an extra boost in income and you can work fewer shifts or take days or even weeks off when you have other things going on in your life that require your attention. You won’t have to worry about losing your job as long as you turn in a great performance for the company you contract with. And you can always rely on there being work available when you want it.
Try Different Types of Loads
The more experience you have with different types of loads, the more jobs will be available to you. This is especially true if you go the owner-operator route, when you could be free to jump from one type of job to another in the course of any given week. The more you’ve built your resume, the better your chances of securing the assignments over your fellow owner-operators.
While you may want to start by getting some experience driving for a company or a trucking agency, your ultimate goal should be to work toward becoming an owner-operator.
Once you become an owner-operator, you’ll basically be your own boss – without the hassle of finding your own clients. Rely on a transportation logistics company to provide you with as many or as few shifts as you need each week, and you’ll enjoy not only job security, but also freedom in your career.
About the Author: Zach Chapman is an owner-operator truck driver who’s enjoyed many years of job security. He suggests other truckers look into signing with Landstar System, Inc. for better career prospects.
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