Are you ready for a career change? Have you been in your current job for a while now and no longer feel challenged, excited, or passionate about what you do? It’s something that can happen at any time, and it’s worth listening to your feelings and doing a little self-reflection on what would make you happy.
One career path that may be appealing to you is that of a truck driver. There are a lot of pros in this line of work, and they could be enough to grab your attention in a big way. But for those living in the Kansas City area, it’s wise to question if this is the right move for you and what skills and traits are needed or preferred. So let’s take a closer look at the career path of a truck driver so you can determine if you want to pursue it.
Figure Out What Kind of Truck Driver You Want to Be
The career of a “truck driver” is quite vast in that it can include an array of vehicles. Generally speaking, it comes down to how big of a truck you want to drive.
Class A drivers are those who can drive trucks that are more than 26,000 lbs. This includes trucks such as tractor-trailers, semi-trucks and big rigs. Class B drivers are licensed to drive trucks under 26,000 lbs., so this is more like the delivery trucks and straight trucks. Either one requires a specific license.
Before deciding which is right for you, why not take a look at the Class B and Class A driver jobs Kansas City so you can compare? Is there one type that has a lot more openings than others? Also pay attention to the hours of work, whether or not you need to leave the state, and even the country, salary, and more. Each person will have a different definition of what the “perfect” trucking job is. Besides having the proper class of license, some employers will also require experience.
You Have Excellent Time Management Skills
As a truck driver, your day will be scheduled, and time management will be extremely important. If you’re late for one delivery or task, you’ll create a domino effect and need to be able to manage how that affects the rest of the day.
There’s also the fact that truck drivers need to abide by sleep and rest requirements, logging their time meticulously.
You Can Work Independently
Much of your day as a trucker is time spent alone, so ask yourself if this is something you can handle and would flourish in. Those who can work independently tend to do well in their career. Sure, you’ll be in contact with the dispatch, but for the majority of your shift, you’ll be on your own.
You’re Able to Focus for Long Periods
Driving takes focus and if you’re on the road for long periods, you need to be the type that can stay on task and stay focused. You need to be alert to everything happening around you at all times, especially if you’re driving a large truck. For those drivers making long-haul trips, there will be many hours spent on the road, which can seem boring, but again you need to be able to focus and stay alert.
You’ll Need a High Level of Patience
And speaking of being on the road, traffic will be something you deal with daily. It’s not always going to move at a good pace and you’re going to need to have patience. Even things like construction can slow you down, and you can’t be losing your cool each time.
Be Open to Constant Training
It’s worth noting that continued training and knowledge are an important part of the job. Rules and regulations can change, you may drive a different rig, and so forth. Drivers need to be aware of all these changes and stay responsible and up-to-date.
Good Communication Skills Are a Must
Here’s a skill that doesn’t just benefit you as a trucker, but in all aspects of life. Good communication skills will be needed when it comes time to deal with customers/clients, your employer, dispatchers, and warehouse workers when making drop-offs/pick-ups. Communication skills encompass all – listening, speaking and writing.
A Great Career Path for the Right Person
Trucking can be a great career path for the right person. Doing your research to learn all you can about the job will help you to weigh your options and make an informed decision.