Many truckers out there prefer to drive their rig alone, but others enjoy having a friend or their spouse to be on the road with. The idea behind team truck drivers is to get deliveries made faster. They truck is able to go further in a 24 hour period because you have two drivers that can drive. They can each drive all of their hours of service and then switch or drive in timed shifts.
Most team truck drivers decide to drive in full shifts so that the other person can get sufficient rest. Basically the team will stop at regular intervals so each can eat, shower, and use the bathroom. Each person that makes up the team has to keep their own log book of their hours of service, both on duty and off duty.
This is one of the few times when it is acceptable to have more than one log book in a semi truck. Generally this practice is banned so that truck drivers can’t be accused of running with more than one set of books in order to manipulate the hours of service regulations.
The biggest advantage to having team truck drivers is they can get deliveries to the destination in half the time of a solo driver. Most trucking companies send their team trucks on routine routes because they want to keep the customer happy by always having the deliveries completed on time.
Many team truck drivers are sent over the road with hazardous materials because they are on the open road for less time. The truck is generally on the move instead of being stopped for hours at a time due to the hours of service regulations that will result in a solo driver parking the hazardous load and waiting until they have new driving hours.
There are a couple of downfalls to the concept of team truck drivers though. First, many people have their own way of doing things and this will carry over to taking care of the truck. It can create issues when each person wants things to be done their own way. Secondly, it can make it difficult for couples because even though they are in the truck for many hours per day together, they get very little time to actually spend together.
It can also be difficult to stay with a set schedule when there are traffic hold ups, delivery delays, and other unforeseen events. If the team truck drivers aren’t doing their finances together such as best friends driving together it can be tricky to divvy up earnings. Most trucking companies pay team truck drivers half of the overall miles completed for a given trip to avoid such issues but this is dealt with on a company by company basis.
Many trucking companies place new drivers with an experienced driver to show them the ropes over the road. This type of team truck driving can be very uncomfortable and strained. Since neither person knows the other they may find it difficult to get into a routine that works for both of them. It is also hard for the new driver to learn because he or she should be sleeping during that period of time. Likewise, the experienced driver may find it difficult to sleep with someone so inexperienced behind the wheel of the semi truck.
The Requirements to Operate a Big Rig in the United States
Thousands of men and women drive big rigs in order to get the goods to the stores for us to conveniently walk in and buy. They also haul dirty and other materials for building homes and roads. Just as each person needs to fulfill basic requirements in order to get a traditional driver’s license, there are requirements in order to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a big rig.
There are two types of tests that have to be successfully passed in order to obtain a CDL in the United States. There is a written test that goes over the various rules and regulations. This is completed first at any local Department of Motor Vehicles or through a truck driving school. There is also a driving test that has to be completed just like there is for operating a regular vehicle.
An individual must be at least 21 years of age before they are allowed to apply for a CDL. There are some special laws that apply for individuals from 16-20 years old who operate semi trucks used in conjunction with agricultural work. They also have to be able to successfully read and write English due to the many road signs pertaining to trucks on the road and the necessary paperwork.
The Department of Transportation requires all CDL license holders to successfully pass a physical completed by a doctor trained in their requirements. This physical has to be renewed annually in order for the individual to remain in compliance. Since the terrorist attacks of 09/11/01, those individuals applying for a CDL also have to be a citizen of the United States and pass a background check.
There are special endorsements for a CDL that a person can apply for as well. Hauling chemicals and flammable materials requires the individual to complete a Hazardous Materials course. Upon doing so they will be given an endorsement to acknowledge this on their drivers license. To find out the specification of obtaining such endorsements ask your local DMV or take a look at the information found online.
The driving record of an individual is going to determine if they are able to obtain a CDL. While you can if you meet all the other requirements and have a valid traditional driver’s license, it doesn’t mean you will be able to get a job. Most employers look very closely at a driving record when hiring drivers. The cost of insurance for big rigs is very expensive, and the get a discount when they have a fleet of drivers with a safe driving history.
Any individual holding a CDL has to understand that they can lose this privilege if their regular driving privileges are suspended or revoked. In many states failure to pay child support according to the court order can result in a driver’s license being suspended. This can also happen due to excessive amounts of speeding tickets, accidents, or driving under the influence of alcohol.
There are various ways in which a person can learn how to operate a big rig. Many students enroll in a truck driving school. This is a program that lasts for several weeks and teaches them all the fundamentals for both passing the written exam and the driving test. Most students master the rules faster than they do the driving skills. Instructors watch closely and work with students in many areas until they master the necessary skills to safely operate a big rig on the public highways.
Others learn from someone else who already holds a CDL. It is very common for fathers to teach their sons how to do this, especially if they have a business where holding a CDL is vital. The rules for obtaining a CDL in the United States are in place to ensure that the roads are safe. They are also in place to prevent those who have a poor driving record from having control of such a large and powerful piece of equipment.