Updated: Jul 26
Ever wondered what it would be like to enter the trucking industry? You are not alone. A projected 295,000 job openings in the heavy trucking and tractor trailer driver segment are becoming available each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether you are entering the job force for the first time or looking to change your current profession, the transportation companies are looking for both solo drivers and team drivers. Learn more about the difference in a solo driver versus team driver so you can decide on the best career path.
Team Driving vs. Solo Driving Differences
Both driving styles offer unique advantages based on your driving skills, current experience and whether you plan to provide interstate driving or intrastate transportation. Companies may offer both options to you.
Being a solo truck driver simply means that you are driving the truck by yourself for the entire trip. You have complete control over your truck and route, depending on how much driving freedom the transportation company provides. You also dictate your schedule. If you are a morning truck driver or late-night driver, you can pick the shift that works best for you and is available. You also are more easily available in case emergency shipments come up and the transportation company needs a driver immediately.
A solo driver has options on driving opportunities, such as driving locally within his or her city, region or over the road (OTR), where you drive coast-to-coast. It will all depend on whether you want to go home daily, every few weeks or even monthly. You can decide what is the best schedule for yourself and your family.
When it comes to receiving payments, you take the entire amount for yourself — but keep in mind that you take sole responsibility when anything happens on the road that might cause a shipping delay. Lastly, you have the entire truck to yourself to blast your favorite tunes and when storing your personal belongings in the cab.
A team driving crew means that you have someone else in the cab to take over the driving tasks. Depending on the length of the trip, you may divide the driving tasks into hour shifts or have one person take the night shift while you drive during the day. You cloud also have one person drive the truck to make the delivery and then you take over the driving tasks on the way back to the company's truck yard.
A company may also offer a sign-up bonus to a driver who is willing to be on a team. The person you are paired up with will be determined by the company, although there are some companies that hire team drivers who may be siblings, friends or spouses. A major advantage to a team driving scenario is that you can be paired with a more experienced driver who may be willing to teach you more about the industry.
Team drivers usually work as regional or OTR since they are capable of going long distances while needing fewer breaks, although a company may have a team crew for local deliveries when they have to offload bulky or large shipments. Having someone else in the cab can provide companionship while on long trips. While the money you make will be split between both drivers, you can often make more since you can double the driving time.
Get Into the Truck Driving Industry
The trucking industry offers great benefits for those who are motivated and reliable. This occupation also allows people to travel across the country, which is great for drivers who love the open road and seeing new sights. If you are debating about solo versus team truck driving, reach out to GP Transco. We offer great opportunities to those looking to become truck drivers. Contact us today to learn more.