Once you have earned your commercial driver’s license (CDL) you might be wondering what to do next if you don’t already have a job lined up. You could consider team driving. Team driving is when two qualified drivers share a truck so that when one driver is behind the wheel the other driver could be resting in the sleeping berth or riding in the passenger seat. Drivers are required to have at least 10 hours of rest when they are not behind the steering wheel. Of course, there are pros and cons to team driving.
Since team driving is such an efficient way to move freight, many companies will offer incentives to drivers who are interested in team driving. Examples of incentives could be a sign-on bonus or more money per mile.
Another pro to consider is that if you have a family member, friend or spouse that has the skills to drive a truck it might be a good opportunity to work together to earn money and spend time together. For a married couple who want to travel together while earning money this could be a good option.
If you want to try team driving but do not have anyone in your life that could do it with you, most companies do offer team matching where they will match you with someone who they believe you would be compatible with considering such things as your personality, location and earning goals.
When you are team driving you don’t have to worry about the truck and your belongings ever being left alone. If one driver goes to take a shower or grab food the other driver can stay with the truck. Along with that, you will spend less hours at truck stops that can be dangerous. So, in a lot of ways, team driving is safer.
Often when there are priority loads, team drivers get the call first to look after them. Since the transportation time can be cut in half in most cases it makes sense to call a team of drivers before a single driver.
If you are team driving, you will not have a lot of alone time while you share a small space with another adult. So, if you like to hit the open road and have time alone, team driving would not be for you.
You won’t have full control of your own schedule. You will have to work with your driving partner to come up with a schedule that works for both of you. Team driving provides slightly less flexibility.
Whoever your driving partner is, you have to trust them. Every day that you are on the road with them you should feel secure and confident in their driving abilities. If you can find a driving partner who is a good fit for you and you find a system that works well for both drivers there is potential to earn more money, get priority loads or travel with a special person in your life.
Often truckers who do not have personal experience with team driving have a lot of questions about it. From the outside, it seems like a great idea if you are getting paid by the mile and the truck is running 24/7. Team driving is exactly what it sounds like. There are two qualified drivers in the truck who share the responsibility of operating and maintaining the truck. There are pros and cons to team driving, depending on your situation it might be an idea to consider.
If you have a partner in the truck with you it can be a good thing, it gives you company and allow you to learn from another person if need be. It is important to build a strong partnership with someone you can trust in the truck. Items that need to be discussed before you even hit the road are scheduling, pay division, personal habits and control. If all of that can be decided before you hit the road it can make things easier and will hopefully cause less issues on the road.
When you are team driving you can often secure more lucrative jobs because you can get the job done the quickest on the road. With being able to drive almost 24 hours a day a team can get a load delivered the quickest.
Team driving often attracts husband and wife teams. This can be the ideal situation for them as they can be on the road together and already know each other’s habits and will have an easier time communicating with each other about any issues that may come up on the road. The other advantage is usually with the pay it will be going into one account so there will be no conflict about who is getting paid what.
There are times that team driving can be less profitable then driving on your own because of all of the profits are split equally, or should be.
Sleep can be an issue if the truck is moving all the time. It can be very difficult to be comfortable when the truck is moving and you are trying to rest especially if it is daylight outside as well. If you do not get quality rest it can make it very dangerous to drive for your shift.
Breaks can also be an issue for team driving. If one driver wants to stop for a break it may not be convenient for the other driver. There could be a scenario where you finally get to sleep in the back bunk and the other driver needs to stop for some reason. It could cause tension in the truck.
A few other issues that might come up as a team driver is that you might be away from home for longer stretches, what to do if one or both of the drivers are ill and just getting along with your co-driver day to day.
Overall, team driving can be a good choice in the right situation. The most important thing to take into consideration is that you feel like you can trust your driving partner and there is an open line of communication.