The season of gratitude and appreciation has arrived! Thanksgiving is the holiday all of us love to celebrate with our families and loved ones. We acknowledge many things in our lives and give thanks to those who mean a lot to us. And though we appreciate all sorts of people, service providers are usually not one of them. So, why thank a driver? Because chances are your Thanksgiving holiday wouldn’t be the same if the trucking industry didn’t exist.
To understand the volume of work truck drivers do, let’s look at some numbers. Annually, 671 billion dollars worth of cargo is moved throughout the nation. Are you enjoying all the online purchases you make with the click of a button? You can thank a truck driver for that. Literally, every single industry heavily depends on the transportation services that trucking companies provide. Another important fact to mention is that truck drivers very often bear long commutes and a lot of pressure to ensure that deliveries are on time. Even though top trucking companies, like MDB Transportation, offer a lot of benefits and high compensation for their truck drivers, still there is a need to find alternative ways of showing gratitude for all the hard work that they do. For example, there is Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which usually happens at the beginning of September. During the week many trucking companies thank a trucker they randomly select during a giveaway, or just give a general radio shoutout and list all of the reasons to thank truck drivers.
In this article, we have listed all of the skills it takes to become a good truck driver. Additionally, we have touched upon the transportation industry and trucking in general, to further explain why we should be thankful for truckers on a daily basis. Now let’s get into the details!
To begin with, let’s look at some of the skills that are necessary to become a good truck driver.
The first skill to mention is responsibility. Besides the importance of knowing all of the national, state, and company laws, truck drivers also need responsibility to deal with delivery deadlines, driving time, and safety.
Another important skill to note is patience. Sometimes truck drivers are challenged with hours-long traffic, disrupted schedules, or mechanical issues. Whichever of these things happens, it is important to keep composure and patience. Speaking of mechanical issues, knowing how to handle small maintenance issues is a must for a truck driver.
Other important skills to mention are a high level of focus, time management, communication, customer service, reliability, and independence. All of these skills and responsibilities give yet more reasons to celebrate truck driver Thanksgiving this year. Many top transportation companies, like MDB Transportation, celebrate ‘trucker Thanksgiving” by emphasizing the importance of vacations for truck drivers and offering additional ways to have a lighter schedule.
Speaking of appreciation, trucking and Thanksgiving, let’s also look at some industry averages for truck driver compensation. As well as, we listed the factors that need to be taken into account in order to make a good living as a truck driver. According to Indeed.com, the average yearly income for a truck driver in California is $81,888. However, income can change according to the location of the transportation company, whether the driver is working solo or in a team, and many other factors. Now let’s look at some of the factors that determine the range of pay for a truck driver. The first factor is experience. If you have been in the industry for a while, your technical skills must be advanced. For example, drivers who are in the industry for less than a year, get paid around $292/week, and drivers with 10 years of experience or more get paid around $351/week. Another important element that affects the wage of a truck driver is distance, as well as the location of the transportation company. Additionally, the type of cargo that the truck is transporting and the number of different licenses that the driver holds can also affect the salary of the trucker.
After looking at the necessary skills and the compensation system for truck drivers, let’s look at the factors that truck drivers need to take into consideration while choosing a company to work for. As an example, we will use the example of MDB Transportation, which provides sustainable transportation services to various industries.
The first benefit that MDB Transportation offers is competitive pay. The average salary at the company is above the industry average, which gives the opportunity to have financial stability and security. Another important benefit of working as a truck driver at MDB is health insurance, including dental, vision, and life. Contribution to industry development is another important factor that drivers should take into consideration. Companies that stay relevant and up-to-date are the ones to stay in business for a long time, grow, and offer stability to their employees. MDB Transportation is known for its innovative approach, sustainability efforts, and flexibility, which makes many companies choose MDB as their partner in trucking services. Last but not least, room for personal growth is also very important to note. With the growing experience and demonstrated passion for improvement, truck drivers can get additional benefits in the form of vacation, health benefits, or salary bonuses.
Before moving on to the upcoming trends in the trucking industry, it is also important to mention the culture of employee appreciation that MDB Transportation has adopted since day one.
One of the truck drivers of the company mentioned that the great work environment, good pay, and benefits motivate her to work hard and perform her best. With many female drivers in the company, MDB Transportation shows that there is no discrimination against race or gender when it comes to hiring professionals. This is what makes the environment amiable and appreciative for the employees.
Lastly, let’s look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transportation industry, as well as understand some of the future trends of the industry which affect truck drivers directly.
Even though the pandemic affected the transportation business tremendously, the impact was not always negative. Despite the number of layoffs, the demand for transporting medical supplies and equipment grew simultaneously. In turn, this instantly created a demand for more truck drivers. In addition to the fluctuating demand for drivers, another major obstacle that transportation businesses were faced with was the closure of warehouses, which caused many interruptions in deliveries. Lastly, truck drivers faced many difficulties as well, one of which was eating. As the majority of the food points were closed, making stops for eating out became almost impossible to do.
However, with the effects of the pandemic slowly drifting away, we see some changes in the transportation industry. A very common industry trend is the usage of modern technology for further development and more efficiency of trucking. For example, the use of sensors to avoid accidents during bad weather conditions. Another major trend is the integration of sustainable practices, which include transitioning to electric vehicles (EV), and improving the efficiency of freight through the use of advanced technology. Advanced technologies nowadays give the opportunity to estimate the distance between locations and devise the shortest and most efficient routes. MDB Transportation is one of the first adopters of this technology.
In conclusion, regardless of how much technology advances, truck drivers are always going to be needed. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to say Happy Thanksgiving, truckers!