Paying Your Dues as a Truck Driver - Opportunities After 12 Months

Paying Your 1st Year Dues as a Truck Driver - Opportunities After 12 Months

When you first researched the prospect of becoming a professional truck driver, you might have heard things like, "Your first year will be the hardest," and "Entry level truck driver jobs are all about paying your dues" This is true of any career path, but it especially holds weight in the truck driving industry.

The truth is -- everyone must start somewhere. You think the CEO of that mega corporation got that job at the ripe age of 22, fresh out of school, all bright eyed and bushy tailed? Nope. He or she likely started out as an office drone and progressed up the corporate ladder. Trucking is no different. Things aren't going to be all unicorns and rainbows during the first year.

The first 12 months will surely test your patience. You probably won't be making your ideal wage. You'll have to share a small space with another person (at least for part of the time). You'll have to adjust to the huge lifestyle change that living on the road brings to the table. But if you can make it through that first year, doors will begin to open for you. Doors to other positions, better trips and routes, and better pay. Whatever you do though, you must get through that first year! If for no reason other than to get the industry experience -- most employers want at least 1 year of verifiable work experience. On top of that though -- leaving your first job before you hit the 1 year mark just looks bad. Why would an employer want to take a chance on someone who doesn't seem dependable?

Today, I wanted to give you a first-hand example of this from a student who came through the Driver Solutions training program. Nicole Reeves went came throught CDL training in February of 2011 and began working with PAM Transport. We did this video with Nicole back in January of 2012 where she discussed how her first year went and what advice she had for incoming CDL training students. Check out what she said below...

So, where is Nicole now? Since filming, she has stopped running OTR with PAM Transport and now has a more dedicated route that gives her more flexibility and allows her to be home more often. This is a prime time example showing that if you make the effort and really try hard that first year, things will pay off and new opportunities will become available. As Nicole says in her interview, "Everybody's going to have their ups and downs regardless of what company you're with." The important part is that you prove yourself a capable and responsible driver to whatever company you drive for.

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