Is team driving worth it?
December 7, 2022
As a carrier, one of the most challenging parts of your job is the solo nature of it all. When you hit the road, you can spend a lot of time on your own. This means having to get used to your own inner monologue – or, worse, your singing voice – without losing track of time, destination, or losing focus on the road. For many drivers, though, especially after many years of solo driving, it can become grating. With that in mind, team driving is becoming more and more popular. It can sound appealing, covering larger distances with a friend, colleague, or even spouse. But is team driving worth it? Let’s investigate.
What is team driving?
As the name implies, team driving is a process whereby you cover more distance in a shorter frame of time. You do this by covering the journey with a second driver alongside you. Both of you take turns driving while the other navigates, stays in control of communications, and allows the driver to focus 100%. This means you can complete larger distance journeys in a timeframe that you could not complete yourself. It means being able to keep going, only stopping for refreshments, toilet breaks, and gas.
Team driving is a fun way to get involved as a carrier. You can also find that it poses a few benefits that you might not have thought about. For a bit more insight into team driving, you can check out a previous guide we have written about team driving here.
Is team driving worth it? It depends So, let us look a bit more at the good side of team driving. Here are some of the benefits that come from taking part in this kind of experience.
Avoid mistakes before leaving
When you get the shipment into the truck, you need to inspect the truck and make sure everything is present, secure, and ready for transit. Doing this yourself is not as easy as it might seem, and you can leave yourself open to mistakes and failures when you do this. By having someone else there to help you with the deliveries, though, you can avoid things like backing into a tight space, failing to manage pre-trip inspections, and making sure that your truck is ready to go on the journey ahead.
Enjoy time on the road with someone else As a carrier, if you have even finished one job you will know how lonely it can be. Sure, you can sometimes enjoy banter with other truckers when you stop at service stations. You might even meet some interesting people in the way of clientele. But you are, for the most part, stuck in a truck cabin talking/singing to yourself. This means lots of isolation time – and not everyone likes that.
By having someone else alongside you, though, you can feel more at ease. You get to take your eyes off the road, get some rest as you complete more of the journey, and enjoy some banter. Some people even do team driving with their best friend or their spouse – that can make it easy to make up for lost time. Given that you can be away for days at a time, trucking with your beloved can be a great way to avoid losing those valuable hours you miss out when working.
Earn a more competitive rate
The main reason that a job needs two licensed drivers is the distance or the challenge of the journey. This could mean that the terrain is hazardous, the weather is dreadful, the timeframe requires a bit of intelligent maneuvering, and/or the shipment itself requires extreme precision that a tired solo driver cannot provide. The benefit of this is that come the end you often earn more on team drives that you do solo.
Yes, your earnings are split – often right down the middle – but you still earn more. You will find that large carriers and companies will provide a healthy bonus if you both get the job done on-time and in-condition. You could find that team drivers who do lots of team work can be earning well in excess of $250 per week more than a solo driver could be.
You take on more work, you take on more challenge? You get paid more. It’s simple economics.
Build up your experience level
For those who are newer to the carrying game, team trucking can be a good way to build up experience and improve your skill level. You might not feel confident enough to handle a journey or a load solo – and that is fine, it takes time to build up that kind of confidence. Working with another trucker, though, can give you the expertise and the opportunity that you need to grow and improve.
So, you can build up the experience level that you need to go out on the road and take it on yourself. Many newbies start out partnering with a more experienced trucker, taking less of the cut along the way, and can find it is a highly enjoyable way to make a living. Often, they do not return to solo work.
Stay safer when driving
Another benefit is that you do not succumb to fatigue quite the same way when both of you are involved. The ability to talk to someone else, the chance to split time focusing on the road, and the chance for some shuteye are all great benefits of team truck driving. You will be able to meet deadlines easier and you will be able to avoid mistakes or risks because there are two of you here to make the decisions.
You can also find that if you fall ill or get an injury during the trip that you can take some time to recover and get yourself back to normal. If you work with the same teammate on a regular basis, you learn to cover for one another when the other person needs more time. So, on some jobs, you might do more heavy lifting than your teammate – but this is more or less always paid back in turn when you work together.
So, as you can see, team truck driving is worth it for many people. Unless you feel like you would prefer to stay solo and take on the responsibility yourself, team truck driving is almost always worth trying out – even once. Whether you are a newbie looking for experience or you are simply looking for some company in your more experienced years, try out team driving for yourself. It’s the only way that you will know if this works for you or not!