Professional drivers are always looking for new ways to boost their pay. Between looking for new truck driving jobs and trying out different kinds of loads that pay better, anything that can increase the bottom line is worth looking into. That includes team driving. Drivers willing to work as part of a two-person team can earn more under the right circumstances.
How popular are team drivers? Popular enough that the nation’s largest carriers aggressively recruit them. In fact, some carriers go so far as to offer to pair up drivers who do not already have partners to work with, Like C.R. England. There are entire websites devoted to drivers looking for partners as well. There’s a lot to appreciate about team driving.
More Miles, More Money
The biggest benefit of team driving from the driver’s standpoint is the money. It boils down to the relationship between miles and pay.
Almost all truck drivers get paid by the mile rather than the hour. As such, they are only earning money when the wheels are moving. The driver increases his or her pay by increasing the number of miles he or she turns in any given pay period. The problem is, miles are somewhat limited by federal rules regulating how many hours a driver can put in.
Team driving can increase pay by:
- keeping trucks moving for longer hours
- allowing more miles to be covered in a 24-hour period
- reducing the turnover time between loads
- getting more lucrative loads worth more money.
Carriers appreciate driving teams because they increase profits by reducing transport times. As such, there are those carriers that offer the most lucrative loads to teams. It is the tried-and-true economic principle of paying a bit more in order to generate more revenues and profits.
Things to Watch Out For
While being part of a truck driving team is mostly good, there are some things inherent to the team scenario a driver should be aware of. First and foremost is the obvious reality that people are different. Anyone who has worked in the truck driving industry for any length of time knows just how true this is.
There will be times when driving teams clash. Put two people in a truck long enough and there are bound to be some disagreements. But it’s not the end of the world. Drivers can learn to get along if they want to.
Another thing to be aware of is over-the-road romance. It should be no surprise that some drivers consider going the team route because they are single and hoping to find a life partner they can work with. This is all well and good, but if the romance portion of the arrangement does not work out, the team still needs to be able to work together effectively if they want to continue enjoying the benefits of team driving. Otherwise, they have to split up and find new partners.
Keep in mind the following considerations as well:
- Team drivers are subject to the same state and federal regulations
- Drivers have different driving styles that need to be accommodated
- The average sleeper cab is not all that big; space may be cramped
- Sleeping while the truck is moving will be necessary to maximize miles
- Drivers have to deal with each other as well as dispatchers and shipper/receivers.
Working with a partner in a team driving scenario is a good way to increase both your mileage and your pay. For those who can make it work, there is no better way to pursue a truck driving career. But it’s not for everyone.