In this post, we’ll discuss how often truck drivers are home, driver’s work hours, and average daily miles truckers can drive. Truck drivers across all career stages gravitate towards prioritizing a balance between home time and a nice paycheck. In fact, Commercial Carrier Journal did a recent study to discover what exactly do truck drivers want.
Commercial Carrier Journal’s Survey
During CCJ's most recent “What Drivers Want” survey, information was gathered from more than 800 leased owner-operators and company drivers. When asked what would make drivers stay with a company or incentivize them to join a company, the top 4 reasons was:
- 35% said higher pay, not just a sign on bonus, as the main reason
- 21% said flexibility to choose their routes and hauls
- 21% said being shown respect and appreciation / a team atmosphere
- 14% said more home time
How Often are Truck Drivers Home?
At William’s Logistics, we focus on bringing our drivers home every week. In our industry, we understand just how important quality time with family and friends is to our drivers. We strive to create a work/life balance that prevents burnout, meets federal regulations, and offers great pay. The amount of home time is different depending on the job position as OTR drivers have longer routes compared to local drivers. Our local drivers will be home every night, and our Over-the-Road drivers are typically home on most weekends until Sunday afternoon/evening hours.
Additionally, there are occasions where more than normal amounts of freight is needed transported which can reduce home time. Furthermore, incidents such as breakdowns, shipping delays, and unfavorable weather conditions can also cause delays in a driver’s route. Being flexible and adaptable to unforeseen challenges plays an important note in this type of job. Both drivers and their families periodically have to adjust plans for spending time together during these unusual circumstances.
How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Drive?
The hours of a truck driver are very regulated in the U.S. Typically, truck drivers will be on duty for 14 hours with only 11 hours allowed for driving. Other hours are spent on regular work routines like:
- loading and unloading
- interacting with customers
How Many Miles Do Truck Drivers Drive a Day?
A truck driver can legally drive around 650 miles within a day based on highway speeds. However, a day’s average mileage can vary depending on various factors such as:
- Road Construction Delays
- Weather Conditions
- Empty Miles: Traveling to pick up a load
- Load/Unload Times: Long or delayed load/unload times are a common occurrence. As truck drivers are only on duty for 14 hours, this lowers the time left for driving.
- Type of Load: In unique circumstances, loading/unloading can cut down a day’s mileage as much as 100 - 150 miles.
- Geographical Route: Depending on the geographical region, truck drivers are able to maintain highway speeds for longer or shorter distances. For example, eastern regions typically are more populated - meaning more towns, increased traffic, areas of road construction, and less miles covered.
- Parking Availability: As trucker’s hours have federal regulations, there are also fines involved (with exceptions). To keep from driving past their hour limit, a trucker can’t actually drive 10 hours and 59 minutes and park. The lack of available truck parking can be a serious problem. To the point where some drivers feel the need to stop early simply to get an open spot rather than hoping for availability later.
Is Being a Truck Driver Worth It?
Regardless of the job, each position comes with its own challenges and benefits, such as freedom, traveling, and higher wages. Truck drivers who are willing to work can make average wages around 90k a year without needing a college degree. There are many workers with a degree who won’t earn as much per year within their degree’s field. What’s more, with industry shortages of drivers, truckers have benefited greatly over the recent years. With higher job security, better wages, and more work life options to fit individual needs, there’s no better time to be a truck driver.
However, it’s important to keep in mind the style of work hours it takes to support this career path. It can be difficult for families to adjust to truck driver schedules so it’s essential to keep them updated, especially during delays. It’s a great idea to mark out your route’s location and expected dates on a calendar as well as keep them posted on any updates. Using this will help drivers and their families plan quality home time together as well as what to expect for the upcoming week.
The company a truck driver works for makes all the difference in deciding if being a truck driver is worth it. Companies who are committed to assisting you and treat you with respect are vital in this industry. At William’s Logistics, we understand how relevant time spent at home is to drivers. Along with a focus on home time, we have excellent benefits for any professional truck driver who wants to join our growing team! If you have questions about our company or professional careers, reach out to us! We would be happy to have a discussion with you.