Trucking is one of those careers and professions that is a good match for a wide variety of people at various stages in their lives. Unlike some jobs that require extensive training, licensing and ongoing professional development, trucking allows you to take some of your past experience in the business world as well as in life in general and help you in this career.
There is a growing trend in the United States to look at trucking as a second career that is really a lifestyle change. Many older couples, those retiring at 50-55, are packing up the spouse, selling or renting the house, and heading out in a big rig to live the nomadic lifestyle. However, even if you aren’t planning on packing up the spouse and hitting the road, it is still a very reasonable and realistic second career option for men and women alike.
Increasing Demand For Truckers
At a time when many employment sectors are on the decline, trucking is one industry that is actually clamoring for employees. Trucking companies from smaller locally owned businesses to large national or international carriers are looking for drivers and owner/operators. While long haul trucking is still has the largest demand for new workers, short hauls and the more nine to five trucking jobs are also available in most major urban areas.
Trucking is an industry that does have a fairly substantial failure rate for new truckers in the first year or two into the business. This is often due to unrealistic expectations, driving problems and accidents, and the need to be at home with kids, spouse and family on a regular basis not possible in many trucking careers.
Older individuals typically don’t have these same concerns. The marriage is well established or they are single, the kids are out of the house and on their own, and the demands of day to day life have often become very manageable.
Your Work Record Speaks For Itself
Trucking companies are always looking for drivers and owner/operators with a proven track record. With years of working for employers or being self-employed, a slightly older employee offers a track record that a young person simply doesn’t have to offer.
In addition, older truckers have a much longer driving record and history, even if it is not as a CDL holder. A clean driving record for a few decades of driving speaks volumes to a potential employer. Since older individuals are also typically less distracted they often do significantly better at trucking schools, giving them the upper hand over younger students in their cohort group.
Transfer Of Significant Skills
What you do in life does have an impact on all your jobs going forward. When you can discuss with a potential recruiter or employer at a trucking interview how your computer skills, business management skills, organizational skills or ability to work within an organization can transfer to your trucking career, you are scoring major points during the interview.
The key is to think ahead of the interview about the skills, talents and understanding that you can bring to a career in the trucking industry. It is important to bring these up at the interview and to explain this connection to the recruiter or potential employer.
Reliability And Stability
Employers are always looking for employees that are reliable and stable, doing what they say they are going to do and sticking to a schedule. Younger applicants often face a bit of an uphill battle with this, especially if they have had problems being on time, showing up for work or getting the job done in their short employment history.
On the other hand, a seasoned professional that has years of showing up on time, delivering as required, and getting the job done is seen as reliable and stable. Since so much of the trucking industry relies on scheduling and planning, these two attributes cannot be underrated as a key element that employers and potential contractors consider.
Cash And Assets On Hand
Buying a truck and trailer is a huge expense and one that many young people simply do not have the credit score or credit backing to handle. People that have a house that is mortgage free or high in equity as well as collateral such as 401Ks and retirement savings plans often have the opportunity to get the best interest rates or even fully fund the purchase of tractor or tractor trailer unit.
This also provides the individual with the option to go through trucking school on their own, without having to work for a sponsoring company for a set period of time after graduation. With this option the newly trained trucker has much greater freedom to work for different companies and in different types of trucking jobs available in the industry.
Choose Your Work
As an owner/operator you do have the option to select the contracts and assignments you want to take. This means that you can opt to be on the road more or less, depending on your schedule and what work is available. If you don’t have to work to pay the bills but are working to supplement your retirement, your flexibility with scheduling and routes is even greater.
If you choose your work and drive as a couple, you and your spouse can combine seeing North America and making money. You can opt to take loads to specific destinations and then spend a bit of time vacationing and sight-seeing. When you are ready to leave you can locate a load and head off to your next “must visit” spot.
With handy apps to help you find loads and even choose destinations as well as get cheap hotel rooms, vehicle rentals and even resort stays, this is a great option to the traditional option of retiring and RV’ing across the country. Remember since you are trucking a lot of your travel expenses become business expenses, allowing you to deduct that type of travel under load when income tax time rolls around.
Trucking as a second career has a lot of advantages. If you are considering the option do some research online, talk to some truckers and do some reading to see if this career may just be the one to take you through “retirement”.