Why More Seniors are Becoming Truck Drivers
Today goods are being shipped across the United States like never before thanks to the success of retailers like Amazon and Walmart. The increased transportation of goods has resulted in additional demands that trucking companies have been struggling to keep up with. The increased demand has rendered the shortage of over 50,000 truck drivers even though employers are will to pay as much as $80,000 annually to fill the positions.
This demand and supply equation has created some beautiful opportunities for retirees who are free to take on a job that can give them plenty of extra money.
How to Become a Truck Driver
You’ll need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if you want to become a truck driver. There are three CDL classifications: A, B, and C. The latter two are for smaller vehicles like passenger vans, buses and dump trucks. However, you’ll require a Class A license if you want to drive a tractor-trailer.
You’ll need to take these steps if you want to get your CDL license.
Obtain a CDL Manual
You can pick up a CDL manual at one of your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle locations or can simply download a copy from the website.
It’s better to review the manual to confirm if you qualify. In most states, if you’re 18 or 21 and have a valid driver’s license you are eligible for it.
Pass a Series of Written Tests
Once you’ve made sure you qualify for a CDL license, the second step is to pass a series of written tests at your nearby DMV testing site to qualify for a commercial driver’s instruction permit (CDIP).
You require this permit because you cannot practice driving a tractor-trailer with a regular driver’s license.
Some CDL licenses ask for endorsements for which you need to pass additional tests to obtain it. This includes:
- Class H: Hazardous Materials
- Class N: Tank Vehicles
- Class P: Passenger-Carrying Vehicles
- Class S: School Buses
- Class T: Towing a Double or Triple Trailer
You Must Pass a Series of Skills Tests
After this, you’ll have to pass numerous skills tests to prove your proficiency in driving a commercial vehicle. You’ll need to take your test in a tractor-trailer rig in order to obtain a Class A CDL license. If you require endorsements, you also need to have to pass tests for those.
It is possible to obtain your CDL license on your own. However, it’s better and more convenient to attend a CDL training school. The training will provide you both the classroom training and hands-on learning that you require. In addition, some training schools have collaborations with trucking companies and they assist students in getting a job upon graduation. Other trucking companies usually reimburse the fee you paid at CDL training school if you work for them.
Obtaining a CDL license without attending a training school is a matter of a few hundred dollars. The biggest expense you’ll have to pay involves the renting of a truck in which you take your test. However, the cost of a truck driving school usually runs between $3,000 and $7,000.
Occasionally, a truck company that you’ve decided to work for will provide the training you require and will even allow you to borrow a truck for your test. This is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to become a truck driver.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Truck Driver?
One essential benefit of driving a truck after retirement is the extra cash that it brings in. This is one of the major benefits as many seniors are struggling to make ends meet.
In fact, over 50 percent of retirees have savings of less than $10,000, and one out of three have no savings at all.
Employee benefits are another attraction for seniors to drive a truck. A majority of trucking companies pay excellent benefits, including retirement plans and life insurance. These benefits provide a retiree with extra financial security.
Benefits usually include prescription drug coverage, medical, dental and vision. This is essential to a senior who is relying on Medicare for health care coverage because Medicare does not cover some of those services. Besides, many truckers also get paid vacations and receive holiday pay.
While they were doing their jobs and raising families many retirees couldn’t travel much. But now, when they have time, they might not have money to bear travel expenses.
By driving a truck will enable the retirees to visit different locations within the US, that had been hitherto unknown to them. Does it not make traveling even more interesting as it will come with financial benefits?
It’s common for two truck drivers to operate as a team. This allows a husband and wife work together and both get paid.
Teams usually make long hauls in less time as team members can alternately drive. Occasionally, teams can earn bonuses that increase their annual salaries to over $100,000.
Sense of Accomplishment
Retirees are often dislike their inactive life after a life full of activity during their years at work. At first, they may enjoy watching TV, playing cards and socializing. But as the routine prolongs, they get bored and ultimately many retirees long for a more productive life.
Driving a truck provides them a sense of accomplishment, particularly if they like helping people.
If you are not enjoying your retirement and are finding a way to fill your time, you need to probe the benefits of driving a truck. Eventually, many retirees find the experience of driving to be very satisfying.
As a truck driver, you can travel and earn a good living at the same time.