For those starting your trucking career, you may have many questions. First, what kind of freight do you want to haul? Do you want to head out across the country, or would you prefer to focus your driving in a specific region? As you make these decisions, you’ll have another important factor to consider: do you want to drive solo, or as a team?
As you reach the end of your CDL Training Program at Prime, you’ll get to decide whether you want to hit the road by yourself or take a friend along with you. If you’re unsure which you want, we’ve listed some of the pros and cons of each for you.
Why choose team driving?
When you’re team driving, you’ll get to take someone else along with you on the road to share your time and travel with. Let’s go over why someone might choose team driving:
Pros of team driving:
- More money. As a team driver, you’ll be able to keep your truck running for double the time that you would as a solo driver. Usually, team drivers will switch off when one is done driving for the day, meaning that you can keep your truck going for significantly longer. This extra run time means you can potentially earn more than you would alone. Though your earnings are split in half, overall you can still earn more since you’ll be delivering your freight in half the time it would normally take.
- Companion by your side. The road can get lonely, and it can help to have another person there. Many people choose to take their spouse along with them on the road, eliminating the days and nights that would otherwise be spent apart from one another while earning money together. You might also decide to get a friend into trucking to come along with you, which can help you to get a nice referral bonus too.
Cons of team driving:
- Disagreements with team driver. Matching drivers isn’t a perfect process, and you may not get along with your team driver 100%. It’s no different than disagreeing with a coworker or roommate, but you will need to learn to manage each other’s expectations to accomplish your job. When you drive, be sure to practice your conflict resolution skills and avoid instigating arguments. You can always reach out to your support system at Prime including your Fleet Manager or Operations Supervisor to help address concerns or issues, as well as potentially find you another team partner to run with out on the road.
- Schedules can be mixed. Since your truck is running almost always, you may be sleeping when it’s still light outside in a moving truck. While this is definitely doable, it will take some getting used to. You’ll have to work with your team driver to plan stops for showers or food to avoid taking up double the amount of time too. This can be a good topic to discuss prior to getting into a truck with your team driver to make sure you both agree on a driving schedule. Things can always go differently than planned out on the road, but it’s good to discuss how you ideally will tackle each day together.
Why choose solo driving?
Solo drivers take on the road by themselves, responsible for making all of their own decisions. Wondering why someone might choose to be a solo driver? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pros of solo driving:
- Have it all to yourself. Truck cabs aren’t exactly known for their spaciousness, so sharing can be a struggle for some. If you’re all about having your personal space, solo driving is the path for you. You won’t have to worry about how you store your personal belongings or leaving your bed unmade — so long as you keep your truck safe, professional, and tidy, you get to choose.
- Total control of how you work. Team truck driving requires a lot of work with your team driver to determine your schedules. For instance, you may end up being the person who has to drive from 3 AM to 11 AM, and it might not be your favorite shift if you aren’t a morning person. When you drive solo, you’ll get to determine when you get up and when you run as long as you deliver your freight in a safe, timely manner.
Cons of solo driving:
- Decreased earning potential. While truck driving is still a lucrative profession, your earnings potential may not be as much as it would as a team driver. Solo drivers must stop for the night, while team drivers can keep the truck moving by switching drivers. If you like seeing higher numbers on your paycheck, you may be more cut out for team driving.
- Isolation. When you’re in a truck by yourself all day, it’s common to feel separated from the rest of the world. If you’re an extroverted person, you could find yourself getting bored quickly if you’re alone. Plus, sometimes it can also help to have an extra set of eyes and an extra pair of hands to help you accomplish the tasks you need to keep your truck running.
Are you interested in becoming a team or solo driver?
Enroll in Prime’s Program. Once you’ve completed our truck driver training program, you can run as a solo or team driver and have a profitable career with Prime.
If you have more questions, reach out to our recruiters, and we will get back with you shortly.