Team Driving: Great for Some, Hell for Others

Hello again – it’s Ryan and I’m finally back after 3 months of paperwork requests, delays, and hard work negotiating with my bank, I finally have the permits and funding in place to start my own logistics and trucking company!

Thanks to everyone for their help and support!

While I’ll have another post on this process later this year, I did want to spend some time on an aspect of my career when I was first beginning in the trucking biz.

Good Way To Start But…

Like me, when many drivers begin their careers, they consider team driving. This is where two people work together, often taking it in shifts to drive the truck. While this is a sure-fire way to get business right off the bat and edge out competition, there are some definite drawback.  Today I wanted to cover both the pros and cons of team driving so you can make an informed decision on if it’s right for you.

Let’s start by looking at some positives of team driving. Because you’re driving in shifts, you can transport items faster than a solo driver, often only stopping for small breaks along the way. Team driving can often be a good way of gaining experience behind the wheel. If you are trying to learn a new area it may be beneficial to consider doing some team driving. If you get along well with your co-driver it can be a great experience. However, team driving does have some downsides.

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolate…

One of the biggest misconceptions about team driving is that you will be able to pick your co-driver. While some companies allow this, most don’t. You may find yourself teamed up with someone who is your complete opposite. As you can imagine this makes forming a successful partnership very difficult.

When confined to the cabin of a truck for hours on end small disagreements can quickly grow to major rifts. Additionally, there is very little privacy. Your co-driver will know every time that you go to the toilet or talk to your family.

If that thought makes you uncomfortable then you might want to re-consider team driving. It’s also possible that your co-driver won’t share your work ethic, meaning you could be stuck driving for longer shifts.

Trust Is Key

Another problem with team driving is that you will have to have an immense amount of trust in your co-driver. Because you are driving for long shifts, often with only short breaks, you will have to sleep while the other person is driving.

This can be challenging enough in a noisy moving vehicle, but if you can’t trust your co-driver it is almost impossible. Lack of trust can turn driving into an incredibly uncomfortable experience, causing you to stress every time the other driver is behind the wheel.

Finally, some people believe that team driving is going to prepare them for solo driving. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Some teams have one person who is the leader, making all the important decisions. This will make it difficult to gain decision making experience, which will make the transition to solo driving very difficult. Additionally, if your co-driver points out every mistake you make it will undermine your confidence and you may never feel ready to become a solo driver.

In Conclusion

While team driving can be a fun adventure for some, and a great way to start trucking quickly, your experience depends largely on who your co-driver is, something over which you usually have very little control.

However, if the detriments discussed in this article sound manageable, you might be well-suited to a team driving environment.

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