What Is Team Driving Like? Pros and Cons Of Team Driving
Are you curious about team driving and wondering if it might be the right career move for you?
Team driving is a strategy where two qualified CDL-A team drivers share driving duties in a single truck, taking turns driving and sleeping. With team driving, you can take advantage of the 11-hour driving limit per shift and potentially earn more money. But like any career move, there are pros and cons to consider. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of team driving to help you make an informed decision. Let's dive in!
The Pros of Team Driving
Team driving offers a variety of benefits for truck drivers, including increased earnings and improved efficiency. Here are some of the key benefits of team driving:
- Increased Earnings: A team driver’s salary can potentially be more money than solo trucking because they can run significantly more miles than they could on their own. Despite the pay being split between the two drivers, truck driving teams can log anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 average miles driven per week, compared to solo drivers who typically log between 2,400 and 2,800 average miles driven per week.
- Improved Efficiency: When one driver takes a break, the other one keeps going, allowing the haul to keep moving at all times. This reduces downtime and delivery times, which can result in more jobs and higher pay. Team driving can also be more efficient and secure than solo trucking because one person can watch the truck while the other grabs food or takes a shower, eliminating the need to leave the truck unattended.
- More Priority Loads: Team drivers are often considered before solo drivers when freight needs to get somewhere fast, which means they can see more priority loads. This can lead to more consistent work and potentially higher pay.
- Companionship: Trucking can be a lonely career, but team driving allows drivers to have a companion on the road. This can be especially beneficial for married couples who want to spend more time together, but it can also be comforting for friends or co-workers who want to share their driving duties and have someone to talk to. Sharing the driving experience can create a sense of camaraderie and make the job feel less isolating.
The Cons of Team Driving
When it comes to team driving, there are certainly some drawbacks to consider before jumping in. Here are some of the most significant cons to keep in mind:
- Lack of personal space and freedom: As a CDL team driver with a co-driver constantly by your side, you may feel like you never have any alone time. Sharing a living space means compromising on everything from food choices to how to spend downtime.
- Sleep difficulties: Sleeping in a truck bed while your partner's at the wheel can be one of the challenges of team driving, especially if they're noisy. The noise and movement of the truck can make it hard to fall and stay asleep.
- Differences in opinions and schedules: Pre-planning a trip is an art, and when you have to share it with a fellow team truck driver, conflicts can arise. You may have different preferred routes, shift schedules, or driving styles, which can cause tension within trucking teams.
- Togetherness overload: Even when your team driver partner is sleeping, you're still together, and that can go from wonderful to torturous in about three days if you don't have the right temperament for it.
- Lack of control: As a CDL team driver, you won't have complete control over when you run, take breaks, or sleep. You'll need to plan everything with your co-driver, which can be challenging if you have different schedules or preferences.
- Difficulty finding the right co-driver: Not everyone is cut out for team driving, and finding the right co-driver can be challenging. You need to find someone who you can work well with, share a living space with, and trust to keep you safe on the road.
Considering these potential drawbacks, it's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of team driving before deciding whether it's the right choice for you.
What It's Like to Be a Team Driver
To better understand what it's like to work as a team driver, we spoke with several drivers who have worked in team driving situations. They shared their experiences and insights, highlighting the benefits and challenges of this approach.
One driver, Mike, said that team trucking has helped him improve his time management skills and reduce stress on the road. "With a driving partner, I can focus on driving while my partner rests," he explained. "This allows me to stay alert and focused, which is important for staying safe on the road."
Another driver, Mary, noted that team driving can be a great way to build relationships with other drivers. "I've made some great friends through team driving," she said. "Sharing the experience with someone else can create a sense of camaraderie and make the job feel less isolating."
However, not all experiences with team trucking are positive. Some drivers have experienced conflicts with their driving partners, which can make the job more challenging. One driver, Wallace, shared his experience with a difficult driving partner: "We just didn't get along," he said. "It was a stressful situation that made the job harder than it needed to be."
Despite these challenges, many drivers feel that the benefits of team driving outweigh the drawbacks. By working together, drivers can be more productive and efficient on the road, while also building relationships and friendships with other drivers.
Choosing the Right Driving Partner for Team Trucking
One key factor in a successful team driving situation is choosing the right driving partner. Compatibility is key, and drivers need to be able to communicate effectively and work together to achieve their goals.
When choosing a team driving partner, it's important to consider factors such as personality, work style, and driving experience. It's also important to establish clear expectations and boundaries from the outset, to avoid conflicts down the road.
Tips for building a successful team driver partnership
- Talk it out: Communication is key, so make sure you and your team driver partner are willing to have open and honest conversations. Share your thoughts and feelings with each other, and be willing to listen to feedback and criticism.
- Stay flexible: Team trucking requires flexibility and adaptability. You may need to adjust your schedules and work styles to accommodate your driving partner's needs. Be willing to work together to find a solution that works for both of you.
- Set expectations early: To avoid any misunderstandings down the road between team drivers, it's important to establish clear boundaries and expectations from the start. This could include things like sleeping arrangements, driving schedules, and personal preferences.
- Show some respect: In a team driving situation, it's important to be respectful and considerate of your driving partner. Make sure you're mindful of their needs and preferences and work together to find solutions to any problems that arise.
Remember, driving with a partner can be a great experience, but it requires some extra effort and communication to make it work. This goes for everyone from CDL team drivers to solo drivers working with a colleague. So, keep these tips in mind and have a safe and, successful trip!
Is team trucking for you?
Team driving is like having a buddy system on the road. You can make more money and get work done quicker, not to mention have a friend to chat with during those long hauls. But like anything else, there are some downsides too.
Sharing a truck with a fellow team driver often means you have to compromise on things like personal space, sleep, and even what you eat. It's not always easy, and you might even butt heads sometimes. But if you can find a team trucking partner you click with, it can be an incredible experience.
If you're thinking about giving team trucking a shot, remember that finding the right partner is key. You want someone that you can trust and communicate with, and who has your back on the road. You'll need to talk about everything from schedules to sleeping arrangements and make sure that you're both on the same page.
So, there you have it – team driving has its ups and downs, but for some folks, it can be a great way to make a living. Just remember to keep an open mind, be flexible, and most importantly, treat your driving buddy with respect. Good luck out there!
Are you a truck driver considering new opportunities to grow and thrive in your career? At MigWay, we value the hard work and dedication of experienced truck drivers like you. With competitive pay, a supportive work environment, and the latest, well-kept equipment, we're confident you'll love being a part of the MigWay team.
If you're interested in learning more about the opportunities we offer, connect with a recruiter and start your journey with MigWay. Remember, the right partner and the right company can make all the difference in your trucking career.
We look forward to welcoming you to the MigWay family!