Team driving jobs have become important for getting things delivered quickly. It's when two drivers work together on one truck, taking turns to keep it going all the time and making deliveries faster. More and more truck drivers are deciding to work together in teams. Team driving jobs are great for earning more as two drivers can cover more weekly miles together. Some drivers partner with their husband, wife, or partner, while others choose a family member or friend. Some even find a driving buddy during their CDL training. If you want to know whether team driving jobs are a good choice for you, keep reading on…

Team driving jobs vs. OTR drivers

Deciding between team driving jobs and solo over-the-road (OTR) positions in trucking means thinking about the good and tough parts of each. Team driving jobs are good for more productivity, quicker deliveries, and having someone to share the road with, but it can be tricky with close quarters and figuring out how to share money. Solo OTR driving is good for being on your own, having a flexible schedule, and having your own space, but it can get lonely, and there are rules about how long you can drive. Choosing between them depends on what you like, your lifestyle, and how much money you want to make. It's about figuring out if you prefer working with a team or going solo and making sure it fits with what you want in your life.

How much do team drivers make?

Solo drivers must be off-duty for at least 10 hours per day, creating 10-hour periods where work cannot continue, making them ineligible for certain OTR jobs. On the other hand, team drivers often receive priority loads due to the growing demands of e-commerce and expedited shipping. Teams can cover over 5,000 miles per week, surpassing solo drivers who typically reach around 2,800 miles while managing all tasks alone.

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Benefits of team driving jobs

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:

  1. Team driving is more efficient

Team driving significantly enhances overall efficiency. A single driver is limited to 11 working hours per day, followed by an uninterrupted 10-hour off-duty period. Tasks can be managed in shifts with a team, allowing for nearly half the downtime on OTR trucking trips when strategized well. Having a driving partner not only splits drive time but also expedites tasks like loading and unloading, making the entire process more efficient.

  1. Improved physical and mental health

Solo truck driving, with its long distances and solitary nights, can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. Team driving provides the companionship of another person, bringing a more positive atmosphere during commutes. Regular breaks, necessary stops, and shared experiences along the journey contribute to better physical and mental well-being for team drivers.

  1. Team driving is safer

Driving alone for extended hours, followed by a 10-hour break, can be challenging, leaving drivers vulnerable and isolated. Team driving ensures safety by eliminating being alone during rest breaks. The presence of a co-driver not only reduces the risk of theft but also provides support in case of unforeseen challenges on the road, enhancing overall safety.

  1. Team drivers get more miles

Solo drivers face physical and regulatory limitations, such as the FMCSA's 11-hour driving limit and the mandatory 30-minute break after 8 consecutive hours of driving. In team driving, partners can take turns, allowing one to rest during the 30-minute break while the other continues driving. This results in fewer stops and faster deliveries, enabling team drivers to cover more miles efficiently.

Cons of team driving jobs

Team driving jobs have their good sides, but it's important to know the problems that can come with them. In this section, we'll talk about things drivers need to consider, from getting along with their partner to how it affects their personal life and health. Understanding these challenges helps drivers make smart choices that fit their needs and goals.

  1. Trust issues

Establishing trust is crucial when embarking on a team-driving journey. Without a solid foundation of trust, undertaking team-driving jobs can become fraught with risks. The proximity inherent in such partnerships, whether with co-owners or hired drivers, can be nerve-wracking without complete trust. Having a reliable partner who cares for everything allows for a worry-free journey, even with potential challenges like navigating through traffic without fear of collisions.

  1. Sleep may be a problem

While team driving offers the advantage of resting while your partner drives, the sleep quality may be compromised. Achieving uninterrupted, quality sleep is essential, but the sporadic sleep patterns team drivers endure can disrupt their circadian rhythms. This disruption often leads to grogginess and fatigue when it's their turn to take over the wheel, impacting overall alertness and safety on the road.

  1. Getting along may be challenging

Working with a partner for team driving jobs can be stressful and overwhelming. Overcoming differences, letting go of individual preferences, and adjusting to each other's working styles are essential to successful teamwork. Occasionally, disagreements may arise, and working with an uncooperative partner can turn the entire trip into a potential disaster. It requires effective communication, compromise, and a shared commitment to ensuring a harmonious journey for both drivers.

  1. Sharing money

Deciding how to divide the money earned between team members can take time and effort. Varied driving skills or disagreements on the fair distribution of earnings can result in arguments and impact the overall satisfaction of team drivers with their jobs. Team drivers need to discuss and agree upon financial arrangements that align with both parties' expectations, fostering a cooperative and mutually beneficial working environment.

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Where can you find team driving jobs?

If you want a team driving job and have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), there are a few places where you can find exciting opportunities in the trucking industry. Remember to learn about each job carefully, including the company's reputation, how much they pay, and what it's like to drive as a team. Having a CDL is a great asset; these places can help you find team driving jobs that suit you.

  1. Recruitment agencies

Some agencies specialize in helping people find jobs in the trucking industry. They have connections with various companies and can be instrumental in aligning your skills with suitable team driving positions. 

For instance, at CDL Worker, we connect trucking companies and drivers eager to make their mark in the industry. Our extensive job pool helps company drivers, owner-operators, and trucking companies find each other with diverse roles and preferences.

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  1. Trucking company websites

Look at their website if you want to look for jobs within a specific company. These sites often showcase current job opportunities. Go through the careers or jobs section, where you'll find details about team driving positions and instructions on how to apply. This direct approach provides insights into potential employers and their requirements.

  1. CDL schools and training centers

If you're earning your Commercial Driver's License (CDL) at a school, leverage their assistance in finding a job. Many schools collaborate with trucking companies for job placement. Inquire about team driving opportunities as you complete your training to tap into their industry connections.

  1. Trucking forums and groups

Engage with the vibrant community of truckers in online forums such as TruckersReport. These platforms host discussions about various aspects of trucking, including job opportunities. Participating in these conversations offers a unique chance to learn from experienced drivers and gain insights into potential team driving roles.

Are team driving jobs the right career path for you?

Choosing team driving as your career is a personal decision. Think about the good things like working together efficiently, staying safer on the road, and covering more miles. But remember, it also means trusting your partner, dealing with potential sleep disruptions, and figuring out how to work closely with someone else. The best choice depends on what you like and how you work. If you enjoy working with others, having a partner and can handle the challenges, team driving might be great for you. Solo driving is a better fit if you like working alone and doing things your way. So, think about what you want, what you like, and what suits your career goals. Whether you go with the teamwork of team driving or the independence of solo driving, make a choice that makes you happy and successful in the trucking world.

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