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Monday, November 15, 2010

Team Truck Drivers




Many truckers out there prefer to drive their rig alone, but others enjoy having a friend or their spouse to be on the road with. The idea behind team truck drivers is to get deliveries made faster. They truck is able to go further in a 24 hour period because you have two drivers that can drive. They can each drive all of their hours of service and then switch or drive in timed shifts.





Most team truck drivers decide to drive in full shifts so that the other person can get sufficient rest. Basically the team will stop at regular intervals so each can eat, shower, and use the bathroom. Each person that makes up the team has to keep their own log book of their hours of service, both on duty and off duty.





This is one of the few times when it is acceptable to have more than one log book in a semi truck. Generally this practice is banned so that truck drivers can’t be accused of running with more than one set of books in order to manipulate the hours of service regulations.





The biggest advantage to having team truck drivers is they can get deliveries to the destination in half the time of a solo driver. Most trucking companies send their team trucks on routine routes because they want to keep the customer happy by always having the deliveries completed on time.





Many team truck drivers are sent over the road with hazardous materials because they are on the open road for less time. The truck is generally on the move instead of being stopped for hours at a time due to the hours of service regulations that will result in a solo driver parking the hazardous load and waiting until they have new driving hours.





There are a couple of downfalls to the concept of team truck drivers though. First, many people have their own way of doing things and this will carry over to taking care of the truck. It can create issues when each person wants things to be done their own way. Secondly, it can make it difficult for couples because even though they are in the truck for many hours per day together, they get very little time to actually spend together.





It can also be difficult to stay with a set schedule when there are traffic hold ups, delivery delays, and other unforeseen events. If the team truck drivers aren’t doing their finances together such as best friends driving together it can be tricky to divvy up earnings. Most trucking companies pay team truck drivers half of the overall miles completed for a given trip to avoid such issues but this is dealt with on a company by company basis.





Many trucking companies place new drivers with an experienced driver to show them the ropes over the road. This type of team truck driving can be very uncomfortable and strained. Since neither person knows the other they may find it difficult to get into a routine that works for both of them. It is also hard for the new driver to learn because he or she should be sleeping during that period of time. Likewise, the experienced driver may find it difficult to sleep with someone so inexperienced behind the wheel of the semi truck.