Team truck driving is one of the most exciting ways to earn a living as a truck driver. It’s an opportunity to make more money, build closer relationships with your team member, and continue to learn the skills needed for your new career as a driver.
While some drivers may prefer the solo journey of traveling across the nation, many others enjoy having another person in the cab for conversation and to keep one another company.
Team driving is an excellent way to build a lucrative career in trucking. Let’s dive into what you can expect from this truck driving job option.
What does team truck driving work?
The team driver concept is simple: two people share a truck, the driving responsibilities, and a 50/50 split of all the duties (i.e., teamwork).
In other cases, this is a secondary position offering support to the primary driver. The first person is called the “lead” driver. They drive more miles than the other driver. The second person is called a “swing” or “backup” driver. They usually have no specific responsibilities other than to be available if something happens to the lead driver.
Team drivers will split their shifts so one person can sleep while the other is operating the truck. This is a great way to maintain delivery obligations without increasing risk to the freight, vehicle, or drivers. This ensures everyone follows DOT rules regarding how long someone can be behind the wheel with a continuously rotating schedule.
How much do team drivers make?
Is team driving worth it? That will depend on your company, types of loads, distance, and other factors. On average, team drivers can expect earn between $0.50 through $0.75 per mile driven, with bonuses for additional miles over specific distances. Most teams drive roughly 4,500 through 5,500 miles a week, which ends up being nearly six figures per driver a year. Team truck drivers can earn more than dedicated or even OTR drivers because they are able to keep drive nearly twice as many miles.
What is it like to be a team driver?
Team drivers can be on the road for weeks at a time, so you must take care of your health and well-being. You’ll want to ensure you’re getting enough sleep and eating properly.
However, team driving can be a lot of fun and a big adventure! You get to build a strong bond with your co-driver as you explore the U.S. There will be down time between loads and for rest, which means time to explore. That is a massive advantage over other jobs requiring people to be chained to a cubicle for the same humdrum work repeatedly.
Why become a team driver?
Make More Money
Team drivers can earn more than solo drivers because their pay is based on the miles they drive. When two people are managing the miles required, it makes things easier. There are many ways to be a successful truck driver while operating as a team.
Higher Priority Loads
A high-priority load has been designated as critical by the customer. As a result, the driver and trucking company will be paid more for these loads.
Team drivers offer more sustainable delivery times than solo truck drivers. Customers will seek out these teams more often, resulting in higher profitability and more consistent work.
It’s not all about the money. Many drivers enjoy their job because it allows them to meet new people and make friends on the road. Team truck drivers often partner with friends or family members. Team driving is a great job for couples and best friends.
There are many examples of husband-and-wife pairs or close partners as CDL team drivers. With all the uncertainty in the current job and economic market, team truck driving offers a more stable solution to financial independence that many couples are attracted to for the future. Not to mention you get someone that genuinely cares about spending time with you.
Better Safety & Security
Team drivers are generally more aware of their surroundings, as they have a partner to keep them company and keep each other safe. It’s also easier for team drivers to stay alert since they know their partner is there with them, ready to help if anything happens.
There are many advantages to team driving—you get paid well, and you can enjoy your time on the road without worrying about getting bored or stressed out from being alone all day.
Continue Your Training
In many cases new drivers are paired with a more experienced driver. This allows you to continue your training on the road. Team driving is a great opportunity to get more hands-on training for your new career.
What are the requirements to become a team driver?
To become a team truck driver, you need to meet some of the following requirements:
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
- Pass a drug test
- Clean Driving Record
- Pass a background check and physical exam, which includes a vision test. If you wear glasses or contacts, bring them!
- Any load-specific qualifications (hazardous materials, liquids, etc.)
- A high school diploma or GED equivalency
Depending on the state, you also have to be at least 18-21 years old and physically capable of driving for long periods.
How to get started with team driving?
If you are looking for a job that offers flexibility and independence, you should consider becoming a team truck driver.
It is a great way to meet new people from different backgrounds. Being part of a team means you will have someone to help you if needed as well as someone who cares about what happens during the day-to-day operation of the business.
Ready to become a team driver? We’re proud to partner with several of the nation’s top carriers! They are hiring team drivers now! Don’t have a partner? No worries, they will match you with a great co-driver! The demand to maintain the nation’s supply chain has never been higher. Our professional team can have you up and running in no time, earning a reliable living as you travel freely with a companion by your side. Fill out the form below to get started.