Truckers Work Environment
Some truck drivers travel far from home and can be on the road for long periods at a time.
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers held about 1.6 million jobs in 2010.
Many heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers are employed in general freight trucking. The following table lists the industries that employed the most truck drivers in 2010.
General freight trucking: 33%
Specialized freight trucking: 12%
Wholesale trade: 12%
Working as a long-haul truck driver is a major lifestyle choice, because these drivers can be away from home for days or weeks at a time. They spend much of this time alone. Truck driving can be a physically demanding job as well. Driving for many hours in a row can be tiring, and drivers must load and unload cargo.
Due to the risk of traffic accidents, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers have a higher risk of injury than most other occupations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the hours that a long-haul truck driver may work. Drivers may not work more than 14 straight hours, 11 of which can be spent driving and the remaining time spent doing other work, such as unloading cargo. Between working periods drivers must have at least 10 hours off duty. Drivers are also limited to driving no more than 60 hours within 7 days or 70 hours within 8 days. They must take 34 hours off before starting another 7 or 8 day run. They must record their hours in a logbook. Truck drivers often work nights, weekends, and