November 11, 2022

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: How to Make Your Team Trucking Trip a Smooth Ride

What is Team Truck Driving?

Team truck driving is when two truckers share driving time for the same truck. Team driver jobs usually require a haul that’s lengthier and more time-sensitive. While this can be dangerous and difficult for many solo drivers, team drivers are much more capable of meeting these requirements since each driver has on-duty and off-duty driving shifts.

By allowing one driver to sleep while the other driver is keeping the rig driving, the amount of down-time a truck has is significantly reduced. The drivers are paid for their combined mileage, which tends to average at a higher amount compared to solo driving. Companies also prefer working with truck driving teams because it expedites their delivery times.

Team driving has its advantages but you need to be cognizant of what you’re getting yourself into. Here are some tips on team truck driving that will help keep the peace:

Map Out a Plan Prior to Taking Off for Your Trip

This one is key for team truckers. Create some sort of system for meeting your shipping goals — it’s important to have ongoing discussions about each other’s expectations. This includes talking over things like determining when each driver will take time to rest during your trip, who will pack essential items to bring on your trip, what rest stops you’ll plan to stop at, or if there are certain locations, or weather conditions, that each team member feels most comfortable driving in.

When you’re a solo truck driver, you have total control over how you map out your day. You can generally choose when to take breaks, where to take breaks, whether to listen to music or a podcast, and so on.

Some truck drivers prefer to drive at night with less traffic, while other drivers would rather drive during the daytime for easier visibility. It’s important to have a system in place on how to delegate these choices. Keep in mind you’ll need to be ok with compromising on some of these decisions if you choose to truck with a teammate.

Trucking Teams Must be Comfortable with Communication

Communication is the key when you’re working so closely together. This means having both drivers actively checking in with dispatchers, supervisors and loading docks and relaying all of the information you receive back to your teammate. If one driver learns about a crucial detail while the other is asleep, or out of the cab, it is absolutely essential they remember to relay this information.

Truck with Someone You Trust

Trust is mandatory for peace of mind while team driving – just think about it. You won’t get very much rest if you’re worried about the other person controlling the vehicle making a mistake. The two of you will have to rely on each other to drive safely and reach your destination in a timely manner. If you don’t have anyone you can trust with that, then team driving may not be the best fit for you.

If it’s done right — and with the right person — team driving can be a great experience. Think about it — You don’t have to try to back up into a tight space alone! It’s also less lonely when compared to driving on your own. In fact, many retired couples or close friends choose to team truck together and really enjoy the travel time together.

Ask Yourself These Important Questions Before Pursuing Team Trucking:

  • Are you willing to share your space?
  • Can you trust your trucking teammate?
  • Are you willing to compromise?
  • Would you benefit from company on the road?
  • Do you and your potential teammate have personalities that may clash down the road?
  • Are you comfortable with openly and frequently communicating with your fellow driver?

Thinking About Team Trucking?

Learn more about team trucking on our blog, or talk to one of our experienced trucking recruiters for more information on team trucking with CRST.