"You always said you wanted to travel more." This is a phrase which has often been uttered as a romantic gesture, but the idea of 'traveling more' with a significant other has taken a different meaning in the past few years. More and more, the trucking industry is seeing team drivers who not only share the driver's seat, but also the sleeper berth. Yes, couples are signing up, knocking out the pre-trip, and hitting the road to deliver the cargo which keeps this country stocked.
The industry is taking notice by offering great incentives such as above-average sign-up bonuses and attractive benefits packages for team drivers. One major carrier states that team driving "is especially attractive to women who want to earn their CDL licenses so they can work with their husbands or partners." Whatever taboo existed regarding female truck drivers disappeared long ago; replaced by the smart logic of increased earning potential and the allure of a stronger relationship with a significant other.
Indeed, team drivers do make more money (and a lot more of it), especially when that money gets funneled into the same household. One comprehensive report indicates that OTR drivers earn $82,000 on average, while "team truck drivers earn an average of $71,000 each per year." Sure, each driver earns slightly less, but together they're bringing home an average of almost $150K. Higher earnings coupled with lower living expenses make for a lucrative scenario. This is because, as most drivers know, when you're driving, you're not spending.
Trucking couples are not spending cash while on the road, but they are spending a lot of time together. Truthfully, this may not work for a lot of people; chemistry and personality are huge components in the team driving machine, and the parts have to fit together just right, but if everything is in sync, the truck will hum happily down the road mile after mile. One trucking couple found that this system worked for them. "The freedom of the road, the promise of seeing the country, backed by a solid paycheck and benefits, made it an attractive option."