Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Being part of a successful truck driving team can be a lucrative and enjoyable career, as long as you have the right driving partner by your side.
Some choose to team up with their spouse, sibling, parent, battle buddy or a long-time friend. Others find their team truck driving partner while at truck driving school, at a truck stop or through the company they work for. Schneider even offers a Team Matching Program to help new drivers partner up.
No matter how you select your partner, it is important you both share a common goal and have a trusting relationship.
And if you just recently met a potential team partner, it is important to interview and get to know their personality and driving style. The following are some of the top questions you should ask your partner before signing up as a team:
Top 6 questions to ask a potential driving partner
1. How long do you want to stay on the road at any given time?
A good driving team is made up of partners with similar driving interests. Although a major characteristic of team driving is driving longer distances and being away from home longer, not every team driver will have the same preferences when it comes to time away from home.
For example, some drivers like to stay out on the road for as long as possible, while others prefer to get home more frequently.
So, be sure to communicate with your potential partner to make sure that your preferences align.
2. What do you plan to bring with you out on the road (cooler/TV/etc.)?
Team drivers will often share more than just the space they’re living in; they’ll also share items like coffee makers, coolers, cooking equipment and televisions. Before hitting the road with a partner, discuss what items each of you will be bringing to share within the cab.
3. What sort of tools do you need?
There is only so much available space in a semi-truck, so you’ll want to avoid doubling up on items whenever possible. Taking inventory of all the tools you’ll need on the road is a great way to make sure your repair kit is stocked with only the essentials.
4. What are your driving preferences?
One of the biggest differences between solo and team driving is that team drivers take turns driving while their partner is either on break or sleeping.
Because of this, it may be beneficial to team up with a driver who has different driving preferences than you. For example, if you’re someone who hates driving in busy cities, it may be a good idea to find a partner who prefers the hustle and bustle of busier roads.
5. Are you allergic to anything?
It’s important for you and your partner to inform each other about any allergies either of you have before partnering up. Discussing allergies will help you figure out what things you will need to keep out of your shared living space and can help you decide if you and your partner are a good fit.
For example, if you are a smoker, you won’t want to partner up with someone who has asthma that is triggered by allergens like cigarette smoke.
Additionally, asking about allergies can lead to important conversations like how to respond should either one of you experience an allergic reaction when on the road.
6. What kind of driving experience do you have?
Before asking this question, consider what you’re looking for in a driving partnership. Are you looking for a driver with the same level of experience as yourself or are you looking for someone you can learn from or mentor?
Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, talk with your potential partner to see if your goals align.
After you’ve asked the questions
If you feel like your potential partner is a good match after you ask these questions, the next step is to continue to talk and get to know each other. You can either do this by meeting up in person or chatting via video or phone call. We also recommend inviting a close friend or family member to get their input on the potential team truck driving partner.