Imagine working in a career that allowed you to retire with full or nearly full benefits at age of 50. After hanging around at home for a couple months, you eventually decide you need to go back to work just to stay busy. Would you consider truck driving as a second career? A growing number of people are doing just that.
We all expect to see retired people looking for work as retail store clerks and greeters. After all, such jobs keep a person busy without requiring excessive manual labor. Yet for some retirees, spending eight hours a day in a retail setting is less than appealing. Trucking is a different experience altogether.
Ask any major motor carrier, like C.R. England for example, about their over-50 drivers and you are likely to hear that the vast majority of those drivers are fast approaching retirement. Those are the drivers C.R. England and other carriers are working so desperately to replace. So why would over-50s retiring from other careers choose trucking as a second career? There are plenty of reasons.
Forbes recently ran a story discussing this very idea. One of the over-50 truckers they mentioned is a retired telecom expert who grew up around trucks. When this individual retired from telecom, he used his savings to start his own trucking business as an owner-operator. He got his CDL, he purchased a rig, and he found a partner to share driving responsibilities.
This particular trucker’s story is one of pursuing a boyhood dream. Another trucker mentioned in the Forbes story started driving in his 20s before leaving the industry for wholesale textiles. By the time he was 50, he was ready to go back to trucking.
Trucking Has a Lot to Offer
Despite getting so much bad press so often, trucking is a career that has a lot to offer. C.R. England says their efforts to recruit drivers would probably be easier if the industry did a better job of explaining all the best things about trucking to potential candidates. Near the top of the list is the opportunity to travel.
The Forbes story mentioned former airline pilots turning to trucking after hanging up their wings. Pilots are a group of people who already love to travel, so getting behind the wheel of a big rig seems completely logical for retirees wanting second careers. Yet the benefits of trucking go further than just travel opportunities.
Truckers make decent money – 40-50K in the first year alone. That’s not bad for someone already receiving retirement benefits from a first career. Good pay is further enhanced by unparalleled job security. As long as a trucker does his or her job and follows company policies, there’s very little chance of being let go.
Yet a third benefit of truck driving is the opportunity to work independently. For people who have been confined to offices, cubicles, or manufacturing lines for 30 years, there is a certain amount of freedom attached to climbing into a truck cab and driving down the highway.
Truck driving is certainly not a career for everyone. It is also not the best choice for every retired person hoping to stay busy. For the right kinds of people though, truck driving is a wonderful way to spend the final decade or so before full-time retirement comes calling. Companies like C.R. England are looking for drivers of all ages and experience levels. They are not alone, either. The open road is open to anyone willing to undergo training and work hard after obtaining a license.