LONG-HAUL TRUCK DRIVER
Truck drivers are responsible for getting their cargo to its destination safely and on time. Before a trip, the driver checks the truck and cargo to make sure that everything is in good shape. When the trucker reaches the delivery location he or she sometimes helps to unload the cargo and then fills out paperwork about his or her trip.
Some truck drivers work for a trucking company and have regular routes. Tim James, who works for a trucking company, has a regular route and gets to be home two times a week. Other drivers may be sent on different routes every time they make a trip. Sometimes truckers drive in teams, with one sleeping while the other is driving.
Some drivers work in trucks that they own. Owners are responsible for making all payments related to the truck, which can be expensive. They must keep their truck in good condition and take as many jobs as possible in order to turn a profit. When Tim James drove his own truck, he was away from home for four to six weeks at a time.
Trucks today are much safer—and more comfortable—than they were twenty years ago. Most trucks have cabins with TVs, computers, DVD players, microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, and two beds. Most of the time truckers sleep in their own trucks, unless the weather is bad. Some trucks have global positioning systems (GPS) that tell them exactly where they are at all times and help them to communicate with their dispatcher.
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