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A team truck driver is a person who drives trucks as part of a team. Using a driving team allows a truck to be on the road continuously, resulting in faster delivery of the products on board. In order to be a team truck driver, it is necessary to have a license to drive a commercial truck. Some trucking companies offer training to their employees, while others expect people to be fully qualified when they apply.
In response to safety concerns, a number of nations have passed laws concerning the trucking industry. Individual companies must comply with these laws and may also have separate regulations to address concerns of the union. One of the most critical safety regulations is a limit on total driving hours. Limits are supposed to prevent accidents by mandating rest periods for truckers. A single trucker must periodically stop for rest and cannot deliver products as quickly as a result.
A team truck driver drives with another driver. While one driver operates the truck, the other rests or sleeps. The truck can be kept continuously moving for the most part, with periodic stops for hygiene and food. Drivers on a team can work out their own schedule and hours; they may take long or short shifts, for example, to allow varying amounts of rest.
Driving a truck on the open road is physically and psychologically demanding. A team truck driver must deal with all of these demands in addition to negotiating a relationship with another person in a cramped space. Team truck drivers have to be able to trust each other, to work out amicable agreements about shifts, and to be able to make concessions to work well with each other. In exchange, they get the companionship of another driver and the ability to move loads very quickly, sometimes receiving bonuses for quick trips.
Some companies hire couples such as husbands and wives for team truck driving. For some couples, truck driving professionally can work very well within the relationship because the partners are close and enjoy working as a team. It is also possible to pair up drivers who do not have an existing relationship.
A team truck driver looks out for the other driver on the team, keeps a log of her or his hours and activities, and observers all relevant laws, such as laws dealing with controlled or hazardous substances in transit. Team truck drivers also negotiate the terms of wage splits and other matters with their partners to keep things as fair as possible.