Team Driving With Your Spouse
Team driving with your spouse can be either the best decision you will ever make or the worst mistake you will ever make. There are pros and cons to every driving job, and team driving with your spouse comes with special challenges such as not having any time apart and being forced to compromise instead of arguing.
Team drivers often face a much more grueling schedule than solo drivers because they can drive almost all the time without running out of hours. A team can drive 22 hours per day, leaving them almost no time for food, fueling, loading or unloading. Carriers often hire team drivers rather than solo drivers because the loads get delivered faster. Being confined in the small space of a truck for that many hours is difficult for even the strongest couples. It is essential that each spouse have at least half-an-hour each day away from their spouse, even if they are only showering.
Each member of a team usually makes about the same amount of money as a solo driver, meaning that their income is about double that of a driver that runs solo. Some companies pay team drivers significantly more than solo drivers because they can deliver loads much faster as two people than one. The other reason that teams usually make more money is because they usually spend less time at home than solo drivers. Having your spouse with you all the time means that you don't have to make frequent trips home to visit them.
It is best for couples to clearly define who will be responsible for certain tasks. For example, one spouse may be in charge of paperwork and bill paying, while the other is in charge of communicating with dispatch and fueling the truck.
Being together 24 hours per day is hard on all relationships. Some couples find that being together for short periods of time works well, but their relationship suffers if they spend too much time together. The good thing about team driving with your spouse is that you won't have to miss them. One bad thing is that many couples are accustomed to sleeping together and having to drive while their spouse is sleeping is a big adjustment.
Being a team driver usually means that you are on the road about 50 weeks per year. This doesn't leave you much time for visiting family and friends. Being with your spouse all the time and not being able to see any other friends or family can be challenging. Some teams only accept dedicated runs to places where their family or friends live so that they can spend a few hours every week or two visiting with people they love.
Making the Right Decision
The choice to team drive with your spouse is a very difficult one. It is best to test-drive the arrangement if you can. Try going on a run for a week or two and see how things work out. Some couples enjoy their time together and wouldn't have it any other way, while others can't wait to get out of the truck and have some time to themselves. Most couples have to spend hours on the road together to work out a schedule and systems that work for both spouses.