If you love traveling and are looking for a lucrative job, trucking might be an option for you.
Transportation of goods is an inevitable need to keep any country running. The demand and supply graph needs balance, and an effective system of transportation is vital for this purpose.
According to the US department for transportation, Trucks hauled 61 percent of the total freight transported in the United States in 2016, and this activity accounted for an estimated 3.5 percent of US gross domestic product.
Truck drivers, nowadays, are quite in demand, and because of the need, the remuneration is also excellent. You can easily make lots of money through truck driving.
According to the National Transportation Institute (NTI), for-hire drivers earn an average annual income of $54,000. In contrast, private fleet drivers make well over $70,000, on average. Plus, you get to travel places and get to drive modern trucks with efficient features and ergonomically designed, comfortable seats. What else could one ask for?
An underlying assumption is that it takes stamina and excellent driving skills to become a truck driver, but there’s more to it than these two qualities.
- Education and training
Understanding the profession well before landing a job helps a person begin with clarity of mind and a lot of confidence. If you want to cultivate the right skills before getting the license, it is advisable to enroll in a professional driving school for certification. Getting trained by a veteran trucker will make you highly competent, along with precious tips to handle any situation. When you go on to apply for truck driving jobs, your certificate will let the employer know you are capable of the job, and they will prefer you.
It is compulsory to have a Commercial Driving License (CDL) to drive a truck in the USA. The process of acquiring CDL involves a skills test, knowledge test, and medical examination. The minimum age to get the license is 18 years.
You need to have immaculate driving skills, physical stamina, and knowledge of load management. You should be aware of traffic rules such as the speed limits, meaning of traffic signs, and do’s and don’ts of driving on highways, intersections, or freeways.
It would help if you also were a pro at social interaction as you will be doing a lot of it daily. Moreover, alertness and responsibility are two must-have qualities of a truck driver. Long hauls, unsuitable weather conditions, and carrying hazardous material may cause stress, so it would help if you learn stress management beforehand.
“The driver on the highway is not safe when He reads the signs, but when He obeys them.”~ Aiden Wilson Tozer
- Advance skills
Knowing how to maintain and repair your vehicle is a plus. If you keep learning advance skills, it will help you climb up the ladder to a better position and pay in your career.
When it comes to trucking jobs, there is a lot of variety among them. There are specialized vehicles that truckers drive to transport several kinds of cargo. Following are the various kinds of jobs categorized under trucking:
- Freight haulers
Freight hauling jobs require the truck driver to transport liquids, hazardous material, and oversized goods from one place to another.
- Dry bulk pneumatic driving
In truckers slang, these are known as flow boys. They are special kind of trailers which transport sand, cement, and other such materials and unload them via air pressure.
- Tanker driving
Tankers are used for hauling all sorts of liquids, like petrol, oil, diesel, water, and milk. They are also used for transporting dry materials such as cement, sugar, and flour in bulk. Tanker driving requires special load management skills to handle and balance elements.
- Auto hauling
This job requires the trucker to haul cars on specialized trailers.
- Dry van hauling
Hauling of perishable and non-perishable items in large trucks is termed as dry van hauling.
- Regional driving
As the name says, truck drivers who drive around their home state are regional. They don’t have to travel to faraway places, which gives them the advantage of staying close to home.
- Refrigerated freight hauling
Medicines, meat, and certain foods require specially maintained temperatures in which they can be kept. Drivers who haul such goods are known as refrigerated freight haulers, or simply, reefers. They need specialized training to set the temperature of the truck, maintain it, and properly store the things.
- OTR driving
As opposed to regional driving, OTR or over the road drivers travel thousands of miles. They travel all over the country; hence they are also called interstate drivers.
- LTL freight driving
LTL or less than truckload are localized delivery jobs that require good transportation and unloading of goods by the driver himself.
- Flatbed driving
Mostly used to transport vehicles, flatbed trucks require the expertise of the driver to secure the goods properly on them.
- Vocational driving
Trucks that are specific to perform certain jobs such as the cement mixers, dump trucks, and tow trucks are called vocational vehicles. And the drivers who drive them also know how to operate them.
TIPS FROM TRUCKING PROFESSIONALS
Trucking is a stable industry that will keep generating jobs in the coming future. According to the American trucking association, about one of every 15 workers is employed in the trucking business. If you have decided to pursue this profession, here are a few tips from the old pros of trucking:
- Fight off sleepiness by getting a power nap before you set off. Sleep deficiency is hazardous for truck drivers.
- Never skip breaks in long drives.
- Give a close inspection to your vehicle before the trip. Ensure the tires, lights, fifth wheel, and all other things are in good working condition.
- Ask for help when you need it.
Hope you have made up your mind? We wish you all the best for your career in the trucking industry!