If you are considering a career as a truck driver, you might wonder if you are the right person for the job. There is no such thing as the right person for becoming a trucker. Truckers come from all walks of life and have got into the profession for a variety of reasons. Some people become truckers for financial gain. Others have personal reasons for enjoying being out on the open road. For some, truckers and trucking offers a sense of nostalgia.
It is important for you to know what is entailed in becoming a trucker. The requirements for getting into truck driving are the same across the board. It does not matter your former education, what careers you had, or your secular background.
It All Starts with the Trucks
Truck driving is one of the most important jobs in the U.S. economy. Not only does it fuel the economy by providing honest work for millions of individuals, but it also serves as the lifeblood of the country, transporting goods from one place to another.
One reason so many people feel attracted to trucking is because of the diversity of trucking jobs available. Some trucking jobs require a driver to get further education for them to operate their vehicle safely. Other jobs require truckers to take on additional responsibilities and develop new skills as they go.
A flatbed truck is built and operates differently than tractor-trailers. To operate a flatbed truck, the trucker needs additional knowledge. For example, freight and cargo must be secured following the proper procedures. This differs from how a tractor trailer loads. According to the experts at Hale Trailer, “Flatbeds are a great trailer option for carrying a variety of freight, especially larger quantities of heavier items. They are not well-suited for taller cargo and have limited loading and unloading capabilities.” This is great to know before you step into the industry and knowing what you can haul with one.
Drivers need to be familiar with the goods they are transporting and how these goods need to be secured. Because of the extra responsibility involved, flatbed trucking typically has a higher salary than other types of trucking.
Some drivers reach the point where they want to work for themselves. They can search the Internet and talk with colleagues to find new or used flatbed semi trailers for sale. An experienced flatbed truck driver can expect to have stable employment and earn a decent salary.
Drive Van Truckers
For many truckers, their first experience behind the wheel is in a dry van truck. These are large single trailer trucks. The name dry van is used because the trailer primarily transports dry goods that are not perishable. Most dry van truckers are not responsible for loading or unloading their own trucks.
A tanker truck will transport liquid. This is a challenging and often dangerous job. It is sought after in the trucking industry because of its steady work and high pay. These truckers are required to transport hazardous liquids and liquids that are not hazardous.
Other examples of trucks and trucking jobs include freight haulers, refrigerated freight drivers, and LTL freight truckers. As you can see, it is a diverse industry, allowing for growth as a trucker’s skill and education level grows.
What Licenses Do Truckers Need?
In order to operate heavy trucks, drivers need a valid CDL license. To get a CDL license, drivers must pass a background check, a written exam, and a driving test, and receive CDL training. Drivers must be at least 18 years of age. To drive across state lines, drivers must be 21. The requirements and testing for CDL varies from state to state.
What Should You Expect on the Road as a Truck Driver?
The life of a trucker on the road differs from that of other people. As a trucker, you eat differently, you sleep differently, and you see travel not as a measurement of miles but as a time of departure and of arrival.
Passengers in passenger vehicles look at trucks and imagine the cargo they have and the exotic places they are visiting. Truckers look at cars and wonder where they are going and what they are doing.
Truckers have to become accustomed to being away from their loved ones for a long time. Boredom is part of the job. It is as if truckers live in a parallel dimension.
Trucking has many positives. Driving alone gives you time to think about things. You are able to see the countryside from a perspective that most people can only imagine. Depending on your route, you may travel through half of the states in the country inside of a month.
Trucking offers many financial perks. If you want to be a trucker, do your homework. Get a balanced view of trucking, including the good and the bad. Armed with this knowledge, you may turn trucking into a lifestyle you enjoy.