To enjoy a successful truck driving career requires you to pick the right career path for yourself. A truck driving career is not for everyone. However, for those who enjoy driving and enjoy life out on the open road, a truck driving career can be an excellent career choice. Truck drivers, especially over the road truck drivers live very busy lives as they drive all over the country. This can be a great sense of adventure as they get to see so many areas of the country and meet new people each day. This is great for people who don’t enjoy working at desk jobs or other jobs where they are confined to a specific place each day. Truck drivers are in motion for the greater part of each day. Those looking to get started in the trucking industry have a variety of jobs to choose from.
Dry Van Trucking involves hauling dry van freight. Dry van trailers are boxed cargo compartment trailers designed to hold non-refrigerated items. Dry van freight is the most common type of freight hauled by commercial trucking companies. Dry van freight can include a great array of products such as beverages, food, paper products, furniture, etc. The list can be endless.
Refrigerated Trucking involves truck drivers hauling refrigerated trailers also referred to as Reefers. Refrigerated trailers are used to haul freight which must be temperature controlled. These trailers are equipped with a refrigeration unit needed to protect cargo that requires temperature controlled shipping. The refrigeration units on semi trailers are most often located behind the cab. Examples of freight requiring refrigeration are flowers, frozen foods, prescription drugs, dairy products, etc.
Low Boys (Heavy Equipment)
Bull Haulers (Livestock)
This freight is commonly referred to as over-weight and over-limit freight. Heavy haul truckers move freight such as tractors, trailers and even houses. Heavy freight requires special permits and handling. Truckers must be very skilled in moving these loads. They must be skilled in lifting and unloading the freight. They must be able to plan their routes. They also must also be aware of their surroundings at all times to be able to anticipate problems that may occur. Escorts frequently travel with these loads with signage indicating a wide load or oversized load.
Flatbed Trucking involves hauling a trailer which has an entirely flat, level “bed body” without sides or roof. These types of trailers haul loads that won’t fit in a dry van trailer. Flatbed trailers can accommodate a variety of loads. Flatbed trucking is hard work and can be dangerous. However, many drives enjoy these loads because it gives them a sort of workout. They find dry van trucking boring. The hard part of flatbed trucking is tarping the load. This involves the use of tarps to secure the load. It also involves climbing on top of the trailers and the load to secure the cargo. This can sometimes be difficult to do especially in windy weather. Also, hauling flatbed loads require that you periodically stop to check the load and readjust it if it has shifted.
Team truck driving is basically when two people share a truck and driving responsibilities. They work together as a team. Trucking companies like to hire teams because this gives them the opportunity of run their trucks approximately 24 hours per day. One benefit of team driving is the companionship each driver offers to the other as truck drivers are often lonesome on the roads. This is a great benefit to the mental health and wellbeing of both drivers. Also, a partner is readily available to help if assistance is needed with a routine matter or an emergency.
Tanker Truck Driving is the hauling of liquids or gases. The liquid does not have to be a hazardous material. Milk is an example of a non-hazardous material that can be shipped in a tanker. Fuel is an example of a hazardous material that can be transported in a tanker. Permanently mounted cargo tanks are often attached to the truck. A special hazmat endorsement is required to haul hazardous materials in these tanks.
A successful truck driving career depends a lot upon you. You must choose the type of freight you want to haul. If you are just beginning your truck driving career your choices may be limited. You will need to gain some experience in the industry. However, once you become more familiar with the trucking industry you can look into other options. If you try something and don’t enjoy it, you can easily switch to some other aspect of truck driving. The trucking industry offers a variety of options for those committed drivers willing to work hard. Set goals for yourself early in your career. Put a plan of action in place which will help you to get to where you eventually want to be in the trucking industry.