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The trucking industry is unique in that if offers a variety of jobs within the trucking industry. Truck driver recruiter jobs are one such option. This is first and foremost a sales job. If you have a pleasant personality and the desire to help others find employment opportunities that are right for them this could be the perfect job for you. There is a high turnover rate of drivers in the trucking industry so trucking companies are constantly in need of new drivers to replace those that leave.
Numerous trucking companies and some truck driving schools hire recruiters to recruit truck driver instructors. Some of these jobs are on site jobs. However, some of these jobs allow you to work from home. You typically are required to have a phone, a computer, a pleasant personality and the ability to sell applicants on the benefits of working for the specific company you represent. The pay structure will vary based upon each company. The company might pay a base salary plus commission or it could strictly pay commission only. Your job will be to get as many drivers as possible to sign up with the company or companies that you represent.
Trucking companies are constantly on the lookout for new drivers due to a high turnover rate in the trucking industry. There are several reasons people choose to become truck drivers. Fortunately, there are a variety of different trucking jobs available within the trucking industry. The trucking industry is vital to the economy of this country. Consequently, companies are constantly seeking to hire drivers to increase their staff and to replace those drivers that retire or quit. This assures the trucking company that they will be able to meets its needs.Choosing to work as a truck driver recruiter provides an employment opportunity for drivers that know the trucking industry who want get out of the truck but still want to work in the trucking industry.
Truck drivers are a unique set of individuals. A truck driving career is not an option for many individuals. Some get into trucking because they enjoy the lifestyle. Others get into trucking as a last resort due to a lack of other viable employment opportunities available to them. Those that choose to become truck drivers come from all walk of life. They have different needs and reasons in choosing a truck driving career. They also may have different needs in terms of the type of trucking company they want to work for. Some get into trucking because they enjoy the lifestyle. Others get into trucking as a last resort due to a lack of other employment opportunities available to them. Your job would be to get the best possible match for them.
Your job as a recruiter is to sell them on the benefits of working for the company or companies that you represent. Some recruiters are good and some are not good. Strive to be the best that you can be. This is the reason you must be knowledgeable about the company or companies you choose to represent. You should always be honest with your client. Never misrepresent the clients with statements that you know are not true. For example, don’t tell a client that they are entitled to a one month vacation after working for one year if you know that is not true. Make sure that you show that you have integrity in dealing with potential clients and always ask for referrals. If you do a good job for someone chances are they will refer others to you. You surely won’t get a referral from an individual that believes you deceived them about a company so be truthful. You will be glad will a client lets you know that they appreciate the guidance you gave them.
Selling commercial trucks and tractors can provide very lucrative careers for those that enjoy selling and working with customers. This is true regardless of whether you are selling new or used trucks. A CDL is not required to be a successful salesperson. However, if you have a CDL and have actually worked in the trucking industry you already have a significant amount of knowledge about heavy trucks and the trucking industry. Therefore, if you enjoy the trucking industry but want to get out of driving trucks you might want to consider selling or leasing commercial trucks. Even if you have never worked in the trucking industry you could become knowledgeable about heavy trucks which would enable you to be able to earn a good income. Other opportunities include working as sales recruiters whereby you would seek out potential truckers and others with sales skills.
Employment qualifications will vary depending on the company you choose to work for. Experience with heavy duty truck sales or truck equipment sales may be preferred but not necessarily required.Typically you will be trained by the company that hires you which may teach you additional skills which would enable you to be a successful sales person. This training could involve teaching you how to analyze, utilize and compile prospect lists for the purpose of calling or meeting with potential customers. You may be taught how to explain to actual and potential customers information regarding the benefits of the truck or tractor they are considering purchasing or leasing. You may also be taught how to effectively present information and respond to questions from managers as well as to customers and potential customers. You may also be taught how to prepare neat, accurate reports of business transactions and well as expense accounts.
If you need help with sales skills You might consider taking a sales training course which would enable you to learn proactive sales skills. There are a number of institutions that can provide you with courses in sales training that can teach you the ins and outs of selling vehicles. Among many other things, with this type of training you will learn the importance of being proactive in your sales techniques. This could also involve information on the value of remaining in contact with your customers which could result in future sales or referrals.
Your expertise on the various makes, models, and other details of the commercial vehicles you are selling is extremely important in being able to provide customers with the best trucks or tractors that meets their needs. You should also have good listening and speaking abilities which would enable you to interact with managers as well as customers. If you enjoy working with people and are a good salesperson you can earn a good income. It is very important that you listen to your customers as they indicate what their needs are. Your customers will need information on the engine, transmission, wheelbase, etc. and most importantly they want to be assured that they are choosing the best commercial vehicles for their needs.
Selling commercial trucks can be challenging. Therefore, you should be well informed about the capabilities of the trucks or tractors you will selling. Also, be knowledgeable about the weight requirements and other restrictions that may be applicable in the regions they will be used. Each successful sale could increase your confidence and enable you to further increase your sales. It is important that you listen to what your customers needs are. This enables you to effectively direct them to those vehicles that you believe would work best for them. You also should have patience. Every customer is not necessarily going to make a purchase on their first visit. They may require more time to think through their options after all commercial trucks purchases are major investments.
Commercial trucks are major investments for those that purchase them and they want to make the best decision possible. It is a decision that they will consider very carefully before they commit. Therefore, you must have a certain amount of patience as they think through their decision. Whenever you make a sale and the customers are satisfied by all means ask for referrals. If possible maintain a relationship with your customers for possible future sales and referrals. Your customers will know that you worked hard to meet their needs and they will thank you and possibly be repeat customers themselves.Selling commercial trucks can be difficult. Having said that, if you’re well-equipped with the right information and desire to meet your clients needs you’ll be able to find success in no time. Another tip that can increase sales is to maintain a relationship with your customer. It is important to connect with the individual to show them that they can trust you and your trucks to meet their needs. In this scenario, you can also depend on the truck buyer to be a repeat customer.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you should never pre-judge your clients. I remember a case where a man walked into a dealership and approached a salesperson and was given the cold shoulder because of his somewhat shabby appearance. That was a big mistake. A different salesman walked up to this man with the biggest smile on his face, introduced himself and offered the man his hand. They shook hands and the salesman talked to him to determine what his needs were and showed him their available tractors. Well this man turned out to be the owner of a small trucking company. He walked out of the dealership after having placed an order for ten top of the line tractors. I’m sure this salesman got a very nice commission. Hopefully, that other salesman learned a lesson that day. Remember the old saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Keep that in mind and you won’t lose sales unnecessarily.
I was living in the Atlanta area so he directed me to one of the technical schools in my area for the training. This school was absolutely wonderful for me and very inexpensive. If cost is a consideration for you I suggest you check out community colleges or county operated technical schools in your area. They are probably the least expensive way to obtain training.
We were taught every thing we needed to know to enable us to be successful truck drivers. The next few weeks were spent on the driving range. This is where we actually began the driving part of the class. The driving range was consisted of a parking lot which was roughly the size of two football fields pushed together. There were 3 International Diamond Reo over the road tractors and 48 foot long trailers with sleepers. All of the tractors had dual tandem drive.
There are many opportunities for CDL drivers that want non-trucking jobs. These could be newly licensed graduates, retired drivers or others that want to seek other opportunities in the trucking industry. Fortunately, there are many available opportunities in the trucking industry which gives drivers many options. A CDL is a very versatile document so use it for what works best for you.
Here are 10 different non trucking jobs you may be qualified to get with your CDL:
1. Truck Driving instructor: Teaching jobs are available for those that want to train students to become CDL drivers. Trucking schools, community colleges, corporate training schools and some trucking companies train drivers. Good, patient instructors are needed to teach their students. Everyone learns at different rates so you must have the patience to work with drivers of different capabilities. If you train your drivers well they will have good employment opportunities available to them. If you enjoy teaching and have the dedication and patience to work with students and their different personalities this could be an ideal job for you.
2. Commercial Truck Or Equipment Sales Person: These jobs typically require only a high school diploma or equivalent. Some but not all require applicants to have a CDL. Prior experience may be preferred but not necessarily required. You must be interested in sales and your own success. You must have a pleasant personality, good work ethics and the ability to close sales. Good verbal communication skills are a plus. For additional information on selling commercial trucks & tractors please check out this link on truck sales.
3. Recruiter: Recruiters are needed for trucking companies, bus companies and other agencies that require licensed CDL drivers. Companies know that well trained drivers are an asset to their business. Companies desire to have good top-notch drivers on their staff. Your job as a recruiter is important because you will be recommending those applicants that you believe are best for the job. Their success in doing their jobs well is a great reflection on you and your ability to choose drivers wisely.
4. Supervisor: Your job as a supervisor can go very smoothly if you have good staff. Good drivers are a must for companies because it reduces driver turnover as well as cut down on the number and frequency of accidents. If you notice that some drivers require more help than others you should be willing to help them without either of you developing an attitude. Drivers want to be trained well as it equips them to be professional and safe drivers on the road and helps to give your company a good reputation.
5. Commercial Bus Driver: If you enjoy working with people you might want to consider working for one of the nationwide bus companies. If you choose to work for one of the nationwide bus companies you would need to be able to deal with unruly passengers, crying children at times or other unexpected things so you must be able to deal with these situations. Another possibly is driving for Charter bus companies. Charter bus drivers are also known as motor coach drivers. They transport people on chartered tours or trips. You also must have knowledge of the areas and amenities available to passengers as you may also serve as a tour guide. Tour bus drivers often find these jobs to be very pleasurable because the passengers are usually pleasant and enjoy the tour. Tour drivers must be able to keep the tour on schedule and account for all passengers because they often get out of the buses to take pictures and explore landmarks or other attractions. If you like working with children you might consider becoming a school bus driver. Every driver is different which is the reason you need to consider what type of bus driving job would work best for you.
6. Tractor Trailer or Bus Inspector. These jobs require a CDL in most states because you must be able to drive the vehicles and be able to properly inspect them. This enables you to detect any problems so the mechanics can repair the vehicles. You might also need to inspect the vehicles after the repairs are made to make sure the mechanics didn’t miss anything.
8. Personnel Supervisor: Once you become very knowledgeable about the trucking industry and gain experience you can move up to the role of supervising others. This would require you to directly oversee the daily activities of the company. This includes the workload and personnel of those companies that depend upon the use of vehicles to meet the needs of their normal operations.
9. Transportation Supervisor: The job of a transportation supervisor directly oversees the daily activities and workload of those that depend on good working vehicles for their various operations. Transportation supervisors are vital in maintaining maximum operational efficiency while also minimizing costs. Companies that hire transportation supervisors include a variety of companies such as government agencies, manufactures, freight companies, food and beverage companies to name a few.
If you have bad credit and want to own or lease your own truck you’ll be glad to know that it’s entirely possible even it you’ve filed for bankruptcy. You’ll probably have to pay a higher interest rate than someone with good credit. Also, you may have to pay a larger down payment. The terms of your contract will depend upon the requirements of the lender and your specific circumstances. Nevertheless, there are a variety of commercial truck financing options available from commercial lenders.
Truck drivers can lease commercial vehicles through the trucking company they they work for. However, buying or leasing a commercial truck through an outside agency will give you control over your future. Some trucking company lease purchase programs are successful. Unfortunately, many of them are actually a scam as they are deliberately designed to fail. Leasing your commercial vehicle through an outside lenders give you control over your commercial vehicle.
Commercial loan lenders have specific requirements for commercial loan approvals. Additionally, obtaining commercial vehicle financing could depend upon whether you are buying a truck from a private owner or a dealer. Also, the lender will take into consideration whether you will be leasing or buying a new or used truck. Furthermore, it could depend upon whether you will be working for a trucking company or starting your own trucking business.
I suggest that you check with banks or finance companies to determine available options and requirements before you start shopping for your commercial truck. You could possibly pre-qualify and get a commercial finance loan commitment prior to shopping for your truck. The benefits of pre-qualifying will enable you to know in advance the amount of funds the lender is willing to loan plus your down payment requirement. Your down payment will be based on your credit history plus the price and type of commercial truck you intend to purchase or lease.
Most commercial lenders offering commercial truck financing will finance both new and used commercial trucks. Although some commercial lenders prefer to finance commercial trucks purchased from dealers rather than those purchased from private parties. Whether you want to lease or purchase new commercial trucks or used commercial trucks for sale make sure the lender you select offers the appropriate financing.
If you have good credit it a good idea to check with your local banks or credit unions especially if you have a relationship with any of them. If you have challenged credit it’s a good idea to check with a commercial finance company that offers credit for those with all types of credit histories. Commercial finance companies are accustomed to working with borrowers that have various types of credit. Frequently,they can make quick decisions. Oftentimes, if they can’t make a loan at that time they may tell you what you need to do to enable you to receive a commitment for future commercial loan approval. For example, they may tell you how to improve your credit score and to reapply in six to twelve months.
I suggest that you submit only one application at a time. Get as much information as you can concerning the lenders reputation because you want to be sure you are dealing with a good company. Also, determine the types of commercial loans the company offers plus their income and credit requirements, etc. prior to actually submitting an application. The reason is because each time you apply for credit an inquiry shows up on your credit report.
It’s a good idea get a copy of your own credit report and credit score prior to to take with you prior to submitting an application. If the lender looks at it and says they definitely can’t make a loan at this time, there is no need to submit an official application. If it’s okay the lender will order an official credit report. if your initial application is turned down at one lender you can certainly apply to a different company. However, don’t apply to more than a few. This is because too many inquiries can actually lower your credit score. It’s important to do your research prior to going shopping for either new or used commercial vehicles.
Thousands of accidents involving heavy trucks occur each year on our roads and highways. These accidents result in thousands of deaths as well as serious, catastrophic injuries. The majority of heavy truck accidents are caused by drivers of cars, suv’s and other passenger vehicles. Nevertheless, plantiff attorneys are quick to blame truck drivers for causing these accidents. Accidents involving heavy trucks especially semi trucks also get a lot of media attention possibly because they attract more attention than passenger vehicle collisions.
Plantiff attorneys will jump on these cases in the hopes of securing huge settlements or other favorable verdicts for their clients. Awards in these cases can be in the millions of dollars. Consequently, plantiff attorneys will look for any reason or excuse to blame the driver or the carrier for causing the accident in order to strengthen their cases.
For example, they will check driver logbooks looking for discrepancies. If you keep paper logbooks you should make sure they are accurate. Beware that falsifying logbooks can result in serious consequences including fines, penalties and jail time. Attorneys will also check to see if you have been disciplined for various reasons or if you have a poor prior driving history.
These attorneys will look for anything they can find to use against you in court. Oftentimes, a plantiff attorney will also investigate the carrier to determine if the trucking company you work for has a history of allowing less than safe equipment to go on the road. This can include looking at carrier maintenance records to determine if they can find any problems with the truck you were driving or any other trucks in the fleet. These attorneys are hoping to be able to show a “pattern of neglect” of the company in maintaining the safety of their trucks and equipment. Attorneys can claim this even if there were no mechanical or other problems with the truck actually involved in the accident.
Truck drivers greatly benefit by having competent well qualified truck accident attorneys to represent them in these cases. Knowledgeable, experienced trucking attorneys can do a wonderful job of defending truck drivers unfairly accused of causing accidents. If the driver did cause the accident and readily admits it there is usually no reason to go to court as the insurance company will cover the claim. The same applies if you were not driving within your allowable legal limits.
For example if you were involved in an accident outside of your allowable driving hours you would most likely be held responsible for causing the accident. The reason being is that if you were driving and didn’t have legal driving hours to be driving you had no business being on the road. Consequently, a plaintiff attorney can easily convince the jury that “but for” you being at that specific place at the specific time of the accident, the accident could not have possibly occurred. You simply don’t have a legal defense.
You could claim that you were not sleepy or otherwise impaired at the time of the accident but it will not help your defense. Legally, you should not have been on the road at all. Consequently,the insurance company will be responsible for paying the claim. Additionally, you might also face other charges.
If you did not cause the accident you should take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your job and your reputation. This means you should consider hiring an experienced truck accident attorney. Semi truck accident attorneys do an excellent job of defending truck drivers in most cases. Consequently, trucking accident attorneys will be able to give you the best possible defense in proving your case.
Drivers of heavy trucks may require the representation of knowledgeable lawyers for a variety of reasons during their trucking careers. Accidents involving heavy trucks typically cause greater harm than other vehicles simply due to the size and weight of the trucks. Truck drivers should specifically become familiar with trucking accident lawyers that represent truck drivers in the event they are involved in a trucking accident. Truck drivers that drive semi trucks should specifically seek out semi truck accidents lawyers. Knowledgeable trucking lawyers can competently work on your case to protect your interest. They can be a great asset in securing justice for you.
Truck drivers are vulnerable to being sued in the event they are involved in a trucking accident. They are often unfairly blamed for being responsible for accidents that they are involved in but did not actually cause. There could certainly be times when the truck driver is responsible for an accident. There are also a number of times when the truck driver was not at fault and is just being blamed or framed for the accident. Therefore, truck drivers may be the true victims of other drivers. They risk suffering physical injuries, pain, suffering and even death. They may also incur expensive medical bills. Furthermore, they could be at risk of loosing their jobs.
The primary reason other drivers might want to blame truck drivers is because the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident doesn’t want to be blamed and held responsible. Primarily, they see the possibility of a large financial settlement if the truck driver is deemed to be liable. Consequently, it’s common for these drivers and their passengers to take both the truck driver and the trucking company to court and seek huge awards for vehicle damage, lost wages, medical expenses plus pain and suffering. Consequently,truck drivers are forced to defend themselves.
Trucking companies have very competent lawyers to represent their interest and often manage to escape liability. Truck drivers should also have very competent truck accident lawyers to represent them. Poor representation for truck drivers could cause them to be unfairly held liable for accidents. This could cause them to be penalized. They could be forced to pay fines or risk other penalties for example in the event of log book violations. Additionally, they could lose their jobs including the inability to get future truck driving jobs. Truck drivers could be the true victims in a crash for cash scheme. They could also be severely injured or killed in which case their estate will need quality representation. Semi trucks are often chosen to be the vehicle used in a crash for cash scheme. Drivers of semi trucks should specifically seek out a qualified semi truck accident lawyer. Truck accident lawyers have a greater knowledge of the trucking industry and the factors that truck drivers face than general practice lawyers. Therefore, they are often able to offer superior representation for truck drivers. Where circumstances warrant they can also obtain better settlements for injured truck drivers and their families.
It’s important for you to check the credibility and experience of the trucking accident you plan on hiring. If you drive a semi truck get a semi truck accident lawyer that who has relevant experience in the trucking industry. The lawyer should also successfully handled several cases like your in the past. Keep in mind that a qualified, knowledgeable experienced truck accident lawyer could be your best asset.
James, an Atlanta, GA. resident found himself living on the streets of Atlanta. James had been working as a Sociologist in the Atlanta area. He was downsized and found himself out of work after working for the same company for ten years.
He had a 401K plan, a savings account and unemployment benefits. However, after two years without work, his 401K and savings were gone. He had also exhausted his unemployment benefits. He lost his residence and sold his personal possessions cheaply.
For a short time he was able to stay with friends and family members, but after time he wore out his welcome. Without money to buy food or pay for a place to live, He found himself living on the streets. He had sought refuge in homeless shelters. Unfortunately, all of the homeless shelters were full. James was able to get food through some of the churches in the area.
After two months of living on the streets he was able to get into a shelter. He started regularly attending one of the churches in the area. James became friends with Raymond, who worked in the trucking industry. Raymond encouraged James to consider employment in the trucking industry. Raymond told James about the salary he could expect to make and the short amount of time it would take him to get started as a professional driver.
James had never considered trucking as a career. He always fancied himself to be a white-collar worker. He thought his job was secure for life. He thought that working in the trucking industry was beneath him. After all, he held a Masters degree in Sociology. So he continued to tell Raymond that he didn’t want to work in trucking.
Well, after constantly being unable to get another job, he thought about it and decided to give it a try. However, he didn’t have any money to pay for trucking school. To his surprise, the congregation offered to pay for the training. He took the class, passed the CDL Licensing Exam and went to work for the same trucking company as Raymond. He currently works as a longhaul truck driver.
James says the best decision he made was to get into trucking. He takes as many loads as he can. To his surprise he found out that he enjoys being on the road. He had never seen so many areas of the country before driving. For the first time in almost three years he is earning good money. He is able to save quite a bit of his income and is rebuilding his nest egg. He says that he now earns over $50,000.00 per year.
Retirees are increasingly looking to the trucking industry as new career possibilities. Many older adults retire and soon find themselves with too much time on their hands. They get bored watching television all day. They soon tire of congregating with older couples at center citizen centers spending their days socializing, watching movies, playing cards or other games. They long for something more productive to do. A career in trucking gives them the opportunity to see the country while earning money. This often gives them a sense of accomplishment, adventure and satisfaction. These retirees are some of the newbie truck drivers entering the trucking industry.
Meet Warren and April, a newly retired California couple who decided to enter the trucking business. Both recently retired from their jobs and decided to go into trucking after determining that it would be a good way for them to see the country while earning money. Warren was somewhat familiar with the trucking industry having driven for a short time in his 20’s. He had to get his driving skills up to speed after not having operated a heavy truck for so many years. He did this and obtained his Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and passed the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) physical. He then taught his wife April how to drive and she too obtained her CDL.
They decided to own and operate their own trucking company with their one truck and trailer. They had two primary reasons for doing this. First and foremost is that they didn’t want dispatchers setting their schedules. They both have retirement income going to their bank each month so they don’t have to concern themselves with basic income. They wanted to be able to set their own schedule. Operating their own business allows them to work as they choose. They can work a few weeks and take a break if they choose.They sometimes take weeklong breaks if they want to vacation in an area of if they want to visit friends or family members in different states.
Although, they work as team drivers, they didn’t want to work as team drivers for a trucking company. Trucking companies hire team drivers because they want to keep their trucks running around the clock. Warren and April wanted none of that. As independent business owners they can alternate driving time between them as they choose. They can work when they want to work and be off when they want to. Such are the benefits of operating independently. Additionally, they can take loads going to areas they want to go to.
They bought a used truck and trailer from a dealer at a good price. They also shopped very carefully for the proper insurance and licenses. Finally, they obtained their operating authority and were in business. They get regular freight from a few companies and this works out well for them. They are successful fleet owners and are enjoying their new life on the road.
Truck drivers can be quite successful operating their own trucking business. Many operate for years with just one or two trucks. You will certainly have more freedom than if you worked for a major carrier. Good planning is a must so start with a good business plan. You must obtain the appropriate licenses and insurance. Finally, you must have a marketing plan which should include sources for getting business.
A well thought out business plan is a must. In fact it is one of the most important parts of running a business. It is like a road map. It will enable you to determine if you are reaching your goals. Unfortunately, many truck drivers don’t see the need of having a business plan, especially if they plan to be the only driver. However, even small fleet owners need business plans. It may be somewhat time-consuming to make a plan, but it can definitely benefit you in the long run.
This article was originally publshed Nov. 29, 2012 on Ezine.com.
Truck Driving is one of the best jobs in the world for traveling around the country while earning money. Couples working as a team enjoy the benefits of earning money and seeing the county while having their sweetheart with them. Trucking appeals not only to young drivers, but to older drivers as well. Many couples whose children are grown are happy to have the freedom to be on the road. Retired couples are also very attracted to truck driving.
Eleanor and Cecil are a young couple from Minnesota. They were high school sweethearts. Cecil was 25 years old when he got his CDL License and began longhaul driving. He enjoyed driving and was earning good money. However, he would only be home an average of two to three days per week. This was causing some stress in their relationship.
However, Eleanor upon realizing how much Cecil enjoyed the road, decided to look into driving herself. She was working a local job on a fulltime basis. She decided to enroll in the truck driving training program at her local community college. She worked her regular job during the day and went to truck driving school at night. A few months later, she took and passed the CDL License Exam, quit her day job and was hired by the same company as Cecil. They began driving as a team.
They have been working together for the past five years and are very happy with their relationship, the money they’ve been able to save and the plans that they are making for their future. They are looking forward to starting a family at which time Eleanor says she will take a break from driving to become a full time homemaker.
George and Sandra are a couple in their mid forties. George had been driving since he was about 28 years old. Sandra decided to join him once their children were grown and out of the house. Initially, she was just going to ride along with him. However, at some point she decided that she could drive herself. George taught her during breaks on the road. And when they returned to their hometown, she took the CDL License Exam and became a driver right along with him. They are thoroughly enjoying their time together on the road and plan to continue doing so until they retire.
Maurice and Cindy are a Midwestern farming couple. They have worked as team driving for years. However, they only drive half of the year. They work on the farm during the growing season and drive the rest of the months. They are able to earn enough money from driving six months of the year to pay their bills for the entire year. They call this the perfect life.
Retired couples go into trucking as the beginning of a new adventure. They may take grandkids along with them and all enjoy a grand adventure of seeing the country while earning money along the way.
This article was originally published Oct. 30, 2011 on Ezine.com.
You’ve done your research and have decided that the life of a commercial truck driver is just the career you want. So where do you start?
The first step should be to evaluate your health. Certain conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure could limit your possibility of becoming a commercial truck driver. The Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to undergo a physical exam. The exam is valid for up to 24 months. The medical examiner may issue a medical examiner’s certificate for less than 24 months when the client has a condition such as high blood pressure which needs to be monitored.
Educational Requirements: Some companies have specific educational requirements, but others do not. Those that do may require a high school degree or the equivalent G.E.D. They do want you to have reading skills and the ability to follow directions. You will need to be able to read directions sent to you on Quailcomm. You will also need to know how to read bills of lading, and other important documents.
Truck Driver Training: There are various options to explore. There are advantages and disadvantages to each program. Select the option that best meets your needs.
Community and Local Colleges: These are typically the cheapest option. The courses typically are thorough, inexpensive and drivers receive can receive good training. These typically last longer than classes offered by other commercial training centers. An additional benefit is if you are successful in obtaining a CDL you are free to work for any company that will hire you. This allows you to have more choices as opposed to being limited to being hired by a specific company.
Commercial truck driving schools: These schools are more expensive than community colleges and also have shorter training periods. Some offer various payment plan options. One of the problems with these programs is that even if you don’t pass the CDL exam and can’t receive your license you will owe a substantial amount of money to the company.
Trucking company training programs: These are popular with many drivers because many of them provide training with no money down. In return, they require you to work for them once you receive your CDL for a specific amount of time. There is a major drawback to this program and that is if you fail to successfully complete the course you will owe a substantial amount of money to the company. Another drawback is that if you do receive your CDL and don’t like the company you can’t legally leave until you’ve paid back the loan. Finally, your contract with the company that provided your training could prevent you from being hired by another company until the cost of your training is paid back.
Driving Record: Your driving record is important. You should answer all questions on the application truthfully. If you have been charged with drunk driving you should disclose this on your application. Trucking companies and their insurers will request your motor vehicle history. If you have a history of accidents you will not be a good choice for a trucking company.
Drug Test: You must be able to pass a drug test prior to hiring. Additional random drug tests will be required at other times. Some of these are random tests. Others are done if you are involved in an accident.
Criminal Background Check: The majority of transportation companies run at least one type of criminal record history background check on truck drivers. This can be national criminal record searches. These could include state searches and federal criminal district searches. These could also include county-level searches for misdemeanors and felonies.
There are many things that determine success or failure in any given career. Trucking is no exception. Suitability for the career is one consideration. Job satisfaction is another. Proficiency in the career is another. The life of a longhaul trucker is unlike any other which is the reason it is referred to as the trucking lifestyle.
Numerous drivers love the life of a longhaul trucker and are very successful. They also make a good living. Other drivers despise it, become miserable, are not able to earn the income anticipated and fail. Truck driving is not a career choice which should be make lightly. Trucking can be a great career but it is not for everyone. Do your own research to determine if it is the right career for you. Ask yourself the following questions to assist you in making your decision.
1. If you are married or have children does your family support this career choice?
Family considerations are very important in making a career choice such as trucking as it is unlike others. You may go days and weeks without seeing your family. This may be stressful for you and your family. You may also miss important events such as birthdays. weddings, school functions and funerals. A truck driver spoke about how devastated he was when his trucking company didn’t make any effort to get him home for his father’s funeral.
2 Are you able to spend days and weeks alone in a truck?
As a longhaul truck driver you will be alone in your truck for the majority of the time. Solitude is one of the negatives of truck driving. You will need to decide if you can handle this for days on end.
3. Can you handle the expenses of living on the road?
It is expensive to live on the road. You have limited shopping options when on the road. Truckstop food is very expensive. The cost of doing your laundry is also expensive. You will find out that many things are expensive on the road.
3. Are you able to make an adequate income in trucking?
This is a major consideration. New drivers typically work long hours for low pay. If you are looking at high salaries for truck drivers advertised in various publications these may not apply to new drivers. You will need to decide if the salary is worth the sacrifice of going over the road or if you would be better off working at a job close to your home.
4. Can you handle the stress of truck driving?
Truck driving is a very stressful career due to long hours driving and pressure to meet delivery schedules. Furthermore, drivers deal with delays due to road construction, accidents, etc.
5. Do you get along well with people?
You will need to interact with various people such as dispatchers, shippers, receivers, dock workers, etc. Some of these people may be disrespectful to you and actually treat you like you are a second class citizen.
6. Are you able to manage with a limited amount of sleep?
You may have very erratic schedules which means you will not have a set time to sleep each night. Additionally, You have to find a safe place to sleep. Currently there is a shortage of safe places for truck drivers to sleep each night. This puts many drivers at risk when forced to park in unsafe areas.
7. Can you handle paperwork requirements?
One of the responsibilities of truck drivers is keeping up with paperwork. This includes logbooks, bills of lading, receipts,etc.
8. Are you willing to work in a career which often leads to poor health?
Truck drivers have a higher rate of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and other conditions than the general population. Consequently, they also have shorter life spans.
9. Can you handle different weather and road conditions each day?
On any given day you can go from sunny weather to rainy weather to snow and ice conditions. Can you prepare for all of these varying weather conditions? Furthermore, traffic and road conditions vary. Accidents can have you stuck on highways for hours.
This information is not to discourage you from becoming a longhaul driver but rather to enable you to make an informed decision. There are pros and cons to every career including trucking. Take your time to consider this information and other factors to determine if longhaul trucking would be a good career choice for you.
It is common knowledge that truck driving is a dangerous career with a high risk of accidents. Be that as it may, truck drivers suffering with sleep apnea are at an even greater risk of being involved in accidents. Recent studies have shown that truck drivers are at high-risk for sleep disorders including sleep apnea. Approximately 30% of truck drivers in the United States suffer with mild to severe sleep apnea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. CDC recommends monitoring of sleep quality, sleep duration, disorders and behaviors in order to show its health impact on Americans. This is a major concern for those in the transportation industry including truck drivers. This is because sleep disturbances compromises mood, performance and alertness which can result in a drivers inability to pay attention to their surroundings including road conditions. This increases the risk of accidents which often result in death or injuries. Over 100,000 vehicular accidents and 1,500 deaths annually are caused by sleep deprivation.
Obstructive sleep apnea is (OSA) is a condition where your breathing stops for short periods of time when you are asleep. It is characterized by pauses or decreases during breathing while you are asleep as a result of the airway being narrowed, blocked, or floppy whereby the muscles have become too relaxed. While it is normal for throat muscles to relax like all other muscles when we are asleep if you have OSA, the throat muscles are too relaxed and floppy during sleep which results in a narrowing or a complete blockage of the airway.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing on and off throughout the night. This causes the driver to wake up without having a good night’s sleep. This disrupted sleep leads to daytime sleepiness which increases the risk of accidents. Excessive daytime sleepiness is one of the key symptoms of OSA. Truck drivers with OSA typically wake up exhausted as opposed to being rested.
Insufficient sleep results in sustained wakefulness. This results in a condition similar to alcohol intoxication which causes an impairment of diver performance. Truck drivers which drive with untreated sleep apnea are impaired in their abilities as it is equivalent to driving with a 0.5 to 0.8 blood alcohol level. A 0.5 equivalent blood alcohol level can result from up to 15 hours of sustained wakefulness. Some drivers have benefited with the use of natural methods to treat sleep apnea.
Truck drivers are tested for sleep apnea. Testing involves a sleep study which can be done in a sleep lab. A sleep study can also be done as a home sleep test based upon the physicians judgement. In this case a driver can wear a portable testing device overnight and download it to their physician the next day. A sleep test can be a good indicator of whether one has sleep apnea.It is very important that testing be done so that the driver can receive the best device to treat their sleep apnea.
The information on this page and other health information pages on this site are for general information only. This information is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for medical advice.. We suggest that you review the information and consult with your own health practitioner for specific information and suggestions concerning your specific health needs.
You’ve earned your Commercial Driver’s License and are ready to begin your first job as a professional truck driver. Well not so fast as you will need other skills and attributes in order to be a successful driver. While obtaining a CDL is the primary requirement to be hired as a professional truck driver, you will need other skills and attributes as well which have nothing whatsoever to do with your driving skills. New drivers are often overwhelmed by the knowledge they must possess or skills needed for them to be successful on the job.
Good mental stamina is certainly necessary. Truck drivers especially longhaul drivers must deal with different situations daily. They will be driving in different weather conditions, various traffic conditions and different dock situations. Drivers may have different assignments daily and different schedules. This makes it difficult for many drivers to get sufficient rest and oftentimes, they continue to drive when they are stressed out and exhausted. Drivers who lack good mental stamina may not do well in the trucking industry.
Route planning is a very important skill to have. You will need to know how to plan the most efficient route for your trip. Therefore, you will need to have good map reading skills or invest in a good quality GPS unit. If you fail to take the time to plan good routes for your trips you will lose valuable time, possibly get lost and certainly become very frustrated.
Organizational skills are a must to keep up the day to day requirements of the job. You must keep up with paperwork. You must secure the bills of lading for all trips. Also, be sure to keep receipts of any items that you pay with your own funds that are to be reimbursed by your company. This can include things such as unloading fees or other incidental fees.
Good time management skills are crucial in the trucking industry. You will discover that many loads have specific pick-up and delivery times or that you have a limited window in which to either pick up or deliver your load. You will need to be able to correctly estimate the amount of time that you will require in order to safely keep schedules.
Driver safety is obviously very important. Never speed just to keep appointments. You should always maintain the proper speed for the roads. Take time to do a pre-trip inspection on your truck and trailer to help assure that your vehicle is safe to drive before you get on the road. Take care to avoid dangerous situations on the highways. You should be aware of your surroundings at all times. Take the necessary steps to avoid being a crime victim. Seek out safe truck stops for overnight or extended parking so you can get sufficient rest.
Good driving skills are important, but mastering non-driving skills as well will help you to be a very successful commercial truck driver.
Originally published Dec. 30, 2011 on Ezine.com
Truckers look forward to locating truck stops to purchase fuel and to get necessary repairs made. Drivers especially look forward to finding available parking spaces at the end of their shift. They know that they can look forward to getting rest or a good nights sleep. A commercial driver’s quality of life on the road often depends upon truck stops and their amenities. Truck Drivers depend upon them for fuel, repairs, food, rest and safety. Many drivers have pulled into them late at night only to find that there were no available parking spaces. This has forced them to continue driving in search of suitable places to park even though they may have been totally exhausted. Currently, there is a shortage of suitable safe places for drivers to park. Many drivers have been forced to park in unsafe places after being unable to find available parking space at truck stops. As a result some of these drivers have been robbed, injured or even killed.
Truck Stops are vital to the trucking industry and provide a vast array of comforts for commercial drivers. Truckers know they can eat, shower and relax and enjoy other amenities. Drivers often have favorite facilities which they frequent and they often try to get there early enough to get an overnight parking space. Initially, truck stops were small operations which replaced local filling stations on highways. However, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 which established an interstate highway system in the United States. The interstate system has affected every citizen if not directly as motorists, then indirectly because every item we purchase has been on the Interstate System at some point.
Truck stops developed along these highways as a way for motorists to get fuel without having to leave the highways going into small towns looking for fuel. Eventually, as the trucking industry developed, they began offering more services. All provide at least the basics: fuel, weight scales and restrooms. Many provide repair services including mobile service vans which provide assistance to drivers stranded on the roads. Many offer towing services as well. They provide showers for drivers, information, faxing/data transmission services, clothes, souvenir shops, gaming centers, load board information, truck supplies, movie theatres, exercise rooms. Some even offer walking and running trail maps. Restaurants offer a variety of food choices for patrons. Lounge areas provide comfortable areas so truckers and travelers can relax and socialize with others. Drivers also have access to money transfer systems such as Comdata.
Many of these truck stops sit on ten to 30 or more acres of land. In fact many offer so many provisions and amenities that they don’t even refer to themselves as truck stops anymore. These state-of-art facilities call themselves travel plazas, stopping centers and traveler’s stops among other terms. Whatever they call themselves drivers appreciate them and enjoy the various amenities offered. Many drivers in the past have referred to truck stop food as a joke. However, many of these locations today offer a wide variety of food including many healthy options. Many offer fresh salads, broiled chicken as opposed to fried and low fat versions of favorite comfort foods including low fat desserts. Of course the traditional foods along with home cooked desserts are still available. Drivers can actually get very good meals in many of these facilities today.
Truck stops are plentiful along major routes. They are easy to find because they have signage posted along interstates and other highways. Drivers can be aware of upcoming locations well in advance of reaching them. Many of these facilities are part of large chains so generally speaking drivers know what to expect at any of its locations. Many drivers have favorites so they often plan their routes so they will be able to stop at their favorite truck stops when possible. Large fleets because of their large buying power are able to negotiate low fuel prices with major truck stop chains. As a result of these contracts, fleets mandate where their drivers stop for fuel.
Truck stops certainly are not just for truckers anymore. Truckers, families and business travelers alike frequent them these days. In some areas truck stops are regular meeting places for local residents. They are a pleasant stopping place for some and a designation point for others.
Originally published Feb. 6, 2012 on Ezine.com
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be a commercial truck driver. You enjoy driving and believe you would like to drive one of those big rigs and life on the road. You look forward to the possibility of being able to travel throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Before you spend money and take the time and effort to become a commercial truck driver there are some things you need to consider. While there certainly are positive things about being a commercial truck driver there are also many negatives which you should be aware of.
Trucking is a lifestyle as opposed to a job and it is not for everyone. The very best thing you can do in order for you to make a good decision is to ride along with a truck driver for a couple of weeks to see what this job entails. The time on the road with a trucker will enable you to experience the importance of truckstops for providing among other things safe places to sleep. You will also see that limited food options are available. Additionally, you will experience shower facilities, laundry facilities and the experience of sleeping in a truck.
If you don’t know any truck drivers you can spend time at truckstops talking to drivers. They can give you the good and bad of trucking from their experiences. This can help you to determine if trucking is a good career choice for yourself. One sure thing is that the life of a truck driver is not easy. There is an extremely high rate of driver turnover. Check out some of the negative aspects of trucking.
Long Driving Hours: Currently drivers can be on duty for 14 hours each day with 11 of those being actual driving hours. Many drivers are so tired at the end of their shift that they barely have time to do anything except try to get some sleep.
Unhealthy Lifestyle: The life of a commercial truck driver has been often been referred to as one of the unhealthiest lifestyles. Drivers are primarily limited to food available at truckstops. Also, many drivers are overweight due to too much time sitting in the truck. Additionally, drivers are often too tired to exercise so this leads to weight gain. Truck drivers are also at great risk of developing high blood pressure.
Stress: Truck drivers are under a great deal of stress and anxiety. They must deal with various weather and traffic conditions daily. They can go from sunny weather to rain to snow all on the same day. Additionally, truckers have long driving hours. They must strive to be alert at all times to avoid the risk of being involved in accidents.
Lack Of Sleep: Many drivers have poor sleep habits due to having to sleep on the truck on a regular basis. No matter how comfortable their truck may be it is not the same as being in their own bed at their home. Unfortunately, this results in many drivers being sleepy while driving.
Personal Safety: Drivers risk their safety not only due to the increased risk of accidents. They can be robbed, injured or murdered if they can’t find safe places to park at night. There is also the risk that they will be victims of cargo theft.
Inspections: Drivers risk being stopped by police officers. They also risk being stopped by D.O.T. officers for random inspections. This can result in them being accessed fines or penalities for various reasons.
Pay: Drivers must work long hours each day. Longhaul drivers are paid based on the number of miles they drive. They may spend numerous hours waiting for loads, doing pre-inspections and post-inspections and other duties which they are not paid for. This can be a rude awakening for many.
There are certainly many benefits of becoming a commercial truck driver. One of the greatest factors is that truck driving jobs are readily available. Additionally most companies provide healthy insurance and other benefits beginning with the first day of employment.
Truck driving can also be a horrible career. Hence the reason for the high turnover rate of drivers. Those considering a career as a commercial truck driver should carefully weight the good as well as the negative aspects of trucking. This will enable them to make the best possible decision for themselves.
Commercial Truck Drivers are aware of the legal requirement to fill out logbooks accurately. All commercial truck drivers should have been taught in the truck driving training program they completed about the importance of keeping accurate logbooks. Some trucking companies may encourage their drivers to lie about their daily routine and even to keep two logbooks in the truck. Veteran drivers are well aware of the potential consequences of falsifying logbooks. However, new drivers may be swayed by their employer to lie. However, those drivers who choose to lie on their logbooks may face life changing consequences if they are caught.
The majority of accidents which involve heavy trucks are the fault of the driver of the passenger vehicle, not the truck driver. However, if a heavy truck is involved in an accident the Dept. of Transportation will investigate. If the occupants of the passenger vehicle hire an attorney and file a lawsuit, one of the first things their attorney will do is to get copies of the drivers logbooks and trip receipts. If discrepancies are found the driver may face fines, penalties and even jail time.
Even if the truck driver is not at fault, plaintiff’s attorneys have won judgments against the driver and the trucking company based on the fact that at the time the accident occurred the driver didn’t have any legal driving hours available. Therefore, the attorney will argue that the accident could have not occurred if the driver had not been at that specific location at that specific time. This argument usually prevails because the driver should have not even been on the road if he/she didn’t have any legal driving hours available.
Depending upon the severity of the accident the driver could get fines, penalties and even jail time. Trucking companies can also be convicted if proved to be part of a scheme to deliberately falsify logbooks.
Examples of penalties imposed for false logbooks are as follows:
A North Caroling trucking company was sentenced to five years probation, a $35,000 fine and a $400.00 special assessment fee for making false statements to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding their drivers’ hours of service.
A California driver was convicted for causing a four-vehicle collision, killing a father and his 13 year old son and seriously injuring six others. He was sentenced for falsifying his log book entries and served jail time. The owners of the trucking company he was employed by were investigated and subsequently ordered to inactivate their DOT numbers, dissolve the company and each pay a $50,000 fine because they were proved to be knowingly aiding and abetting their drivers false log book schemes.
All drivers should be aware that in the event of an accident their logbooks will be inspected. The trucking company’s log books will also be inspected. Other items which will be inspected include EZ Pass, toll receipts, fuel receipts, restaurant receipts and any other receipts to verify if you were where you said you were at the recorded time prior to the accident. These receipts have traceable “time/date stamps” and should always match. If they don’t match you will be held accountable because you are the driver who signed the logbook and verified that the information stated was true and correct.
Originally published July 6, 2012 on Ezine.com.
Commercial truck drivers are required to keep log books in their trucks at all times. Drivers have limits as to how many hours they can drive per day and per week. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the rules. Under current law drivers are permitted to work no more than 14 consecutive hours per day with 11 of those hours being allotted to actual driving time. This includes performing a pre-trip inspection, fueling, paperwork, loading, unloading, log book recording, etc. Drivers are subject to weekly limits as well. Current regulations prohibit driving after the driver has been on duty 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. Drivers may restart the 60 or 70 hour clock by taking a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off duty.
Log books provide a record of how the driver’s time has been spent. These books should be kept up to date. Basically, drivers must account how time was spent 24 hours each day.
The top right of the form should be filled out as follows:
1. The month, day and year
2. The name of your employer or carriers
3. Main office address
4. Home terminal address
5. Drivers signature and name of co-driver if any
The top left of the form should be filled out as follows:
1. Total miles driven today
2. Total mileage today
3. Truck and trailer numbers
4. Drivers signature and name of co-driver if any
Write the starting odometer before you begin driving and the ending odometer when your drive is finished. When you finish driving write the total miles driven that day. The time grid is where you list the activities you did that day and the amount of hours you spent doing each. Write your shift start times and your shift stop times in the appropriate section.
Line 1: Off duty time
Line 2: Time spent in sleeper birth
Line 3: Actual driving time
Line 4: On duty time (not driving)
The bottom of the form should contain any other comments about your shift. You can list the Bill of Lading number or Manifest Number. You should also include the name of the shipper and the type of commodity being shipped.
From: This is the origination point of the load.
To: This is the destination point for the load.
You are a professional driver. Your log book should reflect this. It should be clean, complete and accurate. The writing should be legible with clean neat lines. It should at all times be current. In order to be in DOT compliance, every single space needs to be filled in. DOT officers are impressed if they see your log book is clean and up to date and know you take your job seriously. Take the time to carefully calculate your number and double check the calculations. Remember that your log books needs to coincide with truck stop receipts, restaurant receipts, etc. Any inaccuracies in your calculations will raise a red flag to the officer so make an effort to be precise. There can be serious consequences for falsifing logbooks including fines, penalties and jail time.
Original article published Jan. 12, 2012 on Ezine.com
One of the best things about choosing a career as a truck driver is that trucking jobs are always available. Another thing are the numerous choices as to the type of truck you can drive, the type of freight you can haul and the types of routes you can drive. Nevertheless, trucking is not for everyone. Is it the right choice for you? Only you can make that decision. This post refers to life as an over the road driver also referred to as longhaul trucking and may help you make that determination.
Age Requirements: You must be at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines. This is refers to an interstate driver or over the road driver. Some states allow drivers of at least 18 years old to drive within the state. This is referred to as intrastate driving. Currently, there is not an upper age limit for commercial truck drivers.
Physical Health: You must pass a Department of Transportation (D.O.T) Physical Exam. A DOT health exam is a basic health exam done by a licensed medical practitioner which determines your fitness for being able to drive a heavy truck. The examiner will ask you questions about your health and complete a health history form. Your vision, hearing, blood pressure, etc. will also be checked.
Family Considerations: An over the road driver lives a solitary existence. Friends and family members may just be a phone call away but how will it affect them if you are gone for weeks at a time. It is common for drivers to be away from home for 2 to 3 weeks at a time before getting a few days off to go home. Can you and your family cope with this? If not, this might not be a good career choice for you.
Personal Hygiene: Conveniences such as having ready access to bathrooms and showers are not readily available. Truckstops will become your home away from home where you can eat, have access to bathroom facilities and a safe place to sleep.
Long Hours: Trucking involves long hours. Commercial trucking is not a 9-5 job. A drivers work day can be as long as 14 hours with 11 of those being actual driving hours. Drivers often drive 600 miles per day.
Expense: Living on the road is expensive. A major expense is food which is quite expensive on the road. Laundry is another expense. Some truckstops provide free computer service. Others may charge a fee. You may also have to pay for showers. However, if you buy fuel there is no charge for showers.
Commercial drivers live what is referred to as the trucking lifestyle. Your truck is considered your home away from home. You will drive, sleep, eat, and perhaps even cook in the truck. You might also watch TV, movies and perhaps even do some exercises. In other words you will live in your truck. If you can do this perhaps you will enjoy trucking. If not please don’t consider becoming an over the road driver. Other types of jobs in the trucking industry are available.
As you can see deciding to become a truck driver is a life changing experience. There is so much newbie drivers need to consider. Evaluate all information carefully prior to making your decision. There is no point in spending the time and money to become a commercial truck driver only to find out that trucking is not for you.