Career Paths in the Trucking Industry
Have you been thinking about becoming a truck driver? If so, you’ll know that there are various types of trucking jobs with many different career opportunities. But which one is right for you? In this post, we’ll outline the different types of driving jobs in the trucking industry so you can make the choice that is right for you.
One of the most notable differences between truck driving jobs pertains to its length of haul. Generally, there are two types of distance options: long haul (or over-the-road) and local.
If you are interested in seeing what our beautiful country has to offer, becoming a long haul driver is the best way to do that. As an over-the-road (OTR) driver, you will be delivering loads cross country and typically take several days to complete, this also allows you to get the most miles, as the majority of driver pay is based on mileage. Long haul drivers are those who love the freedom of the open road, the ability to travel extensively throughout the U.S., and are looking for the maximum amount of miles to add to their record.
Additionally, many OTR drivers end up being part of a driving team, which allows freight to be delivered more quickly, as the truck does not have to stop so often. Plus, you are compensated for the miles you are not driving and you get to share the road with a friend!
Local truck driving jobs typically offer the lowest amount of miles. Local drivers will stay within a certain city or state and often times have multiple pickups or deliveries a day. These drivers often interact with customers, as they are usually the final destination for a customer’s product. Local drivers drive both highway and city driving, as well as congested urban areas and small towns. Because of the variable conditions, local jobs require drivers with exceptional skills and a knack for customer service.
Regional drivers cover more distance than local drivers, but not quite as much as those who drive OTR. Regional usually take a trucker two to five states away from their local terminal with the potential to be home every few days or even every night. Many companies, including C.R. England, provide a Dedicated service, which allows drivers to have set runs that they do for a specific customers. More often than not, these runs are shorter in distance and offer a regular schedule.
When it comes to the type of trailer you are pulling, there are several different options that may require different skills.
Intermodal driving jobs are a unique type of trucking that is sure to offer something different than over-the-road driving. Intermodal truck driving involves moving freight between different modes of transportation, primarily, on and off railroad networks and to and from distribution centers. Intermodal drivers pick up refrigerated containers on and off the rail yards at different locations across the country, then move containers between train yards and carry containers from manufacturers to outgoing shipping depots. To be a good Intermodal driver, you have to have a class A CDL, an eye for detail, extreme awareness of safety and the ability to adapt to a variety of different conditions. There is never a dull day in the Intermodal division, that’s for sure.
Dry van, Reefer, and Flat Bed
Other common trailer types include dry van, refrigerated (reefer) units, and flat bed. Dry van trailers are those that hold electronics, clothing, non-perishable foods, and general items that do not need a regulated environment. On the other hand, reefer trailers primarily haul items that need to be transported at a very specific temperature. These trailers have an AC unit on the front that controls the temperature, and drivers need to have additional knowledge and training to understand how the reefer unit operates. Lastly, flat bed trailers pull items that will not fit in an enclosed trailer. They are often oversized loads and require the driver to have knowledge on how to safety secure the load.
If you are looking for something different, there are many opportunities to haul unique materials. With the correct training, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself in the trucking industry.
Hazardous Material drivers are those who transport materials such as explosives, chemicals, flammable materials, poisons, etc. Because of the high risk materials they are hauling, Hazmat drivers must receive additional training and an endorsement from the federal government. Being a Hazmat driver is sure to be a thrilling truck driving career.
Tanker drivers primarily haul liquids, such as gas, chemicals, and even cement. Hauling liquids can be difficult and very hazardous because the center of gravity is ever changing. This means that Tanker drivers require special training to respond to emergency situations and know the additional safety precautions they need to take while they are out on the road. To be a Tanker driver, you will need to take additional testing during your CDL training.
The trucking industry provides an endless supply of career opportunities that can fit the needs and interests of nearly everyone. To learn about what career opportunities are available at C.R. England, visit https://www.crengland.com/truck-driving-jobs/