A truck driver loads and transports freight, hazardous materials and goods from one place to another. A truck driver can drive to a number of locations and perform long-haul, regional and local deliveries. Some local truck driving jobs will involve inventory, unloading and stocking duties. Most local truck driving jobs will require the driver to have a CDL, or commercial driver’s license, in addition to several years of driving experience.
How to Qualify for Local Truck Driving Jobs
Local truck driving jobs will require applicants to have prior training. Training for truck drivers can involve short term training programs. After a trucker has obtained experience with driving, they are then eligible to pursue a commercial driver’s license. In order to receive the CDL, the driver will need to demonstrate adequate operating abilities and also pass a written exam.
A truck driver can pursue regional or local truck driving jobs. They will need to be able to tolerate several hours of driving and should be in excellent health. A driver will need to follow driving rules that are set in place by both the employer and federal regulations. These rules and regulations will only allow the trucker to drive their vehicles for a determined amount of time each day, before requiring them to rest. A driver should be able to select the safest driving routes and meet very strict deadlines for delivery of goods. Having sufficient driving judgment and good eyesight is essential for a successful career.
A trucker will need to have a GED or high school diploma. Instead of acquiring a degree, most truckers will enroll in driving programs in order to obtain the required experience. The PTDI, a reputable organization, maintains a list of accredited schools that offer certified courses. The classes are available at over sixty schools all over the country. After an individual graduates from a program, they are able to pursue their trucking license.
Truck Driver Training Requirements
The professional experience requirements that are needed for regional or local truck driving jobs will vary with each place of employment, as well as the specific area of truck driving. Generally speaking, a truck driver should have at least one year of experience. Driving positions that require nation-wide or regional travel can require truckers to have three to five years of experience. A driver can gain experience through accredited training classes offered through the PTDI and commercial driver’s license training programs.
Truckers who operate vehicles with a gross weight over 26,000 pounds or more are required to have a CDL. A driver will also obtain this type of licensure if they operate smaller vehicles that transport hazardous materials. Drivers who haul hazardous materials will also need to obtain hazmat credentials, requiring the driver to submit to an extensive background check and fingerprinting, through the TSA, also referred to as the Transportation Security Administration.
Newly employed drivers will generally participate in seminars and workshops, which are sponsored by their employers. Because a trucking company will have different regulations and rules, a driver will need to be familiar with their employer’s specific code of conduct. A workshop will usually last one to two days and will include information on federal trucking ordinances, safety procedures and transportation regulations.
The ATA and the PTDI are excellent resources, when it comes to development opportunities in this field. Both of these organizations offer print and online publications, including study guides and driving manuals. With extensive trucking knowledge and driving experience, a trucker can obtain high level local truck driving jobs that will lead to nationwide trucking positions.
Different Truck Driving Positions
A heavy truck driver will work by operating vehicles that have a capacity of 26,000 pounds. They will travel between cities or across country and can be away from their place of residence several days a week. This type of trucker will usually earn around $40,000 a year. The lower ten percent in this field will make $26,000 a year, with the top ten percent earning $60,000 annually.
A delivery trucker is also referred to as a light trucker and they will operate vehicles that feature less than 25,000 pounds per gross truck weight. In one day this driver will usually be required to travel to a number of locations in a local area, transporting goods from a distribution center to businesses and homes.
Sales worker drivers will operate light trucks, delivering freight and selling new products to past customers, while also soliciting new customers. These drivers will also be required to accept payment for goods received. This type of driver will earn around $28,000 a year, with the top ten percent of these drivers earning over $44,000 annually.
In order to work as a heavy trucker, an individual will need to have a minimum of two years of experience. Light truckers can receive on the job training, both on the road and in-class. A heavy trucker is also required to have a CDL, while the light trucker may only be required to have a basic driver’s license.