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What are the Different Truck Driving Opportunities?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Truck driving opportunities vary by education, experience, location, and need. There are truck driving schools to help drivers get started. A commercial driver’s license, commonly referred to as a CDL, is required for a commercial truck driver. Various truck driving training programs are also available to help drivers learn the different endorsements that may be required for special types of hauling.

Those with many or all of the available endorsements obviously have more truck driving opportunities. If one company or industry is slow, they can haul for another. When produce season winds down, a driver may choose to haul non-perishable foods, household goods, or even choose to move heavy equipment via flatbed. Some drivers haul hazardous materials.

There are large and small companies that haul a variety of materials and products and offer different truck driving opportunities, but overall, there are two main categories of drivers. They are known as the owner-operator and the company driver. An owner-operator is an independent truck driver, one who owns his or her truck. An independent driver may choose to lease the truck to one or more trucking outfits or work and as independent contractor who is available to several different companies or brokers. Owner-operators tend to have better truck driving opportunities as they can choose which loads to accept or decline, as well as choosing how much or how little to work.

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A company driver is exactly what the name implies. Company drivers are generally hired as employees rather than contractors, and drive company trucks. Sometimes a particular truck is designated to a driver but depending on the company, he or she may have a different truck with each new load. They work when work is available and tend to have little say in which loads they take.

Within these two categories there are other differences. Some truck driving opportunities are geared toward single or “solo” drivers while others are more appropriate for teams. Regional routes, those close to home, tend to use solo drivers. These routes usually have a driver home at night or within few nights, while long hauls require more time away.

Those who do long hauls are generally referred to as “over the road” drivers and companies tend to prefer teams for such routes. Companies that regularly engage in long hauls, generally provide trucks with “sleepers” or berths. Sleepers obviously come equipped with a bed, and some include conveniences such as small refrigerators or microwaves.

The idea is to keep the truck moving as much as possible. One driver can sleep while the other one drives, and vice versa, to help prevent downtime. In some cases, the efficiency and timeliness with which a team can haul a load may mean more or better truck driving opportunities for team drivers.

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