Most people believe that a truck driver is simply a guy (or a gal) sitting behind a wheel of a large vehicle and driving hundreds of miles a day. Essentially, this is true. However, not all trucking jobs are created equal. They vary in intensity and pay as well as benefits. Whether you are just starting out on your way to becoming a trucker or getting ready to change professions, you might want to get a better idea of the various types of trucking jobs.
- Long-Haul Trucker
These truckers work with heavy trucks carrying various loads. They usually drive for long periods of time, be it within the state or interstate. The work schedule of long-haul truckers can vary greatly. Some come back home the same night, others travel for days or weeks at a time. Long-haul drivers often work in teams in order to avoid layovers.
- Pick up and Delivery Trucker
These truckers work with all types of trucks from heavy to light. They usually have regular routes for pickup and delivery of various goods. They make several stops a day and have more interactions with the clients/customers than the long-haul drivers have. Such truck drivers can earn more money if they also have sales skills.
- Specialized Truck Drivers
These truckers transport unusual loads, including oversized or sensitive materials. They work both within the states and between them. Such drivers often need extra training to learn how to operate the equipment that handles the specialized loads. Depending on the type of the load, various permits might be required.
- Hazardous Load Truck Drivers
These drivers require training to learn how to handle hazardous loads. They need to know the characteristics of the materials they are carrying and how to handle them safely, as well as how to act in an emergency. Hazardous load truck drivers must pass an extra test when applying for CDL.
One of the highest paid hazardous load truck drivers are tanker drivers. They have to deal with liquefied or gaseous loads. The high wages come from the danger such truckers face if the load is not handled properly. The containers these drivers carry can be either pressurized or non-pressurized. Such containers make the driving harder. Meanwhile, tank truck drivers risk their lives.
- Refrigerated Truck Drivers
These truck drivers deal with refrigerated containers. They haul them to different destinations, both within the state and out of it. Temperature sensitive loads need special attention since they can spoil if carried too slowly. That’s why such truck drivers are obliged to keep to the time limits.
- Flat Bed Truck Drivers
These drivers operate flatbed trucks that are usually used to load construction materials, such as pipes, wood, timber, and more. Improperly fastened cargo is one of the main reasons for accidents caused by the truckers.
Before choosing a trucking job, make sure you have the proper permits and ask yourself whether you are ready to execute dangerous tasks.