Future Prospects For Truck Driving Jobs

Truck driving may not be an easy job but employment opportunities in this field remain to be bright. With more companies getting into the business of transporting goods particularly by land, the demand for commercial truck drivers also continue to increase. So whether food and dry goods are transported by plane, trains and ships, the trucks still play a very important role in delivering them to their final destination.

Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers held some 3.2 million jobs in the year 2008. They included drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers (56 percent), light or delivery services truck drivers (31 percent) and drivers that serve as sales workers at the same time (13 percent). Majority of truck drivers are employed in the urban centers where companies involved in trucking as well as in retail and wholesale have their distribution outlets.

In the U.S., 27 percent of truck drivers and those that work as sales workers at the same time work in the truck transportation sector. Some 26 percent of them are employed by firms in the wholesale and retail business while the rest work in different industries. Some are in the manufacturing sector while the others are in the construction industry.

A major requirement for professional truck drivers today is a CDL or commercial driver’s license training. The course teaches regular drivers the right methods to handle a huge truck and maintain their good condition through the years. It combines classroom instruction and hands-on training to allow drivers to have a practical experience in maneuvering a truck and checking its main parts for problems. The CDL course should also be able to impart knowledge on how to fix common truck problems.

In terms of salary, truck drivers have the opportunity to earn well moving forward depending on their experience. They can be promoted to earn higher wages and have comfortable schedules. Drivers who may be eligible for promotion are normally those who have proven track records such as long years of safe driving and delivery of millions of dollars worth of freight. Those who drive light trucks, on the other hand, can advance to a higher level by being able to drive heavier or specialized trucks. Being moved from short-distance assignments to long-distance truck driving is also a signal of advancement.

Overall employment prospect for commercial truck drivers is foreseen to grow by nine percent moving towards 2018, according to government statistics. From 2008 to 2018, nearly 292,000 new are expected to be created. Prospect for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers is also seen to rise by 13 percent and four percent for light or delivery services truck drivers through 2018.

The bright future seen for truck drivers is mainly attributed to the increase in people’s spending as well as the rise in demand for goods in the U.S. With the advent of the internet, many people are now able to buy goods from places outside their locality which in turn requires shipping and delivery of products over long distances.

Facts You Need To Know About Truck Driving

In most developed countries, you will see large trucks traveling along the major highways. These huge vehicles are not just there for nothing because they’re performing an important job which is to transport goods to their destinations.

In the U.S., for instance, the 18-wheeler trucks are a normal sight on the road. But other than the vehicles, it’s the person behind the wheel that needs to be given credit. Truck drivers play a vital role in the trucking industry and they need to be skilled in order to do their job well. These people often drive 18-wheelers or the semi. They can be an independent driver, may work for a certain company or may own the vehicle and operates his own business.

To become a professional truck driver, one needs to undergo the proper CDL or commercial driver’s license training from an accredited school. This can be obtained at a vocational school that offers such course. Usually, CDL training schools teach students to drive an 18-wheeler truck and a semi. This is important because driving such a huge vehicle is very different from driving smaller vehicles such as the car, pickup or even a delivery van.

Through the CDL training, students are taught how to operate the truck’s systems. They are trained on how to go up or down a steep hill, how to prevent a load from moving while the truck is going through a curve as well as to load the goods properly on the semi trailer. Aspiring drivers will also learn via this course the proper way of parking an 18-wheeler, maneuvering it in traffic and turning it into narrow streets.

In addition, students of truck driving schools also need to learn to develop the basic repair skills such as changing a tire as well as connecting and disconnecting the tractor from the trailer. This is a vital part of the CDL training as it enables them to determine the problem of the truck and how to fix them in the event the huge vehicle breaks down in the middle of a highway where a mechanic or repair shop is not readily available.

Those who are serious in pursuing a commercial truck driving career should also prepare themselves to the challenges involved in their job. Do understand that your work goes beyond just driving the huge vehicle for long hours to far destinations and knowing how to repair it when it malfunctions.

With regards to the other tasks involved, you as a driver are required to load the goods or merchandise into the truck and then unload them when you arrive at the appropriate destination. An important part as well is to double check that what you’re loading into the vehicle is what’s specified in the manifest.

On the whole, a commercial truck driver carries with him a lot of responsibilities. Not only is he limited to handling the truck but he is also responsible for ensuring the efficiency, operation and safety of the vehicle assigned to him. Performing your task well consistently moving forward will also let you get the attention of the management and eventually lead to your promotion.

Is Formal Education Required for Commercial Truck Drivers?

Most jobs require specific educational background. With the right education, an individual has the opportunity to get into the job he or she wants to be involved in and advance to a higher position in the future.

With truck drivers, although any education will do, there’s an important training course required today by most companies that provide truck delivery services. This is the commercial driver’s license or CDL training provided by licensed truck driving schools. A basic requirement for this course is a proper driving background. In short, a person must be a licensed driver with a clean record before he or she can enroll in this CDL training course.

Having a favorable record is vital because any violations or a conviction may not allow you to take the course. Graduates are also expected to maintain a clean driving record after earning their CDL certificate. A high school diploma is another basic requirement for this course.

A proper truck driving education provides training on various aspects such as on how to maneuver a truck, how to maintain its condition, what to do during emergencies. Theoretical and practical knowledge are provided to students.

To earn a CDL training certificate is different from earning your regular license to drive a private vehicle. Upon enrollment, a manual will be provided to students. This particular manual contains all the necessary information regarding truck maintenance, safe driving, defensive driving and ways to maintain your CDL license, among others.

A licensed instructor is responsible for handling the classes at accredited schools. Make sure that you are enrolled in the right school by first verifying the institution’s credentials from licenses to accreditation. You don’t want to waste your time and money so this is an important step to take.

Practical classes involve real driving along freeways, city roads and parking lots. The school should also have its own driving area if possible.

After graduation, students who have successfully earned their CDL license will have to take a medical exam. This will determine if they’re physically fit to drive a truck. Commercial truck drivers need to undergo this every two years.

Apart from the medical exam, truck drivers must also pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations exam. This applies for those in the U.S.

States also have their own examination for aspiring commercial truck drivers. The test involves a knowledge and skill portion to ensure that drivers are well knowledgeable in terms of safety and proper truck driving skills.

Drivers handling trucks can choose to advance to higher positions in the future if they wish. But other than their experience, they have a greater opportunity to go up to the next level and hold management positions if they further their education in the trucking industry. Further studies offered include the associate, bachelor, master’s and PhD programs. Gaining additional certifications and HAZMAT endorsement will also be beneficial.

Remember that having a strong foundation on safe truck driving will help you get to where you want to work. Never ignore the value of education as a way to succeed and advance in your specific field of work.

More Women Becoming Commercial Truck Drivers

Many women today are getting into jobs traditionally held by men. They become soldiers, enter the police force and even become truck drivers. This is the reality that people just have to face.

In the commercial trucking industry, more women are willing to go behind the wheel and drive huge vehicles. There were very few female drivers in the past owing to the difficulty involved in driving trucks. But with the advent of power steering, women found it easier to maneuver large vehicles these days. You might be surprised to know that driving a tractor trailer today is much similar to just handling a pickup truck. Other improvements seen since the olden days are in the shifting part, the installation of an air conditioning unit and the use of airbag suspension systems.

It was understandable back then why there were few women drivers in the truck industry. Apart from the discomfort inside the large vehicle, the situation on highways in the past was not safe enough for the females to be out there on the road even at night time. In addition, women were not yet accepted as truck drivers before unlike they are now. They were seen as not very suited for the job due to the lifestyle and unsafe environment involved.

But the present situation is more different than it was in the olden times. With trucks being easier to maneuver these days and a greater number of women are as versatile as the males, they can become a commercial truck driver any time they want to. Experts believe men do not have much advantage over women when it comes to driving a truck safely and enjoying the lifestyle.

What matters is you are committed to do your job well and are ready to face the challenges ahead. Becoming a truck driver is not just all about maneuvering a large vehicle and keeping it in good condition all the time. An individual regardless of gender needs to prepare himself mentally and physically right from the start.

The start of your pursuit to a truck driving career involves obtaining your CDL or commercial driver’s license. You will have to find a good school in your location and enroll in a CDL training course. The training covers classroom lectures and hands on experience and passing tests as well.

Once you get hired, you need to prepare yourself then for the lifestyle you’re going to lead. Keep in mind that since you’ll be traveling long distances to deliver a variety of items, there will be days or weeks or even months when you will be away from your family and loved ones.

The benefit here is your personal fulfillment while performing your job. As you gain experience and long driving hours, there is a good chance that you will eventually be promoted, enjoy a higher salary and moved to a position that may entail short distance travels.

So don’t hesitate to reach for your goal regardless if you’re a woman. The truck driving industry provides many employment opportunities for both men and women today.