Finally, you have completed the basic training and requirements to become a truck driver. Congratulations! You have earned your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Now you want to jumpstart your career in the trucking industry.
Since you are just starting out as a truck driver, let’s go over the kinds of trucks you may want to get started driving.
- Flatbed Trucks
- Dry Van Trucks
- Tanker Trucks
- Refrigerated Trucks
- Straight Trucks
- Dump Trucks
Flatbed trucks are trucks with a flat-surfaced trailer, like a bed. Flatbed trucks have open sides and do not have a roof. This makes them easy to load and unload.
Flatbed truckers carry oversized loads like building materials and large equipment. A flatbed truck is for loads that don’t need smooth or gentle handling. Industries such as construction, agriculture, and manufacturing use flatbed trucks for hauling.
2. Dry Van Trucks
Dry van trucks or box trailers are a type of semi-trailer truck that is common for shipping big products. Dry Van trucks are the most common truck.
This is the truck you see on the road most of the time. These trucks make it easy to transport products across our country and state highways.
The best dry van trailer for large cargo and goods is the DuraPlate HD by Wabash National Corporation.
3. Tanker Trucks
Tanker trucks are also called “Petroleum Tankers”, tank wagons, chemical trailers, or liquid bulk tanks Their main purpose is to transport liquified chemicals or petroleum products.
Tanker tanks are made to carry fuel, toxic, and non-toxic chemicals safely. Using a tanker truck is one of the best ways to transport liquid cargo.
4. Refrigerated Trucks
Refrigerated trucks transport a lot of perishable products like meat, fish, medicine, and more. Another name for a refrigerated truck is a chiller truck or a reefer.
Refrigerated trucks have cooling systems. You can usually tell it is a cooling truck by the shape of the container.
5. Straight Trucks
Straight trucks are also a common type of truck. They are also known as box trucks or cube trucks.
Straight trucks are perfect for shipping small items like furniture and home appliances.People use straight trucks for moving their household belongings to and from new locations.
U-Haul trucks, Ryder trucks, and Pensk fit in this category. Some professional movers also use straight trucks.
6. Dump Trucks
Dump trucks are off-road vehicles built to transport mining debris, construction materials, and garbage.
Different sectors like the military, construction, mining, and agriculture use dump trucks.
However, the majority are used in the construction industry for transportation and infrastructure.
A tractor is a type of truck made to pull trailers. It is also known as a semi, big rig, or an 18-wheeler. They have a fifth wheel on the back that allows them to attach cargo or a trailer.
Tractors are used in the agriculture, mining, and construction industry.
Starting your career in the truck industry is exciting. Still, you need to decide on what kind of truck driving job you would like to have.
Each of these truck categories offer different pay rates. Learn how much each of these categories pay their drivers.
What Are The Best Trucking Companies for Beginners?
Choosing the best company to drive for is very important to your success. As someone who’s testing the brakes (see what I did there), you must receive the correct truck driving training.
The sooner you finish your training, the sooner you can land your dream job. And, let’s not kid ourselves here—I know you can’t wait to earn your first paycheck as a truck driver!
Here’s a list of the top trucking companies that can offer you the best CDL training:
- Maverick Transportation
- Schneider National
- KLLM Transportation Services
- Werner Enterprises
- TMC Transportation
- YRC Freight
- Gordon Trucking, Inc.
- Shaffer Trucking
The companies listed above already have a great reputation in the trucking industry.
So if you’re set on pursuing a job as a truck driver, check these companies out. Do your own research and decide what is best for you.
What Are The Benefits of Pursuing a Truck Driving Job?
The following is a list of reasons why people just like you love to drive trucks:
- Truck drivers don’t require years of schooling
- No post-secondary education requirement for truck driving
- Truck driving jobs are always in demand
- The salary is very rewarding, especially for specialized niches
Speaking of salaries, let’s discuss the salary rate for truck drivers.
Truck Drivers Salaries by State
Truck driving rates vary from state to state. Make sure you verify the salary you can get based on the state you live and drive in.
Here are the average rates in the U.S.:
|Annual Salary Rate||Hourly Rate|
|Delivery Truck Drivers||$32,020||$15.39|
|Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Drivers||$45,260||$21.76|
Salaries for truck drivers vary according to the niche and demand. Specialized truck driving jobs tend to pay higher than regular truck drivers.
What Are The Highest Paying Truck Driving Jobs?
Specialized truck driving jobs pay more based on the level of difficulty, danger, and distance.
Here are some of the highest paying truck driving jobs:
1. Tanker Hauler
Tanker haulers are at risk of exposure to harmful and toxic chemicals.
That is why transporting hazardous materials, such as petroleum oil, is more dangerous than driving a truck filled with furniture.
A tanker hauler can earn up to $64,000 and in some cases far more than that per year.
2. Oversized Load Hauler
Driving trucks with large and oversized loads will get you a higher pay rate. Driving oversized loads requires a specific license and training to drive a heavier load.
On average, oversized load haulers earn between $50,000 to $90,000 per year.
3. Ice Road Trucker
Ice road truckers can earn between $25,000 to $75,000 on average per year.
The more dangerous the route, the higher the pay. If you choose to drive in harsh winter weather over icy roads, you will get paid more than drivers working in warm climates.
4. Private Fleets
Private fleet drivers can earn between $70,000 to $85,000 per year. Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., and Wal-Mart are a few of the largest private trucking fleets in the U.S.
Truck drivers who have clean driving records are qualified to work for private trucking fleets.
You are now ready to go on the next step as a truck driver! Good luck on your new adventure!