About Crowder College Professional Driver Training School

white truck on the highwayFor future truck drivers in Missouri, there is a new outlet for training to be a professional trucker. At the Crowder College Professional Driver Training School, you can learn everything you need to get a CDL. This training also ensures you are ready for the rigors of the road as a commercial OTR truck driver. Learn more about what this training includes for student drivers and how you can get started today.

About Crowder College

Crowder College is located in Neosho, Missouri in the southwestern part of the state about 30 minutes south of Joplin. The small town of Neosho is known as the Gateway to the Ozark Mountains. This location was once a hot stop along the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad. Today residents work in manufacturing at the chemical plant BASF, sofa factory at Laz-Z-Boy, and a wire products manufacturer at Leggett & Platt. These industrial businesses have also generated a great need to train truck drivers in Missouri to be able to transport these products out of the region.

Crowder College was founded in 1963 as a two-year community college. Today the school educates more than 5,000 students annually in over 80 degree and certificate programs. The campus offers housing at the Brown Housing Complex or the Roughrider Village Apartments, as well as meals at the Dining Hall and The Grill. There is also a fitness center for students at the Neosho YCMA. As a student enrolled in the Crowder College Professional Driver Training School, you would have access to all of these services and amenities.

The school’s main campus is in Neosho. However, there are other campuses across the state including in Joplin, Webb City, McDonald County, Cassville, and Nevada. This community college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and uses the Academic Quality Improvement Project standards to ensure that students receive high-quality training. Therefore, when you attend the Crowder College Professional Driver Training School, you are assured you will receive a top-notch education that prepares you for the real world of trucking.

Truck Driving Division

The trucking school division is focused on transport training, which is essential for OTR and LTL truck drivers hauling freight. Additionally, the school is partners with several of the leading trucking companies in the US including:

  • CFI
  • Covenant Transport
  • JB Hunt
  • Maverick
  • Paschall Truck Lines
  • Schneider National
  • Stevens Transport
  • Swift
  • TMC
  • TransAm
  • Tyson
  • USA Truck
  • Werner Enterprises
  • WSE
  • US Xpress Enterprises

What this means for student drivers in Missouri at Crowder College is that these trucking companies recognize this program as an approved trucking school. Therefore, if you choose to work for a trucking company that is partnered with the school, you can rest assured the carrier will honor your training.

More importantly, Crowder College is most likely going to offer you job recruitment services from these companies when you attend trucking school here. This makes it easier to get a pre-hire letter from trucking companies who guarantee you a spot at trucking orientation. This pre-hire letter ensures you have a trucking job opportunity when you graduate, and student drivers want to get as many of these as possible.

Trucking School Timeline and Tuition

The trucking school at Crowder College is a five-week training program. You complete all of your training on campus, which is convenient thanks to the on-campus housing and dining services. Training classes start every five weeks beginning in January and going through November. For example, students who begin on January 16, 2018, graduate on February 16, 2018, while students who start on November 5, 2018, graduate on December 7, 2018.

The total price for trucking school is $3,950. If you need student housing, this costs an additional $825 for the full course, and it includes all of your meals via the on-campus dining hall. You can pay for the admission in cash or credit, or get a student loan or federal grant through the college.

Getting Started with Trucking School

To enroll in the training program you must be at least 18 years old, but this will only allow you to train for intrastate operations for regional trucking jobs. If you want to train for OTR trucking jobs that cross state lines, you must be 21 years old to go through the school. This is a federal mandate based on DOT rules and regulations.

Additionally, you must have a commercial driver’s license permit prior to the start of class. Once you complete the training, you will have earned a professional truck driver certificate along with the skill set needed to start working as a commercial trucker.

Meet the Seven-Time Recipients of the SmartWay Excellence Award

knight transportation truck on the highwayIn the trucking industry, you’ll notice that several carriers have recently been recognized as SmartWay Excellence award winners. SmartWay is a program provided by the Environmental Protection Agency as a way for transportation companies to improve environmental standards. Those companies that are awarded the SmartWay Excellence award have achieved the highest standards for this program. Meet two of the trucking companies that have been a SmartWay Excellence winner for a grand total of seven years out of the 11 years the program has been around.

Seven Years of SmartWay Excellence

The SmartWay program by the EPA was started in 2006, and each year since then companies that exceeded expectations received recognition. In fact, 93 companies have been honored with the SmartWay Excellence award more than once during this time period. Two of the companies have been seven-time awardees:

To be recognized for the Excellence award for seven out of 11 years is outstanding. More importantly, the reward recipients have been able to reduce fuel use and emissions to a vast degree. In fact, SmartWay Excellence award winners have been able to meet the following requirements:

  • Must use the SmartWay Tool for the entire year
  • Must provide supplemental information to the EPA upon request, as required by semi-finalists up for nomination for the Excellence award

These companies that are considered for the award are required to meet a stringent standard of emissions controls. For large trucking companies, this includes carriers within 14 categories including:

  • Heavy/bulk
  • Flatbed trucking companies
  • Truckload dry van haulers
  • Less-than-truckload dry van companies
  • Specialized freight carriers
  • Refrigerated trucking companies
  • Package haulers
  • Moving companies
  • Expedited freight haulers
  • Multimodal freight carriers
  • Auto carriers
  • Drayage haulers
  • Mixed carriers hauling more than one type of freight
  • Tanker companies

Among these companies, only about five percent are found to be able to meet the environmental performance standards for the Excellence award. These companies must:

  • Provide evidence that 98 percent of their miles are shipped via SmartWay partners while using the SmartWay Tool for tracking trucking data.
  • Show that the fleet is achieving top performance for carbon dioxide emissions based on the SmartWay Shipper Tool.
  • Submit an application requesting a review of the SmartWay Excellence award given out annually.

Furthermore, each trucking company that is nominated as a semi-finalist must provide a ton of documentation. Along with their application for the award, these carriers must show summaries, descriptions, proof, documentation, achievements, and efforts that all relate to how well the company performed via the SmartWay program. A lot of time and energy are invested by the company to achieve this recognition. Again, two of these companies have gone through all of these efforts to win this prestigious SmartWay Excellence honor.

Benefits of SmartWay Excellence Honors

All of the trucking companies that are SmartWay partners are already at the forefront of eco-friendly fleet technology. That’s because SmartWay and the EPA help trucking companies identify particular areas where they can improve. This is typically in the areas of reducing fuel consumption and cutting back on diesel emissions. Trucking companies that can cut back on the amount of diesel used are able to save thousands of dollars for each rig every year. Considering that diesel costs make up more than one-third of trucking operation expenses, this is a massive value-added prospect.

Reduction of Diesel Emissions

The SmartWay partnership is invaluable for trucking companies hauling in states with stricter diesel emissions standards. Take California trucking jobs, for example. California is one of the biggest states for trucking jobs and hauls in the US. The general population size, number of West Coast ports, and agricultural commodities that come out of this state keep many trucking companies running.

To be cut off from hauling in California because of failed diesel emissions standards would jeopardize trucking companies, big and small. Therefore, the technology the SmartWay partnership provides carriers for diesel emissions controls is paramount for many trucking companies.

Improving Trucking Customer Prospects

Additionally, as more companies and cities require improved diesel emission controls, trucking companies have to follow suit. Trucking companies often have a difficult time finding out the latest diesel emissions standards and regulations, as well as technologies to help limit emissions. This is where the SmartWay partnership shines. It provides trucking companies who partner with the program with personalized data about diesel emissions. This information is based on that particular carrier’s actual diesel emissions.

As such, the EPA also provides partners with tools and technology that can help carriers reduce emissions. It’s an important part of the partnership that also helps trucking companies secure more shipping contracts. Shippers search for trucking carriers that are SmartWay partners to handle eco-conscious shipments.

Companies like Roehl Transport and Knight Transportation that have been consistently recognized as outstanding achievers in the SmartWay partnership are showing their steadfast abilities to stay on a greener path in trucking.

SSCC Truck Driving Academy Offers Multiple Training Locations in Ohio

trucker in front of a semi truckFor anyone who is new to the trucking industry, the main priority is to learn the trade. This involves book knowledge and behind-the-wheel skills. You can find someone to help you, and you can purchase study guides, but the best way to train fast to be a trucker is to go to trucking school. If you are in Ohio, trucking schools abound via Southern State Community College. This school has seven Truck Driving Academy locations throughout the state to make it easier for you to attend trucking school. Learn more about this training program to help you decide if this is the right method for you to advance your driving career.

Going to Trucking School in Ohio

The Southern State Community College system offers the Truck Driving Academy through the academic system. It is not through the cooperative education program like many community colleges. As a result, you can apply for student loans, including a Sallie Mae student loan, as well as WIA grants through the OhioMeansJobs office. You can also submit a FAFSA form to be eligible for federal student loans, grants, and work-study programs to help you pay for training. The school offers training at six campus locations throughout Ohio including:

  • Brown County Campus in Mt. Orab
  • Central Campus in Hillsboro
  • Fayette Campus in Washington Court House
  • North Campus in Wilmington
  • Laurel Oaks Career Campus in Wilmington
  • Ohio Strategic Training Center at South Point

These campuses allow you to gain the full experience of being a student while you get your truck driver training in a professional environment. Better yet, since the program is affiliated with a college, you can rest assured that the curriculum is highly vetted for quality control.

Time Frame for Trucker Training

At Southern State Community College, the Truck Driving Academy varies depending on the type of commercial driver’s license you are trying to get. For the Class A CDL program, the course is four to eight weeks long, and you will be required to spend at least 160 hours in training. For the Class B CDL program, your time frame is two weeks of training that encompasses 80 hours of instruction. Each of these two programs includes behind-the-wheel training, as well as hands-on training.

Once you complete the training program at the Truck Driving Academy at SSCC, you are ready to get your CDL. It will be up to you to go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a CDL. Additionally, you will be required to get a medical exam certificate and drug/alcohol screen as required by the Department of Transportation. The trucking school and your instructor will be able to help you find the facilities, i.e., certified medical examiner and drug screen provider, in your area to meet these requirements.

Cost for Truck Driving School

To get started with truck driving school at SSCC, you will need to decide between the Class A CDL program and the Class B CDL program. Each feature a different track for studies, as well as its own price tag. For the Class A CDL program, you will need to pay $5,300, while the Class B CDL course is only $2,900.

Class A or Class B CDL

The main consideration is whether you need a Class A or Class B CDL to get trucking jobs that you want. The general consensus is that a Class A CDL is the way to go. For all over-the-road and most regional trucking jobs, you’ll have to get a Class A. Furthermore, for oversized trucking jobs and specialty hauls, such as machinery hauls or tanker loads, you’ll be required to have a Class A CDL.

If you plan on getting an endorsement for your CDL, such as the tanker, doubles/triples, or hazmat endorsements, then you’ll need to have a Class A. In reality, for most truck driver students, the Class A is the top choice. Why do drivers get a Class B? The Class B CDL is for hauling in tractor-trailers that weigh less than 26,000 pounds. This class is also permissible for truck drivers pulling straight trucks that do not have a trailer attached to an axle. If you are taking local trucking jobs or working for a parcel or moving company, then a Class B CDL is fine.

Paying for Trucking School

As this is provided via a community college, you are eligible to apply for financial assistance. If you are worried about having to get a loan to pay for trucking school, keep in mind there are plenty of trucking companies offering reimbursement programs. Several of the top-paying trucking companies like Werner Enterprises, TMC Transportation, Schneider National, and Roadmaster will reimburse you for all of your trucking school tuition expenses.

Before you apply for trucking school, take a look at these trucking companies to see what they require for trucking job applicants. For example, some companies require you to be a certain age, while other companies feature certain haul types. Tailor your trucking school training to help you meet these basic requirements by training on certain types of equipment.

Lewis and Clark Truck Driver Training Offers Driver Simulation and Tanker Training

Trucker Passing Through Construction ZoneAs you start a career in truck driving, you’ll hear a lot about truck driver training programs. This is fast becoming the preferred method for getting a commercial driver’s license as well as getting hired by a trucking company. But did you know that some truck driving schools offer specialized training? Take Lewis and Clark Community College, for example, where you can choose from a variety of training programs and classes for truckers.

Trucking School in Illinois

For those interested in trucking school in Illinois, Lewis and Clark Community College offers several pathways. Lewis and Clark is an accredited public college in Illinois that was founded in 1970. More than 12,000 students enroll in LCCC classes each year.  Today there are a couple of locations for the college including:

  • Benjamin Godfrey Campus in Godfrey, Illinois
  • O. Nelson Campus in Edwardsville, Illinois
  • National Great Rivers Confluence Campus in East Alton, Illinois

For truck driving training, the school operates out of the Bethalto Training Center located at the NGRCC in East Alton.

Types of Truck Driver Training Programs at LCCC

At LCCC, you are provided with truck driver training that will enable you to prepare for taking the CDL exam. This program is available through the Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Consortium. For the coursework, you can choose between:

  • Integrated truck driver with certificate of completion
  • Extended truck driver with certificate of competition

The only difference between the two programs is that the extended truck driver training includes one class of driving simulation.

Cost of Trucking School in Illinois

The tuition rate at LCCC is $120 per credit hour for in-state students, and if you are out of state, you’ll pay $480 per credit hour. There are other fees and matriculation charges that must also be covered. Fortunately, since this is a public college, you are eligible to apply for federal student aid, work grants, and scholarships. The extended truck driver training is a 19-hour program for a total tuition cost of $2,280, while integrated training is an 18-hour course for $2,160—these are in-state tuition rates.

Advanced Training Opportunities

At LCCC, you receive hazmat training as part of your curriculum, which is an advantage over other truck driver training programs. You are thereby prepared to take the CDL endorsement exam for hazmat loads. Also, the truck driving program includes truck driver orientation, FMCSA safety regulations, and a class titled Targeting the Job Market.

The school has most recently added another advanced training opportunity. You can learn how to haul with a tanker trailer, which gives you the information you need to be able to get your CDL endorsement for tanker hauling. According to Harry Nelson, the truck driver training coordinator at LCCC, “The trailer extends the capabilities of our current program to provide unique training and experience in a trucking segment that requires specialized skills in hauling liquid materials.”

Source: LCCC – Info

Getting Started at Premier Truck Driving School for C.R. England

green cr england truck on the roadChoosing a trucking school is a major step in the right direction for your truck driving career. Some schools are sponsored by trucking companies, which saves you thousands of dollars. Plus, once you graduate from these truck driver training programs, you have your foot in the door of the sponsoring company. One of the biggest trucking companies in the US has its own trucking school. Find out everything you need to know to get started with training at the C.R. England Premier Truck Driving School.

About C.R. England

Before you decide to attend the C.R. England Premier Truck Driving School, you need to know a little bit about this trucking company. After all, you’ll be contracted and obligated to drive for the company once you graduate from the school. So, you have to make sure you’re a good fit, and the company is where you want to work. C.R. England has been around since 1920 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

C.R. England is a family-owned trucking company with four generations of Englands at the helm. The current CEO at C.R. England is Chad England, who has been working at the company since he was 14. He literally worked his way up by getting his CDL and serving as the driver manager and several other leadership roles. This means that you’d be driving for a CEO who has been behind the wheel and understands what it means to be a trucker.

C.R. England is a refrigerated carrier that focuses on frozen and cold hauls. If you drive for C.R. England, you will operate a reefer trailer that requires specialized skills. This type of trailer is a dry van or box trailer with a refrigeration unit attached to it. You are responsible for maintaining and checking the reefer unit, which must be maintained at a set temp throughout the route from pick-up to delivery. Types of refrigerated hauls include fresh produce, frozen meat, and products that must be kept from getting too hot when in transit. This could include medical products, polymers, or heat sensitive technology.

Premier Truck Driving School Locations

Now that you know what to expect when driving for C.R. England, the next step is to find a trucking school location. Premier Truck Driving Schools are located in:

  • Burns Harbor, Indiana
  • Richmond, Indiana
  • Cedar Hill, Texas
  • Fontana, California
  • Theodore, Alabama
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Atlanta, Georgia

Take heed that there is also another trucking school by the name of Premier CDL Training Services, LLC. This school is located in Granite City, Freeport, Peoria, and Bradley, Illinois. Premier CDL Training is not affiliated in any way with C.R. England.

How to Sign Up

Once you choose a location where you would like to attend C.R. England Premier Truck Driving Schools, you will need to sign up. Here are the steps to take:

  • Fill out a driver application The application has four parts—contact information, personal information, motor vehicle report, and work history.
  • The school will report back to you regarding your eligibility and the nearest trucking school with openings for students.
  • If you need to travel for trucking school, you will be provided with travel and lodging paid for by C.R. England. Travel is provided by Greyhound bus and lodging is in hotels near the school or in a dorm at the Salt Lake City school.

Driver Requirements for Trucking School

To be eligible for trucking school with C.R. England, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 21
  • Have a clean driving record
  • Have a good work history including three years of employment
  • Must pass a drug test via the DOT for your CDL, as well as pre-hiring drug testing for C.R. England
  • Must be healthy and in good condition to pass the DOT physical exam for getting a CDL
  • Must pass the road test by C.R. England
  • Must have your original Social Security card, which cannot be laminated
  • Must have an official birth certificate with raised seal or a US Passport
  • Must have your driver’s license and can include a one-year temporary license as long as it has your photo on it
  • Must not have a criminal record or must provide court documents pertaining to your case upon request

If you meet all of these requirements, then you should be able to enroll in trucking school at C.R. England. There are instances when the truck driver training classrooms are booked to the max. In this case, you’ll be placed on a waiting list or required to attend another trucking school location.

What to Expect at Trucking School

Once you arrive at trucking school and you’ve unpacked your luggage, it’s time to get to business. You are going to be in the classroom for 17 days, and this will include truck driver orientation for the company. You will learn everything you need to be able to take and successfully pass the CDL exam. However, this is not the end of your training period.

Phase I and II of Truck Driver Training

Then you enter Phase I of training, which is a one-month program during which you earn $10 per hour for an average pay of $500 per week. During this phase, you will get some behind-the-wheel time, as well as not-driving time in which you learn more about loading, maintenance, etc.

After you have completed this phase, you transfer to Phase II. This phase lasts for about a month and a half depending on your progress and how many trucking jobs are available to you in that area. You will continue driving in Phase II, until you are provided with a full-time truck driving job with C.R. England. This phase pays 28 cents per mile, which is split with a trainer you will be driving with during this time. Your average pay will be $578.

Advanced Lead and Truck Driver Trainer Positions

If you are still in Phase II after four months due to lack of opportunities, then you are placed in the Phase II Advanced Lead post. Here you will earn an extra 4 cents per mile for a total of 32 CPM, giving you an average of $753 a week.

After working in Phase II for six months, you automatically become a driver trainer, which is one of the highest paying trucking jobs in the company. Of course, in most instances, you’ll be put into the solo driving position much sooner due to the high demand for truck drivers at C.R. England.

New River Community College Offering CDL Trucking School Classes

truck driver trainingAt New River Community College in Virginia, interested individuals can train to be professional truck drivers. NRCC is offering the CDL training program outside of its college coursework. Plus, you can save big bucks on trucking school through a grant available at the college. Find out everything you need to know to enroll and pay for truck driver training at this Virginia community college.

Go to Trucking School in Virginia for Free

The full cost of tuition for truck driver training at NRCC is $4,500. However, the college offers students in trucking school the opportunity to reduce the cost of tuition to zero. There are two programs you can apply for to receive financial aid: the Workforce Credential Grant (WCG) and the Financial Aid for Non-credit Training leading to Industry Credentials (FANTIC).

Thanks to the WCG available through the training program at NRCC, you can have your tuition trimmed down to one-third of the total cost. To be eligible for the Workforce Credential Grant program you must:

  • Be a full-time Virginia resident
  • Be able to fully pass the course with an S for satisfactory grade upon completion
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a social security number

You may also be eligible for the FANTIC funds program. This program will cover your first one-third of the tuition for trucking school at NRCC.

If eligible for both programs, you could go to trucking school for free in Virginia. With FANTIC, you must pay for the first one-third of your tuition when you enroll for the course. Then, if you attend all classes and pass the CDL exam, you get reimbursed for the first third of the tuition via FANTIC.

Program Schedule for CDL School

The course is a five-day-per-week program that runs for approximately 30 days. Upcoming class times include:

  • September 18, 2017 to October 25, 2017 for a Monday to Friday course load
  • October 7, 2017 to February 4, 2018 for Saturday and Sunday classes
  • November 11, 2017 to March 11, 2018 for Saturday and Sunday classes

The program provides you with training for the Class A Commercial Driver’s License exam. Once you complete the program, you will receive a certificate of completion, pending that you pass the required coursework.

This certificate will be required by the WCG and FANTIC to prove that you have successfully completed the course. If you do not have an S in the course when you have completed it, you will have to pay for your tuition, which again is $4,500. If this happens, you could get hired by a trucking company that offers tuition reimbursement. There are several trucking companies including Werner Enterprises, Schneider National, and TMC Trans that provide tuition reimbursement, so you could still go to trucking school in Virginia for free.

Getting a CDL in Virginia

Keep in mind this does not mean you will automatically receive your CDL. You will also have to visit the local DMV in Virginia to take the CDL exam. This includes a written exam and road skills test. When you finish the course, you are simply prepared to take the CDL exam. It will be up to you to pass the CDL test and get your license.

This also requires you to get a Department of Transportation physical exam certificate stating you are physically fit to be a truck driver. You are also required to pass a DOT drug and alcohol screen before you are eligible to take the CDL test.

Ultimately, by going to trucking school at New River Community College, you will be provided with everything from skills to information for how to become a CDL-holding commercial trucker.

Maverick Transportation Announces Large Pay Increase

maverick trucks on the roadMaverick Transportation LLC, named one of The National Transportation Institute’s Top Pay Carriers last year, has announced a $.05 per mile pay increase for its Flatbed and Glass OTR divisions. This pay increase is applicable to all drivers in both divisions, including student drivers.

“At Maverick Transportation, we pride ourselves on setting the industry standard when it comes to driver compensation,” says John Culp, president of Maverick Transportation. “We are constantly looking for ways we can put more money in our drivers’ pockets.”

The pay increase, which goes into effect December 18, 2017, will bring base pay for OTR flatbed drivers to $.51 – $.56 per mile, and regional OTR flatbed drivers to $.49 – $.54 per mile. Glass division drivers will now make $.55 – $.60 per mile base pay, while students will start between $.43 – $.50 per mile base pay, depending on division. Many of Maverick’s dedicated divisions will also receive pay increases. This is the second pay increase for Maverick Transportation drivers in recent months. The Arkansas-based carrier rolled out a $.04 per mile pay increase for its Temperature Control division at the end of last year.

Maverick drivers enjoy competitive pay with the ability to earn increases up to five years, a pay for performance bonus, and a driver referral bonus program. Other driver benefits include: excellent home time, weekend guarantee pay, paid orientation & training, paid weigh station bypass & tolls, 401k plan + match, company-paid life insurance, health and dental insurance options, and paid vacation. Additionally, Maverick is currently offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for drivers with one year of verifiable experience.

To learn more about driving opportunities at Maverick visit our website or call 800-201-7695.

About Maverick Transportation LLC

Founded in 1980, based in Little Rock, Arkansas, and operating over 1,600 units, Maverick provides OTR and Dedicated service to the flatbed, glass, and temperature control transportation markets throughout North America. To learn more about Maverick Transportation visit www.maverickusa.com.

How to Get the Trucking Job You Really Want

Flatbed Truck Driver in DesertIn the trucking industry, there’s a lot more than just finding a trucking job. You have to choose a haul type, trucking company, region, route, and type of product you transport. It’s a lot to think about. You want to make the best decision possible, so you aren’t stuck in a cycle of constantly searching for the next best trucking job. So how do you do this? How do you find the trucking job that you really want on your first try? We’ve come up with some industry proven tips to get you on the right route to success with truck driving jobs.

Understand the Trucking Industry

Start with a solid understanding of what the trucking industry is all about. You have certain types of trucking jobs:

  • Long-haul, over-the-road trucking jobs
  • Regional trucking jobs
  • Local trucking jobs

If you select long-haul, OTR trucking jobs, these will require you to be away from home more. However, these types of jobs pay the most in the industry. Regional trucking jobs will give you more home time, as you will generally be away for two to three days at a time. Of course, the pay decreases compared to long-haul trucking. If you want to be home every night, go with local trucking jobs. Again, pay will be the least of the three, but for truck drivers with family or community commitments, the home time is more important.

Haul Types

Now consider what kind of haul type you want and will be willing to do on a daily basis. Here is a breakdown of the most common haul types and associated duties:

  • Dry van trucking loads involve closed-up box trailers and generally include no-touch, drop-and-hook freight, which means you back up to the loading dock and hook to your trailer and roll on down the road. There is less work involved in loading, and you typically do not monitor the freight while on a route.
  • Flatbed trucking loads are more tedious as these involve open-air trailers. You are required to strap down the load and to stop and check the security of your straps on a set time frame while hauling the freight. You may also have to tarp the load depending on the weather and security concerns of the shipper. If you have to tarp a load, this involves a lot of manual labor, and you’ll have to keep a check on your tarping just like you do with the strapping.
  • Reefer trucking loads use a dry van box trailer equipped with a refrigeration unit. Your main focus will be on the temperature of the trailer. You will be required to stop and check the temp at certain times throughout the haul to ensure the refrigeration system is running as needed. You will also have to keep the reefer unit filled with fuel and provide any on-the-spot maintenance and repairs as needed. Otherwise, your load could be jeopardized if the temperature fluctuates improperly. You are also required to be on the strictest of delivery schedules since your freight is perishable.

These are the three basic haul types, but as with any job, there are exceptions. For starters, you could be required to haul an oversized load within any of these three haul types. Most often, an oversized load will be on a flatbed trailer simply because of the freedom of the width and height of the load. Oversized loads are one-off; you are least likely to find a trucking company that specializes in nothing but oversized loads. While this type of trucking load pays the most, there are few of these types of loads to go around.

CDL Endorsements for Loads

After you have considered the haul types you would be best suited for, it’s time to take a gander at CDL endorsements. By getting a CDL endorsement, you increase your trucking job opportunities as well as the amount of money you can make in trucking.

For starters, the most common CDL endorsements are tank and hazardous materials endorsements. In fact, typically truckers will get both of these endorsements so they can haul the most freight. For this reason, the Department of Transportation has issued the X endorsement for a combination of tank and hazmat endorsements.

If you have an X endorsement, you can haul anything that involves a tanker trailer and hazardous materials. This includes propane/gas, chemicals, liquid foods/beverages, water for oil mining, sand for fracking, and medical waste. These types of trucking jobs pay more, but they are also more stressful. After all, when you are hauling a tanker load of fuel, you are putting yourself at risk more so than if you were hauling a dry van load of paper.

The bottom line is that as a truck driver, you can earn more money and have more job opportunities by increasing your specialization. At the same time, these types of trucking jobs can be more stressful, so it’s a balancing act in terms of what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice for a trucking career.

Hottest Trucking Jobs that are Left Sitting: Oversized Loads

blue tarp oversized loadDid you know that oversized loads are some of the best-paying trucking jobs on the market? It’s true, but these are also some of the hardest trucking hauls. As a result, oversized loads are one of the hottest trucking jobs left sitting. Here’s a trucker’s dilemma—do you take a trucking job that is easy and quick but pays less than one that requires more time and effort? This is the case with oversized trucking jobs. If you are interested in hauling oversized loads, check out these pros and cons so you can make the smartest financial trucking move for you.

Issues with Oversized Loads

An oversized truckload will almost always be put on a flatbed trailer. That is the first concern because a flatbed load will require more hands-on work throughout the trucking job. You may need to tarp and strap your load, and if so, you’ll have to stop and check your holds like clockwork. In many instances, you’ll have to physically climb up on the trailer to do so, which can be a hassle when it’s pouring down rain or burning up outside—not to mention the time it takes out of driving.

Restrictions for Oversized Truck Loads

Then you have the very nature of what constitutes an oversized truckload. This load will be either larger in width or height than a normal truckload, or it will cause your rig to weigh more than the allotted 80,000 pounds. This is why it is called an oversized load. Sometimes the load will be just an inch or two longer or a couple hundred pounds overweight. However, when you have a load that is excessively larger, it requires additional oversight.

You must follow restrictions for oversized truckloads as noted in the cities and states where you are hauling from and through. Generally, this involves getting an oversized load permit that allows you to haul the freight. It also means you can only drive during the daylight hours. When the sun sets, you are required to sit until the sun rises, which greatly cuts into your driving time. This also forces you to drive during peak traffic hours, another issue for truckers who want to get the load delivered without spending too many hours on the job. You might end up having to take four days to deliver an oversized load when a regular load would have taken you only two days.

Benefits of Taking Oversized Loads

So why take an oversized load at all? What are the benefits for truck drivers? For starters, the shipper will typically compensate you well for your time. Oversized loads automatically draw a larger fee, which is passed along to the driver. This means you might be able to make as much per day as you usually do, while only having to deal with loading docks and paperwork one time—instead of two or three times when covering multiple deliveries. For truckers who despise paperwork or who want to have shorter driving days, oversized loads are where it’s at.

When you take oversized trucking loads, you are also getting invaluable trucking experience that you won’t get with normal loads. You understand how to handle specialized truckloads and gain behind-the-wheel experience you can add to your resume. Sometimes those oversized loads are just plain cool. It’s definitely a good day when you can show your kids or grandchildren pictures of what you’re hauling, and they get excited. It gives you something to be proud of when you haul interesting freight.

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