- Local routes
- Over the road
- Long haul routes
Most drivers prefer to obtain positions offering local routes so that they can return home each night, however the largest number of positions open are usually long haul and over the road.
Employers offering local route positions generally require at least two to three years prior driving experience
With an over the road or long haul route, the driver usually picks up and delivers products across the nation and may be gone several weeks at a time.
The U.S. Department of transportation as well as state regulated transportation agencies strictly govern the number of hours a driver can be on the road consecutively as well as total hours within a 24 hour period. All states require drivers to maintain log books where information regarding the number of hours driven and the number of rest hours are recorded.
While a large part of operating a commercial motor vehicle is driving, there is also extensive physical work and strain involved. The vehicle must be inspected before each trip and loads are frequently required to be tied down with tarps in inclement weather.
Employment Prospects for Truck Drivers
Job seekers can find open positions in a number of fields. Local route employers tend to include employers who need drivers to haul logs and grocery products. Over the road driving positions can be found in a wide variety of environments.
Some transportation companies haul an innumerable amount of materials and products. In this type of environment a driver might be delivering a load of lumber one week and 50 gallon drums the next. Just a few employment prospects include transporting cars, fuel, livestock and furniture as well as construction materials.
Opportunities for advancement include management positions and opportunities to train new drivers. Experienced drivers who have proven their safety record may also be eligible to select choice routes.
Job Search for Truck Drivers
Truck driving positions can be found through a variety of means. Employers list open positions in the classifieds as well as through the services of employment agencies. Networking can also prove to be beneficial in searching for open truck driving positions.
Cover Letters for Truck Drivers
Cover letters for truck drivers need not be fancy; however they should reflect the job seeker’s commitment to safety and customer service. Any awards that have been earned from prior employers for safe driving records should be mentioned in the letter.
Resumes for Truck Drivers
Not all employers require resumes for open driving positions. For those that do, a functional resume works very well. The functional resume allows the job seeker to focus on their skills, particularly if they are skilled in hauling a specific type of product or operating a certain type of vehicle such as:
- Refrigerated models
- Flat bed trailers
- Chemical tankers
Any safety information that applies, such as a number of years operating a motor vehicle with no accidents, should be highlighted on the resume.
Training & Qualifications for Truck Drivers
A Class A commercial truck drivers license is required within all states in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age in order to qualify for the license. While the minimum age for qualifying for a CDL is 18, it should be noted that due to insurance restrictions, most employers are not willing to hire a driver until he or she is at least 23 years old.
Both a written test and a driving test must be successfully passed to obtain the license. In addition, almost all states require Class A CDL driver candidates to pass a physical examination. The physical examination will test hearing, vision as well as physical stamina and issues such as blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Individuals who will be hauling hazardous materials or other special materials must obtain special permits along with the Class A CDL. While it is not necessary to attend a training school to obtain a commercial drivers license, many candidates opt for this choice.
Truck driver training schools are offered across the nation and generally last anywhere from four to eight weeks in length. Costs vary, however the typical cost is usually at least several thousand dollars. Some schools offer financing as well as scholarships. In a limited number of situations, employers may be willing to pick up the cost of training and be paid back by the driver once they are working and on the payroll.
Careers In Truck Driving
Commercial truck drivers are required to pass a physical examination once every two years in order to maintain their license.
Stringent requirements regarding a limited number of traffic tickets apply, regardless of whether the ticket was obtained in a commercial or standard vehicle.