Most individual long haul truck drivers average from 100,000 miles to 110,000 miles a year, with an average daily run of about 500 miles a day. Regional and city truck drivers average about 48,000 miles behind the wheel annually. You do not need to buy or lease your own truck for most truck driver jobs. The vehicle is provided for you and usually maintained by the trucking company.
There are different types of truck driver jobs, including:
- Over the Road / Long-Haul Drivers operate heavy trucks and drive for long periods of time, either interstate (between states) or intrastate (within one state). Some over the road truck drivers travel a few hundred miles and return the same day; others are away from home overnight, or for several days or weeks at a time. Some drivers work in teams, including husband and wife teams.
- Pick-up and Delivery (P&D) / Local Drivers operate light, medium or heavy trucks and work in route-sales or pick-up-and-delivery operations. These drivers have more contact with customers than over the road drivers and usually make more stops each day. Those P&D drivers often need sales skills in addition to driving skills.
- Specialized Trucking involves specialized trucks that handle unusual, oversized or sensitive loads. Drivers cover local and long-distance routes, and need extra training to operate their equipment. Examples of specialized trucking include auto carriers, dry bulk carriers, (permitted) oversized and overweight loads, or double and triple trailers. Other permits may be needed.
- Hazardous Materials Drivers need additional training. Drivers need to know about the content of the loads they are hauling, how to handle the loads safely and what to do in an emergency. Truck drivers who transport hazardous materials must also take a special test when applying for the CDL that certifies them as a hazardous materials driver. Examples of hazardous materials drivers include tank truck, over the road or P&D drivers carrying hazardous materials. Other permits may be needed.
- An Owner-Operator or Independent Driver owns his or her equipment, anything from a straight truck to a flat-bed tractor-trailer, and hauls freight on a contractual basis. Husband-and-wife owner-operator teams are very common, especially in the household goods moving industry. It is possible to make a good living as an owner-operator, but like many businesses, the competition is tight and there are many overhead expenses involved – equipment purchases, maintenance, fuel and insurance, to name just a few. Most owner-operators begin their careers as salaried drivers with a motor carrier before starting their own business.
Rates of pay and potential earnings vary considerably within the industry. Most city pick-up-and-delivery drivers are paid by the hour. In long-haul operations, truck drivers are usually paid a specified rate per mile, or, in some cases, a percentage of the revenue the motor carrier receives for the load hauled.
Also see our post: Could You Use A Helpful Working Glossary of Common Trucking Jobs?
Truck driver jobs are very plentiful right now if you have the training and experience to qualify for them. Are you considering the trucking industry as a career? You can train with Truck Driver Institute in as little as 3 weeks, and we offer job placement services to all our students.
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We know a big part of our job is to make sure you have the training and confidence to become a commercial truck driver. And, a very big part of our job is to help you find a carrier where you can put those new skills to work. At Truck Driver Institute, we have the resources and experience to do just that — we have been putting America to work since 1973. Contact us today.