As 2023 hits its stride and we get closer to the middle of the year, trucking issues and trends have come and gone. Certain trends, though, are here to stay. Read below to discover the top 10 things to know about truck driving for this year.
Truck Driving, the Economy, and You
Due to many issues, such as inflation, labor concerns, and the failure of regional banks, the economy is veering closer and closer to a recession. However, the trucking industry may see some unexpected gains. The trucking industry relies most on freight transportation across the U.S., meaning there will always be work even in a recession. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ 2022 Transportation Statistics Annual Report, the trucking industry hauled more than $13.1 trillion of freight. For truck drivers and consumers alike, jobs and goods will remain available even if a recession hits.
In 2022, the Department of Transportation rolled out 13+ new regulations and policies for the trucking industry. The fundamental changes you should be aware of are:
- In 2023, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) will end the exemption for truckers hauling relief loads.
- Effective January 2023, the FMCSA became the only source for employer inquiries to meet requirements concerning identifying prospective drivers with drug and alcohol convictions.
- The FMCSA has begun limiting who qualifies as a “bona fide agent” of motor carriers.
- The research on how best the FMCSA can qualify unfit trucking companies continues. They aim to further increase the removal of unsafe trucking companies.
- Lastly, the FMCSA continues trying to mandate speed limiters for heavy-duty trucks.
As with new regulations, new technology continues to roll out as the year advances. For example, another of the policies the FMCSA is attempting to roll out is electronic ids for interstate CMVs (commercial motor vehicles). This rollout would streamline interstate travel and paperwork for truckers and administrators.
Telematics, or the long-distance transmission of computerized information, combines telecommunications and informatics, collecting GPS information to be later analyzed. This would help the truck driving industry gain insight into their fleet of vehicles and drivers. It would help track the progress of freight, allow engineers and mechanics to streamline truck maintenance, enable dispatchers to communicate with other drivers, suppliers, and consumers, and increase safety systems and surveillance.
Truck Driving Shortage
Although jobs may be available, there aren’t enough truck drivers to fill those vacancies. According to the American Trucking Association, 2022 reached a historic shortage of truck drivers. The trucking industry has a gap of almost 80,000 drivers.
One of the top 10 things to know about truck driving is the current issue with supply chain disruptions. Pandemic and post-pandemic lockdowns, container scarcity, extreme weather, material shortages, and more have led to these disruptions. However, they are getting better, leading to faster service for you. In any case, if supply chain disruptions continue, you can still prepare. To prevent as minor damage from supply chain issues as possible, businesses should diversify their suppliers, order bulk, and communicate with customers and suppliers.
Despite the shortage of drivers, there are many careers within the trucking industry. They need dispatchers, service representatives, couriers, mechanics, trainers, and more. Some require other forms of training outside of a Commercial Driver’s License. Those that do require a CDL include:
- Commercial truck drivers
- Delivery truck driver
- Bus driver
- Truck driver instructor
Truck Driving Education
Getting started with your CDL training is easy with TDI. Being a truck driver requires certain skills, including organizational finesse, patience, navigational abilities, mechanical knowledge, communication skills, being able to make quick judgment calls, proper driving skills, and more.
To begin your truck driver education, you must first be sure you’re applicable to take the CDL. To take the CDL exam, you must have a valid driver’s license, be 18 or older, have zero recent DUIs, and pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical and drug test. You must also have proof of citizenship and pass a background check.
Next, you can test for your CDL! TDI offers education and training for CDLs in just 15 days. The CDL test includes written general knowledge and hands-on practical examinations. The general knowledge exam covers driving safety, brakes, pre-trip vehicle inspections, and more. The practical test, meanwhile, has three components:
- A pre-inspection test
- A backing test
- A road skills test
Pre-Trip: Preparation & Inspection
Another one of the top 10 things to know about truck driving for 2023 is the importance of pre-trip prep. Truck drivers, consumers, and suppliers are more likely to have issues without preparation. Pre-trip preparation can include checking with your dispatcher on the news and situation with supply chains or checking if there are new regulations you should be made aware of.
Life on the Road
Although keeping abreast of the latest regulations in truck driving is essential to your and your company’s success, taking care of yourself should also be one of the top 10 things to know about truck driving. After all, without the truck drivers, the trucking industry would lack its most active members. Truck drivers should prioritize their mental and physical health by getting regular check-ups, getting a good night’s rest, and doing hobbies they enjoy!
Truck & Trailer Repair
Last but not least, the top 10 things you should know about truck driving is the maintenance of your truck. While pre-trip preparation and maintenance help keep you and your truck up to date, make sure you go the extra mile for maintenance and repair. Even the smallest details, like cab cleanliness or tire pressure, can differentiate between a safe and dangerous haul. Of course, it’s better to be safe than sorry about your truck’s maintenance!
TDI Will Keep You In-The-Know!
Want to know more about truck driving with TDI? Find out more here today.
Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!