Truck driving is a vital industry that keeps the wheels of our economy turning. Behind every product on the shelves in our favorite store, a truck driver played a crucial role in delivering it. But how much do you really know about truck driving? In this comprehensive FAQ guide, brought to you by Truck Driver Institute, we’ll dive into the world of truck driving facts, answering your burning questions about this profession.
- What is Truck Driving?
- How Do You Become a Truck Driver?
- What are the Different Types of Truck Driving Jobs?
- What is the Average Salary of a Truck Driver in the United States?
- How Many Truck Drivers Are There in the United States?
- How Much Revenue Does the Trucking Industry Bring In?
- Is There a Demand for Truck Drivers?
- How Do You Start a Career in Truck Driving?
- What Are the Challenges of Truck Driving?
- Does Inflation Impact Truck Driving?
- What Are the Safety Measures for Truck Drivers?
- Can I Drive with my Dog?
- What Percentage of Freight in the U.S. is Transported by Trucks?
- How Many Miles Do Truck Drivers Typically Travel Annually?
- Can You Use Your GI Bill® to Get a CDL?
What is Truck Driving?
Truck driving, often referred to as a career in trucking, involves operating large commercial vehicles to transport goods across long distances. These vehicles can range from semi-trucks to delivery vans, and truck drivers are responsible for ensuring that products reach their destination safely and on time.
How Do You Become a Truck Driver?
To become a truck driver, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This typically involves enrolling in a truck driving school, where you’ll receive training on operating commercial vehicles safely and efficiently. After completing your training, you must pass a written and practical test to obtain your CDL.
At TDI, we offer CDL training that puts you behind the wheel of a truck in just 15 days!
What are the Different Types of Truck Driving Jobs?
Truck driving offers various career options, including:
- Long-Haul Trucking/Over-the-Road: Drivers who transport goods long distances often cross state lines.
- Local Delivery: Drivers who deliver goods within a specific region or city.
- Specialized Freight: Specialized drivers transport unique or sensitive cargo, such as hazardous materials or oversized loads, along their routes.
- Regional Trucking: Drivers who transport goods in a specific region.
- Owner-Operators: Individuals who own and operate trucks and often work as independent contractors.
What is the Average Salary of a Truck Driver in the United States?
The average salary for a truck driver in the United States varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of trucking job. According to current data, trucking companies pay employees an average yearly salary of $83,158 but can go as high as $126,8821. Plus, experienced drivers and those in specialized fields can earn significantly higher salaries.
How Many Truck Drivers Are There in the United States?
Truck driving is a widespread profession in the U.S. In 2023, there are 7.95 million people employed in trucking-related jobs2, including 3.5 million employed truck drivers operating over 4 million trucks.
How Much Revenue Does the Trucking Industry Bring In?
The trucking industry has continued to grow and increase its overall revenue. The revenue of local specialized freight was $56.6 billion in 2019 but is estimated to hit $61.5 billion by next year3.
Is There a Demand for Truck Drivers?
The need for truck drivers is more significant than ever, with a need for about 80,000 new drivers. The need for truck drivers stems from unfavorable conditions affecting the industry, including requiring all drivers to be over 21, many drivers reaching retirement age, and hazardous work conditions. However, there are numerous benefits to being a truck driver, including increased flexibility, freedom, and independence.
How Do You Start a Career in Truck Driving?
Starting a career in truck driving is relatively straightforward. Research truck driving schools in your area and choose one that suits your needs. Enroll in a program, complete your training, and obtain your CDL. From there, you can start applying for truck driving jobs.
At TDI, we have an over 82% job placement rate for our graduates and pride ourselves on working with each student to find the best career for them.
What Are the Challenges of Truck Driving?
While truck driving offers many benefits, it has its fair share of challenges. These challenges include long hours on the road, extended periods away from home, and dealing with various weather conditions. Additionally, truck drivers must stay alert and focused to ensure road safety.
Does Inflation Impact Truck Driving?
Inflation exacerbates the pressing shortage of truck drivers, leads to spikes in fuel prices, and increases costs while reducing profit margins.
What Are the Safety Measures for Truck Drivers?
Truck drivers must prioritize safety at all times. This includes regular vehicle maintenance, adhering to speed limits and traffic regulations, and taking breaks to prevent driver fatigue. Additionally, truckers should stay updated on industry and Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards4.
Can I Drive with my Dog?
Pet travel companions are allowed for truck drivers! Drivers can have dogs, cats, bunnies, parrots, other small birds, guinea pigs, rice, mice, or hamsters. Getting approval for a pet travel companion isn’t tricky. Still, you must ensure your company allows it, your pet is vaccinated, and your cab is outfitted for a pet.
What Percentage of Freight in the U.S. is Transported by Trucks?
U.S. truck drivers are responsible for moving 72% of freight by weight5.
How Many Miles Do Truck Drivers Typically Travel Annually?
Truck drivers cover extensive distances as they transport goods across the country. On average, a long-haul truck driver in the U.S. travels around 80,000 to 110,000 miles annually6.
Can You Use Your GI Bill® to Get a CDL?
You can utilize the GI Bill®, also known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, for higher education. First, you must apply for benefits, print your certification of eligibility (COE), have your DD-214 handy, and enroll!
Want to Learn More Truck Driving Facts?
Truck driving is an essential profession that keeps our economy moving. Whether you’re considering a career change or just curious about the world of trucking, this FAQ can serve as your guide to truck driving facts and insights. To learn more about truck driving, check out the rest of our blog.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in truck driving, contact the TDI to kickstart your journey on the open road. Truck driving is more than just a job; it’s a way of life that offers adventure, responsibility, and the opportunity to be part of an industry that drives our world forward. Apply today!
- CloudTrucks Team. “10 Highest Paying Trucking Salaries of 2023.” CloudTrucks, June 6, 2023. https://www.cloudtrucks.com/blog-post/highest-paying-trucking-salaries.
- “Smartway | US EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” EPA.Gov, 16 Feb. 2023, www.epa.gov/smartway.
- Castillo, Lorena. “US Trucking Industry Statistics.” GITNUX, 31 Oct. 2023, blog.gitnux.com/us-trucking-industry-statistics/.
- Ventures, Commerce. “The Trucking Industry Is Ready for a Long-Overdue Digital Revolution.” Medium, Medium, 2 Mar. 2023, commercevc.medium.com/the-trucking-industry-is-ready-for-a-long-overdue-digital-revolution-d59b67f9e9ff#:~:text=With%20its%20vast%20Interstate%20Highway,the%20nations%20freight%20by%20weight.
- Free Freight Search. “How Many Miles Do Truckers Drive a Year?” Free Freight Search, 17 May 2020, blog.freefreightsearch.com/how-many-miles-do-truckers-drive-a-year/.
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