We found a recent post on the ecapital blog, which does a pretty darn good job of describing several common types of trucking jobs that are available to professional drivers.
Some of the most common trucking jobs are:
- Dry Van: This is the most common trucking type for new drivers, and usually refers to a 53-foot trailer that hauls dry or non-perishable goods. These jobs are generally more available and easier to get.
Most recent truck driving school graduates start by driving dry van to gain experience and establish a safe driving history, then some drivers will choose to advance into these other, more specialized trucking jobs.
- Auto Hauler: Auto haulers pull specialized trailers designed to haul all types of vehicles. There are several regulations and rules that auto haulers are required to know, adding an extra layer of responsibility and expertise.
- Bull Hauler: Bull haulers pull trailers that are specially designed for the transportation of live animals. Similar to auto haulers, bull haulers have additional responsibility and training.
- Container Hauler: Container haulers transport metal containers commonly used for imported goods that can also be transported by large ocean-going ships and railroad cars. Drivers usually pick up their containers from ports or terminals and distribute to other ports or terminals.
- Flat Bed: This refers to a flat trailer that can haul anything from airplanes to scaffolding-basically anything that won’t fit inside a standard trailer. The driver is expected to pay close attention to securing and the safety of the load.
- Hopper (or Grain Hauler): A hopper is a trailer specially designed for dumping its contents. Hoppers generally transport dry bulk loads, such as grain and corn.
- Hot Shot: Hot shot trucking, also known as less than truckload (LTL), refers to a truck that’s smaller than the usual semi truck and trailer. Though many truck varieties can fall into this category, one common type is a 1-ton diesel dually pulling a 40-foot gooseneck trailer. These drivers normally have to make several stops for a small amount of freight, and are generally expected to load and unload it themselves.
- Low Boy (or Heavy Equipment Hauler): These trailers are usually extremely low at the center and generally carry items that are tall or oversized. They often require escort vehicles and special permits depending on the overall size, weight and dimensions of the load, and the route of travel.
- Reefer: Specialized, refrigerated trailers have an air conditioner at the front of the trailer and haul goods (for example, food or pharmaceuticals) that must be kept at specific temperatures. The driver is expected to maintain and monitor temperature settings to protect the safety and viability of trailer contents.
- Tanker: Tankers are used mostly for hauling liquids-anything from gasoline to milk. Special training is requiring when hauling a tanker because the center of gravity is constantly changing.
Generally speaking, the highest-paying trucking job types are reefers, tankers, flatbeds, low-boys, bull and auto haulers; however, these also require more training and certification.
Also see our post: What Types of Truck Driving Jobs Are There For Professional Drivers?
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