Truck drivers are such an essential part of our daily lives that most us of probably take it for granted. Truck drivers transport freight to homes, businesses, construction sites and so on. We rely on these drivers and without them our economy and infrastructure would not function as efficiently as it does. Currently demand for Over-the-Road (OTR) drivers is extremely high. Now is a great time to begin a career as an OTR truck driver with so many trucking companies offering sign-on bonuses and salary incentives. It's not uncommon for a new driver to easily secure 40K annually working for a trucking company. There are also opportunities for advancements in this line of work as an individual can become an Owner/Operator and source their own loads to maximize their revenue.
This is an industry where demand for long haul drivers exceeds supply when it comes to drivers in the pool. Over-the-Road trucking can be a tough job due to many factors. For one a long haul driver can spend weeks on the road away from home and family. An OTR driver can also expect to be driving 6 to 10 hours a day and keep accurate logs of their driving time and loads. Solo drivers will have to endure long stretches of being alone in their cab and perform some tough manual labor along the way. The good news is that the downfalls of Over-the-Road driving can be somewhat minimized. Cell phones and laptops allow for staying in touch with family and friends and even see them real-time while resting between destinations. Some companies will allow drivers to have a pet for companionship in the truck to help overcome solitary trips.
If you are able to endure the harder parts of the job mentioned above there are some fantastic benefits to being an OTR driver. There are plenty of seasoned long haul drivers whom earn over 100K each year. As a career that can provide substantial earnings over the years and, if done correctly, you can ensure yourself a cozy retirement. You will travel and have the opportunity to see different parts of the country offering the chance to sightsee and take in the local culture. It's a chance to see something new and make a life experience of it. Over-the-Road trucking is not just a job for an individual. If your friend/partner/spouse also possesses a commercial driver license (CDL) you can work as team drivers. The benefits of this are more miles can be driven. You are able to offset the alone time with your co-driver to share the experiences.
The requirements to drive long haul will vary depending on your employer. You can expect a Class B CDL will be a standard requirement and a Class C license in some cases. Companies may be looking for experienced drivers so if you have a few years behind the wheel doing local deliveries that can be beneficial. A high school diploma or the equivalent should suffice for most positions. Your employer may also provide onsite training to address handling specialized loads, logging trips, safety measures and driving laws. A bit of mechanical know how of your rig will also come in handy. It's an exciting career where you will have experiences to share and learn tricks of the industry along the way.
If you don't have a CDL but would like to pursue a career as an OTR driver check with your local college for CDL training classes. There are also dedicated truck driving schools where you can obtain CDL. Best of luck on the job search!