Working as a truck driver has a lot of benefits, but one that often goes unnoticed is the variety of work one can do with a CDL. There are several different types of truck driving jobs that veer away from what many consider a traditional truck driver to be.
Truck Driving Job Categories
Dry Van Hauler
Most types of professional drivers start out their careers by hauling dry van shipments. ‘Dry Van’ is a common nickname for the rectangular trailers hauled by semi-trucks. They normally are filled with dry, easy-to-transport goods packaged in pallets or boxes. Those who drive dry van trailers are normally not required to unload the goods they’ve transported on their own.
Freight hauling is a type of truck driving job that covers all of the areas and cargo that isn’t housed under the umbrella of dry van hauling. Those who drive freight haulers may be expected to transport certain hazardous, liquid or oversized cargo that dry haulers are not licensed to carry.
Flatbed hauling is another different type of trucking service that is often overlooked. Flatbed haulers carry dry products or machinery on their open-air trailer that may be too large or awkward to fit into a dry van trailer. The loads will often be irregularly shaped or oversized, making the trek to take them to their destination more difficult and require more skill and experience.
Flatbed haulers must be experts at tying down oddly shaped objects. Due to the risk involved in this sort of hauling, flatbed haulers often are paid more than dry van haulers.
A tanker hauler is one of the most dangerous and in-demand types of trucking services of the modern day. Companies are willing to pay top dollar for drivers looking to brave the road and transport liquids. Drivers of tanker haulers need to know how to handle their truck masterfully. The liquids tanker haulers transport can be either non-hazardous or hazardous – which means if they are the latter and something happens, drivers need to know how to respond to the situation quickly.
It takes a special type of truck driver to haul refrigerated freight. Because the goods that are being hauled have to stay at a certain temperature, some hauls will have freezer shipping containers and the truck driver must be able to make certain time and distance requirements.
While the trailer the haul is being transported in is temperature controlled, the driver must still be cautious of quickly delivering the load to its destination. Since the driver of a refrigerated truck must know how to successfully set and check the temperature of their trailer, they do get paid more than dry haulers do.
Less Than Truckload Haulers
Another popular type of professional driver is the LTL, or less than truckload, hauler. LTL haulers often are dry van haulers that drive smaller, more localized loads. This specific type of truck driver is normally required to load and unload their own shipments.
These truck drivers usually get paid less per load, but often times take several loads in the course of a day.
Local and regional freight haulers are similar to those that drive LTL loads. These drivers choose to transport freight over a shorter distance, often taking multiple loads per day and coming home every night instead of driving for two weeks non-stop and staying in hotels.
Hotshot haulers are drastically different than the normal hauler. Instead of driving around a semi-truck body with a trailer attached, they normally drive a class 3 or 5 truck paired with a small trailer attachment. Goods are expected to be delivered as fast as possible, and multiple loads can be taken per day depending on the distance needed to transport said goods locally or regionally.
Another type of professional driving job that those with their CDL can do is drive an auto hauler. Auto haulers are specially designed carriers for transporting cars from one place to another. They’re most commonly used to transport new cars to their respective car lots. Due to how heavy these haulers can be, only certain trained drivers can maneuver them correctly. These drivers typically make more money than an average semi-truck hauler would.
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