What kind of regulatory requirements are there for truck drivers?
To operate in interstate commerce, a driver must be at least 21 years of age, pass a rigid physical examination every 2 years and submit to testing for drug and alcohol use, including unannounced random testing. Drivers of all trucks with gross-weight ratings of more than 26,000 pounds and drivers of vehicles carrying any quantity of hazardous materials that are required to display warning signs must obtain a “Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)” by passing rigorous tests of their knowledge of safety regulations and their ability to drive the large trucks. Drug and alcohol convictions or combinations of various serious driving violations can draw temporary or even permanent loss of driving privileges.
What is the outlook for jobs in the future for Professional Truck Drivers?
In one word – EXCELLENT! The economy of the past few years has brought the freight moving industry to a record level crescendo this year, about 7 billion tons. The Federal Government estimates a current driver shortage of somewhere around 80,000 drivers. There has never been a better time for novice drivers to enter the industry.
The personnel offices of the trucking industry are busy creating new innovative approaches for attracting new drivers. The trucking industry reports that it is likely pay will increase by 40 to 60 percent over current levels within the next 3 years. That would put the average trucker salary in the $50,000 to $65,000 category. For new drivers qualified to enter the industry, they most likely will receive a reimbursement for all tuition and truck driver training costs. Instead of being away from home for several weeks, a new “relay system” where drivers will be gone from home for probably only a few nights a week is getting more popular.
The competitive battle between truck manufacturers will continue for supremacy in the “who can produce the most luxurious truck” battle. Naturally, these new modern trucks will be sold to the trucking industry for the lure of new drivers.
What are the trucking companies trying to do about the shortage?
From what we have seen and heard, they are trying to counter with such perks as;
- Home leave policies. More companies are trying to get their drivers home on weekends. An alternative: About a 80% of long distance truckers now use electronic mail (email) to stay in touch.
- Fancier trucks. An example; drivers who have worked for Star Transportation in Nashville for 10 years can pick out their own trucks, complete with accessories.
- From our experience, such things as higher pay, better scheduling and, of course, ‘scouting the schools’ is also being done.
I have always heard that you must have at least 1-2 years experience to be hired in the truck driving industry?
Not True – while it is standard for trucking companies to not accept novices, many are eager to hire graduates from an accredited established school like National Training. We have immediate openings with many of the top companies in the country, such as Central Refrigerated Service Inc., FFE Transport, Stevens Transport, Swift Transportation, USA Truck, US Xpress, Werner Enterprises, Wil-Trans, and many others.
How much do Truck Drivers earn?
The median annual wage of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $37,770 in May 2010. Employment for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving