Long Haul Trucker Jobs Worth Considering
If you are of a certain age you may remember TV shows like "BJ and The Bear" and The movie "Cannonball Run" starring Burt Reynolds as an outlaw trucker. Some people still have this image of long haul truckers in their heads but the stereotype is far from the truth nowadays.
Today's truckers are more often technology savvy professionals than gear jamming cowboys. A modern truck like the one above may be equipped with a real time satellite link and GPS system that tracks the driver's progress along with others in the company fleet on a NASA like control screen at headquarters. Drivers are routed using sophisticated software to get them to the closest load using as little time and fuel as possible. The driver most likely has a laptop with a wireless aircard, TV and DVD player in the sleeper, satellite radio, automatic transmission and more. Of course the CB radio is still present, but most of the technology on today's big rig's is 21'st century.
Not Just A Job Grabbing Gears
Today truckers are paid for their performance and ability to get a load from one point to another using as little fuel as possible. Drivers earn fuel bonuses with many companies. The bigger operations pay per-diem, medical insurance, dental, and offer 401-k plans. There are still plenty of independent truckers earning a good living as well. The rules and regulations that modern truck drivers have to abide by can be challenging. Long haul truckers must keep a log book of how many hours they drive in one day and must not exceed a certain number of hours without sleep.
There are state weight stations that must be checked into where trucks are weighed on a scale and given violation notices if overweight. All of the safety equipment must be in working order, including air brakes, lights, horns, tires, tie down straps, etc, or hefty fines will be issued. There is a lot more to the job than just driving up and down the road.
Still, it is a job that rewards the employee with a view that is constantly changing. As a long haul truck driver you can see much of the United States from your view high above other cars on the road.
Drivers for good companies can make over $50,000 a year or more.
How To Become An Over The Road Trucker
To become a long haul trucker you need a high school education or GED, a Commercial Driver's License or CDL with air brake endorsement, and a company willing to give you a try. Many would be truck drivers attend a truck driving school where the basics of backing, parking, and maintaining a truck, along with rules and regulations and basic engine mechanics are taught. Truck driving schools generally last about three months. If you are looking for a very different kind of job you just might want to give over the road truck driving a shot.