Truck drivers deliver a huge variety of goods and materials and are essential to our country’s economy. After you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you can become a part of this important industry. One of the choices you will make after graduation is what type of truck driving job best fits your needs and desires. In addition to considering the route, you will also want to consider the different varieties of freight you can haul.
Here are some examples of different types of freight:
Grocery stores and restaurants across the country rely on semi-trucks to deliver food items. This may include products that need to remain at a constant temperature, which you would transport using a refrigerated (reefer) truck. Certain bulk solids, such as grains, are moved using tanker trucks. Tankers also transport liquids and moving any liquid or gaseous material will require the “N” endorsement.
Construction materials are often large and bulky which means they require unique methods of transport. Flatbed trucks, which have an open platform instead of an enclosed trailer, are often used to haul these items. Although you do not need any certifications beyond your CDL to drive a flatbed truck, skilled drivers are necessary to ensure safe transport. Flatbed truckers also usually handle loading and unloading. Because of the additional labor, flatbed freight may have a higher rate of pay.
Hazardous materials (hazmat) include a variety of substances the Department of Transportation (DOT) classifies as potentially dangerous. Some examples include toxic chemicals, explosives, and flammable gases. Hauling hazardous freight requires an additional CDL endorsement and there are additional safety precautions you will need to take. Jobs involving hazmat frequently pay more per mile.
Other Consumer Goods
It is impossible to list everything that you can haul as a truck driver because tractor-trailers transport nearly any type of product you can think of. For items that do not require unique conditions to move safely, dry vans are common. These are traditional semi-trucks with an enclosed trailer. With such a huge variety of dry van jobs, you could haul many different types of freight during your career.
Choosing the Right CDL Job For You
After you earn your license, you can choose the type of freight you haul and the type of truck you drive. This can impact your typical day on the job. Some varieties of freight require more physical labor, such as any sort of flatbed trucking. Others, like dry van hauling, do not always require you to load and unload the truck yourself. Beyond deciding on which sorts of goods you will haul, you will also need to consider what type of route will work best for you.
We Can Help You Start Your Career
At HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school), we can help you make decisions about the type of CDL job you would like to pursue. Our job placement assistance team will consider your goals and help match you with trucking companies. We provide our students with a high-quality education that will continue to benefit them throughout their trucking career.