Commercial Transportation Degrees

Careers in Commercial Transportation

What is a Commercial Transportation Degree?

When you run to the grocery store for some last-minute items, do you ever stop to appreciate how all these exotic fruits and vegetables from other countries arrive in your neighborhood? Since trucks are the most flexible mode of transportation, commercial truck drivers deliver almost every product available in your local store. Trucks can transport everything from fresh produce to new automobiles. That's impressive! If you're interested in traveling around the country on the open road while aiding in the delivery of goods, read on to find out how you can become a commercial driver.

Commercial truck drivers are responsible for their rigs and the cargo they are delivering. This includes picking up and delivering freights to manufacturers, distribution centers, or customers. They must also load and unload the cargo, and ensure their truck and equipment is in good working condition. There are several areas of commercial truck driving that you can possibly work in. They include:

  • Light or Delivery Service Drivers: These drivers deliver cargo within an urban area or small region of the country. Usually local truck drivers return home in the evening and may work 50 or more hours a week.
  • Specialized Truck Drivers: These commercial drivers deliver unusual loads that may be over-sized or may contain toxic chemicals from one plant to the next.
  • Sales Drivers or Route Drivers: These commercial drivers are responsible for encouraging grocery stores to increase their inventory while delivering goods or soliciting new customers along their route.

Driving a truck can be a physically demanding job. Imagine road trips you may have taken when you just couldn't wait to get to your destination. Often times, truck drivers face this same type of boredom, fatigue, and loneliness while on long routes. They must also be physically fit in order to unload cargo and endure long periods of sitting and driving. Making the decision to become a commercial driver must take a lot of consideration, as drivers often travel nights, holidays, and weekends; long-haul drivers may be away from home for days or weeks at a time. Luckily, the amount of time commercial drivers work is regulated. A long-distance driver can't work for more than 11 hours a day and they must have at least 10 hours off in-between shifts.

So, how can you get the opportunity to become a commercial truck driver? Most truck drivers enroll in a driver-training course at a technical school or vocational college to earn their CDL license. Some states even require drivers to complete a truck-driving training course before they can take the CDL test—which is great for you: the more knowledge and practice you have, the better your chances are of getting hired. Employers typically have a training program for new employees, but they will not employ any driver without a CDL license, nor will they train a driver on the job.

With the unique work environment commercial drivers face, what kind of skills are employers looking for before hiring a driver? Employers look for candidates that can get along with people, since they will often deal directly with clients. They also seek commercial drivers who exude self-confidence, initiative, tact, and a neat appearance. It's also important that a commercial driver is responsible and can work well without supervision.

With so many products and goods to be delivered each day, the overall job opportunities for commercial drivers are favorable—especially for long-haul drivers. However, the hours, earnings, and time spent away from home vastly vary. Long-haul drivers are paid per mile while local drivers are usually paid per hour. On average, commercial truck drivers make between $30,000 and $60,000 with room to grow, depending on the company in which you are employed.

Do you want the opportunity to travel the country while delivering the products needed for our daily lives? The first step is to enroll in truck driving school today!

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