Rookie truck drivers often have a hard time getting the good runs. This can be for a couple of reasons. The most obvious is that the best runs will go to the senior and/or the most experienced truck drivers. This is true no matter the industry.
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Now we all know the amount of time one has in doing something isn’t always a fair gauge into how capable a person is. But it stands to reason that if someone who has been driving 500,000 miles will most likely be more proficient than someone who has just completed a truck driving school.
So what can you do to get the coveted better routes? Well there are several things you can do:
Those are only a few ideas, I am sure you have suggestion that might be better. But the one thing you should not do is just sit around and complain. That won’t get you very far, unless of course your grievous is legitimate.
A valid gripe might be you and three other drivers were all hired at the same time but you haven’t had a weekend home in four months while they get every weekend off. But even so, you need to address the issue the right way.
So, rookie truck drivers also make the mistake of not understanding the various types of work available. After all, getting your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and passing the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is only part of it.
You need to understand the business and everything that it takes, so here without further delay, is a breakdown of what I think is the best types of freight for rookie truck drivers.
Perhaps not everyone will agree with my suggestion, and that is fine. After all we have freedom to choose what is best for us. This is actually my opinion on how to best use your CDL and get a driving job when you are a rookie truck driver.
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the trucking industry is set to grow. So for all you rookie truck drivers out there here is what you can do with your CDL!
Do you know the good thing about van/box trailers? They are the most common type of cargo transportation in the United States. And there is not a whole lot to the dry van trailers.
Oh sure they still have LED lights, tires and such, but really they are basically a box with wheels! Besides, ensuring your load is secured there isn’t too much to worry about! There are no temperature control issues to be concerned with. This will all benefit rookie truck drivers.
They are great for long over the road (OTR) hauls. This is because they can be used for most types of freight. The freight is well protected from the elements. It is also able to be locked, sealed and well secured. This helps reduces claims from loss or damage, so with other words you will be able to protect your freight much more easily, which is not the case with some of the other types of freight.
Vans come in different lengths but the maximum length allowed 53 feet. The average box trailer should be able to carry 45,000 pounds of freight or up to 26 standard sized pallets.
On the downside, and this is according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, box trailers account for the highest number of fatal crashes (42.3% to be exact). Of course, this is attributed to it being the most common trailer type on the road.
The only, or better to say most common issue with most of the box trailers is the floors, and over all construction. They are still generally constructed from wood and therefore have limited lifespan (though they do last years and years). But they are susceptible to the weather excessive heat and moisture causes most of the issues.
Still, starting fresh, in the first years of your truck driving career, with no real experience whatsoever, this type of truck hauling should be a serious consideration for you. You won’t make a mistake; believe me when I am saying!
Another good trailer type for rookie truck drivers is the flatbed. They are very versatile and can haul most anything; from oversized items to palatalized freight. But, unlike the box trailer the freight is not secure (safe from theft) and it is exposed to the elements, rain, snow, sun, and such.
Depending on the location and the freight this can make driving flatbeds more seasonal. Of course most flatbed trucking companies handle box as well as flatbed loads so they should be able to keep you working. This is something you will want to check before signing any contracts.
Believe it or not, there are over 14 different types of flatbed trucks. Who knew? However, the most common that you’ll deal with are the step deck, double deck, and standard flatbed. As I mentioned earlier they are extremely versatile making them a great addition to the fleet.
Rookie truck drivers most of the time like hauling the flatbeds, when it’s just a standard load. They are usually easy to unload (as they can be unloaded from the sides, back, and even the top). Some common freight found on flatbeds is lumber, paneling, steel, auto parts, construction materials and related equipment.
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