3 Tips to Make the Most of Trucking Load Boards

Empty trucks sitting in the yard aren’t a good thing. And idle freight sitting in a warehouse isn’t a good thing either. Each of these problems cost their owner money, without earning them a dime. If you’re a new carrier or an Owner Operator looking to get started in the trucking industry, but you don’t know where to find your first jobs, a load board might be the perfect place to start. Here are 3 tips to make the most of trucking load boards.

What’s a Load Board?

A popular method for truckers to find freight is by using trucking load boards. Load boards started out literally as physical bulletin boards with printed descriptions of freight needing shipped tacked onto them. Now, these are online tools that electronically connect drivers with loads posted by shippers and brokers.

Carriers and drivers can use load boards to search for freight that fits their equipment and drivers. Shippers and brokers use load boards to post their freight and look for drivers that match-up well.

Now that it’s clear what a load board is, how can a professional driver make the most of trucking load boards?

1. Do Your Research

Getting started with load boards can be a little bit overwhelming at first. There’s a lot of options and each one might work a little differently or ask for information in a slightly different way. A great tip is talk to your fellow truckers and see what they recommend. Or spend some time online and read the reviews of the programs. With some research, you’ll find the tools that best fit your budget and your needs.

These tools should benefit both sides of the shipping equation, and it should be clear that the tools you’re using will do just that.

2. Stand Out

Like any type of matching program, it’s important to stand out. When using trucking load boards, there’s no difference. You want to put in as much information as possible, to ensure that a broker will understand exactly what you’re able to carry and how much of it. This includes your qualifications and your equipment’s specifications. And certainly, at what pay rates you’re willing to accept to haul their freight.

As you work with different load boards, you’ll get more familiar with the type of information to put in your profile to help you find the best jobs quickly.

3. Learn and Adjust

As you learn how to navigate through the various types of trucking load boards, you’ll learn the ins and outs of how they work. You will learn what makes you stand out best to brokers and shippers. And more importantly, you’ll learn what brokers and shippers are good partners for you.

Finding good partners will help you in the long run, by building a network of shippers in the area you cover.

This will ultimately help ensure that you’ve got full loads coming and going while you’re out over the road.

Just like trucking load boards match-up truckers and freight, DriveMyWay matches truckers with their next best fit trucking job. Start now and setup an account! It’s easy, it’s free and you never know… the perfect trucking gig for you might be just around the corner. What are you waiting for?

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best semi trucks
When it comes to naming the best semi trucks for CDL drivers, everyone knows there are only two good answers.

The one you’re driving or the one you wish you were driving!

This is actually a hot debate about which truck is the very best semi truck, but there are a few names you can’t miss. Vote for your favorite, then see who’s winning in the polls right now!

Which truck is best?

Freightliner

Peterbilt

Volvo

Kenworth

1. Freightliner

Every list of the best semi-trucks that’s worth its salt has to include Freightliners. They are currently the most popular truck among drivers in the United States. It’s for a few good reasons.

freightliner truckFreightliner highway trucks offer day, sleeper, and crew cab options. They’re built to handle all types of loads, and they house a 350-600 horsepower engine. Freightliner trucks are aerodynamically efficient, so they get good fuel efficiency which saves money in the long run. They are also typically less expensive to buy and operate than Peterbilts and Kenworths. So, that’s another plus for the pocketbook.

With top features for drivers and a lower price tag, it’s not hard to see why many people choose Freightliners. 

2. Peterbilt

Open roads stretching ahead of you, a powerful rig beneath you, and a classic look that you just can’t beat: that is the legacy of a Peterbilt. They are the Harley Davidsons of the trucking world. A long-nose Peterbilt is an iconic trucking look, and for style, it can’t be topped.

Peterbilt truckPeterbilts are made by PACCAR, the same company that owns Kenworth. While many drivers are loyal to what Peterbilt represents, there’s no denying the quality of these trucks. Peterbilt offers the most trucks with alternative fuel options. Their trucks also have aluminum bodies. This makes for a lighter and more fuel-efficient ride, but you may want to look at something else if you’re hauling heavy loads.

3. Kenworth

Kenworth truckLooking for a tractor built by truckers for truckers? Kenworth is your place. Experienced drivers consult on the design for new models, and it shows. These trucks have great navigational technology which makes your day on the road a little smoother and less stressful.

Kenworths are made by the same parent company who makes Peterbilts. They tend to be a little bit heavier on materials and build than their Peterbilt counterparts. Kenworths lose out on some fuel efficiency as a result, but it also gives them a sturdy feel that drivers love. 

4. Volvo

Volvo truckVolvos don’t get quite as much fame in the United States as Freightliners, Peterbilts, and Kenworths, but they are top notch. Even though they aren’t as common in the US, Volvos are recognized internationally as a top brand.

In the US, Volvos come in fifth for heavy-duty truck manufacturers, but it holds the second place title worldwide. They come from the same parent company that makes Mack trucks, and drivers can be confident they are getting a quality ride with a great support network when they choose a Volvo. 

5. International

Rounding out our top 5 list of best semi trucks for drivers is International. With models like the Lonestar and the LT series, International shows off some good looks and quality trucks.

These trucks are especially known for power and performance.

That performance makes models like the Lonestar particularly good for special deliveries like cattle, horses, and other livestock. 

The Bottom Line

In the USA, Freightliners, Peterbilts, and Kenworths have the most loyal followings. With clean designs and a truck body that’s built to last, it’s easy to see why drivers love them. But, Volvo and International score high marks globally and are a great choice for many drivers. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference, price, and your driving needs. What’s your opinion? Tell us what you love about your truck and why it’s the best. We have a debate to settle!

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3 Things you Should Know Before Becoming a Driver Trainer

Looking back on how you got started in trucking, what’s the one thing every trucker had in common? Every driver needed someone to teach them how to drive their first truck. And for many professional drivers, the person who trained them is the voice they still hear in their head when out on the road. All that good early advice, best practices, and reassurances might still help you safely navigate over the road today. After a few years of driving, that voice might now be one telling you to make the move into the classroom and teach the next generation of drivers. So, if you’re hearing the call to be a truck driver trainer, here’s 3 things to know when getting started.

1. Basic Qualifications

The qualifications for becoming a driver trainer vary by state, however, there are some general qualifications that are necessary to become a driver trainer. First, you must be a CDL driver for at least 2+ years. Second, you also need to have a very clean driving record. Some states require a written test, and depending on the state, some require successfully passing a course for trainers.

If you’re looking into moving to the classroom, the best thing to do is check with your state for the exact requirements for becoming a driver trainer.

2. Ability to Deal with Students

For many people, patience is a virtue. And teaching takes a lot of patience. If you are someone who doesn’t have patience as a core competency, becoming a driver trainer might not be your best bet. Driver trainees will make mistakes and a trainer must be there to help work through the mistakes.

Paul Driver Trainer

Paul Adams
CDL Driver Trainer and Instructor

We spoke to Paul Adams, a CDL Trainer and Instructor, and he shared some great tips.

“One piece of advice I would give anyone in the trucking world is believe in yourself before you get started. Always be patient and attentive to the craft. What worked for you may not work for others. Help them find their grove, make them just as comfortable as you was learning for yourself,” shared Paul.

In addition, the trainer must also instill the skills and training to ensure the same mistakes aren’t made again. If you are looking to change your path to become a teacher, be sure that you’ve got an open mind and will work well with students.

3. Safety is a Priority for a Driver Trainer

Safety in trucking should be a priority for all professional truck drivers. But is it something that you’ve been extremely cognizant of during your driving career? A great safety record and a history of following all safety guidelines and rules are a must for anyone looking to become a driver trainer.

The best trainers are ones that model the behaviors that they’re teaching.

If you feel like you’re a good fit for the job, becoming a driver trainer is a great logical step in your career path as a trucker. It’s a great opportunity to stay in the industry, and get more home time. And it’s certainly a more predictable schedule week after week. Take the time to research your state’s requirements, and see if you’re a good fit. Becoming a trainer could be a very rewarding job for you.

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type of freight

When deciding what type of freight is best for you, there’s a lot to think about. As a driver, you’re probably looking for good pay, home time, and job availability. Seems simple, but there’s a lot that can go into that decision. Not all types of trucking are for everyone. Choose something that meets your needs and is a good fit for your lifestyle. Otherwise, you’re going to be looking for a new job all over again all too soon. When you think about the type of freight you want to haul, these are a few things to help make your decision.

Making the Right Decision

Your Lifestyle

One of the most important things to consider when you are trying to decide on a type of freight is your lifestyle. Choose a job that fits YOU. That includes pay. If a job doesn’t pay well enough to support you and your family, you probably won’t stay very long. Home time is another “must-have” for most drivers. Some drivers are die-hard OTR fans and like nothing better than weeks on the road. Other drivers need home time every night to tuck their kids into bed. 

There are jobs out there for every type of trucker, so decide what works best for you, and look for jobs that meet your bottom line expectations.

The final lifestyle question has to do with how you spend your time on the job. Do you want to be driving most of the time or have a variety of non-driving related tasks mixed in? There are jobs out there for every type of trucker, so decide what works best for you.

Company Type

Once you make some big decisions about lifestyle and narrow down your list, consider company type. Do you want to work for a large carrier or a small carrier? Small carriers are more likely to give you that “family feel,” but freight may be less consistent depending on their specialty. On the other hand, large companies usually have higher freight volumes, but you might not feel as personally connected to your team.

Along with company size, consider haul type. Would you prefer a company that always carries the same thing or do you like a little variety in your life? Similarly, do you want to always work with the same customers? Consider looking for a dedicated route. Also, there are some local routes where you can get to know your customers the same way. 

Experience and Endorsements

At the end of the day, there’s a job for every driver, but not every driver is a good fit for every job. Experience and endorsements are two big deciding factors. Some jobs typically go to drivers with more experience. For example, most drivers who haul over-dimensional loads have at least 10 years of experience under their belt. 

Endorsements can also make a big difference. Some jobs “require” specific endorsements while others “prefer” them. Endorsements verify your training in a specific area, but they are also a sign to the employer that you were willing to invest in yourself to take on new responsibilities. If you identify a type of freight that is a great fit for you, find out if you have the right endorsements. If not, consider whether it’s worth getting additional training right now. 

A few of the most common endorsements for CDL A and CDL B drivers are:

Types of Freight to Consider 

1. Dry Van

dry van truckMany truck drivers start out learning to drive Dry Van. Dry Van drivers usually carry dry goods and a wide variety of non-perishable freight in 53’ trailers. Many Dry Van positions are over the road or regional. Drivers who want to drive Dry Van will have a wide range of companies to choose from. With so many companies to choose from, read job descriptions carefully to make sure the job fits your pay and home time needs.

Endorsements: Many Dry Van positions do not require endorsements, but some specialized loads may require Hazmat or Doubles and Triples endorsements.

Lifestyle Fit: Hauling Dry Van is a popular choice for many drivers. It’s great for new drivers because there aren’t as many special considerations as for some other types of freight. Many experienced drivers stick with Dry Van for similar reasonsthere’s often lots of variety in the type of freight drivers haul and it has a refreshing level of simplicity.

2. Refrigerated Freight

refrigerated truck driverRefrigerated trucking, more commonly known as Reefer trucking, is particularly good for drivers who have some experience already and pride themselves on their close attention to detail. Reefer drivers most commonly haul food, which gives drivers a lot of job security. If you are a Refrigerated Freight owner operator and do have a hard time getting a load, you can also haul Dry Van freight in a Reefer truck. 

Endorsements: Most Reefer positions do not require endorsements. 

Lifestyle Fit: Reefer trucking is hard work but is also compensated well. Most people consider hauling refrigerated freight after they have a few years of experience and are looking to diversify. Most of these jobs are regional or OTR, and you will have a lot of companies to choose from. Reefer drivers tend to work odd hours and will find themselves regularly loading and driving during nighttime hours.

3. Flatbed

oversized flatbed loadFlatbed drivers are in high demand and, as a result, pay is typically more competitive than some other driving jobs. Unlike Dry Van or Reefer jobs, Flatbed jobs often require more physical work to safely secure the loads with tarps. Some flatbed drivers will have a Conestoga trailer with a sliding tarp system instead of a traditional flatbed trailer. That often makes loading, unloading, and securing much more convenient for the driver. 

Endorsements: Typically, Flatbed drivers do not need additional endorsements

Lifestyle Fit: Flatbed trucking is often considered one of the more challenging types of trucking jobs. If you don’t mind a little extra physical work and are up for an adventure, the higher pay and regular job demand make Flatbed a great choice for many drivers.

4. Tanker

tanker trucks getting filledDriving a Tanker truck can mean hauling either liquids or dry bulk. If you see a Tanker truck position available, it could be for anything from gasoline or water (liquids) to food or materials like sand (Dry bulk). Often, Tanker truck drivers have a few years of experience, and as the name says, you’ll need your Tanker endorsement. 

Endorsements: Tanker endorsement required. For some jobs, you will also need a Hazmat endorsement to haul hazardous materials. 

Lifestyle Fit: Tanker drivers earn a good wage and usually have strong benefits. In addition, many Tanker jobs are regional or local, so drivers are home frequently. Unlike Dry Van and Reefer, loading and unloading a Tanker can go quickly. You could be in and out in under 20 minutes! Drivers wear protective gear to reduce that risk during the loading and unloading process. 

5. Specialty Loads

If you want to haul a specific type of freight, chances are someone will pay you to do it. In addition to the more common haul types we mentioned earlier, there are many types of specialty loads out there. Here are just a few examples:

  • Over-Dimensional Loads: Anything bigger than typical dimensions. Usually, drivers need to have some flatbed experience first.
  • Autohauler: These drivers haul cars. It’s highly specialized and valuable freight, so drivers need a lot of skill and are paid well. 
  • Intermodal: Any freight that uses at least two types of transportation is intermodal freight (ex. Train and truck). Most drivers work close to a railroad or shipping hub.
  • Livestock: Frequently Livestock drivers usually haul chickens, pigs, horses, or cows. Drivers need a certification for the specific type of livestock they haul. It’s hard work, and drivers are compensated well for their extra efforts.

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6 Types of CDL Class A Endorsements

There are three options when getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL): the CDL A, the CDL B or the CDL C. Each class has its own training requirements and testing procedures, and there are pros and cons to explore for each type. Your lifestyle and career plans dictate which license will be the best fit for you. The Class A CDL is the most widely obtained CDL license, and here are the 6 types of endorsements you can get once you obtain a Class A CDL License.

The Basics of a Class A CDL

A Class A CDL endorsement usually opens the most job opportunities for a driver. The Federal Motor Carrier Association defines CDL A trucks as, “Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater.”

Once you have your CDL A license, you can get additional endorsements to allow you drive more specialty vehicles. These endorsements require extra written and sometimes, skills testing to obtain the endorsements.

There are 6 Types of CDL Class A Endorsements

commercial driver's license endorsements

U.S. Department of Transportation

1. (H) Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)

A HAZMAT endorsement opens the doors to hauling hazardous materials over the road. These jobs are often higher paying and there is usually a larger pool of jobs available. Once you have your CDL A, you can obtain a HAZMAT endorsement following required TSA background checks, a written test, as well as a medical exam by a DOT doctor. In many cases having your HAZMAT license is a requirement for getting the X endorsement which will be described shortly.

2. (N) Tank Vehicle

The tank endorsement allows a driver to haul a tank or “tanker” full of liquid or gaseous materials. These jobs are often higher paying and usually are local or regional runs, so you’d have more home time than some other jobs. This endorsement does require an additional written test. A tanker truck driver needs to be able to adjust to having his cargo constantly moving around if the tank is not full. Dealing with the “surge” caused by the movement of the liquid in the tank while driving, does take some practice and skill development.

commuter bus passenger endorsement3. (P) Passenger Transport

Passenger transport endorsement is pretty straightforward. It allows a licensed driver to drive a vehicle which carries more than 16 passengers, like a city commuter bus. This endorsement requires an added written and skills test to obtain. These jobs are great for people who want to drive a set schedule and be home every night, or for seeing the country driving for travel companies across country. One thing is certain, you will interact with passengers all day long, so this is not the job for someone who likes being alone. This endorsement is usually required to subsequently obtain the S endorsement to drive children in a school bus. Usually the S & P endorsements go hand-in-hand.

4. (S) School Bus/Passenger Transport

School bus endorsements are required to drive children around in school busses. Like the P endorsement just discussed, this also requires an additional written and driving skills test. But for the S endorsement, there are also background checks, criminal history checks, physical fitness tests, and they usually require more frequent supplemental training and testing when the school bus rules change. And these drivers should have a little more patience and certainly must be able to tolerate driving boisterous children.

doubles triples endorsement5. (T) Double/Triples

Double or triple trailers require their own endorsement. The T endorsement allows drivers to tow more than one trailer on the back of their truck. This endorsement requires an additional written test as well. The T endorsement allows a driver to haul twice or even three-times more freight, while driving the same amount of time over the road as with a single trailer. These are often higher-paying trucking jobs, due to the added skills and driving ability the driver needs to have.

6. (X) Tanker and Hazardous Materials

Finally, the X endorsement allows a driver to haul large loads of any type of liquid or gaseous HAZMAT cargo inside of a tanker. Having this X endorsement even further separates these drivers and their skill sets. This endorsement requires an additional written test. If a driver has any plans to be in the gas and oil hauling business, an X endorsement will certainly be required.

Regardless of the type of license and endorsements you pursue, you need to ensure that you are matched with the best fit job for you. If you’re a newly licensed professional truck driver looking for your first road job, or you’ve been driving for years, let Drive My Way help you get connected with the perfect job for you.

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Wide load truck

The exact dimensions of an over-dimensional load vary by state. In a nutshell, over-dimensional is exactly what it sounds like—any high, long, heavy, or wide load truck that is larger than typical dimensions. This usually includes trucks or loads taller than 13’6” (with some regional differences) and wider than 8’6”. Length regulations change by state. Because there are different regulations based on where you’re driving, it’s important to check every state along your route before you start. If you’re considering moving to over-dimensional loads for the next stage of your trucking career, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind. 

Pros

1. Pay and Job Security

Let’s start with the big questions. Is there any real pay benefit to hauling more challenging loads? Actually, yes. Wide load truck drivers and other over-dimensional load haulers are pretty well paid for the position. You will be required to carry special permits, but even with that added expense, the finances work out well in your favor for over-dimensional loads. In addition, you won’t be tied to a single piece of equipment. That significantly boosts job security. Being able to haul a variety of loads means you won’t drive with your truck or your pockets empty.

Vic R. Oversized Load Truck Driver

We talked to Vic, a truck driver who has hauled oversized loads for 14 years. 

Vic was previously doing container work but chose to transition to oversized loads for the pay increase. He now makes significantly more money and has variety in his work daily. Vic shared “There’s a lot more money in oversized loads. Every day is an adventure, and it’s never boring.”

Over-dimensional loads require a high level of responsibility and a bigger mental load, but there’s also usually less physical work. That said, don’t look for compensation as a good CPM. This type of run isn’t about the miles—there’s a lot of waiting involved. If you are not a patient driver and willing to wait for parking, room to fuel up, etc., this probably isn’t the job for you. Because miles aren’t the bottom line, typically pay will come as salary, percentage pay, or hourly wages

2. Show Your Skills

Hauling a wide load truck or other types of over-dimensional load is not usually a job for rookie drivers. There is a high level of skill required for this type of position because the cargo is often high value and oversized. Defensive driving is a must. As a result, many drivers have 10+ years of experience in other types of trucking. The vast majority of over-dimensional drivers have at least some flatbed trucking experience. Similarly, drivers with more endorsements are often hired more easily. Even if you don’t need endorsements for a particular load, endorsements have a lot of value. They show that you are able to work a variety of assignments and, importantly, that you are a hard worker who prioritizes their career. 

There are no hard and fast rules about years of experience or endorsements, but in general, more is better in this case. Hauling over-dimensional freight can be a great job for drivers who want to incorporate a lot of the skills and experience they have gained along the way. 

3. Pilot Cars

Pilot cars (also known as escorts) are commercial passenger vehicles that drive alongside an oversized vehicle. They are required to have visible signage on the front and rear of their cars, and you’ve probably seen them on the road before. In tricky situations or routes, they can be a big help.

If you’ve never driven with a pilot car before, you should know that they won’t necessarily join you for the whole trip. They may only accompany you through the most treacherous areas.

Escorts will either drive ahead of you as a scout or they will follow you to help ensure that other vehicles observe proper spacing. There are also specialized escorts called pole cars whose purpose is to check the height of any overhead obstacles to make sure that the truck and its load will be able to pass safely. Most escorts also carry safety equipment in case of a breakdown on the road.

Cons

1. Preplanning Is a Must

Preplanning is a standard part of any trucking job. But, many experienced drivers might not need to spend as much time preplanning as they once did. For a wide load truck or other over-dimensional loads, preplanning is not optional. You must know your route well before you set off. Are there any road obstacles to be aware of? When can you fuel? Will parking be readily available when you’re scheduled to stop? 

It’s also a good idea to find out whether your pilot car knows the route well. Some escorts run the same lanes over and other. Others are simply hired and may be driving your route for the first time. There can also be different requirements in different states or regions. Make sure you know the regulations of each place you will travel through.

2. Route Requirements

As an over-dimensional load driver, you will usually have a set route with a specific delivery window. That can be a bit of a challenge, especially in bad weather. In an oversized flatbed, a big storm could have a big impact on your intended delivery time. Unfortunately, responsibility for an on time delivery ultimately falls on the driver. That’s one reason why many oversized loads don’t move during the night

Responsibility for an on time delivery ultimately falls on the driver.

With that being said, there are some loads that can be hauled at night as long as there is proper lighting. Ultimately, that decision depends on the state you are driving in. For most places in the United States, anything under 10’ wide can run at night. On the flip side, superloads (the next size classification up) often haul only at night. Most of these giants require a police escort as well as pilot cars, and they prefer to run when the roads are emptiest.

Getting Started

There is no set way to become a wide load truck driver or to start hauling over-dimensional loads. Typically, employers look for flatbed experience, and drivers need to be comfortable tarping and strapping their load. There are some training programs through companies like ATS and Lonestar, but not all drivers start over-dimensional trucking through a formal program. Multi-axle trailers are one of the best ways to start moving toward the world of over-dimensional loads. 

There really is nothing like hauling over-dimensional loads, so do your research before you get started. It’s not for everyone, but for patient, experienced drivers who want to put their skills to the test, driving a wide load truck or hauling over-dimensional loads is very rewarding.

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refrigerated truck driver

Are you looking to expand your trucking experience? Being a refrigerated truck driver might be the perfect fit. It’s most commonly known as reefer trucking, and this haul type is particularly good for drivers who have some experience already and pride themselves on their close attention to detail. Reefer trucking is hard work but is also compensated well. Here are a few ways to decide whether being a refrigerated truck driver is for you. 

Job Security is a High Priority

Job security is one of those things that is hard to measure when you are job searching but helps us all sleep a little better at night. This year, job security has been top of mind for many Americans. As we saw in Spring 2020, many truck drivers were considered essential workers, but not all of them. One big benefit of being a refrigerated truck driver is that your job security is very good. Reefer trucks primarily carry fresh food. As a result, no matter what else happens, reefer trucks will be on the roads. 

Job security is very good for reefer drivers. Most refrigerated truck drivers haul fresh food, and that will always be essential.

Demand for reefer trucking is consistently moderate to high because of the goods hauled. On the other hand, because of the extra training requirements, the supply of drivers is comparatively low. If you are a refrigerated truck driver or want to become one, that means less job competition for you! Many (but not all) reefer drivers are owner-operators. If you are finding your own loads, reefer trucks are a more flexible choice. Even if you can’t get a refrigerated load, some dry van loads can also be hauled in a reefer truck. That helps reduce the possibility of an empty return trip where you’re not earning a paycheck.

You Want to Diversify Your Experience

Being a refrigerated truck driver isn’t a first step for most CDL holders. Running refrigerated loads can be challenging, but it’s also well-paid. Typically, people start considering reefer driving after at least a few years of other driving experience. To become a refrigerated truck driver, you will need some extra training. 

In addition to the technical skills you will learn, refrigerated truck drivers need to be excellent decision-makers and problem solvers. Because of the temperature control required for successful reefer runs, a breakdown can mean losing a load. So, drivers must have quick, sound judgment when they run into unexpected challenges on the road. Once you have a few years of experience under your belt, reefer driving is a great way to stand out as a skilled candidate for future jobs. 

Employers Consider You Punctual and Detail-Oriented

Being a refrigerated truck driver takes more than just good driving. Arriving on time for deliveries is extremely important. Often, a missed appointment isn’t just a question of a slight delay. It can mean a very long wait time (even up to more than a day!) before you can reschedule your delivery! With that in mind, punctuality is critical for anyone hauling a reefer trailer. 

Punctuality is critical for anyone hauling a reefer trailer. Schedules can be very tight and most loads have very specific requirements for temperature.

In a refrigerated truck, precision doesn’t stop at the schedule. Most loads have very specific requirements for temperature. To help manage this, drivers may be responsible for supervising the loading and position of freight in their trailer. Depending on the job, drivers may also be responsible for loading or unloading as well. Then, after you’re on the road, drivers must use consistent tracking to maintain a certain temperature in all parts of the trailer at all times.

9-5 Jobs Aren’t Your Style

Truck driving is more than a job. For many drivers, it’s a lifestyle. Each haul type has unique pros and cons, and refrigerated loads are no exception. These runs are a good fit for night owl drivers who love the quiet roads in the early morning hours. Reefer drivers tend to work odd hours and will find themselves regularly loading and driving during nighttime hours. 

Reefer jobs can be local, regional, or OTR. Many local drivers are home every night, but regional and OTR drivers will be spending nights in the cab. In a refrigerated truck, the cooling unit has to run 24/7, and that comes with a lot of noise. For light sleepers, earplugs may be a worthwhile investment.

It’s Time to Be Your Own Boss

Refrigerated trucking owner-operators are in high demand. It is also possible to be a refrigerated truck driver for a large carrier, but these positions are harder to come by.

If you are interested in becoming an owner-operator, being a refrigerated truck driver might be a perfect fit for you. 

As with any owner-operator position, confidence navigating hiring contracts is a must. Because the stakes for breakdowns or repairs can be a lost load, owner-operators need to understand their contract inside and out. A contract should clearly state who is responsible for the cost of repairs and maintenance. Once you understand the finances, logistics, and contracts of being an independent contractor, you’re ready to be your own boss!

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Regional Truck Driving Jobs

There’s a trucking driving job that’s perfect for every professional CDL driver. Drivers choose between 3 primary types of runs: local, regional, and over the road (OTR). Finding the best balance of pay, home time, and physicality are usually a driver’s main concerns. For a driver who’s not looking to go too far from home, but still get out of town for a bit, a regional truck driving job may be perfect for you. Here are 5 things to know about driving regional runs.

1. Home Time

Lifestyle preferences are crucial considerations when choosing a trucking job. For those drivers who need to be home some nights and most weekends, regional truck driving jobs are a great option.

If you aren’t home every night, you can be home most nights and  weekends. These jobs can be a great fit for drivers with kids and families.

Regional drivers have a defined area to cover, usually 1,000 miles or less. So that can ensure a nice amount of home time.

2. Consistent Schedule

Regional drivers tend to have predictable and set schedules. Driving a specific regional route, drivers can usually do a decent job of planning ahead. For someone who has active weekend plans, this might make a social calendar easier to keep. And keeps you from being someone who has to miss out on fun frequently because you are out of town.

3. Solo Drivers Preferred

great truck driverIf you enjoy driving alone, this is an excellent choice for you. Since these runs are usually shorter, companies most often leave the regional truck driving jobs to solo drivers. The work and pay for a regional driving job is best suited to a single driver. Team drivers usually need not apply, although there are certainly exceptions.

4. Less Labor Intensive

Regional truck driving jobs are usually not as physically demanding as local driving jobs. Local drivers make frequent stops delivering partial loads, which the drivers usually need to unload themselves. This can be quite a workout over the course of each day! Regional runs aren’t like that. In most cases, drivers don’t need to load and unload at each stop, but again, this depends on the company and type of haul.

5. Short Breaks Between Runs

The nature of a regional truck driving job usually dictates quick turns at each stop. For a driver, this doesn’t allow much time to walk around and stretch your legs and rest your eyes very often each day. Regional drivers are usually moving again shortly after they reach their destination. But the offset for most weekends and some nights at home can make it worthwhile.

Are you searching for a perfect fit regional truck driver job? Let us help. At Drive My Way, we can help you find a great new job that’s just the right fit for you and your lifestyle. Fill out a profile and get started today.

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What Does It Take to Be a Car Hauler Truck Driver?

One of the most recognizable trucks on the road is a car hauler. Those big double-decker rigs, bringing shiny new cars to dealerships across the country. Easily recognizable, and something that might be an excellent, and lucrative choice for a job in trucking. If you are interested in a job delivering cars, here’s what it takes to be a car hauler truck driver.

Basic Qualifications

When looking for a new truck driver job, you usually need to start with meeting the basic qualifications. And a car hauler must meet basic requirements to be considered for the job.

First thing you need to have is a Class A CDL driver’s license and all the requirements from the Department of Transportation that go along with getting your license.

Over the Road Experience

So you’ve got your license, and now you need some practice navigating over the road. Long hauls across the country, winding roads, crowded city streets: these are all things that you’ll need real world experience when you’re getting ready to deliver cars. Once you’ve been driving for a while, in most cases 1 or 2 years, you might want to start looking at your opportunities for first car hauling job.

Car haulers usually need 2 years of experience for insurance requirements, but it can  vary by state or by job.

No matter what the time is, the goal is to get plenty of experience with driving safely, learning the ropes, and keeping your record clean.

Clean Driving Record

With the value of the cargo for a car hauler, there’s a lot of risk that goes into this job. These drivers always have to be safe drivers. Frequently, these drivers are hauling a dozen or more brand-new sedans. Sometimes your haul might be someone’s private collection of extremely expensive antique cars. Other times, you’re hauling burned-out wrecks headed for scrapyards.

No matter what the load, if you are considering a job as a car hauler, ensure that you have a clean driving record.

Additionally, these drivers are subject to all the standard drug testing rules, if not more, due to the high cost of the loads.

Total Attention to Detail

This is a tough job. It requires total attention to detail at every step. As most car haulers are usually responsible for loading and unloading the cars, they not only have to transport them safely, they need to get them on and off the truck safely. This means 100% perfection in your routine while spacing the cars and strapping them down in place. No damage in transit or during delivery is paramount to your paycheck.

It might take years of practice getting to the point where you’re ready to work as a car hauler, but a few years in a specialized trucking field can be the best step to getting there.

Car hauler jobs come in a few shapes and sizes. From the open-sided double-decker rigs carrying new cars to dealerships across the country, to enclosed trailers hauling one of a kind cars for a private collection, getting into hauling cars might be a great job for you. If this is the next job you’re looking for, complete a Drive My Way profile. We work hard to match you to the exact truck driving job that’s best for you.

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Local Truck Driving Jobs

So you’re looking at local truck driving jobs? Great choice. Local trucking is a good fit for many drivers. Remember, as with any job, there are pros and cons to local trucking jobs. Before you make the switch, get to know the benefits and drawbacks of local trucking, and decide whether it’s a good fit for you. 

The Pros 

family life 1. Home Time

Many drivers are drawn to local truck driving jobs because of the home time. It’s for a good reason. Local jobs typically get drivers home every night. If not every night, drivers can expect to be home almost every night. For drivers with a family, that’s hard to beat. 

2. Frequently Off on the Weekends

In addition to being home every night, many local drivers are off on the weekends. This does depend on your company and what you’re hauling, but many local drivers have weekends off.

Weekends off are much more likely in a local position than for OTR drivers.

Attending social gatherings or events on the weekends becomes much more possible with a local truck driving jobs. 

3. Health Benefits

In addition to more home time, local truck drivers pick up some serious health benefits. Local drivers tend to spend less time behind the wheel than regional or OTR drivers. As a result, local drivers are less exposed to the safety risks of being on the road for long periods of time. They are also usually more active. Because local drivers make more stops, there are more opportunities to move around throughout the day. 

4. A Set Routine

If you like to have a fixed schedule, local trucking is for you. Drivers generally have a set hourly schedule that they can count on. That’s great for planning things outside of work. It also gives you a little extra peace of mind to know when you’ll be home and when you need to leave. 

work life balance of Local Truck Driving Jobs5. Excellent Work/Life Balance

Work/life balance is a huge consideration for local drivers. Local truck driving jobs are hard work, but they also help drivers be present for the day to day relationships at home. Local drivers still have to find a balance with their loved ones, but the rewards can be great. If you value being physically present for life’s little moments, local truck driving jobs are for you. 

The Cons

There’s a lot to love about local truck driving jobs. At the end of the day though, they’re just not for everyone. There are a few downsides to consider when you are deciding whether to become a local driver. 

6. Lower Pay

On average, local truck driving jobs pay less than the average OTR position. According to Ziprecruiter, local drivers in the United States earn an average of $51,355. Consider your personal budget and whether the finances work for you in the short and long term. For many drivers, the lower wage is worth the extra work/life balance, but pay is an important consideration.

7. Positions are Competitive

Local truck driving jobs are often extremely competitive. Trucking companies can afford to be choosy because they have a lot of interested candidates.

A good position may require drivers to have some experience first. In addition, there will likely be lots of applicants, so you have to make a strong positive impression when you apply.

If you don’t get offered a position right away, keep getting more experience to help you stand out from other candidates. 

load unload Local Truck Driving Jobs8. Loading and Unloading

Some local truck driving jobs make frequent stops and require physical labor. This depends heavily on your company and type of haul. In some positions, drivers may need to load and/or unload their trucks. Think of it as a built-in weight lifting workout! This might be minor for some drivers, but if you are only interested in no-touch freight, read the job descriptions carefully.

9. Long Hours

The hours you work as a local driver depend heavily on your company. However, for many drivers, days last 10-14 hours. In addition, local drivers may start at any time of the day. For example, it’s not uncommon for a work shift to begin at 4:00 AM. The good news is, many companies offer overtime pay. Longer hours can help bring in a bigger paycheck. With such long days, some drivers find home time a challenge during the week. While local drivers are home every night, there may not be a lot of downtime between shifts. Some drivers feel like they finish work just in time to go home, eat dinner, sleep, and wake up to do it all again. 

Additional Factors

Some parts of local truck driving jobs aren’t exactly pros or cons. It all depends on your preferred work experience. Here are a few additional things to think about.

Are you a People Person?

Some local jobs require more customer interaction than regional or OTR positions. Others don’t ask drivers to interact with customers regularly. Also, local drivers tend to communicate very frequently with their coworkers and dispatchers. This can be a huge plus for some drivers and a downside for others. It’s really about personal preference. Decide for yourself whether you want more interaction with others. Then, seek out jobs that fit your preferences. 

CDL B licenseCity Driving

Like more regular communication, city driving isn’t necessarily a pro or a con. If you don’t mind spending more time in cities and towns, local driving is a good fit. If you strongly prefer to drive on highways as much as possible, consider whether the benefits of local truck driving jobs outweigh the downsides.

Choosing Your Company

You’ve heard it a million timesgood employees don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses. It’s true for local truck driving jobs too.

For any trucking job you’re considering, read the details carefully. When talking to recruiters, try to get a sense of the company culture.

Each fleet traits drivers differently. Look for a fleet that matches your professional qualifications and your personal lifestyle preferences.

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