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garbage truck driver

Garbage truck driver jobs can be a great fit for new drivers and experienced drivers alike. These jobs are typically local, so drivers get regular home time. They’re also great for drivers who like to stay on the move throughout their day. Garbage truck jobs often require some physical labor. As with many trucking jobs, it can be easy to find a garbage truck driving job, but hard to find a good one. Here’s what you need to know to find the best garbage truck driver jobs.

1. Know the Lingo

  • Residential: Residential garbage truck drivers are the ones you see in your neighborhood if you live in an urban area. These drivers are responsible for picking up cans from individual residences. 
  • Commercial: These drivers are the opposite of Residential garbage truck drivers. Commercial drivers pick up waste from businesses or apartment complexes. 

2. A Day in the Life

Garbage truck driver jobs can be quite different from other CDL jobs. Most of these positions are local, so drivers will stay within a relatively close radius. Typically, drivers are home nightly. That said, hours are not always consistent, so a garbage truck driver may find that their schedule does change at times. Another important thing to decide before you take a new job is what level of touch you prefer. Most garbage truck driver jobs call for a high level of touch, and there is usually manual labor required. If you like to be active, this job will keep you moving!

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Kevin, Garbage Truck Driver for EZ Pack

We talked to Kevin, a garbage truck driver for EZ Pack, and asked him if he had any suggestions for other drivers looking for a garbage truck driver job. He shared his perspective with Drive My Way.

“Well I guess everyone is always looking for a good driver with a clean CDL. So if you have those key ingredients you’re bound for success anywhere. Good perks and benefits if you find the right place, they’re out there, if you’re willing to work for it,” shared Kevin.

Commercial garbage truck drivers usually work in urban environments, so if city driving isn’t for you, think twice about this job! Similarly, many garbage truck driver jobs are for residential positions. That means that drivers need to be comfortable maneuvering in tight streets. In addition, because there are a lot of jobs in residential areas, some drivers may have a higher level of interpersonal engagement than in other local positions. 

3. How are Dump Truck Jobs Different?

If you are taking a job as a dump truck driver early in your CDL career, there are a few things to consider. This type of job can be a great way to get started in trucking, BUT you should know that not all employers consider this type of work good experience for other CDL jobs. Also, if you find yourself thinking that garbage truck driver jobs are an easy way to get started in trucking, that’s not necessarily the case! These trucks have a higher center of gravity than many other types of trucks, so it takes skill and experience to avoid incidents. Dump trucks are often considered more dangerous than other types of CDL work.

4. How To Become A Garbage Truck Driver

Once you’ve decided that this is the job for you, there are a few things you’ll need to get started. First, get your CDL A or B license. Some companies will accept either, and deciding between the two licenses will depend a lot on your plans for the future. If you want to drive dry van, tanker, reefer, or other similar jobs, a CDL A is more flexible. Some employers also value mechanical experience. While it may not be the main part of your job, a driver who can fix machines can be valuable. 

If you want to drive dry van, tanker, reefer, or other similar jobs, a CDL A is more flexible.

In addition to the technical requirements, there are some personal attributes that are helpful for garbage truck driver jobs. Often, driving a garbage truck requires a high level of physical fitness, so it’s helpful to be in good physical condition so you don’t strain or injure yourself. Also, it’s important that you like to be outside and are willing to work in different weather conditions. When you’re ready to make your next job change, check out Drive My Way to find companies hiring near you who are a good fit for your lifestyle and job preferences.

5. What Questions Should I Ask Employers?

truck driver holding steering wheelAny time you prepare for a CDL job change, there are a few important questions to ask. These questions will help you find the best garbage truck driver jobs for you at a reliable company. Before you even talk to the company, do your research on compensation, hours, and benefits.

If a company meets your needs, get in touch. Otherwise, stay away and move on to the next company. If possible, ask to speak with a current company driver to get their perspective. 

For garbage truck jobs, ask a recruiter about your route. Then, find out whether you will be working with a partner or solo. Equipment also plays a particularly big role for garbage truck drivers. Older truck models may not have the same grabbing hooks and may require more manual labor than newer models. Similarly, what level of touch can you expect? As you finish your conversation, make sure to ask about opportunities for advancement. You may not be looking for a career move right now, but you may be looking for a promotion in the future.

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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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The growing shortage of empty driver jobs impact everything from rate hikes to product prices. In other words, fewer drivers means it costs more to transport goods, resulting in a pricing increase for manufacturers that gets passed on to consumers.

Solutions and suggestions for how to fill empty driver jobs range from pay increases to more shared routes between drivers. Also, individuals talk about how exactly to draw millennials to the field. This would replace the retiring baby boomers and those uninterested in coping with recent ELD changes.

Writer and millennial Nicole Spector, took a ride as part of her assignment with an experienced UPS driver, Becky Ascencio. The pair shared a 12-hour shift, traveling from Sylmar to Fresno, Ca.

Ultimately, Spector won’t joining the 7% of women driving big rigs. However, she understood what the job requires. In addition, she also understood exactly how much work is involved. Lastly, Spector learned what it means to love your job.

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Now that the holiday season is here, more and more vehicles are clogging the nation’s roadways, presenting an even tougher job for truck drivers on the road.  Zonar, a producer of smart fleet management technology, has compiled a list of the 10 most dangerous roads you should consider avoiding this time of year – and even the rest the year.

During the holiday season, there are about 36% more vehicles on the road, according to Zonar. Most of the increased traffic is made up of passenger cars (23%), delivery fleets (10%), and people-carriers, such as buses (3%), according to Zonar.  Winter weather and decreased daylight add to the stress of holiday travel. All this makes it even more dangerous for truck drivers.

Knowing which stretches of road are the most dangerous for trucks can help potentially decrease your chances of getting into an accident and help keep other drivers safe – by adjusting routes or schedules, varying driving times and loads, or increasing inspections and checkpoints.  And, you might be surprised to find that that there are roads list from every region of the country

According to the DOT, here’s a list based on total accident volume between 2013 -2016:

  1. I-10 in Alabama
  2. I-95 in Florida
  3. HWY-75 in Idaho
  4. I-40 in Arkansas
  5. US-1 in Florida
  6. M-20 in Michigan
  7. I-80 Nebraska
  8. HWY-5 in Colorado
  9. I-70 in Maryland
  10. SC-35 South Carolina

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Image from Zonar.

 

“With freight demand climbing and rates on the move, trucker pay should rise in the coming months”, says Gordon Klemp, a driver pay analyst and president of the National Transportation Institute. Klemp shared his prediction in a conference call with investors in early November.  Stifel, an investment firm, hosted the call and distributed a recap of Klemp’s remarks.

If carriers secure rate increases in contracts with shippers, they pass some gains on to drivers, Klemp told investors.

He didn’t forecast any percentage-based increases in driver pay. Instead, he noted that driver pay increases with freight rates. Not all of the gains in per-mile rates will translate to drivers’ paychecks, but “driver pay is moving up alongside the freight increases,” notes the conference call recap distributed by Stifel.

Though carriers consistently increased driver pay in recent years, driver wages climbed only 6.3 percent on average over the last decade. “For-hire drivers lost effective purchasing power over the past 10 years and adjusted lifestyles accordingly,” says Stifel’s report.  Looking even farther back, driver wages are in effect just half of what they were in 1979, before deregulation, said Klemp.

Klemp also noted that carriers face an uphill battle in recruiting younger drivers to the industry.

These drivers “disinclined to enter” trucking, “as they are often concerned with work-life balance”.  Nearly 60 percent of the current driver workforce is older than 45. That’s a good bit higher than 1994, Klemp noted, when just 45 percent of drivers were 45 years or older.  “However, with freight demand strengthening and the driver shortage becoming acute, the stage is set for drivers to realize driver pay increases over the foreseeable future,” says Stifel’s report.

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A man who ran towards a fire to save a trucker stuck in his burning rig last month says God put him there to rescue the driver. The wreck happened last month in Albany, Oregon, but the two still visit each other frequently as the truck driver continues to recover.

According to Statesman Journal, truck driver Terence Jay Shaw was driving on northbound Interstate 5 on the morning of September 1st when he lost control and crashed into an overpass. The force of the impact set his rig on fire and the truck erupted into flames.

As the truck burned with Shaw still inside, Chuck Zeitler came upon the wreck from the southbound side of I-5. Zeitler saw the flames and heard someone screaming for help, so he laid down his motorcycle and rushed to the scene of the fire, pushing through a crowd of people videoing the incident on their phones.

Zeitler ran up to the truck and pulled Shaw out of the burning wreckage and away from the fire. The truck then exploded.

A Lasting Friendship is Formed

Since then, Shaw has been recovering in the burn unit at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where Zeitler visits him frequently.

Image from livetrucking.com.

“We’re best friends now, only because my relief was stuck in traffic, so I had to wait for him to arrive.  If I’d have left at the regular time, I never would have happened upon the wreck.”

– Zeitler humbly explains how circumstances led him to rescue the trucker and gain a best friend.

 

Despite the praises from the Shaw family, Zeitler shared God put him in the right place at the right time. He simply acted on his instincts after 24 years as a Navy boiler operator.

Zeitler is an elder member of Fusion Faith Center in Albany and recently became a pastor.  He plans on opening a church for bikers soon, as he believes it is his “calling.”

Shaw is still recovering from the wreck. He has had multiple skin grafts on his right arm and side and currently has 23 stitches.

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CDL truck driving accident leads to more thoughts on rest stops.Have you ever seen 50,000 pounds of potatoes? Those caught in the aftermath traffic got to catch a glimpse of a wrecked semi truck and the scatter of potatoes.

Published by Carla Grace from Live TruckingGrace reported that On May 7 around 2 a.m., CDL truck driver Glan Hamblin was on a delivery from Michigan to Charlotte, North Carolina for Frito-Lay. Grace wrote,

As Hamblin was driving down Interstate 77 in North Carolina, he became very sleepy and could hardly stay awake. He began to search for a safe and legal place to stop and rest.

No rest stop was in sight. He was unable to stay awake and crashed near Exit 9. Hamblin only suffered minor injuries.

A week later Grace published another article about the accident reporting new information. Hamblin blames part of his crash on the lack of rest stops in the area. Hamblin mostly drives in the western states. Being new to the area he continued his night drive looking for a rest stop but had no luck.

Although the driver admits fault, he also points blame on the shortage of rest stops for truckers. Hamblin mentioned that because of the rest stop shortage, the few that exist are usually full.

Last year, a complaint was given to Governor Pat McCrory regarding truckers who park for naps along exit ramps. I-77 has a documented shortage of rest spots, and troopers have written most of their tickets in this area.

Hamblin brings up a good point for the state of North Carolina: Should there be more rest stops for people with CDL trucking jobs? According to Grace, hundreds of drivers have been ticketed in the last year for illegal parking. What is the next step for North Carolina and other states with minimal rest stops?

Find the best CDL trucking job for you. Register today! It’s free!

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One WomenAt age 73, Veronica Longwith has four grandchildren and a great-grandchild. And yet, at a time in life when others are winding down, she’s revving up—again.

Longwith already had held a CDL trucking job from 1987-1992, as she told The Chattanoongan website. Now she’s excited to return to driving all these years later.

“My first time around, I found a local company out of Chattanooga that offered training for truck drivers,” she said. “With me raising a young daughter at the time, I found it easiest to take their weekend classes all day Saturday and Sunday for three months.” On the last day of class, Ms. Longwith got her license and was ready to begin orientation with Reeves Transportation in Calhoun, Ga.

For five years, Longwith hauled carpet and flooring for Reeves—from Dalton, Ga., across the United States.

“I loved every minute of it,” she said. But, it was family that saw Ms. Longwith take her hiatus from a career she enjoyed and concentrate her efforts on caring for her only brother. “Gerard got very sick and I needed to stay closer to home and take care of him when he really needed some help,” she said.

Her brother passed away, and Longwith rejoined the workforce as a business owner.

But deep down, the open road called her back to a CDL trucking job.

She made the decision to return to commercial truck driving 24 years after her first stint as a big rig driver. Married once before, the now single senior had nothing but time and the open road ahead of her. So, this past winter, she enrolled in Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s ten-week Commercial Truck Driving program in Walker County, Ga.

When asked what her family thought of this decision to be a commercial truck driver one more time, it was her son who was first to find out. “I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it,” she said. “He happened to see me on the highway one morning and saw me pull into the main entrance for GNTC. That’s when I realized that I’d need to tell him. He wasn’t happy about my decision. But, I’m really happy about it.”

Longwith tells others striving for CDL trucking jobs that they need a passion for driving or they won’t last long in the business.

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Immigrants Filling CDL Trucking Jobs

As far as occupations go, few seem as American as CDL trucking jobs. Reflecting America’s melting pot status all the more, as the industry strives to think of creative ways to solve the driver shortage. They see success with immigrants filling CDL trucking jobs.

Fifty miles west of Los Angeles stands the busiest long-haul truck stop in America. Saul Gonzalez of the Global Post wrote a story on immigrant drivers like Harsharan Singh of Punjab, India, and others. Many of them hadn’t had trucking jobs in their homelands. However, thanks to opportunity here in America, they’re truck drivers now.

“I got my license back in 2009, when I came from India,” Singh tells Gonzalez in the story. “Now, a lot of people from Romania, Yugoslavia, China, Japanese, Russians are coming into this business.”

Part of the reason behind the shift is that the trucking industry is facing a labor shortage of up to 48,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations.

That could balloon to more than 170,000 drivers in the next 10 years.

Nearly 30% of foreign-born drivers are now from Asia, the Middle East, the former Soviet republics and Europe. Most of the rest are from Latin America, according to the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey. That survey also found that the proportion of immigrant drivers varies from state to state, with California at 46 percent, the highest concentration of foreign-born drivers, followed by New Jersey at 40 percent.

Gonzalez talks with other immigrants about their experiences.

The next CDL truck driver he quotes is Steven Abramovich from the Ukraine.

“When I first got to this country, I never thought I would do this kind of a job. It was sort of a dream to do it,” says Ukraine-born Steven Abramovich over an outdoor meal of cold cuts, hard-boiled eggs and some wine with fellow Ukrainian and Russian drivers in a corner of a vast truck stop in Ontario, California.

Abramovich adds that a “trucker is a trucker” but feels foreign-born drivers, because of language and culture, create tighter communities than American drivers.

“We are raised differently,” he says. “I don’t want to be disrespectful to the American community, but the Russian community, the Ukrainian community, the Turkish community, the Europeans … we are sitting together, we are having a nice meal.”

But Ismael Abassov, who grew up in Russia and Turkey, is quick to add that when he started driving an 18-wheeler three years ago, American drivers always offered a helping hand when he needed it. “When I started, I didn’t know this job, I had never done it, but I was asking and they helped me a lot.”

But despite the hardships, for many new immigrant drivers, they’ll take the trucking life — one route to the American dream.

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will autonomous driving effect people with CDL trucking jobs?Autonomous trucks platoons just pulled off a landmark feat. How it will impact fleet management and CDL driving jobs in the future remains to be seen.  Fierce Mobile IT  writer Alyssa Huntley recently wrote about the event—six brands of autonomous trucks that successfully platooned across Europe for the first time in history.

The automated trucks platooned across Europe and arrived in Maavlakte seaport in the Netherlands in April.

The journeys completed as part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge, an operation put on by Rijkswaterstaat. The Netherlands’ main infrastructure design, management and maintenance organization. Truck platooning could potentially be used for freight shipping, the article explained.

In platooning, two to three trucks drive in a single-file line – referred to as a column – along the highway. A human operates the lead truck, with autonomous trucks following connected via Wi-Fi. The lead truck determines speed and route, transmitted over the Wi-Fi connection.

Trucks follow more closely, freeing up space along the highway for other vehicles.

The Wi-Fi connection results in synchronized breaking and reduces the likelihood of sudden jolts or shocks, which could help traffic flow and speed up deliveries. Fuel costs could go down by up to 10%, which would come with a reduction in CO2 emissions, the article noted.

“This opens the door for upscaled, cross-border truck platooning,” Schultz van Haegen said. Van Haegen noted that the information gathered in the challenge proves useful during an informal European transport council meeting in Amsterdam on April 14. “It certainly helps my colleagues and I discuss the adjustments needed to make self-driving transport a reality,” he said.

The technology is still being refined. Autonomous driving has been a hot topic in the industry lately, but how will it affect people with CDL truck driving jobs? This is a topic we will continue to follow.

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