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drayage trucker

Many people think the supply chain process is simple: it gets groceries and goods from point A to point B, however we know there’s more to the journey than just that. More often than not, the first stop on that journey involves drayage truckers. While drayage isn’t what most people think of when they hear the word “trucking”, it’s the first and arguably most important part of the logistics chain.  

What is Drayage?

You’ll find different definitions out there, but drayage is usually described as the first mile in transportation. It typically involves hauling a cargo container short distances, usually from a port or harbor to a rail terminal or warehouse within the same metropolitan area. 

Drayage trucking is an integral part of both Intermodal transportation and the cold chain. The practice goes back hundreds of years, when teams of horses used to pull carts of heavy freight from ports to nearby towns. Around the turn of the century, trucks replaced horses and here we are, over 100 years later.  

What are the Benefits to Drayage Trucking?

If you ask most drayage drivers, they’ll tell you the biggest benefit is the shorter routes. Drivers will usually complete at least one route, (most times more) in a single shift and be home every night

Another benefit to drayage work is the variety of consistent shifts you can take on. Intermodal shipping runs 24/7, with cargo moving in and out of piers and rail terminals at all hours of the day. This means that drivers have more freedom when choosing their hours, giving them more time for life outside of work.   

One more reason drayage work might be for you? Drayage truckers are often hauling “no-touch” cargo, meaning you won’t be doing any of the leg work of loading and unloading cargo from your truck. 

Any Disadvantages?

There aren’t many disadvantages to this line of work, but it can be stressful. Yes, your trips are much shorter, but it comes with a trade-off. Moving in and out of large ports and contending with all the rules and regulations associated with them can be a hassle. Sometimes these rules can change multiple times per day at a single port. But, if you’re able to learn on the fly and handle stress well, this shouldn’t be a problem.  

Classifications

As you could guess, drayage trucking encompasses more than moving containers from a port to a warehouse. The IANA (Intermodal Association of North America) lists 6 distinct types of drayage transportation.  

  • Inter-carrier: What is most thought of for drayage driving. Moving cargo between locations owned by two separate carriers 
  • Intra-carrier: Moving freight between two locations that are owned by the same carrier 
  • Door-to-Door: Straight from your truck to the customer’s door 
  • Expedited: For time-sensitive containers and cargo 
  • Pier – Moving cargo to a port or harbor so it can be shipped via waterway, domestically or internationally. 
  • Shuttle: Moving cargo to a temporary location due to overcrowding at the intended terminal. It will usually be picked up by a secondary transport later. 

What Are the Requirements for Driving Drayage?

  • CDL – No surprise here. You’ll need a Class A CDL to work as a drayage driver 
  • RFID Tags – Specific to entering and exiting ports, RFID tags are used by port authorities to identify carriers and get them in and out as quickly as possible 
  • TWIC – Standard for any worker entering secure ports, you’ll need to apply with the TSA for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential. Make sure to apply for this early, as it can take up to 45 days to provide you with a response after you’ve applied 
  • Must be 21 – There are some exceptions to this, but most carriers will prefer drivers to be 21 or over, in order to take cargo over state lines 

Is Drayage Right for You?

We were able to speak with Peter, a drayage driver out of California, to get his advice for people looking to get into this line of work. 

“Make sure you are paid by the hour and the company you are going to work for has their own yard and office.”

Like with all other trucking jobs, there’s a big need for qualified and experienced drivers in the drayage field. If you’re looking for steady work that keeps you close to home and can deal with navigating large ports and harbors, then it might be the line of work for you.  

truck driver at loading dock

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non-cdl driver job
Do you need a commercial driver’s license to be a professional truck driver? Not necessarily. There are quite a few ways to get a non-CDL driver job. As delivery services become increasingly popular, driving jobs are in high demand, and a CDL isn’t always required. A non-CDL driving job is a great way to see if professional driving is for you. It’s also typically very quick to start, so if you want to jump right into driving, a non-CDL driver job could be the perfect fit. 

What Jobs Don’t Require a CDL?

Many professional trucking jobs require a CDL, but not all of them. Many delivery jobs with companies like Amazon, UPS, and FedEx do not require a CDL. Similarly, some box truck, reefer, and hotshot jobs do not require a commercial driver’s license.

Each company has different qualifications, so read the job description carefully for each non-CDL driver job.

If you’re new to trucking, you might be wondering whether you should get a CDL or apply for non-CDL jobs. Ultimately, that depends on what you want out of a trucking career. If you want to see the country and anticipate spending many years in the industry, a CDL will allow you to get a wider variety of jobs. On the other hand, if you want to jump in quickly and prefer to stay closer to home, a CDL may not be necessary. Non-CDL jobs are in demand and often keep you in a smaller range. Here are the pros and cons to consider before you take a non-CDL driver job.

1. The Pros

Fed Ex VanA non-CDL driver job can be a great choice because they are much faster and cheaper to start than earning a CDL license. For many delivery, box truck, and hotshot jobs, you will be able to start very quickly. If a CDL is not required, the only training you will need is typically provided with your new position. Similarly, there’s no large upfront cost for CDL training, so non-CDL jobs are a good choice if you want to get to a paycheck as quickly as possible. This also makes non-CDL driver jobs a particularly good fit for people between jobs. You can start right away with very little initial cost. 

Another huge perk of non-CDL driving jobs is that they are often local work. Many positions keep drivers in a relatively close geographic area. This means that drivers get to go home daily, which can be particularly good for drivers who want to spend more time with their families. Not all non-CDL driving jobs are local, so make sure to read the fine print before you take the job so you know exactly what to expect.

2. The Cons

There’s a lot to love about the “quick to start and quick to earn” nature of non-CDL driver jobs. That said, they are not for everyone. There are a few drawbacks that are worth considering before you jump right in.

DHL Van

First, some non-CDL driver jobs are contract work. When that’s the case, the pay may be lower, hours and workload may be inconsistent, and employees are often guaranteed fewer company protections. For people who live for the hustle, contract work can be a great way to earn extra cash. It’s not for everyone though. In addition, not all non-CDL driver jobs have a clear path for professional development. In other words, some of these jobs are great if you need a short-term job for a little while, but growth opportunities may be limited. 

The final factor to consider when looking at trucking jobs is vehicle use. Non-CDL drivers who use their personal vehicles for work should factor that into the total cost of the job. There will be some natural wear and tear on your vehicle because of the added use.  Typically the driver is responsible for any gas and maintenance costs, even when the cost is a result of increased work use.

3. How to Start

If you are ready to get started in trucking with a non-CDL driver job, the first thing to do is get a sense of jobs in your area. Based on the jobs you see, decide if there is a specific job or company that interests you. Then, read the job descriptions closely and clarify whether there is any additional training required. Look for jobs that are a good fit for your skills and lifestyle preferences, and you are ready to get started!

truck driver at loading dock

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Clear Harbors driverToday’s job of the day comes from Clean Harbors Environmental Services

As a Clean Harbors driver, you will be responsible for the safe transport of hazardous waste from a generator/facility to one of our facilities, adhering to DOT and hazardous waste regulations. At Clean Harbors we are passionate about providing premier environmental, energy, and industrial services.

clean harbors logo

When you work with the Clean Harbors team, you will perform work that truly makes a difference – not only in people’s lives but also in protecting the planet.  Safety is our No. 1 priority. As a driver, you’ll get the training and support to do your job and return home safely. Change your life for the better.  Apply today.

We are hiring for the following positions:

Why work for Clean Harbors?

  • Work for Top Environmental Safety Company
  • Great company culture
  • Company Drivers: Great pay and overtime after 40 hours
  • Company Drivers: Health and dental care
  • Owner Operators: Good base pay with additional pay opportunities
  • Paid orientation or training
  • Consistent freight
  • Sign-on and referral bonuses for all positions

clean harbors tanker

Interested in applying?

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Ergon Trucking

Today’s job of the day comes from Ergon Trucking

Ergon Trucking is a company that works. We’re family owned and operated, brought together more than six decades ago in the petroleum industry’s service sectors. Driven by the values of hard work, customer service, reliable supply, and quality products, we’ve grown steadily and strategically over the years to become a well-diversified organization.

We specialize in the transport of products with rigorous handling requirements, sensitive temperature requirements, critical delivery timing, and crucial safety precautions. The company transports a diversity of products, including crude oil; lube oils; asphalt and emulsions; as well as specialty oils, caustics, and chemicals. Must have valid CDL with Tank and Hazmat endorsements to qualify.

We are a liquid tank carrier looking for OTR Hazmat/Tanker company drivers and independent contractors in multiple locations across the United States.

Company drivers are being hired in Houston, TX | Pittsburgh, PA | Baton Rouge, LA | Shreveport, LA | Marietta, OH | Sulphur, LA | Vicksburg, MS

Perks and Highlights:

  • 401(k) and profit sharing
  • Paid holiday & vacation time (two weeks after first year)
  • Health and dental care
  • Uniforms provided

We offer excellent pay and benefits that include:

  • 24% of load pay (75K – 90K annually)
  • Direct Deposit
  • $1,000 sign-on bonus
  • Safety bonus up to $2,000 per year
  • Home time – Out and back freight so we try to get you home weekly if possible but no guarantee depending on freight movement and time of year.
  • Late model Peterbilt and Kenworth with manual transmissions

Independent Contractors are being hired in Newell, WV | Vicksburg, MS | Shreveport, LA

Perks and Highlights:

  • 100% of fuel surcharge
  • Fuel discounts with various vendors
  • Free truck washes
  • Frequent home time, don’t require multiple weeks on the road
  • Electronic logging at no cost
  • Paid tolls and EZ Pass
  • Roadside assistance
  • Most loads are out and back with flexible schedules

We offer excellent pay and benefits that include:

  • $2,500 sign-on bonus
  • Up to $6,600 in Safety/Operations bonuses
  • Average 200-300k gross yearly
  • 65% of load pay
  • 85% of demurrage pay (paid weekly with loads)
  • Permits paid
  • Offer insurance options if needed

Interested in applying?

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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.

local truck driving job

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