Not all trucking jobs will take you down the same road! There are a variety of options to consider once you decide that you want to pursue a trucking career. Here are the four questions you need to ask yourself when deciding career paths for the trucking industry.
Top 4 questions to ask about trucking careers
1. What type of freight do you want to haul?
Different freight has different requirements – and not just when it comes to the type of truck it takes to haul it. Some freight requires you to be able to lift a certain amount of weight or have special training. This also means you’ll see a difference in pay.
That’s why selecting your freight type is an important thing to consider when you get into the trucking industry.
2. How far and how often do you want to drive?
There is a misconception that if you want to be a truck driver, you will drive long hours and be away from home often. People assume that you’ll be on the road, separated from your family, for long periods of time. That’s not exactly true, especially nowadays.
You can sign up to work as an over-the-road truck driver, and you’ll typically be gone for a week or more at a time. However, if that doesn’t fit with your lifestyle or long-term goals, you can find local or regional work.
Local is as it sounds. You’ll have a set local route and be home every day. Regional means you might run the same route across a few states in proximity to your home, but you’ll be home weekly and/or throughout the week.
3. What type of CDL do you need?
Lastly, you want to get the correct commercial driver’s license for the job. There are three classes of CDL: A, B and C.
Class A licenses allow drivers to operate any vehicle with a semi-trailer or a trailer with two or more axles. Most Schneider driving jobs require a Class A CDL.
Class B licenses are for driving any vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds. Class C licenses are intended for commercial drivers who transport 16 or more passengers, such as bus driver. It also includes people transporting hazardous materials.
4. What are your goals as a truck driver?
You can take your career anywhere as a truck driver.
Many drivers choose to stay drivers their entire career. Some may switch what kind of freight they haul or how often they get home, but they love the open road and know being a truck driver is the perfect fit for them.
Others have goals of moving into training and mentoring jobs as their career progresses. Schneider offers roles, such as training engineer and driving instructor, for drivers who do wish to grow in their career path.
And some drivers decide to become owner-operators and be their own boss. Instead of working for a company and being assigned loads, owner-operators can lease on with a company and choose what freight they haul.