Understanding the Trucking Industry

May 23, 2012

Sometimes people who first enter, or considering entering the trucking profession do not understand the many positions involved in the industry. Below is a breakdown that perhaps will help clarify some of the positions and terminology that is involved.

Recruiters are hired by companies to obtain drivers for their operations. They must know the employers recruitment needs, keep a database of employers and applicants, contact and assist applicants, negotiate driver's salaries, and arrange interview schedules. It is their job to advertise a position, answer questions, and obtain a driver's application.

Brokers may be hired by a company or work independently. Their job is to assist customers in matching their shipping requirements to transport freight from a shipper to its destination. Their duty is to help a shipper find a trucker or company and negotiate terms connected with the shipping.

Dispatchers are responsible for coordinating scheduling between pickups and delivery. They assist drivers by handling the transportation of all freight from start to finish. They must keep careful records of all transactions during the delivery process. Most are employed by freight companies but there are also trucker-dispatch companies that match truck-driving jobs with trucking fleets.

Truckers have numerous job opportunities. There are regional drivers and over-the-road drivers. Regional drivers work within a specific area and often have nights and weekends home. Over-the-road, or long haul drivers drive long distances and home time is part of an arrangement with the company where they are employed.

Solo vs Team is a choice truckers have with many companies. Teams, many times a husband and wife, are able to make more money as there is no down time. In other words, while one is resting the other is driving which fills the off-on driving hour's requirements. Solo drivers must stop for required rest periods according to law.

Trucks and/or trailers may be provided by a company, owner-operated, or on a lease purchase plan. A good company will have modern trucks/trailers equipped with the latest in communication, fuel economy, and other such devices as well as having a good maintenance schedule. Owner-operators and lease purchase truckers are responsible for the maintenance of their own trucks.

CDL Endoresement/Restrictions. There are five endorsements for a truckers CDL license, the majority require a knowledge test only. These are:

T – Double/Triple Trailers Endorsement

P- Passenger Endorsement

N-Tank Vehicle Endorsement

H-Hazardous Materials Endorsement

X- Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials Endorsement

A trucker must obtain whichever endorsement is needed for the type of employment desired.

Driving Positions vary from one company to another. This makes it possible to choose one that is suitable for a driver's personal circumstances. These positions include:

Regional Driving - drive close to home in a regional state area.

Dedicated Lane Positions – consistent running lanes to select markets.

Salaried Driving – drivers paid a specified amount each week regardless of miles driven.

Refresher Driving – drivers who have been off-road for a while refresh their skills.

Team Driving – two drivers, involves very long hauls.

School Graduates – some companies will take new graduates many require l yr experience.

Owner Operators – there are many positions open for these truckers.

These are just a few of the people and requirements of the trucking industry. There are also investors, shareholders, publications, customers, office personnel, and many others involved in keeping freight carried from one end of the country to the other. Everyone involved is a vital part of this daily activity.

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