You can do many things to earn a living, and driving a truck is one of them.

After all, the truck driving industry of the USA is flourishing with a range of opportunities you can avail. Most employers will consider hiring an individual with a clean record and a commercial driver's license. Additionally, such individuals must also pass a drug screening and background check. You should have an understanding of the different types of truck driving jobs before you apply for one.

Here are a few types of jobs you will find in the truck driving industry.

Dry Van Driver 

A dry van is one of the most common semi-trucks on the road. As the name suggests, this truck trailer transports non-perishable goods that do not require refrigeration. There are many opportunities in the market for a dry van driver because of the vehicle's versatility. This truck trailer can be used to transport a variety of materials and goods. This type of truck is mainly used in freight transportation services for interstate trading. You could even transport industrial parts or dry food items as a dry van driver.

This vehicle type is easy to use as it does not have extra rear controls. Moreover, it also requires the least heavy lifting compared to other truck types. Generally, a dry van driver does not have to worry about loading and unloading freight.

Most truck drivers start their careers with a dry van because driving it has the least amount of requirements. If you are above the age of 18 and are willing to obtain a CDL, you can drive a dry van in the future. Individuals meeting these requirements should consider applying for truck driver jobs in Los Angeles.

Freight Hauler 

The truck driving industry is vibrant. According to data from the BLS, 1,800,330 people were employed as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in May 2018. Even more, drivers are expected to be used in this industry now. There are many types of truck drivers, and freight haulers are one of them.

A freight hauler is a broad term to describe a wide range of cargo. A truck driver is usually referred to as a freight hauler when no specific term describes the type of freight carried. Technically, all kinds of truck drivers are freight haulers. However, it is best to ask for clarification when you see someone using the term. When a company wants to hire you as a freight hauler, you should inquire about what goods or parts you will haul.

Refrigerated Freight Hauler 

Some cargo requires strict temperature control to maintain its integrity. That is why goods like medicine, meat, or other edibles are transported via refrigerated freight haulers. The duties of the refrigerated freight hauler include monitoring the freight and adjusting the temperature gauges if needed. If the temperature within the trailer is too high or too low, the cargo may become unsafe for consumption.

As a refrigerated freight hauler, you might even be operating an ice cream truck. You should know that some companies use the term reefer driver instead of refrigerated freight hauler. This reefer driver may have to map out the journey and ensure compliance with weight restrictions. Loading and unloading the freight may also be a part of the job. The average refrigerated truck driver earns about $58,958 a year.

Flatbed Hauler 

Flatbed haulers enjoy one of the highest truck driver salaries in the USA. An average local flatbed hauling job earns $53,000 a year. The salary makes sense because a flatbed truck is the most challenging type. Companies will use a flatbed when the cargo has a size, weight, or shape that smaller truck trailers cannot transport. If you become a flatbed hauler, expect the load to be oddly shaped, heavy, and oversized. You could be carrying airplanes for all you know.

Individuals hired as flatbed haulers are more experienced than the average truck driver. Usually, they have a Class A or B commercial driver's license. After all, it is only some people's cup of tea that balances the heavy load on the road in all weather conditions. More heavy loading is involved in this type of job, so the hauler must be comfortable with heavy lifting. The extra responsibilities are compensated for with a higher truck driver salary.

Tanker Hauler 

Unsurprisingly, tanker haulers earn the most in the truck driving industry. After all, tankers transport dangerous liquids or semi-liquids across long distances. These vehicles are more potent than normal tractor-trailers and are challenging to drive. That explains why the average tanker truck driver earns about $61,716 annually.

Since tankers are often used to transport flammable and hazardous substances, a tanker hauler must be very alert. There is no room for a mistake, as an emergency could prove fatal. Employers usually prefer to hire experienced truck drivers as tanker haulers. To drive a tanker, drivers must pass a tank vehicle examination and obtain a specialized CDL.

Less Than Truckload Freight 

Hauler LTL Freight Haulers or freight haulers less than truckload transport relatively more minor shipments. Since the shipments are comparatively lower and the distances are shorter, LTL haulers are expected to unload the cargo. They usually have to plan the journey, deliver goods to customers, and manage documentation. Most local trucking jobs also fall in this category, so you can expect to get back to your home at night as an LTL freight hauler.

 Truck drivers can also be categorized by the amount of driving that is part of the job:

  • Local: Remain in or near a single city.
  • Regional: Often drive around entire states or metropolitan areas.
  • OTR: Can often be given routes anywhere across the United States. OTR is the most common job new drivers take as it helps them gain experience quickly. 

Final Thoughts 

The truck driver industry offers a range of opportunities to job seekers. Many types of truck drivers, include dry van drivers, refrigerated freight haulers, LTL freight haulers, and freight haulers. The truck driver's salary can vary depending on the type of cargo. When a driver has to transport hazardous cargo and heavy loads, he can expect a higher salary. In general, driving a tanker or a flatbed is more complicated than the average truck, hence fetching a higher compensation.