Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs
How Do You Know Owner Operator Is a Practical Career for You?It’s finally time to take the next step in your trucking career. So far, you’ve put in hard work in your CDL Training, and now its your chance to begin a rewarding career! Previously, in this blog series, we have covered OTR, Local, Specialized and Team Truck Driving. The last stop on our Truck Driving Jobs journey is Owner Operators. Whether you’re a beginner or have been in the driver’s seat for years, Owner Operator could be the right path for you! Having the freedom of being your own boss seems great, doesn’t it? According to OOIDA Foundation on motor carrier research, there are nearly 350,000 owner operators in the United States, some drive independently while others lease on a larger carrier. Typically, most owner operators have extensive experience, and begin their owner operator career around 37-years-old. However, success is still attainable for those younger (or older) owner operators with any level of driving experience. Before leaping into an Owner Operator career, it is vital to evaluate your personal desires and aspirations as well as your financial situation. Assess the 4 following areas before beginning your new career.
Self-EvaluationFirst, take a hard look in the mirror, and ask yourself what you want from your trucking career. If you desire to create your own work schedule, be your own boss, and plan to build your life on truck driving, you may be cut out for the job. However, you must further assess your personality, current/potential health condition, family and career aspirations to see if being an owner operator is the correct fit. For further personal assessment, check out The 6 Steps to Becoming an Owner Operator.
Finances Play a Major RoleOne of the most important factors in becoming an owner operator is financial stability. How will you come up with the funds to start this new business venture? Some of the costs to consider, on top of purchasing the truck itself, include fuel, truck maintenance and insurance, taxes, and health insurance. In addition to understanding the costs associated with being an owner operator, you must possess basic accounting and booking keeping skills (or hire someone who can help!) To further understand the costs associated with owner operators, take a look at OOIDA’s Figuring Cost Per Mile article!
Leased Owner Operator or Independent?Next, you will need to decide if you want to work independently or alongside another carrier. Working independently ensures your freedom as a driver, to pick loads that suit your lifestyle and to drive your truck when you feel like it and on your own terms. However, leasing your truck with another carrier, allows you to have more consistent loads, some driver reimbursements, and trailers provided by the company. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons between the two options. Ultimately, it comes down to what you value more…having total independence or having load security.
Selecting Your EquipmentFinally, you need to consider what trucks you want, where you will get them from and how much you are willing to pay. Although fancy trucks look great on the road, they cost a pretty penny and may create more expenses for you in the long run. Generally, used trucks are more affordable and will still get the job done. However, before purchasing a truck, be sure to consider its mileage, warranty and fuel economy. Additionally, choose a truck that fits your area of operation. The truck you choose will directly affect the amount of money you can bring in at the end of the day. Before you begin your new journey as an owner operator, make sure you fully understand the ins and outs of the business operation.
Warren Buffet once said, “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”Interested in taking the first step to becoming an Owner Operator? Advanced Career Institute is a California Truck Driving School that offers CDL Training courses in Class A CDL, Class B CDL and Ag Transportation. ACI offers Truck Driving Training Programs at 3 California campuses: Merced, Visalia and Fresno. To learn more about our CDL Training, head over to Our Programs! Have you read our other 3 articles from this Truck Driving Professions series? Check out our previous articles comparing OTR and Local Truck Driving, Specialized Truck Driving and Team Driving!
An Overview of Specialized Truck DrivingAre you currently enrolled or interesting in enrolling in Class A CDL Training? Advanced Career Institute’s Class A CDL Training Courses only last 4 weeks. So if you haven’t already, it’s time you do your trucking career research. In order for you to kick-start your trucking career, it is vital that you weigh your options and choose a trucking path that suits you! In the previous article of this series, we compared Over the Road and Local Truck Driving Careers. We learned that OTR consists of extended travel and higher pay, while local jobs deal with shorter trips and more home-time but lower pay. Today, we will delve deep into Specialized Truck Driving Careers.
What Careers Does Specialized Truck Driving Offer?According the Fueloyal, there are various careers in the Specialized Trucking Industry.
- Oversized Freight – This type of trucking can include transporting cranes, pre-built homes, containers or construction elements.
- Car Hauling – There are various types of car haulers. Open Car Haulers are normally meant to haul a single car at a time, similar to when a car is towed. A second type is Enclosed Car Haulers which transport classic cars or racecars in an environment meant to protect the cars from open air. A third type is a Commercial Car Hauler which stacks and transports multiple cars at a time.
- Water Hauling – This type of trucking deals with transporting large amounts of salt water or fluid waste away from fracking or drilling sites to approved disposal areas. Truckers in this field deal with less volatile materials.
- Livestock Transportation – These truckers are often referred to as Bull Haulers. This is the transportation of cows for the purposes of beef, dairy, breeding, or farm relocation.
- Hazardous Materials – Also referred to as hazmat, this type of trucking includes the transportation of gasoline, diesel, propane, flares and various other materials. Hazmat transportation has higher regulations and each truck is labeled with symbols to indicate its transportation conditions.
What Qualifications Are Needed for Specialized Truck Driving?For starters, all truck drivers are required to hold a Class A CDL which can be obtained through a CDL Training Course. On top of your permit, Specialized Truck Drivers are required to possess a variety of other skills. Whether you are transporting cars, livestock or hazmat, you must be familiar with the product you are hauling. Many of these specializations come with a longer list of safety concerns that each trucker must be prepared for. Specialized Truck Driving may also require additional training because oftentimes, the trucks or tankers sit differently than your average truck, making it more difficult to drive. Lastly, specialized truckers are often required to do more legwork than the typical truck driver. You are required to be educated in tying down materials, hooking up hoses or properly caring for livestock.
Why Should I Choose Specialized Truck Driving?Since truck driving specializations often require extra training or additional permits, companies typically offer higher pay than the average local driver. Not only do specialized truck drivers earn more money, but they are faced with bigger challenges. Each day is new for these truck drivers. Although it may require continual training and hard-work, specialized truck driving is very rewarding. Interested in earning your Class A CDL? Advanced Career Institute is a California Truck Driving School with campuses in a variety of locations. Our campuses are located in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. For more information on how to obtain your Class A CDL, visit Our Training Programs. Check out our previous blog in this series covering Over the Road and Local Truck Driving Careers, and stay tuned for the continuation of our Truck Driving Jobs series. Our next blog will cover Team Driving.
An Inside Look at OTR and Local Truck Driving JobsWhen deciding which truck driving job to pursue, you must consider two questions: how long do I want to be away from home and how much money do I want to make? The answers to these questions will help you to determine which truck driving career path is right for you. This series will highlight a variety of truck driving careers. This article compares Over the Road and Local Truck Driving Jobs. Keep reading to learn more about the truck driving job opportunities available to you after training.
Over The Road (OTR) Truck Driving CareersOTR is also referred to as Long Haul Trucking. OTR is considered an entry-level position, so most drivers right out of school will be hired on for the long-haul. After 6-months to a year, you may have the option to explore a variety of other truck driving careers. OTR is more of a lifestyle than a job. OTR truck drivers typically drive a few hundred miles a day, and can spend days or weeks out on the road. However, the pay compensates for the hours. Typically, the more time you spend driving your truck, the more money you can make. Since most trucking companies pay by the mile, the more miles you drive will lead to a heftier paycheck. According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average truck driver makes $41,340 per year. The top 10% of truck driver make around $58,000 a year. The top 10% typically consists of over-the-road drivers. OTR truckers spend a significant amount of time out on the open road, traveling the country. As an OTR truck driver you have the opportunity to visit places that you may not have gotten to see otherwise. Although OTR trucking has many upsides such as higher pay, better benefits and the ability to travel the country, there are also several drawbacks. Drivers must spend a significant amount of time in a small, confined area. Additionally, drivers are also away from home for an extended amount of time, which can be hard both on the driver and their family.
Local Truck Driving CareersLocal Truck Driving is often referred to as Pick Up and Delivery (P&D.) Typically, this career is for a driver with prior experience on the road. Additionally, P&D is geared more towards a family-oriented person who desires to see their family nightly/weekly. A typical day for a local truck driver consists of picking up your load, loading and unloading your freight, and driving it from one place to another. Most often, local drivers deal with intrastate transportation. However, they may travel to surrounding states if required. Since P&D comes with more home time, drivers are often paid less. Don’t get me wrong. Local truck drivers still receive a substantial paycheck. However, when you’re paid by the mile, you must travel more miles in order to bring in more money. Whether you want more family time or more money, you must complete CDL Training in order to become an eligible truck driver. Advanced Career Institute offers Class A CDL Training in the California area. Our campuses are located in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. For more information on our CDL Training courses, head over to Our Training Programs! Stay tuned for the continuation of our Truck Driving Jobs series. Our next blog will cover Specialized Truck Driving Jobs.
What Every Trucking Student Needs to Know About Sleep ApneaDue to recent legal issues, some truck driving companies may begin to increase their regulations for sleep apnea. Various carriers throughout the country may begin requiring truck drivers to participate in sleep apnea screening in the near future.
What is sleep apnea?Sleep apnea is extremely common, and tends to show up more in men than in women. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing involuntarily while they are asleep. These periods of lost breath can last for over a minute and can occur hundreds of times each night without the person’s knowledge. Growing obesity rates in the truck driving industry, have left drivers more disposed to acquiring sleep apnea. Truck drivers are prone to obesity because of the inability to exercise and unhealthy meal choices while on the road. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, OSA. One of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. Snoring happens because the airway becomes blocked and the flow of air becomes obstructed causing vibrations to occur.
How is sleep apnea treated?If you believe you may have sleep apnea, the first step is to talk with your doctor about getting a sleep apnea diagnosis from a sleep specialist. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the next step is CPAP Therapy. CPAP Therapy consists of a humidifier and a face mask to assist and guide your breathing. The CPAP machine pumps air with enough pressure to keep your airway clear.
What does this mean for truck drivers?According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA, reports show over 28 percent of truck drivers have sleep apnea. FMCSA explains that drivers with mild sleep apnea are still qualified for truck driving jobs. However, they recommend seeking medical attention with a medical examiner to determine a truck driver’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle. Disrupted sleep can decrease a truck driver’s cognitive function and can cause increased daytime sleepiness. This leads to more truck driving accidents. Drivers with sleep apnea are affected during working hours in terms of function and focus. Sleep apnea may lead to unsafe working environments and roads. Dr. James Metz, Doctor of Sleep Apnea for Metz Center in Columbus, Ohio, shared with Overdrive Magazine that he grew up around the trucking industry. He witnessed first-hand the unhealthy lifestyles of truck drivers. He sought out to work with fleets to promote healthy eating for truck drivers in the hopes of reducing chances of sleep apnea. Currently, many trucking companies are requiring truck drivers to get tested for sleep apnea. Oftentimes, this comes at the expense of the truck driver. However, since there is an ever-growing need for drivers, fleets may begin to work closely with drivers to help cover costs. Advanced Career Institute is a California trucking school with campuses located in Visalia, Fresno and Merced. ACI offers truck driver training to help students obtain their Class A CDL, Class B CDL and Ag Transportation CDL. ACI offers tuition assistance and job placement assistance to help CDL training graduates find a career in the truck driving industry. Interested in learning more about CDL Training with Advanced Career Institute, visit our website: www.advanced.edu.
CDL Training Helps to Bridge the Income GapThrough a truck driving career, the American Dream is more attainable now than ever. From the driver’s seat, you are able to travel the country where you can enjoy the coastal breeze on A1A and breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon all while earning a hefty paycheck.
The trucking industry is one of few professions that have seen a significant rise in pay over the past year.According to Glassdoor, pay is expected to increase by 2.7% to a median salary of $51,577. Additionally, the American Trucking Association (ATA) shows expected increases to pay and driver demand by 2% annually until 2022. A first year driver can expect to earn up to $20 per hour or around $43,180 per year. Whether you decide to get paid per mile or per hour, you are sure to make a significant amount more as a first year truck driver than at other entry level job.
American Trucking Association President and CEO Chris Spear said, “We do know as long as our economy continues to grow, trucks will continue to move the vast majority of America’s goods, underscoring our industry’s critical role in our country’s future.”
Job security is what attracts most people to the industry.Despite the condition of the economy, there will always be a high demand for truck drivers. Drivers are key players in maintaining stocked shelves full of food and other products. Additionally, truck driving is one of few professions that cannot be shipped overseas. Safe, reliable and young drivers are in high demand due an overall shortage of drivers. The Journal of Commerce Magazine shows a 25% increase in driver shortage. A shortage of drivers is due to growing fleets, an aging workforce and increased economic growth. According to the ATA, currently over 30,000 truck driving jobs need to be filled. Companies are beginning to panic as tonnage and the amount of freight continued to increase over 27% this past year.
Companies are on the lookout for more drivers, and are willing to shell out the big bucks for qualified drivers.In addition to high wages, a truck driving career offers many perks such as CDL training tuition reimbursement and signing bonuses. Additional benefits such as health insurance, paid time off and retirement savings plans are additional perks that many new drivers have never experienced before. A trucking career is truly life changing with a potential to bring more folks solidly into the American Middle Class.
So what are you waiting for? Step up into the driver’s seat, and grab your one-way ticket to the middle class!At Advanced Career Institute, CDL Training courses are taught at three different campus locations in the California area: Merced, Visalia and Fresno. Truck Driver Training courses are offered for Ag Transportation CDL, Class A CDL and Class B CDL. For more information, visit https://www.advanced.edu/training-programs/.
It’s Time to Show Off Your Big Rig Buddy in this Truck Driver Contest!Pets have now moved from the house to the road. Truck drivers are beginning to take their dogs and cats on the road with them. Studies show that having a pet on the road betters the health of truck drivers. A furry face helps to make long drives less lonely. It can be beneficial for truck drivers to bring their pets over-the-road. Taking pets for bathroom breaks and walks gives truckers much needed exercise that they wouldn’t receive otherwise. It has also been noted that having a pet reduces stress and loneliness for truck drivers. Currently, there are various pet-friendly trucking companies. However, there are restrictions that come with bringing your pet over-the-road. Various trucking companies have weight restrictions, as well as, pet deposits. However, many trucks are equipped with waste disposal areas inside the truck and pet areas in the terminals.
Are you currently trucking with your pet?Omnitracs, a provider of fleet software management, is sponsoring a contest to recognize your furry friends! Both current and retired truck drivers are eligible to win! To be entered into the contest, post a picture with a description about why your Big Rig Buddy is the best truck driving companion. Winners may receive up to $1,000 in gift cards to spoil your furry friend! The contest begins now and continues until Wednesday, August 23, 2017! Click here for more information or to submit your entry. When you finish your CDL training, you may have the opportunity to take your best friend on the road with you! Advanced Career Institute's truck driver training graduates are excited for the opportunity to start driving with their pets. Are you interested in earning your California CDL? Advanced Career Institute offers CDL training at three California campuses: Fresno, Visalia and Merced. ACI offers hands-on truck driver training to help students earn their Class A CDL, Class B CDL or Ag Transport CDL. For more information on our CDL training programs, visit our website: https://www.advanced.edu/training-programs/california-truck-driving-school/.