truck driving

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It’s not your imagination. Each and every year, the highways continue fill up as more and more able-bodied men and women enter the wonderful vocation of trucking. Presently, over three million Americans make a living as professional drivers. If you’ve ever been interested in joining the profession, but had absolutely no idea of how to go about doing it, today is your lucky day. That’s right: It’s time for us to dissect the trucking industry.

The Steps to Becoming A Truck Driver You can’t just hop up on a big rig one day, and call yourself a driver. There are a few fundamental steps that must be taken in order to accomplish your goal.

– You must complete high school or obtain a GED. While a diploma or GED is a formal requirement for only about one-third of all jobs within the field, most companies prefer to hire a high school graduate.

– You must maintain a clean driving record. An excessive number of moving violations or a DUI conviction can easily disqualify you from the trucking profession.

– You must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive a truck over 26,000 lbs., or any truck that carries hazardous materials. To get a CDL, you must pass a written test and a driving examination to exhibit your ability to drive commercial vehicles.

– You must pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations test administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This portion includes a written exam and a physical exam which has vision and hearing components. Once you pass the FMCSR exam, you then qualify to become a commercial trucker. You must retake this exam every two years.

The Salaries
The median hourly salary for heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers was $16.11 in May 2007. (

Comprehensive Breakdown:

General freight trucking $17.56
Grocery and related product wholesalers $17.32
Specialized freight trucking $15.61
Employment services $14.82
Cement and concrete product manufacturing $14.47

The median hourly earning for light or delivery services truck drivers was $11.80 in May 2007. (

Comprehensive Breakdown:
Couriers $17.94
General freight trucking $14.79
Grocery and related product wholesalers $12.44
Building materials and supplies dealers $10.85
Automotive parts, accessories and tire stores $8.07

The median hourly salary for driver/sales workers, including commissions, was $10.66 in May 2007. (

Comprehensive Breakdown:
Dry cleaning and laundry services $14.67
Direct selling establishments $13.55
Grocery and related product wholesalers $12.36
Limited service restaurants $6.77
Full-service restaurants $6.59

There you have it — a nice, neat rundown of all things trucking. So if you find that this industry may be for you, here are a few Web sites that will help you take things to the next level. Good luck and happy trucking.

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