FUTURE IN TRUCKING
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE TRUCKING
Welcome to the start of your new career in the
trucking industry. Regardless of
what attracted you to trucking, you may not fully realize the size of the field
you are about to enter, or the number of opportunities it holds for you.
The trucking industry employs more people than any
other private industry in the United States, over nine million men an women.
People of every age, background, race and religion are involved.
About two million of these workers are drivers.
National Vocational School will prepare you to be one of those drivers.
Of course, the trucking industry employs many kinds
of workers besides drivers. For
instances, dispatchers are needed to send trucks to the right destination with
the right cargo.
So you see, the trucking industry is one of the
biggest industries in the country. It
is a dynamic, growing industry. It
fills a transportation need. It
provides door-to-door fast freight service to almost every town in the United
States. Often it is the only
freight service to thousands of communities.
The trucking industry receives no subsidies
from the government. It pays its
own way. In fact, federal and state
governments collect about nine billion dollars in taxes and fees each year.
You can be proud you have chosen the trucking industry for your career!
JOBS IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY
Trucking keeps getting bigger and bigger.
It grows with the country. As
the number of people in the country grows, so does the trucking industry.
More people means more products are used and must be shipped.
That calls for more people in trucking.
Food is one of the most important goods hauled
by trucks. Fuel and building
supplies are more in demand by more people.
Clothing and furniture, medical supplies and toys have to be hauled from
city to city. Autos and machinery
can be added to the list. Trucks
haul thousands of items each day.
A truck at some point or other hauls everything
you use. It can be the raw material
that is hauled to a plant by truck. It
can be the finished product that is shipped by truck to a warehouse.
Trucking has become an important part of the American economy.
It grows with the nation’s economy.
Because it keeps on growing larger and larger,
more workers are needed every year. The
industry needs workers of every kind, from the city pickup and delivery driver
to the King of the Road, the long distance interstate line haul driver.
TRUCKING INDUSTRY JOB DESCRIPTIONS
When you think “trucking,” you probably think
“line haul driver.” But as
you’re beginning to see, there’s more, much more.
Many pickup and delivery (PUD) drivers start their career as line haul
drivers. Some line haul drivers
grow weary of the road, being away from home and family, and become PUD drivers
after a long over-the-road career.
Modern PUD drivers are highly specialized workers.
They must be able to drive anything from a straight truck to a
tractor-trailer unit. They use
two-way radios and mobile telephones. They
can assist a shipper in filling out bills of lading.
They know how to collect COD, cash on delivery money.
They can handle an Order Notify delivery. They know how to load “hazmat,” hazardous materials.
Many PUD drivers are called driver-salesmen because
they are trained to work with the sales staff.
They ask the shipper for more shipments. They point out extra service their company offers.
They secure more business by being friendly and cooperative.
Whether line haul or PUD, drivers depend on the
dispatchers. Dispatchers are the
backbone of any trucking company. They
send the right truck with the right driver to the correct destination.
City, or PUD, dispatchers often answer the phone hundreds of times a day.
They may wear special phone headsets so they can keep their hands free.
They will need them to pull cards, write down pickups and answer the
two-way radio. They talk to drivers
and helpers who come to their window to report in.
They work closely with sales and operations people.
Most of the phone calls they receive are from customers ordering a
pickup. Dispatchers ask what kind
of freight is being shipped and where it is going.
They write down the details on a card or a sheet.
Some companies use a computer program that records the time as well. Then the pickup is assigned to a PUD driver.
City dispatchers are fast and pay attention to details.
They must know how to talk to customers as well as PUD drivers on the
Line haul dispatchers handle heavy-duty long
haul loads. When a trailer is
loaded and ready to go, line dispatch takes over.
Dispatchers have a list of ready tractors and drivers that changes all
the time. They match tractors and
drivers with each load. Their job
is to get each load moving to a correct consignee or to another terminal.
A typical load may be dispatched from Florida to a terminal in Canada or
from New York to Los Angeles.
In addition to calls from customers, these
dispatchers receive calls from drivers on the road. They talk to drivers who have vehicle breakdowns, or drivers
who are unloading and need another load. Line
haul dispatchers are trained to handle every type of problem possible.
They must know who to inform about a customer complaint, or what to do in
case of an accident.
Large trucking companies with many terminals will
also have another type of dispatcher. A
separate unit call Central Dispatch will be in charge of all movement of line
haul equipment. Central dispatchers
keep a balance of trucks and trailers at each terminal.
Nothing moves without their OK.
As people get more experience, they are promoted into
more qualified jobs. The PUD driver
can become a sales person for the company. A city central dispatch office.
Trucking almost always promotes from within the
industry. Because it is highly
specialized industry it must draw on the experienced, qualified workers who are
available. Many terminal managers
started as dock workers or PUD drivers. Many
line haul long distance truck drivers started as yard hostlers.
Driver trainees not old enough to begin careers as interstate drivers can
always begin as local city drivers. The
basic experience can be very rewarding later.
As you can see, there are many varied employment opportunities in the trucking industry. The trucking industry grows with the country. It increases in size every year. It is tied closely to the economy and population growth. When more goods are shipped, more trucks and drivers are needed. Your future in trucking is as secure as the future of our great nation.
ADVANCES IN THE TRUCKING
What will the future bring to trucking?
Which way is the industry leaning? What
are the trends? In predicting the
future, we can learn from the past. We
know that advances in communications have brought more efficient service. Drivers are in constant contact with their dispatchers.
They can use two-way radios, mobile telephones, fax machines, and 800
numbers to call in often. Truck
stops offer fax services for drivers on the road.
On board computers help dispatchers to track the movement of a truck and
its load. Little precious time is
lost checking on the status of the driver and the load.
Electronic advances are playing a larger part in the
make-up of the truck itself. Some
cabs have less wiring because sensors transmit signals to the dashboard
instruments. Electronic fuel
injection meters fuel more efficiently into the engine.
Onboard computers can produce as print-out of a run
sheet within minutes of arrival, showing fuel use, idling time, and other
important information. The same
computer can pinpoint problems that affect economy or wear and tear.
A device placed in a truck can send signals to a
satellite. The satellite can then
return these signals to a computer in the terminal.
In this way, the computer can track the truck and show on a screen where
the truck is at any time. The
dispatcher and driver can communicate instantly, by voice or electronically.
Drivers can fuel up at stations without even needing
an attendant. An electronic card,
like a credit card, activates the fuel pump.
After the fuel is dispensed, the charge is billed to the driver’s
Other advances are new designs in trucks to reduce wind drag. Extra wide and extra long trailers were authorized for use on the interstate a few years ago. Trucks using the interstate highway system are no longer subject to varied state laws as long as they fall into the federally mandated length laws.
The roads themselves have improved right along with
the trucks. Highway designs have
hit new highs. New stretches of
highway are designed to keep the driver alert and awake.
Special surfaces allow rain to run off and make better and safer stops.
Many on and off-ramps are now lighted with non-glare lamps.
Safety rules have been rewritten. Hazardous
material handling has been tightened up. The
result has been greater safety for all those using the public roads, truck
drivers and motorists alike.
are some of the changes and advances we have seen. What are the trends?
are some of the changes and advances we have seen. What are the trends?
on the advances of the past, the trends appear to be in the following areas:
Trucks and highways can always be upgraded, but how
about drivers? If there is any
trend in the area of “driver,” it’s toward demanding more and
better-qualified truck drivers on the nation’s highways.
Since the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, when trucking
was deregulated, many new truck operators entered the industry.
Trucking accidents went up almost 20 percent.
Most of the increase was tied to the truck driver.
Unethical truck drivers carried several states’ driver licenses in
hopes that bad driving records would get lost in the shuffle.
Truck drivers used legal and illegal drugs and alcohol to battle fatigue
and stress. Some truck drivers
carried two or more log books and drove unsafe vehicles.
Still others used one or more false names because their license was
already suspended in a state.
These are just some of the reasons the public began
calling their elected representatives for help. They demand action to take the bad driver off the road.
They wanted to feel safe again when they drove alongside and 18-wheeler.
They wanted to bring back the super driver, the competent, honest professional who would stop and help a
motorist in trouble.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA) was
passed in 1986 partly in response to this demand. The goal of the CMVSA is expressed in the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) Subpart A, Section 383, item 1.
This states “The purpose of this part is to help reduce or prevent
truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries by requiring drivers to have a
single commercial motor vehicle driver’s license and by disqualifying drivers
who operate commercial motor vehicles in an unsafe manner.”
The regulations in FMCSR contain the guidelines for
the Commercial Driver License program. These
regulations require commercial motor vehicle drivers to have certain knowledge
and skills. Drivers show they have
these skills by passing one or more tests.
Then they receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The “single driver’s license” part of the regulations means drivers
can no longer hide a bad driving record by holding several licenses.
More trucking companies use drug testing and look for
alcohol use. Abusers are being let
go, fired. As a result, good
drivers are in short supply. At the
same time, they are in demand because of increased need.
YOUR FUTURE IN TRUCKING
Tomorrow’s drivers will operate trucks that have
become lighter and more streamlined. They’ll
be able to carry larger payloads. Advances in engine efficiency will mean less fuel used, more
economy. Highways will be the
safety yet, with better lighting and improved surfaces. The present emphasis on safety will extend further into the
jobs of hauling hazardous materials and commercial long distance driving,
minimizing the risk to the driver. The
driver’s job will be safer, more rewarding, easier in some respects, more
demanding in others.
You have unique opportunities before you.
You have the chance to develop into a well-trained, safety-minded,
professional driver. You’ll be in demand by an industry that needs your skills
and dedication if it’s to continue to grow.
You’ll have job security in a service that’s vital to the continued
prosperity of this country. It’s
all part of your future in trucking. So
let’s get with it !!!