Types of Truck Driving Jobs
What are the different kinds of truck drivers?
One of the largest benefits of working as a truck driver is the wide variety of job titles and specialized job types you can apply for. In some cases, these jobs require specialized training or additional education. In other cases, these jobs simply require you to be interested in new responsibilities and willing to learn a new skill. Learn about different types of truck drivers to start exploring your options.
Dry Van Drivers
When you first get started in the trucking industry, it’s likely that you’ll start out as a dry van driver. Dry van drivers transport the large single trailer vehicles you see that are filled with dry goods and non-perishable items. In most cases, these jobs do not require drivers to unload their trucks themselves, although of course this varies from employer to employer.
Flat Bed Drivers
Flat bed trucks sit a bit differently than trailers, and the goods must also be secured in different ways. Since you have to know what you’re transporting very well and be educated in tying down goods, this job often comes with a higher pay level. While driving a flat bed truck, you may transport vehicles, odd-shaped items, military vehicles, and oversize freight.
Tanker drivers are often in high demand throughout the truck driving industry. Transporting liquids is fairly difficult, and those who are in charge of a tanker truck must be ready to act fast in case of an emergency. This type of job may involve transporting hazardous or non-hazardous liquids, depending on the needs of your trucking company or client.
Refrigerated Freight Drivers
Many of the goods that are transported via truck must be kept at a specific temperature. This includes medical goods, food, body products or parts, and meat. Professionals that transport refrigerated freight, also known as reefer drivers, must know how to set the truck temperature, check it on a regular basis, and properly store items for optimal refrigeration and temperature maintenance. Again, since this job comes with more responsibility, it often comes with more pay.
Freight haulers transport any type of goods that are not covered under dry van transportation. This job title simply refers to the fact that you are expected to transport oversized, liquid, or hazardous goods as part of your job.
LTL Freight Drivers
LTL stands for “less than truckload.” This means that LTL drivers transport smaller shipments. They may drive shorter distances and make several stops throughout the course of a day. Typically, LTL drivers must unload their own trucks.
These job titles refer to how far you drive as part of your job. Local driving requires you to stay in or near your city, while a regional job may involve driving around your state. OTR drivers may drive anywhere in the country.
There are many types of truck drivers. Over the course of your career, you may hold many different job titles and responsibilities. Learn more about truck driving schools near you, where you can learn more about different types of jobs and find out which ones are right for you.