Truck drivers play a pivotal role in the shipping industry. They are the ones responsible for getting products from one place to another in a safe, secure and timely manner. The term "trucker" covers a wide span of jobs in warehousing and distribution, more so than most people realize. In the discussion below, we will go over each of these trucking jobs in greater detail so you can determine if one of them is right for you.
Freight hauling is a broad term that covers a lot of different types of trucking jobs. In general, freight refers to any form of cargo that a driver may be carrying. Most trucking jobs could be considered freight hauling, but people who work in the industry typically reserve this term for loads that do not have another term already associated with them. For instance, someone hauling vehicles would be an auto hauler, not a freight hauler – even though cars are technically considered freight.
Container haulers transport large metal containers between shipping ports and distribution centers. The containers can hold just about anything, from merchandise to vehicles to antiques and beyond. The containers themselves are usually transported by boat or train for most of their shipment. The drivers are responsible for the short-term transport between ports.
Dry van pulling is an entry-level trucking job that requires a driver to haul dry or nonperishable goods from one point to another. This requires less training and permitting than other forms of truck driving, and it is still an essential part of the shipping process. If you are just getting started with this industry, this would be a good job to explore while you train for more advanced positions.
As the name suggests, refrigerated truck driving involves the use of a refrigerated vehicle, usually used for transporting cold or frozen foods. This job comes with the added responsibility of keeping the truck at a certain temperature at all times, which requires constant monitoring and surveillance. While most refrigerated loads only travel short distances, there are long haul driving positions in this industry as well.
Flatbed truck drivers operate flatbed vehicles, which can be used for everything from airplane parts to construction equipment to mobile homes. These vehicles can be used to transport oversized loads with the help of escort vehicles to drive in front of and behind the truck. Each states has its own guidelines about the types of items that can be hauled using a flatbed and whether or not that merits having escort vehicles.
Tankers drive large vehicles with barrels on the back to hold liquids. They most often work in the fuel industry delivering gasoline to fill-up stations around the country. With that in mind, they can also be used to haul hazardous chemicals, milk, water, and anything else you can imagine. They can also transport dry products like cement and sugar until they reach a job site.
Bull haulers, also known as livestock haulers, transport live animals between locations. This job comes with extra responsibility caring for the animal during the trip. The type of care required depends on the animal and the distance it will be traveling. Sometimes a professional handler must ride along for these trips in order to ensure the animal is properly taken care of.
Auto haulers or car haulers are responsible for transporting vehicles. Sometimes they only have one or two cars on their load, and other times they have a whole fleet of them. Either way, the haulers are responsible for making sure the vehicles arrive at their destination in good condition (no hail damage, vandalism, etc.).
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