34 Hours Rest Period for Truck Drivers – A New Challenge to Trucking Industry

The life of a truck driver is always set on the wheels of the truck. It seems to be an unending journey for them. It is not an easy job to drive a truck continuously without any pauses and breaks. The various researches done on the truck drivers recently show that the side effects of driving for a long time are clearly visible in the living style and behavioral traits of truckers. There is abundance of driver employment for different drivers like flatbed drivers, reefer drivers, dry cargo van drivers and more, but the drivers seem to resist taking up the life of a trucker. There are many trucking companies which have a demand for many drivers. There is a need of a lot of patience and endurance before going for the job of a truck driver.

The increasing cases of the accidents of the truck drivers have raised a hue and cry and forced the people to look for an alternative. Besides the accidents, the health problems of the truckers are also raising issues of concerns among the researchers and the scientists. Recent study of a Washington University makes it evident that insomnia is quite a common problem in the truck drivers who go for longer destinations and get a very little time to rest.

The researchers of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has proposed a 34 hour rest period for the truck drivers but the trucking industry doesn’t seem to agree with this study and is opposing it in every possible way. The owner operator jobs are also available and the owner operators are also being hired by the trucking companies. The freight and the logistics companies have a lot of work. If the 34 hour rest period is brought into shape, it will definitely pose new challenges before the trucking companies.

The global breakdown in 2008 led many companies to do job cuts and it badly affected the number of drivers in the trucking business. The load boards work was also not untouched by it. But the conditions have become better and there are ample of loads available. But the shortage of drivers is an issue of concern. If the 34 hours rest period is put into form, there will be more need of truck driver jobs. There is already a huge gap in the demand and supply chain and it will create imbalance in the chain management system. Many of the drivers are on the verge of retirement and the increasing number of load boards and freight companies have put the trucking companies in a tensed situation. An old study which was conducted by the national highway traffic safety administration showed that it will be difficult for the young drivers to adapt driving conditions.

There will be a need of around 1 million truck driver jobs in the coming 15 years. The trucking industry needs to take adequate steps to ensure the safety and health issues of the drivers. It will be able to attract the applicants only when it provides all the facilities to the truckers. There is a common problem of fatigue and tiredness seen in the truckers. If the trucker is driving flat bed truck or carrying petroleum or some other explosive product, he needs to be very careful. A minor mistake can cause huge loss and even cost life of people. The interests of the truckers cannot be discarded.


What is the Importance of a DAC Report to Truck Drivers in the Industry?

This article will be really helpful to truck drivers who are looking for a job change. Whenever you would move to a new trucking company for work, the company will ask you for your DAC report. Let us see what is this so called DAC report is?
The DAC report is a record and summary of the truckers past work related activities pertaining to the trucking industry. The report is shared among the trucking companies so that they all get benefited in due course of time. Usually a DAC employment report contains accident history, any traffic violations and types of violations, why the truck driver wants to change the job or in case if he is fired, what is the reason? It also reports the type of driving done, the types of trailers hauled, is he a reefer driver, flatbed driver or dry van driver? It throws a light on the types loads available dispatched by the drivers. Therefore, the potential employer can come to know the drivers work habits, the companies worked for, training and orientation programs attended.
The DAC report can also be used to verify driving license number, criminal reports, social security number and work pay. All these reports play an important role for the trucking companies in pre hiring process to decide whether the trucker is qualified for the job or not.
To maintain the clarity in reports the reports are regulated by Fair Credit Reporting Act. According to this act each driver is eligible to acquire a free copy of this report each year. This will help them know the information that has been collected against their driving.
Earlier the report was distributed by USIS, but this procedure is now handled by a company called HireRight. A consumer report request from can be filled and send to the company in order to get your free report copy or the request can be sent online on the HireRight website. The request for the report can be submitted online but the report is not delivered in the digital form. It takes 15 days for the hard copy of the report to be delivered to you through US mail delivery system. If in case you find the there are incorrect charges on the report you can file a dispute with the dispute section of the website.
With the growing popularity of the DAC reports, nearly 90% of the commercial long hauls trucking companies are utilizing these reports to play safe while hiring new driver onboard. Since, the DAC report is a very crucial document for your truck driving career, you should read carefully the report and make sure to file any dispute for the wrong charges. The HireRight will look into the matter and make sure that inappropriate charges are removed from your report.
Keep checking our load board blog page for more trucking article. We will see in the next article, how to avoid negative DAC reports and what you should do in the case if the report stands negative for you.

Trucker News

Latest Industry News:

Flatbed Loads Rises whereas Reefers and Dry Van remains same reported by TransCore
With the week that ended on Jan 29, the nationwide flatbed freight loads showed an increase as per the loadboards of Transcore DAT network. The freight loads for reefer and dry van remained the same with the same number of loads as previous week.
The capacity to take the loads and the loads available for flatbed trucks have made up for the total number of load postings done for loads and truck available. This is the third week that both the volume and capacity is showing a weekly increase. This week thought the increase in demand for the loads available did not match the equipment capacity. The individual flatbed capacity stayed same and there was a 2.3 percent growth in van and reefer capacity.
The weekly newsletter issued by TransCore called Transcore Trendlines suggested that the there was in increase in the truck loads by 3.1 percent and the postings fir trucks rose by 2.4 percent. This rising trend as per the market indicators can be seen week over week. The main business indicator if the trucking industry id Load-to-Truck ratio, it remained stable and stated that there were approximately 4.9 loads available for each empty truck. Thus, the industry is seen giving lucrative offers to the truck driving jobs especially the flatbed drivers. This ratio is calculated by covering the data available nationwide.
The week showed an increase in the ratio for flatbed trucks to 6.7 percent and a decrease in the load to truck ratios for vans and refrigerated trucks. These key indicators suggest increased activity in the trucking industry as the US and worldwide economy revives.

Owner Operators

Commercial Truck Finance a Feasible Option for Owner Operators

An owner operator or truck driver wanting an independent trucking business is a costly affair. The big rigs often cost too much for the truck driver job to realize their big dreams. A new rig and a trailer would require a big sum of investment ranging from one fifty thousand to two hundred thousand dollars. In this situation the truck driver turns towards commercial truck finance option. The finance companies are more than happy to offer commercial truck finance as this loan is far less risky. This is because of the reason that truck drivers make good money and has the potential to earn over one hundred thousand dollars in one year by running their trucks for approximately 70 hours a week. If they start the business in partnership with two drivers on the road then the amount earned is even more.

The types of finances covered not just include the big rigs which makes interstate trips but all other truck types used for different loads available as well. The other truck purchases that might require commercial truck finance are flat bed, dump truck, reefers, dry vans, hazmat trucks and many more. The area includes all those trucks and trailers that are commercially used to raise income. At this point of time many new owner operators and truck driver feel hesitated to take up such a huge amount of loan. Therefore, many starters go for another option which is more economic and practical i.e. of Truck leasing. In this case they take the required truck on lease for a certain period of time. This option does not require a big initial investment so the truckers can focus on other financial requirements until the business is perfectly set.

Rising fuel price is another challenge faced by both the owner operators and the truck finance companies. Where the fuel was costing 500 dollars some four years back now costs 1000 dollars. The investors are now looking for low cost finance options. The overall economy of the country depends on its fuel prices and trucking industry. According to estimation the trucking industry will face a shortage of 20,000 drivers by 2014. There are a few reasons why the truckers these days want to have their own commercial truck. The first one off course is the freedom to drive the big rig on your own terms and conditions. Many truckers don’t find the scheduled 10 or 14 hours a day job offered by trucking companies much fascinating. Moreover these days the new semi trucks are coming loaded with features like beds, microwaves, toilets, satellite televisions, and much more. So the aspiring trucker wants to get all such facilities with their own trucks.

Commercial Truck Finance options are not only limited to new trucks but are also available on used trucks and trailers for those who do not want much financial load on themselves. Many companies are coming into picture offering truck finances for new and used trucks. With the start up of the owner operator business you have the potential towards increased earnings. You can use the facilities of load boards to keep your truck always loaded. Thus taking commercial truck finance is a good idea for those truck drivers who cannot afford to buy a truck on their own but want to start up the o/o business.

Trucker News

Vehicle Maintenance – A Necessity for Truck Drivers

As per the new safety program introduced under CSA 2010 by FMCSA, the vehicle maintenance is a must and the most important risk factor associated with the fleets. In this line Rair, a carrier risk safety management company has issued a report to compare the safety measures introduced by CSA and the older SafeStat reports. As per the information released by CSA the larger fleets that are under the maintenance violation risk are 10-15%. The smaller fleet sizes are comparatively very high in ratio for the violation of maintenance regulations. Now with the open CSA reports, the fleet owners can simply see the scores to find out where they are lacking. Despite of all the sources and information available there is BASIC’s violation.

What steps should be taken to get the bare minimum maintenance level for the fleets:
Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR): According to the Rair president, DVIR should performed everyday and recorded on the form by the truck drivers, may it be a hotshot, reefer or flatbed drivers. To carry out the task effectively and to tackle the issue in case any problem is identified the driver should be trained to do so. In present day scenario DVIR reporting is thought of as another paper work on which the driver and trucking company manages simply put their signature. In such cases, when the vehicle is inspected on the road many maintenance problems come into picture which then become the maintenance violation and are penalized .
The maintenance does not only mean the repair of any non-performing part but it should be done before and after every shipment is done by the fleet. The details of the regulations are specified in CFR title no 49 under the parts 393 and 396. The DWS Fleet Services president Darry Stuart lays emphasis on the importance of CSA 2010 maintenance BASIC.
Check our load board blog posts for more articles on CSA2010 regulations.
Before the driver starts for the shipment of loads available the driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) and the vehicle condition report (VCR) should be carefully made. The report should cover the crucial aspects of the fleet maintenance such as the checking of steering, parking brake, lights and reflectors, service brakes, trailer brakes, horn, mirrors, windshield wipers, tires, rims, wheels and emergency tool kit.
If the truck driver job regarding the correct reporting of DVIR is performed well then their CSA rating will improve and the regular maintenance will not pose them any big maintenance issue. However if they do not follow the regulations then their business is likely to get affected both due to the bad rating as well as the delay in delivery as the under maintained truck will be first sent back to cover up all the maintenance required. The best solution to this situation is to perform a detailed post trip evaluation and make the truck ready for next dispatch then to do a pre-trip evaluation and postpone the dispatch in case of any fault.


How to Get the Best of your Reefer Truck

Driving a refrigerated truck is a work of its own kind. This work, though seeming similar, has a lot of technical differentiation from other work.  It takes a very experienced trucker to drive a reefer truck. This fact makes this work very unique. In this article I will discuss about the ways to get the best from your reefer truck. Driving reefer truck is the most hectic among truck driving jobs. Reefer drivers have to go through a lot of tough conditions then a normal truck driver.

The loads available of different kind must be transported in the containers of different size. For the fruits and vegetables any size is good to go but if you want to opt for some other stuff to transport like some scientific and research material then the reefer driver must understand the responsibilities related to this and the proper procedure must be opted.

Reefer trucking

For reefer drivers, it is very important to stabilize the temperature during the trucking. A swing more than 5 or 10 degree can waste the purpose of the transportation.  One have to cope with all the facts including the insulation cost and the maintaining the swing value very low. Ambient value with proper aging and condition is very important in the transportation. If you fail to manipulate all the factors involved the operation will not be economical and you will not earn enough money as desired.

Maintaining all the mentioned factor during a constant and continuous run is also an important factor. There are several other issues too which must be properly addressed in a reefer trucking job too. These factors include the temperature and the capacity of the shipment.  The capacity varies with the initial investment made. An optimum relation must be maintained between the initial investment and the capacity so that the maximum possible profit is obtained during the operation without financial load on the driver.

Check our loadboard for more interesting articles like this.

The driver must consider every factor related to the particular run. The client might ask different type of service in different projects. The reefer driver must ask the question from himself that what is the possible benefit of this operation are and whether he will be able to successfully handle the job or not. In this scenario another factor of the trailer size also comes into the play. The type of job is highly dependent over the trailer size.

Here I am discussing few bullet points to suggest the optimum use of reefer truck for any trucking company:

1.       Perform all the operation in the proper way to save yourself from the wastage of time and make the maximum use of your resources

2.       You must not run the units if the doors are open because it is simply the waste of power and the effort.

3.       Use the max value of possible insulation to reduce losses because it may make the initial cost high but later it will be very useful for saving the cost of maintaining temperature.


Debate over the Working Time of Truck Drivers

In spite of a period of struggle by the organization, there is no indisputable situation that single version of law is superior to a new in positions of security and realism. Neither is probable to stay: Trucking is extremely varied and multifaceted occupation, it’s tough to count special effects of protection guidelines. Possibly by way of results, the laws are intensely debated.
In the meantime, trucking companies and execution community endure to mien occupation in operating limitation that is matter to modification by years by means of lawsuit developments and law implementation progress.
Below the expressions of the contract with Citizens and further assemblies tangled in frequent proceedings against present rulings, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has till twenty six July 2011, to present fresh regulation. The petitioner have the backup of permission to come back to the law court if even fresh ruling does not suit them, their original declaration clearly specifies that they do not liable to be reassuring.
They admit the organization’s inclination of modifying the eleven hour day-to-day reefer drivers perimeter to only ten hours, but strictly oppose their readiness to reflect possession of eleven hour limitation. They understand the obligation that drivers grow 2 nights of the break in their thirty four hour resume as the development but yet will favor the forty eight hour resume.
On another sideways, American trucking association speaks the suggestion is “excessively difficult, block occupied of pointless limitations on expert truck motorists and on its central, would considerably decrease trucking output.”
For more American trucking associations articles check our load board.
The organization told that it’s suggesting variations in present time of facility instructions to provide motorists litheness to receive a breakdown through daytime and decrease fitness and care dangers of lengthy times of labor. Here is a fact on variations and organization’s foundation.
Everyday motoring Time
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is bearing in mind the option of preventive everyday heavy motoring hours to ten hours in spite of the present eleven hours in spite of heavy loads available. The organization told that it favors ten hour duty time but still is observing for remarks and statistics on the present subject.
The essence of the organization’s explanation on present opinion is this that it doesn’t have sufficient dependable info to create the appeal any method.
“Assumed the vague but established association amid exhaustion, time about action, hour’s sleeplessness, and hour’s labor, here is sensible dispute for preventive motoring time to ten hours’ time,” the assistance speaks. It’s watching the statistics to compute several alterations in danger amid ten and eleven hours’ time. “A reply will crack on deliberating whole amount of smashes in every period and proportion of the heavy driving which receive residence in every sixty minutes.”
The organization confesses American trucking associations spat that preventing driving period to ten hours’ time will need transporters to employ additional inexpert drivers to cover available loads that will upsurge danger over the highway, nonetheless speaks the problem is not by way of grave as American Trucking Association proposes.
Most cargo are little heaved, and such truck loads available heavy motorists aren’t probable to drive ten hours period, not talking about eleven, the organization stated. In lengthy tow processes, twenty seven percentage of heavy motoring time lengthy into eleventh period, but it will be definitely increase exercise and administration of fresh drivers, the organization stated.

Business Lifestyle

Life as a Truck Driver

Truck drivers are a constant presence on the Nation’s highways and interstates. They deliver everything from automobiles to canned food. Firms of all kinds rely on trucks to pick up and deliver goods because no other form of transportation can deliver goods door-to-door. Even if some goods travel most of the way by ship, train, or airplane, almost everything is carried by trucks at some point in its journey.

Before leaving the terminal or warehouse, truck drivers check the fuel level and oil in their trucks. They also inspect the trucks to make sure that the brakes, windshield wipers, and lights are working and that a fire extinguisher, flares, and other safety equipment are aboard and in working order. Drivers make sure their cargo is secure and adjust the mirrors so that both sides of the truck are visible from the driver’s seat. Drivers report equipment that is inoperable, missing, or loaded improperly to the dispatcher.

Once under way, drivers must be alert in order to prevent accidents. Drivers can see farther down the road because large trucks seat them higher off the ground than other vehicles. This allows them to see the road ahead and select lanes that are moving more smoothly as well as giving them warning of any dangerous road conditions ahead of them.

The duration of runs vary according to the types of cargo and the destinations. Local drivers may provide daily service for a specific route or region, while other drivers make longer, intercity and interstate deliveries. Interstate and intercity cargo tends to vary from job to job more than local cargo. A driver’s responsibilities and assignments change according to the type of loads transported and their vehicle’s size.

New technologies are changing the way truck drivers work, especially long-distance truck drivers. Satellites and the Global Positioning System link many trucks with their company’s headquarters. Troubleshooting information, directions, weather reports, and other important communications can be instantly relayed to the truck. Drivers can easily communicate with the dispatcher to discuss delivery schedules and courses of action in the event of mechanical problems. The satellite link also allows the dispatcher to track the truck’s location, fuel consumption, and engine performance. Some drivers also work with computerized inventory tracking equipment. It is important for the producer, warehouse, and customer to know their product’s location at all times so they can maintain a high quality of service.

Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers operate trucks or vans with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). They transport goods including cars, livestock, and other materials in liquid, loose, or packaged form. Many routes are from city to city and cover long distances. Some companies use two drivers on very long runs—one drives while the other sleeps in a berth behind the cab. These “sleeper” runs can last for days, or even weeks. Trucks on sleeper runs typically stop only for fuel, food, loading, and unloading.

Some heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers who have regular runs transport freight to the same city on a regular basis. Other drivers perform ad hoc runs because shippers request varying service to different cities every day.

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that drivers keep a log of their activities, the condition of the truck, and the circumstances of any accidents.

Long-distance heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers spend most of their working time behind the wheel, but also may have to load or unload their cargo. This is especially common when drivers haul specialty cargo, because they may be the only ones at the destination familiar with procedures or certified to handle the materials. Auto-transport drivers, for example, position cars on the trailers at the manufacturing plant and remove them at the dealerships. When picking up or delivering furniture, drivers of long-distance moving vans hire local workers to help them load or unload.

Light or delivery services truck drivers operate LTL cargo vans and box trucks weighing less than 26,000 pounds GVW. They pick up or deliver merchandise and packages within a specific area. This may include short “turnarounds” to deliver a shipment to a nearby city, pick up another loaded truck or van, and drive it back to their home base the same day. These services may require use of electronic delivery tracking systems to track the whereabouts of the merchandise or packages. Light or delivery services truck drivers usually load or unload the merchandise at the customer’s place of business. They may have helpers if there are many deliveries to make during the day, or if the load requires heavy moving. Typically, before the driver arrives for work, material handlers load the trucks and arrange items for ease of delivery. Customers must sign receipts for goods and pay drivers the balance due on the merchandise if there is a cash-on-delivery arrangement. At the end of the day drivers turn in receipts, payments, records of deliveries made, and any reports on mechanical problems with their trucks.

Some local truck drivers have sales and customer service responsibilities. The primary responsibility of driver/sales workers, or route drivers, is to deliver and sell their firm’s products over established routes or within an established territory. They sell goods such as food products, including restaurant takeout items, or pick up and deliver items such as laundry. Their response to customer complaints and requests can make the difference between a large order and a lost customer. Route drivers may also take orders and collect payments.

The duties of driver/sales workers vary according to their industry, the policies of their employer, and the emphasis placed on their sales responsibility. Most have wholesale routes that deliver to businesses and stores, rather than to homes. For example, wholesale bakery driver/sales workers deliver and arrange bread, cakes, rolls, and other baked goods on display racks in grocery stores. They estimate how many of each item to stock by paying close attention to what is selling. They may recommend changes in a store’s order or encourage the manager to stock new bakery products. Laundries that rent linens, towels, work clothes, and other items employ driver/sales workers to visit businesses regularly to replace soiled laundry. Their duties also may include soliciting new customers along their sales route.

After completing their route, driver/sales workers place orders for their next deliveries based on product sales and customer requests.

Truck Driver Working Conditions

Truck driving has become less physically demanding because most trucks now have more comfortable seats, better ventilation, and improved, ergonomically designed cabs. Although these changes make the work environment less taxing, driving for many hours at a stretch, loading and unloading cargo, and making many deliveries can be tiring. Local truck drivers, unlike long-distance drivers, usually return home in the evening. Some self-employed long-distance truck drivers who own and operate their trucks spend most of the year away from home.

Design improvements in newer trucks have reduced stress and increased the efficiency of long-distance drivers. Many newer trucks are equipped with refrigerators, televisions, and bunks.

The U.S. Department of Transportation governs work hours and other working conditions of truck drivers engaged in interstate commerce. A long-distance driver may drive for 11 hours and work for up to 14 hours—including driving and non-driving duties—after having 10 hours off-duty. A driver may not drive after having worked for 60 hours in the past 7 days or 70 hours in the past 8 days unless they have taken at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. Most drivers are required to document their time in a logbook. Many drivers, particularly on long runs, work close to the maximum time permitted because they typically are compensated according to the number of miles or hours they drive. Drivers on long runs face boredom, loneliness, and fatigue. Drivers often travel nights, holidays, and weekends to avoid traffic delays.

Local truck drivers frequently work 50 or more hours a week. Drivers who handle food for chain grocery stores, produce markets, or bakeries typically work long hours—starting late at night or early in the morning. Although most drivers have regular routes, some have different routes each day. Many local truck drivers, particularly driver/sales workers, load and unload their own trucks. This requires considerable lifting, carrying, and walking each day.

State and Federal regulations govern the qualifications and standards for truck drivers. All drivers must comply with Federal regulations and any State regulations that are in excess of those Federal requirements. Truck drivers must have a driver’s license issued by the State in which they live, and most employers require a clean driving record. Drivers of trucks designed to carry 26,000 pounds or more—including most tractor-trailers, as well as bigger straight trucks—must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the State in which they live. All truck drivers who operate trucks transporting hazardous materials must obtain a CDL, regardless of truck size. In order to receive the hazardous materials endorsement a driver must be fingerprinted and submit to a criminal background check by the Transportation Security Administration. Federal regulations governing CDL administration allow for States to exempt farmers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, some military drivers, and snow and ice removers from the need for a CDL at the State’s discretion. In many States a regular driver’s license is sufficient for driving light trucks and vans.

To qualify for a CDL an applicant must have a clean driving record, pass a written test on rules and regulations, and then demonstrate that they can operate a commercial truck safely. A national database permanently records all driving violations committed by those with a CDL. A State will check these records and deny a CDL to those who already have a license suspended or revoked in another State. Licensed drivers must accompany trainees until they get their own CDL. A person may not hold more than one license at a time and must surrender any other licenses when a CDL is issued. Information on how to apply for a CDL may be obtained from State motor vehicle administrations.

Many States allow those who are as young as 18 years old to drive trucks within their borders. To drive a commercial vehicle between States one must be 21 years of age, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), which establishes minimum qualifications for truck drivers engaging in interstate commerce. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations—published by U.S. DOT—require drivers to be at least 21 years old and to pass a physical examination once every 2 years. The main physical requirements include good hearing, at least 20/40 vision with glasses or corrective lenses, and a 70-degree field of vision in each eye. Drivers may not be colorblind. Drivers must be able to hear a forced whisper in one ear at not less than 5 feet, with a hearing aid if needed. Drivers must have normal use of arms and legs and normal blood pressure. Drivers may not use any controlled substances, unless prescribed by a licensed physician. Persons with epilepsy or diabetes controlled by insulin are not permitted to be interstate truck drivers. Federal regulations also require employers to test their drivers for alcohol and drug use as a condition of employment, and require periodic random tests of the drivers while they are on duty. A driver must not have been convicted of a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle; a crime involving drugs; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; refusing to submit to an alcohol test required by a State or its implied consent laws or regulations; leaving the scene of a crime; or causing a fatality through negligent operation of a motor vehicle. All drivers must be able to read and speak English well enough to read road signs, prepare reports, and communicate with law enforcement officers and the public.

Many trucking operations have higher standards than those described here. Many firms require that drivers be at least 22 years old, be able to lift heavy objects, and have driven trucks for 3 to 5 years. Many prefer to hire high school graduates and require annual physical examinations. Companies have an economic incentive to hire less risky drivers, as good drivers use less fuel and cost less to insure.

Taking driver-training courses is a desirable method of preparing for truck driving jobs and for obtaining a CDL. High school courses in driver training and automotive mechanics also may be helpful. Many private and public vocational-technical schools offer tractor-trailer driver training programs. Students learn to maneuver large vehicles on crowded streets and in highway traffic. They also learn to inspect trucks and freight for compliance with regulations. Some programs provide only a limited amount of actual driving experience. Completion of a program does not guarantee a job. Those interested in attending a driving school should check with local trucking companies to make sure the school’s training is acceptable. Some States require prospective drivers to complete a training course in basic truck driving before being issued their CDL. The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI), a nonprofit organization established by the trucking industry, manufacturers, and others, certifies driver training courses at truck driver training schools that meet industry standards and Federal Highway Administration guidelines for training tractor-trailer drivers.

Drivers must get along well with people because they often deal directly with customers. Employers seek driver/sales workers who speak well and have self-confidence, initiative, tact, and a neat appearance. Employers also look for responsible, self-motivated individuals who are able to work well with little supervision.

Training given to new drivers by employers is usually informal, and may consist of only a few hours of instruction from an experienced driver, sometimes on the new employee’s own time. New drivers may also ride with and observe experienced drivers before getting their own assignments. Drivers receive additional training to drive special types of trucks or handle hazardous materials. Some companies give 1 to 2 days of classroom instruction covering general duties, the operation and loading of a truck, company policies, and the preparation of delivery forms and company records. Driver/sales workers also receive training on the various types of products their company carries so that they can effectively answer questions about the products and more easily market them to their customers.

Although most new truck drivers are assigned to regular driving jobs immediately, some start as extra drivers—substituting for regular drivers who are ill or on vacation. Extra drivers receive a regular assignment when an opening occurs.

New drivers sometimes start on panel trucks or other small straight trucks. As they gain experience and show competent driving skills they may advance to larger, heavier trucks and finally to tractor-trailers.

The advancement of truck drivers generally is limited to driving runs that provide increased earnings, preferred schedules, or working conditions. Local truck drivers may advance to driving heavy or specialized trucks, or transfer to long-distance truck driving. Working for companies that also employ long-distance drivers is the best way to advance to these positions. Few truck drivers become dispatchers or managers.

Some long-distance truck drivers purchase trucks and go into business for themselves. Although some of these owner-operators are successful, others fail to cover expenses and go out of business. Owner-operators should have good business sense as well as truck driving experience. Courses in accounting, business, and business mathematics are helpful. Knowledge of truck mechanics can enable owner-operators to perform their own routine maintenance and minor repairs.

Trucker News

CARB Proposal- A Gigantic Trouble for Trailers

In California the refrigerated trailers are not being allowed now, all the old models should be replaced until the next year. So the long haulers will have to worry about this as the cargo will expire. The reefers for them would also expire next year. The problems for them have amplified now. They should replace them now else wise they would mug with more trouble in future. For the purpose the California Air Resource Board has already sent a notification containing a detailed note about the change in scenario of the truck driving jobs. It notifies them that they won’t allow any of the model if it is older than 2001. The notification also contains notes about; what model would be required and what will be the other restrictions. They stated that in future the restrictions would be even more and tighter. They have also stated that the 2002 models should be replaced by 2009. Furthermore it has made very clear that new models would be required in each of the supplementary year.
CARB has anticipated in May 2006 that a cost of $2,000 to $20,000 would be beard for the replacement. This cost would be directly affecting the reefers and the reefer drivers. The replacement would be very beneficial said CARB. They reported that approximately 50% emission could be reduced from the 2001 models and older while about 85% from the 2002 and newer trailer. The vital reason for all these changes and rules were to diminish the emission. CARB reports that they will be successful in doing so with the help of load boards
. They further notified them to register their reefers. This notification was for all the trucking companies of California. They further stated that the outside companies can also register if they want but it is not essential for them. CARB was certain that many of the companies outside the California would also get to them to help them lessen the emission.
A spokesman of CARB named Dimitri Stanich said that they should be contracted immunity from the EPA for the nationwide Clean Air act. This statement was though considered afterwards.
Many of the owners were not pleased with the change as they said it could be very expensive for them to replace the reefers. A reefers owner named Wilson said that he has a trailer whose worth is $20,000 and said that the cost for the replacement is about $80,000. He said he would not be able to replace the trailer and said many other trailer owner were in the same state. Wilson further told that this issue can create severe financial problem for him so he would be unable to overcome it. He further stated that these reefers are very costly and pricey that many of the owners will be unable to surmount including him even if there was much available loads and work. He lastly declared that if because of this proposal of replacement many owners quit, this would create immense problem for all, so the CARB should consider the trailer owner’s proposals as well and help them in this condition, so that everyone stays happy.

Business Owner Operators

Profitable Owner Operator Business Practices

To evaluate any business performance one need to draw out the difference between its income and expenditures. The difference between the two accounts for the profitability of a business. In case of the owner operator jobs, the income is calculated from the paid mileage per month. And the expenditure would include the installment for truck and trailer payments, licenses and permits, tolls, fuel cost, insurance, maintenance and repairs, road and fuel tax, office expenses, factoring services and salaries. The difference in the two will give an owner operator its profit from the business.
If the expenditure is reduced, the income is automatically increased and thus the profit. Few essential business practices to generate profits for owner operators and small trucking companies:
Thorough research of the pros and cons of the industry: You cannot jump into this with your head first. If you have experience as a driver and you know the industry well then you can look forward towards it. However, if you are new to the industry then you need to do your homework before starting with the venture. All calculations and feasibility should be kept in mind.
Emergency Fund: For an owner operator job to run smoothly and climb the ladder of success it is a must to maintain an emergency fund. In case of the truck breakdown or any other crisis you can utilize the fund to solve the problem so that you can get back to roads soon to avoid more loss.
Adequate use of Load boards: With modern innovations you can utilize the services of load boards by large found on the internet. This will help your truck keep going on the roads. With its regular usage you will not have to depend on the traditional methods of personal approach. You can directly get exposure to better deals and loads available for hauling.
Coping with Deadheads: Sometimes it becomes inevitable to avoid deadheads and you have to haul loads to such dead areas. In this case you need to increase your pay per miles so that the deal comes out to be profitable for you. If this doesn’t work out and you are in a situation to afford to sit idle for a day than do not take the load and wait for a better business deal.
Factoring and Insurance Services: If you can make use of a person who can handle your business accounts such as receivables and collections then you should not avail factoring services. This would increase your profit margin. Similarly before taking up an insurance do market research and get the best offer in it.
Negotiate Well: You would maximize your profit if you negotiate with the clients and brokers well. Always calculate the minimum level below which you would not finalize the deal. As you need work the businesses and brokers too need you. Be flexible but not too much, make your requirements clear.
To become a successful O/O you need to have motivation along with set plan of actions and business skills. You can only be successful if you want yourself to be successful.