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Today's Truck Drivers Enjoy Job Security, Great Pay, and Time at Home

Aug 17, 2007
Tired of the same old boring routine at your everyday job? For a change of pace consider becoming a semi tractor-trailer driver. With a national shortage of drivers, this career is one that comes with its own brand of job security insurance.

Earning a license to drive the big rigs is not that difficult of a task. The demand for over the road drivers remains high and the pay for operating a tractor-trailer is high. The benefits can be incredible, too, making this career a solid choice.

What are the requirements? To operate in interstate commerce, a driver must be at least 21 years of age and pass a rigid physical examination once every 2 years. Drivers are further required to submit to testing for drug and alcohol use, including unannounced random testing. Drivers of trucks with a weight rating of over 26,000 pounds must obtain a Commercial Driver's License, also referred to as a CDL, by passing a rigorous test of their knowledge of safety regulations and display the ability to drive one of the large vehicles. Drug and alcohol convictions or combinations of various serious driving violations can draw temporary or even permanent loss of driving privileges.

Because of the large demand for freight to be moved, the job outlook for a professional over the road driver is very good. Currently the federal government has estimated that there is a shortage of around 80,000 over the road drivers. Trucking companies throughout the United States are beginning to offer drivers better incentives and higher pay in order to fill this massive shortage.

Another incentive that companies are striving to fulfill is lowering the amount of time that the drivers spend out on the road away from their families. Traditionally over the road drivers would spend weeks away from home, not so anymore. Many companies are striving to ensure that their drivers are home for the weekend. This is accomplished by having the drivers perform a relay type run where one driver picks up where another leaves off. This has made the job more inviting to drivers that would otherwise turn it down.

Over the road drivers generally make around $35,000 a year, but pay rates can vary with the type of driving and years of experience. In order to fill the shortage of drivers many companies expect to raise the pay rate for many of the current drivers and start new drivers out at a higher rate. Good companies also offer their drivers' benefits.

An online search of the Internet can produce many different schools for those wishing to learn more about becoming an over the road driver. These schools offer to teach students what they need to know to obtain their CDL in as little as four to five weeks. Many of the schools offer job placement so that their students can start to work right away and several of these companies will reimburse the students the cost of their tuition.

Good pay mixed with bright job outlook makes for an exciting ever-changing career. Being an over the road tractor-trailer can be a thrilling job for anyone that is tired of the same old daily routine that now fills their days.
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