Answers to Your Trucking Questions

The trucking industry continues to grow and truck driving can be a rewarding career option. If you are considering earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and working as a driver, you may be wondering about certain aspects of the job. 

Here are some answers to the most common questions: 

Trucking Pay

How much can truck drivers make?

According to 2018 data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10% of heavy and tractor-trailer haulers earned more than $65,260 per year. The median annual wage for drivers is $43,680. Pay can vary depending on the type of freight, miles driven, and experience. 

How do truckers get paid?

Most long-haul transportation jobs pay by the mile. The pay per mile depends on what type of freight you haul. Freight that requires more expertise or a CDL endorsement will typically pay more. Some drivers do get paid hourly, but this is usually for local or regional jobs rather than over-the-road. 

Is trucking a good career?

Whether or not this career is right for you depends on your personal goals and preferences. Many people consider truck driving a good career because of the high pay and the variety of opportunities in the field.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Do I need a commercial driver’s license?

You need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive most types of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). To drive a vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more with a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds, you need a Class A CDL. To drive a vehicle weighing 26,001 or more pounds with a towing capacity of fewer than 10,000 pounds, you need a Class B CDL. 

What are the requirements for a CDL?

Federal regulations require you to be over 21 years of age to earn a Class A CDL. You will need to pass a background check and cannot have a license suspension in any state. In order to earn your license, you will also need to pass a CDL test. Additional requirements apply in certain states. 

How do you get a commercial driver’s license?

In order to get your commercial driver’s license, you will need to study for and pass a written CDL test to earn your commercial learner’s permit. Then, you must practice driving a commercial vehicle in order to pass your skills test. This can be done on your own or by attending a CDL School. 

Truck Driving School

What is CDL school?

At a CDL school, you will complete a mix of classroom learning and hands-on training that will prepare you for a career as a truck driver. These programs teach you valuable skills and can help you pass your CDL test.

Can I get a CDL without going to school?

It is possible to pass your written and skills tests and earn a CDL without attending truck driving school. However, it can be difficult to find a job with a trucking company if you did not attend a CDL training program where you had real-life experience driving a tractor-trailer.  

Do You Have Questions About Trucking?

If you have questions about truck driving or want to earn your CDL, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help.

Contact us today to learn more about our trucking school.

A Guide to Flatbed Trucking Basics

After you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are many different types of trucking jobs that you might consider. In addition to choosing whether you prefer long-haul driving or a local/regional route, drivers can haul a variety of freight. Flatbed trucking is one option and can be a rewarding career. 

Here are some facts about driving a flatbed truck:

What is Flatbed Trucking?

Flatbed trucks are commercial vehicles that have a flat platform rather than an enclosed trailer. This allows trucking companies to transport large or unusually-shaped freight. Because the trailer has an open deck, drivers must tie down freight with chains or straps in order to ensure it is secure. In some cases, a tarp is also necessary to protect the goods and materials from damage during transit.

Flatbed Pros and Cons

Like any other truck driving job, flatbed freight has pros and cons. It is important to consider your individual preferences and goals for your trucking career when deciding if driving a flatbed truck is right for you. 

Pro: Higher Pay

The biggest benefit of flatbed trucking is the higher pay. According to CDL 101, flatbed and specialized drivers can make almost $13,000 more each year on average compared to dry van truckers (hauling dry goods in a traditional tractor-trailer). 

Pro: Driver Health

Many truck driving jobs do not involve much physical activity and this can lead to health problems if you do not find ways to stay active and healthy on the road. Since flatbed drivers are responsible for securing and unloading freight as well as driving, they get more activity than other types of truck drivers. As long as you follow safety regulations while performing this physical labor, it may help you stay healthier. 

Pro: Variety of Jobs

Flatbed routes may be more varied than regional or local dry van or refrigerated hauls. This allows you to see more of the country and experience more variety in your career. 

Con: Potential Risks

Compared to other types of driving, flatbed trucking may be more dangerous. If you do not properly secure freight, it may come loose and lead to injury. You can also be at risk of falling or otherwise injuring yourself while securing cargo. In order to reduce the danger that comes with driving a flatbed truck, you must closely follow all safety regulations. 

Con: Physically Demanding

While the physical nature of flatbed trucking can be seen as a benefit because it keeps you more active, it is also a potential downside to the job. Securing and unloading freight can take a physical toll and may not be for everyone.

Con: Time-Consuming

If you drive a dry van or refrigerated truck, you are not usually responsible for loading and unloading the vehicle. This is not the case with flatbed trucking. Flatbed drivers are responsible for securing freight and unloading it once they reach the destination. This can take more time than other types of truck driving jobs. 

we Can Prepare You for a Trucking Career

Whether you are considering flatbed trucking or any other type of CDL job, Phoenix Truck Driving School is here to help you. Earning your CDL through our training program is the first step to a rewarding career in the truck driving industry. 

Contact us today to learn more about our CDL school and how we can help you start your career in flatbed trucking or another type of truck driving.