Types of Specialized Trucking

Truck drivers are essential to our nation’s economy and trucks transport over 70% of the nation’s freight. Much of this is hauled in dry vans, which are the type of vehicles that line up most closely with the standard idea of a “semi-truck.” Refrigerated trucks, also called reefers, are also common. However, beyond these more well-known varieties of transportation, there are many types of specialized trucking. These drivers haul unique freight and often earn high pay due to the additional training and skills required.

Some types of specialized trucking include:

Livestock Transport

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are over 250,000 livestock haulers in the United States. These trucks transport various animals to farms across the country. Cattle haulers are among the most common, but trucks may also transport chickens, horses, pigs, or even bees. In order to succeed as a livestock trucker, you will need to have an understanding of how to care for the animals you are transporting, and many of these haulers have farm experience. This type of work is often seasonal and is subject to regulations from not only the FMCSA and Department of Transportation (DOT), but also the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other organizations.

Car Haulers

Did you know that the first semi-truck was invented to haul automobiles to buyers without causing unnecessary wear and tear? Transporting cars to dealerships has become more advanced over the years and instead of moving one vehicle at a time, these specialized trucks typically have an open trailer with several cars. This type of trucking requires knowledge of weight regulations and car haulers need to know how to safely load the vehicles and inspect them for damage. Due to the high value of this type of freight, it’s important for these truckers to build a strong reputation, and many are owner-operators.

Hazardous Materials

The category of hazardous materials (hazmat) includes a variety of potentially dangerous substances. One of the most common is gasoline and without fuel trucks, transportation in the United States would be severely impacted in less than a week. These jobs require both the hazmat and tanker endorsements. Most companies will prefer to hire drivers who have experience with non-hazardous freight first, because a strong safety record is essential for these high-risk hauls.

Getting into Specialized Trucking

If you are interested in jobs beyond dry van or reefer trucking, it is important to know how to get started. The first step is to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Then, by looking at what type of trucking you are interested in, you will need to determine what additional endorsements you may need. In most cases, it is recommended to start with a more traditional truck driving job to get some experience before you apply to specialized trucking companies. However, there may be exceptions to this, such as if you have related experience outside of driving (e.g. a farming background, in the case of livestock hauling).

Our job placement assistance team can help you consider your options, and if additional endorsements are needed, our classes at Phoenix Truck Driving School cover material for the hazmat, tanker, and doubles/triples tests.

Earn Your Commercial License

Phoenix Truck Driving School can get you on the road and earning in as little as four weeks. Our program gives you valuable skills that will continue to benefit you throughout your trucking career.

Take the first step toward a specialized trucking job and earn your CDL. Contact us today.

Trucking Career Advancement Opportunities

Truck driving jobs can be highly rewarding, and you can earn more than $66,000 a year* as a trucker. One of the questions that many people who are considering getting their commercial driver’s license (CDL) have is what advancement opportunities exist within this industry. Your trucking career can evolve as you gain more experience and there are many ways you can advance as a driver.

Some advancement opportunities within trucking, assuming you start out as an over-the-road (OTR) company driver, include:

Growing Within a Company Driver Role

Advancement as a trucker does not always involve a change in your title. Many individuals who start out as over-the-road (OTR) drivers for a motor carrier continue to have this role throughout their trucking career. When you gain more experience and build a strong reputation, your company will begin to recognize you as a driver they can trust. As a result, you can get more miles and advance your career as a company driver.

Mentorship Roles

Many motor carriers have mentorship programs for new drivers. Mentors are experienced truckers who help new hires learn the ropes. This often includes driving as a team for a period of time so the new driver has supervision at first. Becoming a driver mentor can be a great option for advancement in the trucking industry if you are interested in teaching others while staying on the open road.

CDL School Instructor

Becoming a trucking school instructor is similar to being a driver mentor in that you are teaching a new generation of truckers. However, as an instructor you will usually stay in one place. This can make it an excellent choice for experienced drivers who are interested in transitioning out of an active driving role.

Trucking Company Management

Management work at a trucking company may include dispatch, on-site supervision, safety program coordination, et cetera. Having a thorough understanding of the transportation industry can make you a valuable asset in these positions. This type of role is usually something you would consider after many years of driving rather than just out of CDL school.

Exploring Different Routes

Although some individuals can find regional or local trucking jobs right after earning their CDL, these positions are often more competitive. In many cases, it is helpful to have some experience as an OTR driver before pursuing a job that keeps you closer to home. Although this isn’t advancement in the traditional sense of moving up within a company, it is a relatively common trucking career path to move from OTR to regional or local.

Becoming an Owner-Operator

An owner-operator is a trucker who owns their own vehicle and either contracts with a motor carrier or operates under their own authority. These jobs are some of the highest paying in the industry, but it is important to consider whether it is the right choice for you. It’s a good idea to have a few years of experience, and you will also need to either save up to buy a truck or participate in an owner-operator program with a trucking company.

Earn Your CDL Phoenix Truck Driving School

If you are interested in life on the open road, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help. Our programs will give you a strong foundation of valuable skills that will continue to benefit you throughout your career, no matter which path you take.

To start your trucking career, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $44,500 (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm). The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $66,800 per year* according to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What to Consider When Choosing a Trucking Job

After earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are many different career paths available to you. When you are deciding what type of trucking job you are interested in, there are several factors to consider. In addition to choosing whether local, regional, or over-the-road (OTR) driving is a better fit, you will need to consider the different companies that have openings. Our job placement assistance team can help you gather the information you need to make an informed decision.

Some factors to think about when choosing a CDL job:


Money is an important consideration for any type of career. In the trucking industry, you will usually be paid per mile. This is especially true for regional and long-haul jobs. Local trucking, on the other hand, is more likely to have hourly wages. Pay is going to be a consideration both in terms of which type of driving you want to do (local, regional, or OTR) and which company you work for. It’s a good idea to do some research on rates for new CDL drivers in your area to determine what you can expect.


In addition to pay, you should consider what benefits the companies you are interested in offer their drivers. Many motor carriers have health, dental, and vision insurance plans as well as other benefits such as paid time off, tuition reimbursement, et cetera. This will be more of a consideration once you have chosen a general path and are deciding between companies, as opposed to a factor for deciding the type of trucking you want to pursue.

Home Time

Having time at home is an important factor for your job satisfaction. Home time varies depending on the type of trucking job you have and can also differ among companies within the same category. Overall, local driving will usually get you home every night, regional jobs often get you home every week, and long-haul jobs get you home every few weeks. In addition to considering these general trends, make sure to research the companies you are interested in.


The trucking lifestyle is unique and for many drivers, this is a big reason they are interested in this career path. However, the lifestyle of a long-haul trucker is very different from a local pick-up and delivery driver. If you want to experience the freedom of the open road and see more of the country, OTR is likely going to be a better fit. On the other hand, a local job or a dedicated regional route will be preferable if you like a stable routine.

Company Reputation

Having a supportive company can make a major difference for how much you enjoy your trucking job. To get an idea of a company’s reputation, you can research them online and talk to drivers if possible. Be sure to seek a balanced perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in only the negative, or vice versa, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. You should also keep in mind that your attitude and work ethic are going to be important in determining your success, regardless of which company you choose.

Get Your Trucking Career Started

If you are interested in life on the open road, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help. You can earn your CDL in as little as four weeks with our accelerated program.

To learn more about how we can help you prepare for a trucking job, contact us today.

CDL Training School Timeline

There are few industries where you can earn competitive pay after only a few weeks of training. Trucking is one of these rare opportunities. You can earn more than $66,000* as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder. Our CDL training school can get you on the road and earning in as little as four weeks.

Here is a timeline for our accelerated truck driving school program:

Week One – Written CDL Test Prep

During the first week of your training, you will be in the classroom (in person or virtually) studying material for the written CDL test. The major portion of this is the general knowledge exam, which covers truck driving safety and other basic information. The test is in a multiple-choice format and you will need to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. When you pass, you will get your commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and will be able to transition into hands-on training.

In addition to going over what you need to know for the general CDL test, our truck driving school also includes information for three endorsements. These are hazardous materials (hazmat), tanker, and doubles/triples. To earn these endorsements, you will need to pass the additional written tests, which you will take at the same time as the general knowledge exam.

Weeks Two – Four – Hands-On Truck Driver Training

After you’ve earned your CLP, you will move into hands-on training. This includes preparation for all parts of the CDL skills test. You will learn basic semi-truck operation skills including backing, turning, parking, and shifting. We only use real vehicles, not simulators, so you will be able to develop the confidence and experience you need to succeed as a trucker. In addition to range learning, your instructor will supervise you for on-the-road training.

Once you are prepared, you will take the skills test. This consists of three parts: a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control drills, and a driving test. Our instructors will help you understand what to expect from all of these portions so you are set up for success. After passing the skills test, you will obtain your CDL.


Phoenix Truck Driving School has a job placement assistance team and we can help you find companies that are hiring drivers like you. Many of our students have offers before graduation and are able to hit the road as soon as they earn their CDL.

High-Quality CDL Training

We pride ourselves on offering high-quality truck driver training in Albuquerque, NM. Our instructors have real-world experience and work hard to give you the skills you need to succeed. Our accelerated program can be completed in as little as four weeks and prepares you for an exciting and rewarding career as a trucker.

To learn more about our CDL training school, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $46,370. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $66,840 per year according to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics.