Best Types of Freight for New Drivers

When you start a new career as diverse and complex as trucking, you will likely have many questions, such as which type of freight you should haul. The main freight classifications are dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, liquid tanker, dry bulk tanker, and doubles/triples, and some are more new driver-friendly than others.

Below are some of the best types of freight for those just starting in the trucking industry: 

Dry Van

General freight trucking, also known as dry vans or box trailers, is the most common type of cargo transportation in the United States, making it an ideal choice for a first-time driver. Box trailers are enclosed vehicles that haul inventory like clothing, non-perishable food, and household goods for some of the largest corporations in the US. 


The learning curve with dry van jobs is less demanding than with other freight because you don’t have to worry about securing your load, and loading and unloading require little or no physical effort from the driver. Hauling freight for a dry van company is also ideal for new drivers because these trucking companies tend to offer more home time. 

Refrigerated Freight

Many rookies also begin hauling refrigerated freight because it is very similar to dry van cargo, the only major difference being that the goods are temperature controlled. These semi-trucks keep items like fruit, frozen goods, and pharmaceuticals insulated despite the weather.


 Like general freight trucking, refrigerated freight requires minimal physical effort, allowing you to focus on your basic driving skills. It also doesn’t require any specialized training. Another perk of refrigerated carriers is that they typically haul food products, which makes for a relatively consistent schedule throughout the year. 

Flatbed Freight

Flatbed freight is another great option for new truck drivers. These trailers transport large, bulky items like construction materials. While it is slightly more physically demanding than a dry van or refrigerated truck, a flatbed can be a beneficial option for new truckers with families. Many flatbed companies typically can get drivers home more often because shippers and receivers for this type of freight are often only open on weekdays. Many truckers also enjoy the physical and intellectual challenges, as well as the variety of interesting products they haul and the places flatbed freight takes them.

Dry Bulk Tanker

Dry bulk tankers, or pneumatic tankers, are less common than other types of freight but still worth looking into for rookie drivers. These trucking trailers haul dry goods like sand, flour, and sugar, so drivers don’t have to worry about their freight sloshing around as they drive. Drivers need some extra safety training to operate a pneumatic tanker, but the ease of transportation, loading, and unloading typically makes it worth it. Many dry bulk companies also offer generous home time. 

Looking to Start Your Truck Driving Career?

Phoenix Truck Driving School can provide you with the proper training to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and start a new career on the road. Our Albuquerque location offers a combination of classroom, range, and on-the-road training, and we can have you driving in as little as four weeks.

Contact one of our advisors today, and they will guide you through the process of earning your CDL and becoming a professional truck driver.

Daytime vs Nighttime Trucking

Trucking is an essential part of our nation’s economy, and you’ll see semi-trucks on highways transporting freight at all hours of the day and night. Some types of trucking allow drivers to choose their own daily schedule, provided they can deliver their haul on time and follow all hours of service (HOS) regulations. Others may require more nighttime trucking based on the delivery windows. If you’re interested in becoming a trucker, it’s important to understand when night driving may be required and how to do this safely. It’s also helpful to understand your own preferences for daytime vs nighttime trucking so you can select a type of trucking that best matches your ideal schedule.

When Is Day vs Night Trucking More Common?

For over-the-road (OTR) dry van hauls, solo truckers generally get to choose their own driving schedule. You’ll still need to adhere to HOS rules and will have a delivery window or a specific delivery time you’ll need to arrive by. This type of driving is most flexible for whether you drive during the day or at night.

In trucking teams, drivers switch off to maximize miles while keeping both individuals within HOS limits. This means that one driver is usually behind the wheel during the day, whereas the other will spend more time driving at night. This may alternate depending on when hours are used up, or you may set a schedule so one of you is always driving at night or always driving during the day.

Due to their delivery requirements, refrigerated truckers (reefers) typically drive at night more often. The same is true for less-than-truckload (LTL) linehaul drivers, who transport freight between LTL terminals.

Local drivers who stay within a limited region most often travel during the day. However, there may be some local jobs that require nighttime driving.

Daytime Trucking


  • This type of driving is more familiar to most people.
  • It’s easier to stay safe and alert.
  • You are working with your circadian rhythm, not against it, which makes getting quality sleep easier.
  • You can enjoy the scenery while you drive.
  • It’s easier to find parking for rest stops during your driving window (e.g. stopping for fuel or your required 30-minute break).


  • There’s more traffic on the road, which can slow down your trip. This is especially significant if you are traveling near a city during rush hour.
  • Construction zones are more likely to be active.
  • Since many truckers prefer to drive during the day and stop to rest at night, truck stops can be crowded and finding parking for the night can be difficult. You may need to shut down earlier in the day and get up earlier in the morning to beat the crowds.

Nighttime Trucking


  • There are fewer vehicles on the road, so traffic is less of a concern.
  • Construction is not typically active at night.
  • In some cases, it’s easier to find parking if you’re sleeping during the day.


  • Drowsiness is more common and can be a safety issue.
  • It’s harder to sleep during the day, especially at truck stops when more people may be moving around and making noise.
  • It’s easier to get lost since landmarks or signs may be hard to see.
  • Low visibility can increase the risk of getting into an accident.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, nighttime trucking is often riskier than daytime driving, but this may vary based on your personal experience and preferences. It’s up to you as a driver to be sure that you stay safe on the road. Choosing a career that includes more of the type of driving you prefer can help you reach your goals and feel more comfortable. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we can help you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and our job placement assistance team can work with you to explore your career options.

Contact us today to learn more about our truck driver training program in Albuquerque.