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Ever thought about being a big wheel trucker? One of those who drive the big rigs from coast to coast. Life can be very exciting sitting behind the wheel of one of those "big rigs". Lots of horsepower, 18 big shiny wheels and polished chrome exhaust and a life on the road. For some it's more than just a job. It's a way of life. Whether you are hauling produce from California, steel in the midwest, pipe and pallets in the oil patch, if you got it chances are it came by truck and somebody was driving that truck. That is where you, the driver comes in.
With a downturn in the economy, many people are finding themselves displaced in the work force. By learning to become a professional driver you allow yourself one more option at gaining active employment. And beside some types of trucking pays quite well. Other drivers have gone on to owning their own "rigs" and contracting with larger carriers of freight. These people are know in the industry as "owner operators" or "lease operators". Some of these truckers even run their own companies and get loads from freight brokers.
Even though there are jobs and opportunities in the trucking industry, it does not come without faults and draw backs. Due to it's competitive nature, this industry sees a lot of failures. A combination of under cut rates, high fuel costs, insurance and repairs, you can find that profit margins can be very slim. But for those who wish to pursue a career in the trucking industry, opportunities abound.
Being a professional truck driver has it's rewards. One of them being, "JOBS". There is always a demand for highway transport drivers. Being on the road does have it's drawbacks but for some the idea of being on the open road working alone, seeing the country is well worth it.
The first steps you need to take is applying for a professional drivers permit. You will need to take a medical exam and have your vision checked and make sure you are able to pass the criteria that is set out by each state or province. If you have no access to a tractor trailer unit you may have to enroll into a drivers school. There are many such schools and the cost vary. After taking the course of classroom and driving along with air brake knowledge and all the paper work end such as hours of service logs you should be ready for the final exam. After your exam you should be ready for the road.
Once you have a new driver license you will be able to apply with various transport companies. Most transport companies have a new driver program and you may find yourself riding along side a more senior driver for your first trip. After a probationary period you will be able to start runs on your own. Most large carriers have dedicated line hauls that are point to point van runs or deck runs. Going from one terminal to another. Other transport companies that are not set up with distribution points will have drivers going all over the country picking up and dropping off freight along the way.
Although a lot of trucking companies have their own mechanical staff, a lot of smaller outfits do not. In these situations it is to your advantage to have a basic understanding and some knowledge of engines and transmissions and state rules in advance. This will help you obtain a job more than just someone who know how to drive.