Different Types of Truck Drivers

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When you think of truck drivers, what do you think? Most people’s minds will jump immediately to a trucker driving a semitruck, but there’s much more variety in trucking careers than you might originally think. This article will give you a better idea about the different types of truck drivers and the duties of their roles.

Flat Bed Driver

A flatbed truck is a semitruck with a flatbed rather than a trailer. Because the load on a flatbed truck must be tied down and secured properly, driving one requires more expertise than driving a truck with a normal trailer. Often, flat bed drivers transport large, bulky cargo like vehicles or construction materials.

Dry Van Driver

Many truck drivers start their careers as dry van drivers. This type of driver transports dry, non-perishable goods in a trailer attached to their truck. Dry van drivers usually will not unload their cargo on their own.

Tanker Driver

Tanker truck drivers transport liquid goods in a tank attached to the back of their trucks. Liquids can be either hazardous or non-hazardous, and tanker drivers must be equipped to handle emergency situations involving their goods should they arise.

Freight Driver

Freight drivers are responsible for transporting any goods that don’t fall into the category of dry goods. This could be food, construction materials, oversized loads, cars, and more.

Refrigerated Freight Driver

A driver who transports a load that must be kept at a specific temperature is known as a refrigerated freight driver. These drivers may deliver food, meat, medical supplies, or other perishable goods. These types of jobs require a higher level of training, experience, and responsibility, so refrigerated freight drivers are often paid more than other types of drivers.

Auto Driver

Have you ever seen a truck on the road pulling a trailer full of vehicles behind it? Those trucks are driven by auto drivers. Auto loads can be particularly heavy and hard to maneuver. In addition, an auto driver’s cargo is usually more expensive than other types of cargo. These two factors combined mean that auto drivers are also generally paid higher wages than other types.

LTL Freight Driver

LTL, or “less than load” truck drivers specialize in transporting smaller loads. These drivers normally load and unload their trucks themselves.

Local, Regional, and OTR Drivers

Local, regional, and OTR (over the road) driver roles are defined by the distance the drivers must transport their goods. Local drivers transport goods within a single city, while regional drivers transport goods within states. OTR drivers are given assignments across the entire country.

Are you interested in pursuing a career as one of the different types of truck drivers? If so, you’ll first need to earn your CDL license. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be qualified to pursue a satisfying career as any of the above types of drivers.

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