When people think of careers in the trucking industry the first thing that typically comes to mind is a long haul type of job. The next option most people think about is a shorter route, perhaps hauling for a company or business to customers or other businesses. While these two options to provide a lot of jobs in the industry there are other options for CDL holders to consider depending on the type of CDL they have.
If you stop and think about virtually any industry is going to require truckers at some point in the manufacturing or distribution process. Determining where and when the need for truckers, and different types of trucking options, occurs can help you determine if this is the right job for you.
In all areas of the United States agricultural based trucking is a strong seasonal or year round industry. Grain hauling or livestock hauling is a year round job in most areas, particularly hauling from the farm to market. Then, of course, there is also hauling to manufacturing locations and storage facilities.
Some work is more seasonal than other options and this largely depends on the type of trucking you are interested in. Livestock hauling from farms to processing plants or markets is typically done year round but with increased demands during the fall harvest. This is true as well with hauling grain and other types of agricultural crops. Vegetable and fruit hauling is seasonal work but can pay very well for those that are willing to travel and follow the harvest.
In addition to these types of trucking jobs there are also specialized livestock hauling operations. This could include custom hauling of show horses, breeding stock, racing horses or other livestock such as show cattle, goats, sheep or hogs. Usually these animals are hauled in specialized trailers that can safely transport these animals year round. This type of job is usually most hectic during the rodeo and farm show season but custom livestock haulers tend to stay fairly busy year round.
Seasonal Mail Delivery
In most cases large mail and package delivery companies have their own set of drivers and hiring on with these companies has a lot of perks. The pay is good, the hours are typically steady year round and they hire both full and part time drivers.
However, companies like FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service also have seasonal demands that exceed what their current fleet of drivers and vehicles can handle. This is typically around the Christmas season and fluctuates from year to year. Hiring on as a driver or an owner/operator can be an excellent way to make additional cash at a time of year that may be otherwise slow. Retail stores may also needed additional drivers and rigs to get seasonal items out to stores which is another option to consider.
The benefit of this type of job is that the hours are good, the company or business is reputable, and you can often be very specific about the type of jobs you are willing to take on. Once you get on the seasonal work list the first time it is much easier to get back on the following year. It can also be a good way to get to know the organization and to use that on a job application with the company if you want to work for them on an ongoing basis.
Driving for a large retail chain is a great idea for many truckers. Depending on the type of job that you have it may be long haul or it may be a set route for store to store deliver. Both options tend to be very steady work year round and you may find that there are some terrific perks. Often drivers that are employees of the company get employee discounts on purchases, have the option to participate in full health and insurance benefits and also contribute to retirement plans.
Working a store route may mean driving different sizes of truck and trailer combinations. It also allows you to get to know the people at the different stores and to really feel a part of the entire team. With the option in most companies to build up seniority at these jobs you may have the option to move into upper management or supervisory positions within the supply chain or logistics department of the company.
After driving for a period of time and building up experience you may want to consider the option of working for a commercial driving school or program. They tend to hire experienced drivers with excellent records and impressive resumes. Keep track of all the different types of hauling, driving and road work that you complete and also make sure that you are keeping a record of your driving hours.
Becoming a trainer is not right for everyone but it is a good match if you like working with people, have a positive communication style and are able to explain things well to others. Most trainers will also have some experience in mentoring or working with new drivers at some point in time in their career.
You may want to consider talking to driving schools in your area and asking if you can volunteer to work with students to see if this is a good match for your skills and talents. This can be an excellent part time job or you may have the option to go full time as well.