Travel down any highway or interstate and you're sure to encounter a big rig loaded with everything from canned dog food to livestock. Companies of all types rely on the trucking industry to transport their products to retail establishments nationwide. Even when products travel in part by airplane, train, or ship, trucks play a vital role in the producer to consumer journey. The majority of American commerce relies heavily upon reliable, professional truck drivers for the success of their businesses. For these and many other reasons, truck driving jobs in California are numerous, while skilled drivers are in high demand.
As a truck driver, you will be expected to perform a number of tasks that have nothing to do with driving down the road. Driver assignments and responsibilities change depending on vehicle size, type of payloads, and time on the road. However, regardless of these factors, every driver is expected to perform a safety check before hitting the road. Drivers check to ensure that a working fire extinguisher is aboard as well as flares and necessary safety equipment. They check the angle of the mirrors in order to see both sides of the vehicle from the driver's seat perspective. They inspect the fuel and oil levels, windshield wipers, brakes, and lights. Drivers inspect the security of the cargo. Finally, drivers are expected to report all improperly loaded, missing, or inoperable equipment to the dispatcher.
Once you are on the road, you will find that truck driving jobs are less physically demanding than anticipated. Most trucks today are designed with driver comfort in mind. Ergonomically-designed cabs, driver-friendly features, better ventilation and comfortable seats make the driving experience enjoyable and more attractive. These design improvements increase long-distance driver efficiency and reduce stress.
Some trucks are designed for long-term occupancy, functioning as a mini apartment complete with bunks, televisions, and refrigerators.
Most major trucking companies have equipped their rigs with the latest advances in navigation technology. For example, GPS equipment and satellites link these vehicles to company headquarters, thereby making navigation a breeze. Mechanical problems, delivery schedules, and courses of action can be quickly and efficiently discussed via on-board, voice-activated satellite connections. Weather reports, directions, troubleshooting information, and other noteworthy information can be delivered to any driver anywhere within the United States in a matter of seconds. A computerized dashboard provides real-time information about oil pressure, engine performance, transmission fluids, brake efficiency, and trailer weight ratios. Automatic traction sensors adjust to changing weather conditions to ensure safety on the road.
The customer, warehouse, and producer wants to know the location and status of its merchandise at all times. Luckily, due to advances in modern technology, some truck drivers are no longer required to manually provide this information. In many cases, truck driving jobs in California now include computerized inventory equipment, automatic loading or unloading machines, and state-of-the-art navigation, helping truck drivers to ensure prompt, safe delivery of their cargo. Information such as the temperature inside the trailer, location, weight, and speed are automatically delivered to all parties involved. The technology-driven trucking industry keeps the quality of service high and costs low.
Perhaps the only negative aspect of a career in truck driving is the long, lonely hours on the road. Sadly, no amount of comfort, equipment, or driver incentives can make up for the loss of human companionship. Drivers commonly face fatigue, loneliness, and boredom. They frequently travel on weekends, on holidays, or at night to avoid delays or heavy traffic and to deliver their cargo as scheduled. For this reason, many drivers choose to travel with a companion.
Individuals considering a career in truck driving can expect above-average pay, great benefits, and retirement options. Skilled drivers are in high demand across the nation. If you have a CDL, now is the perfect time to take your career to a whole new level as a professional truck driver.