Opportunities in Trucking
by Sandy Long, on Sep 2, 2016 5:09:00 PM
When people think about the trucking industry they think about the jobs of truck driving and perhaps dispatching. They do not know of the many other jobs available in the industry. Many do not want to drive a truck, so due to lack of knowledge on their part, the industry loses the opportunity to hire what could have been a great employee.
The trucking industry is one of the largest employers in the country moving roughly 89% of the goods used by people and manufacturers. To support the industry, it takes thousands of people in thousands of different jobs. Some of these jobs require special training such as diesel mechanics. Some require a little training such as a receptionist at a trucking company. Taking a look at what it takes to keep a truck driver moving from start to finish will help showcase some of these job opportunities.
The first thing a trucker needs is a truck and trailer. One does not order from Sears and Roebuck and have it delivered. That truck comes from a truck dealership and is sold by a specialized truck salesman who understands how the truck will be used. The trailer, also, is sold by a specialized trailer salesman. The dealership maintains a shop to repair the truck so they have mechanics. Then there are the secretaries working for the dealership.
After the trucker gets a truck, whether they buy it themselves, or hire on at a trucking company, they need a load. If the trucker owns their own equipment, they might go directly to a factory and ask for freight, though this is rare these days. Brokers, people who have contracts with manufacturers to get their freight hauled, put out the information on the load and the owner-operator can bid on it. Brokers need to know freight lanes, where the freight is, and what are the going rates.
Usually trucking companies have their own contracts with manufacturers. Their in-house salespeople work diligently in acquiring that freight and keeping in touch with their customers. The loads available are then assigned to the trucker by load planners or dispatchers, with the dispatcher then monitoring the progress of the trucker throughout the trip from start to finish.
In the trucking company office, there are many different positions in support of the driver and company, i.e., payroll, safety, log department (keeping track of the driver’s hours of service), human resources, shop personnel, supervisors and managers of each department.
To extend the circle of those involved in keeping a trucker moving, there are forklift operators, shipping and receiving clerks, fuel desk cashiers, service managers, tow truck operators and mechanics. Truck stops hire many people to stay open and serve truckers.
Some people start out as truckers and then work their way into the office, first as dispatchers or as safety staff then keep climbing the ladder. Others go to college taking logistics classes or safety classes to find an entry level position into the industry. One thing is sure, a career in the trucking industry is not a dead-end job. There is always movement available if one seeks it ... the opportunity is there.