Trucking offers a rewarding career in an ever-growing industry. The trucking industry is responsible for a huge portion of the American economy. Along with job security and good benefits, a career in trucking can give you flexibility and allow you to move interesting cargo, depending on what type of trucking you’re looking to do.
There are two typical types of haulage that a truck driver can get involved in: Long-Haul and Short-Haul.
Long-haul transportation refers to a long-distance transportation system where the drivers undertake a single delivery by driving a commercial vehicle for a distance of 250 miles or more, and typically for longer than a single day.
On the other hand, short-haul trucking involves driving within a 150-mile area. Short-haul truckers tend to operate smaller vehicles than long-haul truckers since smaller vehicles are easier to maneuver and operate on city roads, where most short-haul trucking happens. Short-haul truckers may use straight trucks, vans, or even box trucks.
Products moved by long haul trucking companies in the US vary greatly
The type of cargo in long-haul trucking is quite varied. Most trucking companies service numerous industries, so as a long-haul trucker you may get the opportunity to transport many different types of hauls. Here are some of the kinds of hauls that are possible:
Some items expire quickly if not delivered expediently, like medications, flowers, packaged meat, and produce.
Retail good are products with long shelf lives that are sold in stores. The items may include clothes, non-perishable food, toiletries, or any other consumer goods you can find in retail stores.
There are many kinds of liquids that get transported around the country. These may include oil, liquid petroleum gas, or cement.
Sometimes truckers are responsible for transporting raw materials like metal pipes, steel frames, or other construction materials.
Animals and farming materials
Particularly on country roads, you may see a truck transporting farm animals or farm supplies or hay/grain.
Trucking also includes transporting goods for research institutions, the military, the Treasury Department, and other organizations related to national security.
Be it living tropical fish, twenty-foot balloon animals, or fossils, there is always a chance you might get to transport a high-unique item along the open road.
Hazardous materials carry special transportation rules since mishandling or spillage can cause damage to the environment and humans. Hazardous materials in liquid form require particular care, since they can slosh around when the truck starts or stops. Truckers responsible for any hazardous cargo are well-trained in safety measures and precautions and know how they must act in case of spills or leaks.
Dry Bulk goods
Truckers transport mass quantities of dry sugar that can include flour, sugar, salt, or sand.
Skills and temperament long-haul driver must possess
Highly capable long-haul truck drivers must be able to deliver freight across the country. Their duties include route planning, ensuring timely and safe delivery of freight, and skills in maintaining the truck. The driver must maintain a detailed trip logbook and have the ability to stay alert for extended periods. Because this career can be solitary for days at a time, and takes drivers away from home, it’s not for everyone. But many career long-haul truckers enjoy the freedom and solitude of their routes, interspersed with time at home in between jobs.
What cargos are moved in the waste business via long-haul trucking?
Waste management facilities that are hazardous or non-hazardous, provide bulk and long hauling services that are cost-effective, reliable, safe, and in full compliance with all the DOT regulations. Various cargo may need to be moved within one state, across state lines, or even cross-country, depending on the specialized facility this cargo may be traveling to for processing.
Long hauling services include:
Bulk tankers regularly transport paper and pulp additives, resins, solvents and paint, food, and chemicals from their points of generation to permanent disposal facilities.
Pneumatic trailers feature enclosed tanks that are vacuum sealed to prevent contamination by outside air. The pneumatic trailers can be used to transport any liquid, solid, or material that is sensitive to contact with moisture and germs.
These trucks provide a cost-effective and safe solution for the transportation of hazardous and non-hazardous industrial liquid waste. The pumper trucks provide transportation solutions for wash water recovery, grease collection, grit and sand removal, petroleum tank transfer, drilling mud and fluids, and sludges.
Vacuum trucks are available to transport and load slurry, sludge, liquids, or solids for long-term disposal. These specialty vehicles are available to remove contaminated soil, take care of spills, and do storage tank cleaning on-site at a customer facility. These specialty vehicles can also remove brine water, drilling cuttings, and drilling mud.
Bulk liquids for the long haul
Various commodities are transported as liquids. Some can have a public safety component attached to them, like liquified natural gas (LNG) and the volatile solvents and acids associated with it. Here are some types of transportable bulk liquids:
From syrups and sweeteners to vegetable oils along with preservatives and additives, these items can all be transported in bulk.
Milk and cream (and any other dairy product like yogurt or kefir) need proper maintenance during transport. They have a short shelf life. Therefore, timely transportation and delivery play a great role.
This segment of the economy depends on successful bulk liquid transport. Getting the product from producers to the distributors and then from the distributors to the liquor stores, bars, nightclubs, or other venues doesn’t happen in a vacuum. In reality, these businesses cease to exist without the connection that a bulk liquid transportation company can provide.
Long-haul trucking for bulk liquid waste requires special tankers which are equipped with a vacuum pump. The trucks are authorized for the transport of:
- Hazardous waste – oiled water, a mixture of solvents, waste oil, etc.
- Other waste – non-hazardous wastewater
Waste is pumped directly at the customer’s and transported for further processing to industrial wastewater treatment plants, incineration plants, oil regeneration facilities, etc.
Safety concerns with long-haul waste or bulk liquids
There are strict safety protocols that need to be followed when transporting wastes or bulk liquid on a long-haul route. Here are some ways that a trusted, reliable waste company will ensure full safety during hauling:
Long hauling of bulk liquids needs to be safe. The hauling company must ensure all their equipment is up to date, inspected, and insured and that the drivers are skilled, licensed, and trained in all safety measures and precautions.
Concerns during hauling
Bulk shippers must ensure that proper safety guidelines are followed especially, during the loading and unloading process. This includes adhering to set rules and precautions in unloading and loading docks and areas. Contingency and containment plans must be in place in case of spills or unforeseen situations.
As a trucker, you can choose either long-haul or short-haul trucking. Each career path has its disadvantages and advantages. The choice is usually made based on the preferences and personality of the driver. Ultimately, you need to choose whichever option fits your lifestyle and needs.
However, there are key salary differences between short-haul and long-haul truckers. With longer distances and more time spent away from home, road truckers may earn a higher salary. On average, a long-haul trucker may earn approximately $81,314 a year. A short-haul trucker may make an average salary of around $66,639 per year. Some companies may pay their drivers per mile driven, whereas others may provide a base salary for each driver.
Typically, certain classes of licenses are required based on the rigs you will be driving, and you are rewarded for the more skills/licenses you possess, as well as your experience and years of service in the industry.
Sacrifices long-haul and short-haul drivers make
When it comes to trucking, there are many sacrifices a driver makes to run long-haul or short-haul routes. Below are some cons for both long and short-haul drivers:
Away from home more often
One of the downsides to being on the road so often is that you won’t be home as much to spend time with your family. With so much time spent on the road to make the deliveries, you may miss important events with family and friends. This can be a sacrifice, so be sure you’re ready to make it and feel that the benefits outweigh the sacrifices. When you’re evaluating the types of trucking options, be sure to keep this in mind.
Prone to unhealthy lifestyle
Driving for extended stretches means it can be easy to slip into negative habits and develop health issues. Be sure to move and exercise on a regular basis to counteract the many hours of sitting behind the wheel. Try to avoid smoking and eat healthy foods as much as possible on the road. It’s very easy to pack on weight and find yourself with diabetic tendencies and hypertension. If you are considering the job of a long-haul driver, keep in mind that you need to take care of yourself as much as your truck (maybe even more so), and depending on your age, that can require significant and consistent effort.
Although short hauls can be better than long hauls in terms of being less disruptive to home/family life, there are a few drawbacks. One is that you’ll earn less than long-haul drivers. Short-distance drivers don’t cover as many miles compared with long-distance drivers. This is why wages vary from company to company and why primarily short-haul work doesn’t have as high a pay scale as long-distance driving.
Short distance drivers are pushed as hard
Short distance drivers are pushed hard for timely deliveries. This can create stress if you run into delays. Some drivers agree that it can be tough when higher management doesn’t understand that they may run into traffic or other issues on the road, and that on-time deliveries aren’t possible some of the time.
Benefits of working as a truck driver at CWE
CWE operates in the environmental industry handling industrial waste. Our drivers sometimes work with hazardous materials. Currently, CWE uses only short-haul drivers who get an average of 50 hours of work/week with anything over 40 paying overtime (OT). Total compensation is based on experience and credentials. CWE also offers monthly bonuses to reach safety and profit-sharing goals.
The biggest perk of working as a CWE short-haul truck driver is frequent home time. CWE drivers currently cover local Dayton (or local Mansfield) routes and are home every night, although new long-haul routes may be in the works. You can see our current open jobs here (including our Tanker Trucker Driver position): https://cleanwaterenv.com/environmental-jobs-dayton-mansfield-ohio/#position-section. Simply click on the “View Details” button to see a complete job description for the Tanker Truck Drive position.