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Future Outlook of Trucking

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 12:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.2 
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When you think of dangerous occupations, which ones come to mind?   Do you think about the police officer who risks his life daily to protect persons and property?   Or the firefighter who places the safety of others above his own?   Those are dangerous professions, but based on the sheer numbers of lives lost, the single most dangerous profession is that of a truck driver.   According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more truck drivers died while working in 2003 than the combined total deaths of police officers, loggers, construction laborers and aircraft pilots (Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2003, page13).   In addition to the danger of highway driving, there are increased health risks from poor diet, irregular sleep patterns, and lack of exercise.   Some call truck driving “the loneliest job”, and for good reason.   Weeks on the road away from family and children can stress the most even-tempered person.   Combine that with delays at shippers and receivers, unsympathetic dispatchers and ill-timed breakdowns and you can see why driving is so stressful.   Even with the risks associated with driving, truck driving is appealing because it is more than just a job.   It takes a complete lifestyle change and requires a serious commitment to be a successful over-the-road driver.

If you ask the average person to describe the job of a truck driver, you would probably hear it described in simple terms such as, “Truckers drive a truck and deliver freight”.   If only it were as simple as that!   Truck drivers have to wear several different hats.   A driver must have some mechanical skills, good map reading skills, possess good time management skills, and have good people skills.   A driver must possess a valid class \"A\" commercial driver’s license (CDL).   CDL applicants must pass a general driving written exam, a class \"A\" exam and an air brake exam.   In addition, CDL holders have the option to add endorsements to their license.   Endorsements include the...

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