If you like to drive and don't mind being away from home for several days at a time, you might be a good candidate for cross country driving. You must be prepared to meet the requirements for a professional driver in general and the hiring company in particular, and you should know what kind of driving job most interests you. Several kinds of cross country courier driver jobs are available.
Types of Cross Country Drivers
You can work for any number of business types. For example, you can work for a shipping company, moving a variety of merchandise from one place to another on a predictable schedule. These drivers tend to make the same circuit over and over. Alternatively, you can work for a moving company, which moves primarily households from state to state. This option provides more variety than working for a shipping company. You can also drive for entertainment companies, moving equipment from one location to the next.
Professional Driver Requirements
You must have or be able to obtain a commercial driver's license, also known as a CDL. Driver training schools can prepare you for the CDL test. Some trucking companies will provide training for you, and you can also study for and take the test independently. Regardless, having a clean driving record with no moving violations is a common requirement for employment, as is a lack of felony convictions. You need to hold a valid driver's license and be physically capable of passing the CDL exam.
Average Driver Pay
The pay for a cross country courier varies, based on many factors. The biggest factor is the home state of the driver. See the link in the resources section of this article for the average salary of a truck driver by state. Nationwide, the average salary for a truck driver as of 2013 was $36,000. Some companies also pay more than others, and those companies tend to have higher requirements in terms of experience than the others. In some cases, what you're hauling can make a difference, as transporting hazardous materials can frequently provide higher pay than nonhazardous materials.
Typical Driving Schedule
Laws limit how much driving you can do in a specific period of time. The laws for truck drivers require a 10-hour break, starting 14 hours after you begin your driving day. You can do this for up to 70 hours of rest in any eight-day period. If you take 34 hours off, you can restart the eight-day period, gaining you additional work hours. Be prepared for long hours in the driver's seat.
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