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Whether you are an old hand that’s been driving trucks for many years or someone who just joined this exciting world, there are a couple of interesting facts that every CDL and OTR truck driver should know. The industry might to some seem nothing more than endless rides, gas stops, and the ever-present threat of fatigue, but there is definitely more to this trade than meets the eye.
In this post, we look at some of the most interesting facts about truck driving in the USA today.
It’s a Man’s World
Did you know that a mere 6% of the total amount of truck drivers in the United States are women? It seems this industry is hard to crack for the ladies. There has however been a lot of female truck drivers, who’ve proved themselves worthy.
A World of Possibilities
Did you know that a whopping 9 million of the US population is employed by the truck driving and freight transportation industry? This means there is plenty of opportunities for those looking at alternative career avenues to explore. This statistic includes all aspects of freight transportation, such as logistics, management, drivers and so on.
It Takes Courage, Focus,and Stamina
A lot of road accidents where truck drivers are involved is caused by fatigue due to long driving hours and distances, driving too fast, and faulty breaks. No one said it was going to be easy, but hey, it pays the bills and then some!
Around the World – Multiple Times
All that miles sure do count up, take a wild guess what distance the average truck driver covers on the road during a year. Yes, it is a lot, try 11,000 miles for size! That means in a year’s time, each trucker would have been able to travel around the world 6 times, when you take the distance they’ve driven into account.
Show me the Money
Did you know that the majority of truck drivers are paid on the basis of the distance they have driven? Most companies will offer a fixed rate per mile, whereas some companies pay their drivers based on the hours they have worked.
Time is of the Essence
When it comes to driving long distances over a short period of time, it’s only understandable that fatigue is a huge problem for truck drivers. A lot of companies have a limit of 70 hours that drivers are allowed to drive before taking an obligated 34 hours off.
The Open Road
There is a sense of mystery and excitement that covers truck drivers and the trucking industry. Truck drivers spend most of their time on the road, with other truck drivers, and so a lot of great friendships ensue. Imagine having miles and miles ahead of you, the beautiful country to view, and a deeper sense of belonging to your peers.
Did you know that the very first movie directed by Steven Spielberg was “Duel”, a film about a driver who is harassed by a Peterbilt 281 tanker truck in California? This television movie was released in 1971, not too long before Spielberg made his official debut with Jaws.
The average amount of gas burned by a standard 18-wheeler truck is around 20,500 gallons per year – when compared to the use of gas in a normal household with one car, it is way more. The average household with one car consumes only 500 gallons of gas or diesel a year.
Average Age of Drivers
According to statistics, the average professional truck driver is male and about 33 years of age. Don’t let this put you off though – the industry is growing and there is a lot of space for new and fresh faces from all walks of life, young and old, male and female. Remember that the legal age for driving a truck varies from state to state, but in general, you should be 21 years old in order to obtain your CDL or OTR truck driving license.
Did you know that according to statistics, truck drivers have a much smaller chance of being involved in a road accident than normal motor vehicle drivers? This seems like an unlikely statistic when you take into account that there are more trucks on the road than cars, right? This just goes to show that it takes a whole lot of skill and focus to be a successful truck driver.
The Stats Don’t Lie
In 2015, the truck driving industry accounted for about 3.5 million drivers in the country, with a whopping 15.5 million trucks driving on US soil and across US borders today, these drivers and trucks are responsible for 70% of all the freight transported throughout the country. These numbers are a bit outdated, and we are sure there has been a slight increase over the past couple of years.
Drop and Hooks
The majority of truck drivers are responsible for drop and hook pickups and deliveries – this means that they are not really involved in the process of loading and unloading. There is, however, some truck driving jobs that will require truckers to be responsible for loading and unloading too – a process which can take up to 3 hours.
Raking it In
Truck driving is generally considered to be one of the highest paying jobs in America today. We cannot really argue that fact when you take into account that the average salary has seen an increase of around 21% over the past 10 years. OTR truck drivers can expect to earn an average salary of about $44,500 per annum – not bad at all.
We hope that you have enjoyed this roundup of all the fun and interesting facts concerning the trucking and freight transportation industry in the USA entertaining and that you learned at least one thing you did not know before. If you enjoy reading facts like these, be sure to have a look at this interesting infographic too. Be sure to read our article on the best freight transportation companies to work for in 2018 if you are looking to join a new team!