Trucker Country has listings of all truck driving schools in each state. Future students can use the resources to check out schools near them and contact schools that fit their needs. Additionally, there are resources which show how to get a CDL, steps necessary to become a truck driver, and more. They recently launched their own job board and I asked their founder a few questions about the very active trucking job market.
Who are you and why did you start TruckerCountry.com?
I’m Jim Purcell, founder of Trucker Country. I’ve had a successful career as a professional truck driver, driving over-the-road 3 million miles in just over 20 years. But I had a rough start when I got started back in 1992. The truck driving school I attended gave the bare minimum of driving instruction and overall trucking education in just 2 weeks. I managed to survive, and eventually excel, but it was mostly by learning trucking “on-the-job”, or through the “school of hard knocks”.
But my early struggles inspired me to start Trucker Country and to help truck drivers succeed. I have an idea of what they’re going through, and what’s needed to make each one of the those miles the best it can be. I know the areas you may need help – from deciding if this trucking life is for you, to getting the knowledge and training you need to become a professional truck driver, to up to date information and resources to help you do your job every day and every mile you travel down the road.
How long has the site been online and what are your monthly traffic numbers?
Trucker Country’s been online since 2004. For the month of March, 2016:
Pages / Session
Avg. Session Duration
Why are truck drivers so in demand?
You might have heard that, “If you got it, a trucker hauled it”. Or, “Without trucks, America stops”. These are not exaggerations, by any means. Many goods, at least in part, get transported by cargo ships, airplanes, and trains, but trucks are the only form of transportation that can deliver them (most goods, in large amounts) to and from a business’s front doorsteps.
Trucks are everywhere in our nation and move just about every product you can imagine! There are over 3 million truck drivers in America today, according to the latest statistics. There may never have been a better time to start a career in trucking. Because of the present driver shortage, as well as the usual additions needed just for replacements and turnovers, trucking companies are now offering more to attract new drivers; more money, better benefits, newer equipment, etc.
How long does it take to get certified as a truck driver?
Generally, the process is as follows.
Prepare for and pass the official state CDL written exams. This can be before or during attending a truck driving school. Passing the exams gives a future driver a CDL permit. This permit allows them to get behind the wheel of a tractor trailer during training. Successful completion of truck driving school usually required passing the official state CDL Skills exam. This is demonstrating the ability to drive a tractor trailer; first on a closed skills test, then out on a road test.
Depending on the truck driving school, training can take anywhere between 2-8 weeks.
What is the typical salary of a first year truck driver?
If the driver graduated from a high-quality truck driving school, and the trucking company doesn’t require on-the-job training (in which case it’ll be much lower for up to 8 weeks), he’s probably ready to get out on the road right away. A brand new driver can make $.25-.30 per mile, driving between 2500-3000 miles per week. This equates to somewhere between $600.00 to $900.00 per week, not counting any extras like extra stop pay or bonuses.
Based on these numbers a new driver can expect to make about $25,000 – $35,000 for their first year.
What do you hope to accomplish with the new job board?
A large percentage of visitors to Trucker Country are those interested in becoming a truck driver. Therefore, it seems likely the best performing category will be “student truck driver jobs” or “jobs with CDL training”. There are many companies out there that will put someone through CDL training without an upfront cost of a private truck driving school.
We could focus on helping connect future truckers with these types of companies. Then, as Trucker Country grows with; more material for current drivers, e.g. “How to Find the Best Truck Driving Job”, “Should You Be an Owner Operator of Company Driver?”, increased traffic and social outreach, I’d hope we could become a top resource for all truck drivers.