If you are just starting out as a truck driver, you probably come to a halt when deciding what form of truck driving you want to get into. You probably heard of being a refrigerated truck driver but still don’t know exactly what the benefits of that are.
It’s safe to say that the pandemic has transformed the trucking industry. Firstly, it has reminded the world of the importance of essential workers. But it didn’t just do that. It has also confirmed how valuable refrigerated truck drivers are. The demand for food, medicine, and other frozen or refrigerated items is at an all-time high. For this reason, there has never been a better time to drive reefer. Becoming a refrigerated truck driver is the perfect opportunity for any experienced trucker looking to elevate their career.
What does being a refrigerated truck driver entail?
The critical element of this kind of trucking is haulingtemperature-sensitive freight.Special climate-controlled trailers called reefers are used for this type of trucking. Climate-controlled trucking is used for goods that must stay at a specific temperatureto remain in fresh, pristine condition, usually because they are extra sensitive to outside elements or long hours on the road.
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#1 Steady year-round demand
The demand for refrigerated products remains steady all year. Things such as produce, medicine, and products from other related industries evade highs and lows in demand. As a refrigerated truck driver, you will rarely see large demand swings. Additionally, because refrigerated products are almost always supplied from the U.S. itself, their demand is a lot less influenced by the state of overseas markets. The combination of steady demand and less dependence on foreign production allows reefer drivers a lot more peace of mind. It also allows reefer truck drivers to stay afloat even in times when the economy loses its stability. The demand is always there.
#2 Higher pay per mile
On average, a refrigerated truck driver earns more per mile than a dry van or a flatbed driver. The vast majority of long-haul trucking jobs pay per mile. Usually, the rate depends on four main factors:
- driver experience,
- the type of freight,
- difference between national and international hauls,
- additional responsibilities.
Refrigerated hauls benefit from the fact that they involve the additional responsibility of temperature monitoring. In order to compensate for these duties, the rate per mile is always increased.
#3 Pride in your work
It always feels great to know that your work is helping make a difference in the world. For instance, without refrigerated truck drivers, there would be significant shortages around the country because they keep grocery store shelves stocked. Because of the pandemic, these drivers are also responsible for saving lives. Most medicine, especially vaccines, must be kept at a specific temperature. If you want a job that pays well and can feel good about doing, refrigerated truck driving is an excellent choice for you.
An added bonus is that you get to travel all around the U.S. and sometimes even abroad. Experts from peasleyboisemovers.com have noticed that truck drivers tend to develop a recurring need to relocate their homes. While it is true that as a driver you’ll see beautiful places and spend time in great cities, keeping your finances in mind is still essential.
#4 Longer hauls on average
Reefer truck drivers drive longer hauls on average than dry van, port & rail, and flatbed drivers. This is mainly because the climate-controlled trailers allow for items to last and survive those longer hauls. The truck routes for reefer drivers allow them to get in more weekly miles. This, of course, means more money earned. More miles per week means that reefer drivers take better advantage of the available driving hours than any other type of haul.
Remember that longer hauls can sometimes strain people, so learning how to care for yourself after a long time on the road is important.
#5 Reefers can haul dry too
One of the most significant advantages a refrigerated truck driver has over other truckers is that reefer units are fully versatile. A refrigerated trailer can transport dry hauls if necessary, but a non-refrigerated one will never be allowed to haul climate-sensitive items. A reefer truck commonly carries the same payload as a dry van. This way, you are always ready to accept hauls, even if the need for reefer driving isn’t there at the moment. Many reefer drivers enjoy going from refrigerated products to dry products. This is mainly because it offers workload stability. It means the truck is making money more regularly.
Every day there are more and more dry van and port drivers deciding to become refrigerated truck drivers instead. However, while there are a lot of advantages to driving a reefer, there are still a few things that are important for you to keep in mind. It is important to be psychologically prepared for the responsibility that comes with this type of freight. There are three main responsibilities that you will have:
- You will need to carefully monitor the temperature of the trailer – If any breakdowns happen or big mistakes are made, they can compromise the load and cost your company a lot of money;
- A reefer truck driver will usually drive long distances – While some regional jobs are available, you will probably need to look for a different job if your goal is to stay close to home;
- Night driving is more common – This is mainly because these types of jobs need to accommodate early-morning delivery times.
Finally, you should know that, even though some companies are ready to hire you as a refrigerated truck driver right out of CDL school, most of them will require you to have some dry van experience before giving you jobs involving refrigerated trucks.
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About the Author: Hubert Daniels is a professional truck driver. He’s been in the trade for 14 years. Aside from his career, he enjoys recreational fishing and tending to his home garden. He loves his work almost as much as he loves spending time with his family.
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