As the economy heats up, Texas truck companies are desperate to fill jobs to meet the demand of increasing customer shipments. Unlike other states, people are flocking to Texas for it’s business friendly environment which is increasing the need to supply a bigger population. So, if you have thought about a job in the trucking industry, now may be the best time in years to take your seat at the helm of an 18 wheeler to help satisfy the increasing demands of Texas residents. With over 1.8 million Class 8 trucks in operation today, more and more rigs are being added to logistics fleets across the country, creating a job opportunity for those looking for work. These companies are always in need of those who can work long hours over Texas highways for good pay. If you’re looking for a job, or you think you might be a great trucker here are some facts you might want to know before you start inquiring about jobs.
Overview Of The Texas Trucking Industry
The trucking industry in Texas is much the same as the industry is in other parts of the United States. Trucking is essential to the economy of the United States, whether the trucking company you work for transports raw materials, finished goods, or even specialty foods or livestock. Trucks can even be used to transport essential items in the construction industry; you’ve probably seen a concrete mixer (that keeps the concrete moving so it does not seize up and become unusable) driving down the highway before. Trucks in Texas and in other parts of the US are also often responsible for moving freight to areas that trains cannot go.
Computers, the Internet, and satellite communication have made trucking much easier over the past few decades. This means that the productivity of corporations that hire truckers has gone up significantly, and truckers have more forms of entertainment, better ways to communicate, and more efficient and eco-friendly rigs that can be driven further distances on a single tank of gas. Much of the industry is converting to natural gas as the “natural gas super highway” continues to grow locations across America. Fleet conversions are happening for three reasons.
1. Natural gas is abundant and cheaper than diesel resulting in a payback period of only one year for those businesses choosing to make the conversion.
2. Natural gas produces lower carbon emissions which is much better for the environment.
3. Many states are incentivizing logistic companies to make the conversion through the issuance of tax credits to those companies who are willing to convert. Companies like “Clean Energy – CLNE” are taking on the challenge by building a network of re-fueling stations across America. While the federal government has yet to incentivize natural gas, many short and long haul trucking companies are now starting to convert to natural gas because the pay back period on the investment is only 12-18 months. Drivers need to understand the precautions and safety measure they’ll need to take when operating these natural gas rigs as they’re somewhat different than diesel powered rigs, but just as safe to operate.
Fortunately for those who want to get into truck driving, many companies are continuously hiring. This is because they are either expanding consistently or the truck drivers they have are not staying with the company. This often has little to do with the company itself and more to do with the work and the various rates of pay along Texas highway routes, as not everyone is built or meant to be a truck driver. Some may find more lucrative job prospects in different industries, while others may swap trucking companies for better pay. In addition, there are many drivers who are aging and are expecting to retire soon. This means that almost every company that works in the industry is hiring. Big players like Baylor and Con-way are always looking for new employees, however sometimes a smaller company is better to work for because these companies often stay local to their areas and require less time on the road, though they may not pay quite as much per mile. Some companies local to Texas are Heavy Hauling Trucking, Convoy, King of the Road Transport Inc., Streamline, and LTA Logistics Inc. In addition, there are smaller companies that do a different sort of trucking, such as personal home moves and car transports, such as Long Distance Moving Company (that works only in Texas and the surrounding states) and Joe’s Car Shipping. While these companies don’t technically work in the “trucking” industry, they still require a driver to work long hours and are often unionized with decent wages. Another company you should look at is CJ Morris & Sons Trucking who employs a considerable number of people in the Dallas area. If you’re looking for one specifically based out of Dallas, you can try American Eagle Lines, Bam Transportation, or Big Brothers Moving.
The Best Locations for Texas Truckers
The best place for any trucker is completely dependent on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to work for a company that does big hauls, then the locations you’re going to gravitate towards are going to be different than the ones you’d be interested in if you want to do local hauls instead. However, no matter what, it’s likely you’ll need to go towards the major trucking hubs. Hubs in Texas are easy to find; any large city is likely to have trucking companies that are hiring. This is because Texas is so large, and a company that works in Houston cannot cater to clientele that needs help in Dallas. Typically speaking, you want to either move to Houston or Dallas, as these are very large hubs for truckers. San Antonio also has a few chains around the city, though Dallas and Houston are much bigger. Both also have training schools that help companies train potential employees for trucking companies.
However, if you’re looking for the absolute best place to get a trucking job in Texas (large or small company), then Dallas is your best shot. The city has nothing short of a large population of people and isn’t short on trucking companies.
Minimum Qualifications for Texas Truckers
There are many qualifications to become a truck driver, and some are more important than others. Becoming a truck driver means long hours, and not everyone is built to handle those long hours, so trucking companies do their best to weed out those who would do poorly before they even think about hiring. One of the first things a company will do is check your criminal background. A felony or misdemeanor isn’t an automatic disqualification by any means, and most trucking companies will look at such charges case by case. You don’t need to be perfect to work for a trucking company but a criminal record is a milestone you’ll have to overcome if you have one on your record.
Each trucking company will take a hard look at your driving record. If you have a bad driving record, it’s very likely you’ll be disqualified before you even begin the application process. This is because a trucking company have to trust you to haul thousands or even millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise throughout the United States on minimal sleep. If you have some other issue on your record already, such as accidents that were your fault or DUIs, you’ve already set yourself up for failure.
Other important qualifications include a complete employment history, a completed GED or high school diploma, attaining a CDL (commercial drivers license), and a good face-to-face interview.
Why Dallas Seems To Be The Best Hub For Texas Truckers
One of the most popular hubs in the US for truck drivers is Dallas, TX. This may seem strange, but Dallas is a large hub for many things. Two major airlines are based out of the Dallas-Forth Worth airport, making DFW one of the six most busy airports in the country. Because of this, many companies base their businesses out of the Dallas area to try and grab the attention of some of the people who are constantly leaving and coming to the area. This also presents a unique opportunity for trucking companies, as merchandise also comes in on planes that will need to be transported via truck to final destinations.
Overall, Texas is an excellent place to be if you are looking for work as a truck driver and you have a clean record and the desire to work long hours for good pay. Trucking is a great career for those who either don’t mind being far from home or would like to make their homes on the road. So if you’re looking for a long, comfortable career driving a truck, Dallas might be the place for you.
Below is a video showing another way to get into your CDL rather cheaply.
If you’re looking for a job in the Texas Oil Fields, check out our article on “Oil Field Jobs In Texas.” Great information for starting a job in a very lucrative industry.