Working as a Michigan truck driver offers numerous opportunities in the trucking industry, which has become increasingly attractive for newcomers due to relatively short training periods and many job vacancies. The number of hired truck drivers in Michigan and other states has grown significantly, with statistics showing figures between 1.53 million and 3.36 million from different sources. To work as a Michigan truck driver or in any other state, you must undergo professional truck driving training and obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). We will review what you will learn at truck driving schools in Michigan.
CDL Classes Defined
Michigan truck drivers must choose between two CDL classes: A and B. With a Class B license, you can only drive vehicles with a towing capacity limited to 10,000 pounds, restricting your potential income. Acquiring a Class A CDL or upgrading to it enables you to move heavy trucks, hazmat haulers, and other motor vehicles associated with more lucrative career paths, such as:
- OTR freight team driver. OTR routes are the longest. When paired with another driver, you can more miles in less time, driving in shifts. It is still many working hours and pretty long trips (weeks away from home) with the high salary. Is it worth it? It is up to you to decide.
- Driver in a specialized team. Such teams carry sensitive cargo, such as security equipment. Getting such a job is complex: you must undergo many inspections and have a perfect driving record and qualifications. But the payment is quite decent if you are not afraid of having high liability.
- Hauling oversized cargo. This job requires having deep and specific knowledge, such as federal and state laws regarding the subject. There is also a particular skill set that you need to master.
- Moving hazmat materials. Gases, flammable liquids, explosives, and other dangerous chemicals require extra responsibility, attention, and caution. These higher paychecks can be yours if you do not mind such risks.
- Driver in a private company fleet. The leading enterprises, such as Walmart, operate their own truck fleet. Their wages are better but the standards and competition are higher, too.
In Michigan and other states, you can obtain a Class A CDL at any truck driving school. Upgrading an existing license requires just an hourly course while obtaining a new license necessitates a full learning course.