The Challenges and Opportunities in Trucking Business

Trucking companies to deliver goods and services have been around since it seems like the dawn of time. Most individuals today are used to seeing either smaller trucks hauling goods and services or larger trucking companies.  This type of transportation can be used for almost anything and the roadways are filled each day with trucking companies transporting goods.

However, the trucking industry did not really see a boom until the beginning of the 20th century.  Prior to this, most local deliveries were done by freight train and even horse drawn carriages for smaller loads.  The railroads and private individuals could be counted on to haul almost anything locally at that time.

The first trucking companies, because of increased consumer demand, began to appear many decades ago, with the appearance first of short haul trucking that went from one local area to another to deliver goods.  After that, long haul trucking companies appeared, going from state to state and longer area to longer area. 

The difference between long haul trucking companies and short haul is basically the “rig” that is used, with short haul trucking companies generally using smaller trucks or “rigs” as there is not as much merchandise to transport. Smaller companies that only do localized transportation have less overhead than larger companies with huge vehicles for transportation. 

Bigger conglomerate stores started arising and the need for transport of larger scale goods and services took hold. These transportation requirements can be within one country only, or can cross country boarders, especially between the United States and Canada. 

Localized and/or cross-country transportation of goods and services are priced according to size of load, weight, type of load, and of course, distance.  Any cross-country transport between the United States and Canada will usually be more expensive than more localized transportation.  A good trucking company will use a standardized method of determining price when quoting transportation for a client.   

The larger the trucking company, the more rules and regulations and requirements of course, but all trucking companies are also subject to certain standards no matter what the size of the company or size of the vehicles.  While all of the trucking companies either in the United States or Canada must have a CDL (Commercial Driver License) and pass a CDL Certification test.  

CDLs can come in A, B, or C classifications depending on the type of trucks used for transport.  Trainings vary from one classification to another with more trainings and requirements for some classifications than others.  There can be age requirements for drivers and even physical requirements, with drivers having to undertake a physical test before being signed on to a trucking company or doing any transportation. 

Road skills tests are also needed and there are companies that actually need good truckers that will offer training as part of a package to drive for them once an individual successfully passes all the requirements needed. 

 In addition, if crossing country borders, there is a rule known as “cabotage” which requires knowledge and research into this by cross-country trucking companies as certain extra requirements must be met.  High-paying jobs cross-country may look tempting but the research and knowledge of cabotage must be acquired before even bidding on one.  Both drivers and trucking companies from the United States and Canada are held to the cabotage rules and requirements.  Knowledge and compliance with these rules are mandatory for any transportation across country borders. 

Many trucking companies need good commercial truckers for transportation of goods.  However, the overhead, maintaining the equipment, ensuring safety for the public and drivers, and of course, insurance needed may be quite high.  Trucking companies therefore take great care in their selection of drivers as one mishap can ruin a company and drive insurance premiums through the roof. 

Although there are millions of trucks on the road and a serious need for even more transportation, accidents that occur are usually the result of the driver of a motor vehicle, not the truck driver.  However, truck driving companies can feel the brunt of the accident, especially if any fatalities occur. The reputation of a trucking company doing transportation is also at stake and many trucking companies now have signs posted on their trucks with phone numbers for other vehicle operators to call if drivers seem to be driving erratically.

Starting and maintaining a good, reliable trucking company, and providing needed transportation is not a small, easy, or cheap endeavour.  Good trucking companies therefore hold to the rules and regulations that are in place quite sternly, both in the United States and Canada.  With much invested in the trucking company, these companies tend to insist on only the best drivers who are the most reliable ones also.  Caution is a trucking companies’ “middle name.”

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