Trucking Companies Eye Excellent Future of Growth

The effects of the recession are all but erased from the trucking industry as transportation companies report running at near capacity. In fact,Jobs 1 2014 was the year when trucking companies stopped talking about how they were digging themselves out of the recession and started talking about how they were growing.

Some companies are talking about expanding their fleets over the next 1.5 years to keep up with demand, which means there will be a need, not only for more trucks and trailers, but also more drivers.

The numbers help tell the story of recovery and growth: In 2013, the industry was responsible for moving 69.1 percent of all domestic shipping, up from 68.5 the previous year. Growth over the next decade is expected to bring that percentage up to nearly 71 percent.

While there is a need for expanded fleets, companies are also having trouble finding enough drivers, which means the trucks currently on the road will be packing more per load. The American Trucking Association says volumes will increase by 3.2 percent every year through 2018.

The industry as a whole is looking to create efficiencies. Technological improvements are gaining ground and helping to cut fuel costs. Engineers are always working to find ways to streamline the rigs to also help with fuel costs. Workers are looking for better routing strategies and packing systems, which improves the amount of time it takes to ship items and in a more cost effective manner.

The power to weight ratio is also getting a closer look by engineers. For instance, they’re looking for ways to make trailers larger, yet weigh the same or less than the standard trailers of today. This allows more freight to be carried, but without the added weight that can damage roads and rack up an expensive fuel bill for trucking companies. The other perk is that larger trailer sizes are going to improve highway safety and reduce the number of trucks on the road, which again will help trucking companies deal with the lack of drivers.

Trucking companies are also looking to legislators to keep new laws from harming the industry. At the same time, lobbyists working on behalf of the industry are pushing for legislation that helps the industry. One example is the work current lobbyists are doing to get the larger trailer sizes put into law.

Not every driver is looking for an over-the-road career with long hauls. Some are looking for more flexibility in their hours, which is what Spirit Miller Driveaway Services can offer. We specialize in truck transport. Located in the heart of the Midwest, we offer vehicle delivery services throughout the U.S. We deliver on time and with safety in mind. We’re currently looking for drivers who are ready to dive into the industry and reap all the benefits.


The CDL and Why it’s Important

Getting career placement usually involves obtaining some type of degree or certificate. For people seeking a career in the trucking industry, obtaining a CDL (commercial driver’s license) is the documentation required to operate a vehicle that weighs 26,000 pounds or more.

To keep the road safe for truckers and other motorists, the U.S. Department of Transportation has put together a set of rules that fall under the CDL requirements. Starting in 1992, the federal government has required all states to follow the same basic requirements in a test before a driver can be awarded a CDL.

All states require a CDL test that includes a 30 question written test. To pass this portion of the test, the applicant has to answer at least 80 percent of the questions correctly. To prepare for these tests, applicants often take practice tests found on many sites online.

CDL applicants also must have a clean driving record over the last 10 years; keeping the roadways safe requires strict measures such as this. People who can’t pass a physical will also not be allowed to drive a vehicle weighing 26,000 or more pounds.

It’s important to note here that state laws do vary, so you need to check in with the governing authority in your state to see exactly what is going to be required of you to get your CDL.

Trucking 10One of the most important aspects of getting a CDL is passing the skills test. After you pass your written test, you will be able to prepare for your skills test. The skills test involves a basic controls test, a vehicle inspection test, and a road test. When you’ve proven your knowledge in all these areas, you will be granted a CDL.

You’ll need to check with your state to make sure you know when your CDL expires. In some states, the CDL is valid for four years. You’ll also need to stay up on your Department of Transportation medical card, which proves you’re healthy enough to navigate a large load on the open road.

Some department of motor vehicles offices recommend that once you’re of age to obtain a CDL (18 years old), you should take practice permit tests available online as a starting point. However, that’s no substitute for actually studying the official CDL manual, which has all the information you’ll need to pass any CDL written test.

Some trucking companies are paying for their recruit drivers to go to truck driving schools where they learn everything they need to know from instructors, including skills tests that get them ready to operate safely on the roadways. Graduating from a school doesn’t mean you automatically get a CDL; that’s something you still need to earn separately.

Safe drivers are what we at Spirit Miller Driveaway Services value. We’re looking for qualified individuals to join us and get started on a fruitful career on the road. We offer a variety of schedules, one of which should fit your schedule perfectly. Contact us today and get started on your new career.


Explosion of New Truck Driving Jobs as Economy Recovers

Jobs 4Major freight carriers are struggling to keep up with demand as the economy recovers. The reason for the struggle is that there are currently about 35,000 truck-driving positions that haven’t been filled, and the shortage is affecting freight delivery.

During times of economic unsteadiness, consumers hold on to their money. They try to pay down their debt and cut out all non-essential spending. They stop buying houses and new cars are a luxury. Contractors see no demand for new construction and retailers stop ordering products, which means producers stop ordering raw materials. This behavior is reflected in the amount of freight being shipped across the country and overseas.

Trucking industry revenues were significantly impacted by the recession, taking a $40 billion hit from 2008 to 2009. The climb out of the recession has been slow, but the industry is expected to see revenues exceeding pre-recession numbers for the first time next year when it’s estimated to pull in $281 billion.

Part of the reason there are so many trucking positions open now is due to the seven percent of drivers who left the industry or were displaced during the recession. Another issue affecting new truck driving jobs is that the aging Baby Boomer truck drivers are retiring at a rapid rate, leaving a younger generation to take their place. The industry also faces competition from the construction industry in times of economic upswing as drivers migrate from the road to construction jobs or factory work.

New regulations on the industry, limiting the number of hours one can operate a truck, has also impacted the trucking industry.

The economy has recovered. Manufacturers require millions of tons of raw materials to produce their products. The bulk of those raw materials are delivered via the trucking industry, which year after year picks up a larger percentage than rail or shipping. The American Trucking Association estimates that there are now 35,000 new truck driving jobs open and that it can skyrocket to 240,000 by 2020 if the industry can’t start enticing younger workers into careers as drivers. Some carriers are making attempts to entice drivers by paying for the cost of licensing and/or truck driving school. Others are offering signing bonuses with varying degrees of success.

While the attraction to driving for some is the life on the road doing long-haul jobs, it’s the only thing keeping others from choosing the industry. Having a job that allows you to be home for dinner every night is important for many Americans, especially those with young families. Spirit Miller Driveaway Services can offer just that to people looking for new truck driving jobs. We offer flexible hours so you can be home when you need to be home. We offer trip routes that you prefer and you will never have to load or unload. For more information about an exciting new career path, contact us today.


Truck Driving Companies Focus on Health

Fast Food 1Anyone who has spent time away from their kitchen knows how easy it is to eat unhealthy foods and how hard it is to find restaurants that prepare healthful foods. Truck driving companies realize their drivers face this issue on a daily basis and are trying to educate their workforce about healthier options.

Getting the word out about what foods are healthy to eat is the educational component that many truck driving companies are embarking on. Here are a few healthy eating tips that can help you, as a truck driver, maintain good health on the road:

  1. Low-calorie, high fiber foods can make you feel fuller, longer, and can provide energy for the workday. Fruits like bananas and apples pack plenty of vitamins and fiber, and they’re easy to eat while on the road.
  1. Avoid high-sodium foods as most Americans consume too much salt on a daily basis. Instead of grabbing a package of salted nuts, pick the one that is labeled “unsalted” or “low sodium.” Nuts are an excellent source of protein, but they’re often loaded with sugary flavors or salt, which makes them an unhealthy choice. Also, avoiding the cashew is a good idea as it is a high-calorie nut associated with weight gain.
  1. To avoid the fast food stops, try packing your own meals. You will have total control of the sodium, calories and carbohydrates going into your body. If you’re going to be on the road for a long stretch, consider investing in a cooler that you can power by plugging it into a 12-volt outlet in your cab.
  1. Another important item to remember is to stay away from sugary drinks. Sweet tea, sports drinks, soft drinks and juice all contain more sugar than your body requires. You can gain 10 pounds in a year by drinking one of these per day.

The Healthy Trucking Association of America has a mission to help transportation professionals arrive home safer and healthier. The organization sponsors free screenings, awareness campaigns and solution care models for the transportation industry. As the industry faces drastic shortages in drivers, an effort is being made to let young new prospects know that you can lead a healthy, happy life on the road.

Drivers must now carry a medical certificate that says they are healthy enough to drive their big rigs down the road. This is comforting to fellow travelers that drive side-by-side with truckers in their small sedans and sport cars or motorcycles.

Spirit Miller Driveaway Services hires safe drivers, and as a truck driving company has an excellent safety record. We’re looking for drivers who have driving records that show they too have the same commitment to safety. Call us today if you are interested in joining our team of quality drivers.


Trucking Jobs for Women are on the Rise

What’s the first image that comes to mind when you think of a trucker? Is it a strong man? Or is it Jerry Reed being trailed by a mustached driver in a Trans Am? The industry is changing and the new face of the average driver is increasingly becoming female.

Trucking jobs are plentiful right now and companies are exploring increasing certain demographics to fillTrucking 8 positions. There are around 30,000 fewer drivers than what is needed currently. Within the next decade, that number is expected to go up to 200,000.

Many of the truckers from the Baby Boomer generation are calling it quits and retiring, which means trucking companies have to dig deep to get more drivers to haul cargo.

It stands to reason that trucking companies are looking to women to fill the gap, especially since a majority of drivers have always been men. Women fill only five percent of trucking jobs.

More women are being enticed to driving schools where they learn the tricks of the trade and come out prepared to pass their certification test that licenses them for a career in an 18-wheeler. An article in NPR quotes a supervisor at a trucking school that says over the last three years, she’s seen “so many more women coming and obtaining their commercial class A license.”

Driver blogs by women are a testament to a good career on the road. One such blogger talks about the “magic of just being” on the road with the peaceful oneness with nature, and that being in a rig is as spiritually satisfying as being on a Harley.
The industry is very receptive to having females join the rank of drivers already on the road. Industry leaders are excited about the growing numbers of female drivers who are taking to the road.

One industry expert said that if the number of women in trucking jobs would double, it would take care of the shortage companies are currently dealing with. That’s not going to happen overnight and there are still 200,000 trucking jobs that need to be filled across the country.

One perception that has to be changed is that all drivers are out on the road for weeks at a time and rarely see their families. There are trucking jobs available that offer only short routes that don’t require overnight stays. Spirit Miller Driveaway Services has routes that keep drivers close to home so they don’t have to have long periods of time away from family. For more information about the driving jobs we have available, contact us today.


Public Has Positive Opinion of Trucking Companies

Female Drivers 1The American Trucking Association’s (ATA) recent survey shows that Americans hold a favorable view of the trucking industry, which is good news for an industry that desperately needs drivers.

The survey used Public Opinion Strategies to survey 800 voters throughout the U.S. When asked what opinion they had of the trucking industry, 65 percent responded that they had a favorable opinion. Only nine percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, and the remainder had no opinion. As for the perception of the trucking industry being unsafe, only five percent said they felt the safety record for the industry was poor.

An even more positive result coming from the survey is that 80 percent of those polled said they believe truck drivers are safer on the road than drivers in non-commercial automobiles. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said when accidents do happen between a truck and an automobile, it’s the fault of the driver in the passenger vehicle rather than the truck driver.

The favorable numbers for trucking are higher than the public perception of the railroad and airline industries. For instance, 30 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the airline industry.

Trucking companies have worked to improve the public’s perception of the trucking industry since its hey-day in the late 1970s when popular television programs and movies glamorized the trucking lifestyle. The ATAs recent survey shows that fewer Americans believe truckers are placing a priority on meeting their deadlines than on safety. Previous studies conclude that the public felt drivers exceeded the speed limit frequently, that they were involved with drugs, drinking and violence.

The industry currently has a driver shortage of about 30,000 drivers across the nation. However, that number pales in comparison to what trucking companies are expecting in the next decade – a shortage of 200,000-plus drivers. The industry is looking at demographics where it can work to pull in new drivers. One major demographic is female drivers. NPR reported recently that females that have been attracted to the industry enjoy the good benefits, good pay and the freedom of the road. Women have been historically a largely untapped resource for the trucking industry.

A salary for truckers is an average of around $38,000 a year, but can go much higher for long haul truckers. For people weighing the option of four years of college and an average student loan debt of $25,000 against a few weeks of classes to get the necessary license to drive a big rig, industry experts are wondering why such a large number of trucking jobs are still open.

As the economy continues to improve, more people are spending money, which means manufacturers need to ship more cargo. The bulk of the increase in cargo is put on the shoulders of the trucking industry rather than railroad or boats. This is the big part of the reason so many more jobs will become available. Another is that many of the Baby Boomer truckers are retiring.

If you’re looking for a position with trucking companies, consider Spirit Miller Driveaway Services. If being a long haul trucker doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy, we’ve got routes that will get you home every day. We have pickup and delivers seven days a week, so you have a wide range of shifts to choose from. Contact us today and get started on your new career.


Drivers Needed: Contact Spirit Miller Today

As today’s next big group of consumers, Millennials, come of age, there is plenty of talk about how toJobs 2 market to them. As the trucking industry faces a dwindling workforce, could Millennials step in to save the day?

Within the next two years, it’s expected that there will be 100,000 unfilled jobs in the trucking industry. This is happening because as the older truckers retire, fewer young people are stepping in to take over. At the same time, production is up, people are spending money again and there is much more freight that needs to be hauled.

Millennials are a perfect match for the industry. They’re anywhere from 18 to 29 years old and are looking for good careers. Another reason they are a target is that around 40 percent of them are unemployed.

Some people approach their path to a career by spending a large amount of money on higher education and graduate to an often poor job market. Truckers, on the other hand, have the option to attend a trucking school, which is a brief visit compared to what liberal arts majors go through. They earn their certification and step directly into a trucking job that pays better than what most college graduates find directly out of college. Some trucking companies are even paying for their drivers to go to a trucking school to learn how to be safe drivers.

Yes, there are drivers needed at trucking companies throughout the country and recruiters are trying to reach them through technology. Millennials are a very technologically advanced generation. Most of them never knew a home without a computer or Internet. What we know now is that Millennials want to work for a company that can offer flexible work hours. They want to work from various locations so they can maintain a better work/life balance. Trucking can offer this to them.

The drivers needed sign is up in hopes that the current shortage of 30,000 drivers can be lessened. Unfortunately, the American Trucking Association believes that number is only going to go up – hitting the 100,000 mark by 2016.

To sweeten the deal, recruiters have started upping the starting wage. Millennials also demand more compensation, and the industry is answering that call. Millennials want more leisure time, which is also something companies in the industry are more willing to provide.

At Spirit Miller, we believe the trucking industry is attracting fine candidates looking for a stable and fulfilling career. Our driveaway jobs are attractive because we offer a variety of routes that suit the needs of Millennials. We can offer you routes that have you home for dinner every night. We offer driveaway services seven days a week, 24-hours a day, which means you have your choice of when you work. Contact us today and get started on a new career.


Looking for a Career? Get Your CDL and Hit the Road

Trucking 7Finding a career that makes you happy and provides you with enough pay so that all the ends meet isn’t always an easy task. People search for years to find that combination. Some people never find it. If you’ve considered trucking as a career, now is the perfect time because the trucking industry is looking for qualified drivers.

Before you can start your career driving trucks, you need to pass your commercial drivers license (CDL) test. Maybe you’ve gone through college and found out after graduating that you can’t find gainful employment? Maybe you don’t want to take another test ever again. There are many good reasons to go after that CDL.

Whatever you invest in your CDL will come back to you many fold. First off, once you have your CDL, you’re a candidate for approximately 30,000 truck-driving jobs that are open at the moment. That number is expected to double in a couple of years, so job stability is almost a certainty into the foreseeable future. Did you know that of the revenue gained through transportation, trucking accounts for more than 80 percent? That number is also expected to increase in the next few years. If it’s stability you want, trucking is where it is.

With your CDL you can step into a job that pays more than what most college graduates will make in their first job out of college. Better yet, the potential to advance to higher wages is also a reality of the business. Get some experience behind you and you’ll be moving up the pay scale rather quickly. For instance, you can stay on the road and earn more or you can jump into a corporate position as an instructor or a dispatcher.

How many people do you know who get paid to travel? This is one of the greatest appeals for truckers in their decision to go this route. You break free from the cubicle, get out into the world and experience a work environment that only truckers are privileged to experience. There is a feeling of freedom on the road, even though you’re working. You don’t have daily meetings to attend or a boss looking over your shoulder or an annoying co-worker. It’s just you, your truck and the beautiful scenery – and the paycheck you earn in your new career.

If you want to drive one of the most powerful machines on the road, you need your CDL and a good driving record. Some trucking companies are in such need of drivers that they’re wiling to send you off to schools where you can learn the tricks of the trade and learn everything you need to know to get their CDL.

If the long trips aren’t your speed, but you still want to experience being a trucker, you have an option with Spirit Miller Driveaway Services. At Spirit Miller, we’ve got an abundance of routes that will get you home for dinner every evening. We work seven days a week, 24 hours a day, so you’ll have your choice of shifts. Don’t wait any longer – get your CDL and start your trucking career today at Spirit Miller.


Trucking Companies Enter the Digital Age Full Steam Ahead

The world has become a data-intensive place and the trucking industry is no exception. Trucking 6

Organizations in every industry are looking to data to drive efficiencies, increase brand visibility, improve on customer-centric strategies, and any number of aspects that improve the profit margin. There are many ways to gather data and companies are filling their databases full of information with every opportunity. How is the trucking industry doing it? Onboard sensors are sending information back to the fleet management center, offering information about every aspect of the delivery.

Any data received before the digital age was through a two-way communication effort between the driver and the dispatcher. Now the truck itself is communicating to the stakeholders and trucking companies.

Global positioning satellites play a massive part in this effort. Wireless communication and mobile apps used on smartphones and tablet computers are also a big part of the game. Truckers can be constantly clued-in to information they need along their route, from upcoming weigh stations to severe weather to traffic delays.

Obviously, some trucks can bypass certain weigh stations, but only if the federal CSA scores are up to regulation. Waiting on clearance to proceed and getting back up to speed on the highway takes time and money. Armed with technology that can improve safety, trucking companies have a better chance at earning a rating that allows them to bypass more weigh stations.
Vendors are beginning to focus on the trucking industry, offering new automated features to trucking companies who are looking into a “smart mobility” to improve the way they transport their freight. To enter a new era of connectivity, trucking companies are feeling the push to implement new technology. Some in the industry have gone as far to say that smart mobility implementation will be just as impactful to the industry as the combustible engine. While that statement might be a stretch, the importance of technology in improving trucking cannot be understated.

One vendor, Peleton Technology, is developing a system that will improve truckers’ ability to brake more efficiently. The driver will obviously maintain control of the wheel, but with technology taking over the braking process, it’s expected to improve fuel economy. A trucking company testing the technology claims to have seen a seven percent fuel savings. When used in tandem, the lead truck sees a 4.5 percent improvement and the following truck 10 percent.

What’s next? Looking at the busing industry, which have created rolling WiFi hubs, the trucking industry might not be that far behind with hubs of their own.

If you’re looking to get into the mix with an industry that is improving with time, consider joining Spirit Miller Driveaway Services. We’ve got the truck routes that suit just about any preference. If you don’t want to do overnights in towns far away, we’ve got routes that will keep you close to home. Contact us today to find out more about our opportunities.


The Trucking Industry Advances Economic Recovery

Trucking 5As Americans bounce back from the effects of the recession, the trucking industry follows suit. In fact, economists credit the trucking industry for pushing the recovery forward at greater speed.

The trucking industry has actually stopped its recovery and jumped straight into new growth territories. An expansion of fleets is expected as a result of this new growth, which is actually a prerequisite if they are going to keep up with demand.

The numbers are impressive: according to the American Trucking Association, nearly 70 percent of all domestic freight was hauled by the trucking industry, which is a jump of nearly half a percentage point over the previous year. The growth is expected to hit 3.2 percent annually over the next four years.

Safety regulations have not been kind to the industry as a whole, but the trucking companies are complying and working to keep up with demand despite the new restrictions, the most controversial of which involves the number of hours a driver can be on the road. Taking the good with the bad, more companies are implementing technologies that assist them in controlling fuel costs.

On the low end of advancements is the trailer size; trucking companies have found that increasing trailer size can improve highway safety as well as maintenance and fuel costs. Furthermore, increasing the square footage of the trailers means fewer trucks on the road, which equates to more cost savings. It also helps to ease the problem some trucking companies are having with finding enough drivers to run all the routes.

Steering away from technology, the industry is looking to legislators to ease up on trucking. More money is being spent on lobbyists who can communicate the importance of the industry on the economy. Some areas of the country are recovering much more slowly than others (California, etc.), which means there is room for lobbyists to work to make the industry a little less shackled. The trucking companies who want to increase the trailer size are particularly focusing their lobbying efforts on Washington where Congress will have to take action before trailer sizes will be allowed to increase on American roadways.

As the industry fights to keep an edge and build upon new technologies to create more efficiencies, there is no doubt that it will remain the king of freight hauling into the distant future.

Spirit Miller Driveaway Services is a company that is helping the economy recover by delivering trucks to companies that are increasing their fleet. Since 1994, we’ve focused on driveaway services, using the best drivers and offering some of the best benefits to attract them. We’re family owned and continue to keep that family feeling in our company as it grows. We believe in safety and we put the safety of our drivers and the other drivers on the roadway first. Whether you’re looking for a job in the industry or looking for a company to get your valued fleet vehicles to you on time and undamaged, contact us today.