Truck driving in Alaska
If your idea of an exciting truck driving career is based on what you've seen on The History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers," Alaska is about your only option — at least in the U.S. But if you value your life more than 15 minutes of fame as a reality TV star, it doesn't mean Alaska doesn’t offer more "traditional" trucking driving opportunities. Alaskans rely on trucks to haul freight from its southern ports to the many small communities throughout the state — and they don't necessarily send you above the Arctic Circle. While Alaska's interstate highway mileage is limited, truckers travel state routes such as the Klondike, Denali, and Seward Highways to reach inland destinations where their efforts are the only link to the necessities of life in an unpredictable environment. And you can't beat the scenery!
While Alaska may be the largest state in the nation, many parts of the state are inaccessible during the winter months. Nonetheless, the trucking industry plays a critical role in the Alaska economy, and many opportunities for truck driver jobs exist. The trucking industry in Alaska has experienced strong growth over the last five years as a result of positive economic conditions that have boosted demand for freight transportation services, the fact that so many Alaskans rely on trucking to bring products to their remote communities, and the role Alaska plays in U.S. oil production. Alaska borders no U.S. state, so freight hauled by truck from the lower 48 must pass through Canada, and Alaska and Canada benefit from the exports of both. In fact, a large percentage of Alaska's exports are sent to Canada.
The trucking industry in Alaska is vital to Alaska’s economy and even in times of economic decline the state needs individuals to fill truck driver job openings. It’s oil and fish industries are especially needed in times of both prosperity and crisis.
Alaska’s lone border is to the east of the state with Canada. It surrounded on three side by the ocean and borders no other state.
Products Moved by Trucks
Whether they are exported out of state, out of the country, or simply remain in the state for the use of Alabamans, according to the latest data from World’s Top Exports, the following are the primary products moved by truck drivers and offering many truck driving jobs to those calling Alabama home: Zinc ores, concentrates; Frozen fish meat; Lead ores, concentrates; Frozen Alaskan pollock fillets; Crude petroleum oils; Frozen miscellaneous fish; Gold (unwrought); Frozen livers; Frozen Pacific salmon; Frozen sockeye salmon.
Alaska's Deep-Water Ports
Alaska's deep-water ports are numerous. In total, Alaska has no less than 58 ports, the most active being Anchorage, Seward, Valdez, Kodiak, Unalaska, and Homer. These six ports along the Pacific Ocean are Alaskan's lifelines to the U.S. mainland, especially in the winter months. The Port of Anchorage also serves the state's most populous city with over 250,000 residents.
Officially, Alaska doesn't have interstate highways; after all, being separate from the rest of the country, Alaska has no interstate travel. Instead the state has numerous "routes," known by number and by name. AK-1, from Homer to Tok, is Alaska's longest route, covering 545 miles. Portions of the highway are also known as the Glenn Highway, Seward Highway, Sterling Highway, and the Tok cutoff. Together Alaska's 10 routes total approximately 2,800 miles, and countless unnumbered and unimproved roadways access some of the communities statewide. Major routes in Alaska include:
AK-1 Homer to Tok
AK-2 Hot Springs to Whitehorse (Yukon)
AK-3 Gateway to Fairbanks
AK-4 Valdez to Delta Junction
AK-5 Tetlin Junction to Eagle
AK-6 Fox to Circle
AK-7 Near Pleasant Camp, British Columbia, Canada to Ketchikan
AK-8 Cantwell to Paxson
AK-9 Seward area
AK-10 Copper Center to Chitina
AK-10 Cordova to McCarthy
AK-11 Livengood to Deadhorse
AK-98 Skagway to Fraser, British Columbia, Canada
For more information on Alaska and its truck driver jobs, visit: www.aktrucks.org
Job search faqs
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Jobs.TheTrucker.com’s job search functionality is designed to be simple and easy to use, and allows truck drivers and diesel mechanics to search for jobs by state, by carrier and various other search criteria. When searching for jobs, you may set the search criteria to be as specific or general as you want to find the job that is best for you.
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A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a driver's license required to operate large, heavy, or hazardous material vehicles in the US. The “class” of CDL a truck driver needs depends on the type of commercial motor vehicle operated. A truck driver may hold a CDL in one of three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C.
For a detailed explanation of the different classes of CDLs, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Driver Type refers to the employment arrangement a driver operates. The most common truck driver arrangements include:
- Company Driver: Drivers employed by a specific carrier with its own fleet of trucks. “Companies” can be carriers that contract to transport other individuals' or companies' freight, or companies that carry their own freight.
- Lease-Purchase: Drivers hired by carriers where the truck is leased to the individual driver.
- Owner Operator (OO): Drivers who own the truck and operate as an independent business (also referred to as an "independent contractor").
- Team Driver: Drivers operating with a partner who shares driving duties.
For a detailed explanation of Driver Types, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Hauling Type (or trailer type, or equipment type) refers to the type of cargo being hauled. Different types of cargo materials require different types of trailers, and each type of trailer requires unique driver experience.
For a detailed explanation of Hauling Types, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Endorsements are required certifications for CDL holders hauling various types of equipment and freight. The most common endorsements for long haul truck drivers include:
- Doubles/Triples: required for drivers hauling double or triple trailers.
- HazMat: required for transporting hazardous materials.
- Tanker: required for operating a vehicles designed with a permanent or temporary tank attached.
For a detailed explanation of the different types of endorsements, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Finding the right diesel mechanic job requires careful consideration of various factors. Research potential employers’ reputation and culture, evaluate compensation packages, and confirm that long-term growth and advancement opportunities fit with your career goals. Other factors to consider include: your own level of experience, skill and industry specialization vs the job requirements; CDL license requirements; tool requirements; location; training and professional development opportunity; work schedule, flexibility and work-life balance. For key considerations for finding a job as a heavy-duty truck diesel mechanic or technician, visit our Diesel Mechanic Job Resources.
Diesel mechanic certifications represent an industry recognized level of knowledge and expertise in a particular area of diesel engine diagnosis, repair or maintenance. These advanced certifications are offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and enhance a mechanic’s skill set and positively impact their qualifications and salary. Certifications may be obtained in specific areas such as gasoline and diesel engines, drive trains, brakes, suspension and steering, electronics, HVAC and preventative maintenance. For a listing of ASE certifications available specifically for heavy-duty truck mechanics, visit our Diesel Mechanic Job Resources.