When you hear "Texas", need we say more? Texans don't think so. "It's like a whole other country" pretty much sums it up. You could spend a lifetime trucking within the borders of Texas and never see it all. And with three of the most populous cities in the U.S., all unique to themselves, demand for variety when it comes to freight shipped by truck is unending. As the saying goes, "Everything is big in Texas," so head on down and slap a "Native Texan" sticker on the side of your rig. It'll be like meeting a whole new family!
The trucking industry plays a critical part in the over Texas economy. The trucking industry in Texas has experienced strong growth over the last five years as a result of positive economic conditions that have boosted demand for freight transportation services. Being one of only four US states boarding Mexico, the Texas truck driving industry benefits from the fact that Texas dominates the US Mexico border crossings and that 85% of the trade between Texas and Mexico is handled by trucks.
The trucking industry in Texas has experienced strong growth over the last five years as a result of positive economic conditions that have boosted demand for freight transportation services. And with its continued strong economy, Texas is expected to exceed the projected national growth in truck driving jobs in the next several years.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s Texas Freight Mobility Freight Plan, over $1.6 trillion or 1.2 billion tons of freight are moved in Texas highways annually. This comprises almost half of all freight moved in Texas each year. In the next 20 years, truck tonnage in Texas is projected to almost double and account for well over half of all freight moved.
Given Texas’ central US geographic location, from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, truck drivers can reach almost any other part of the US within 48 hours. In addition, being one of only four US states boarding Mexico, the Texas truck driving industry benefits from the fact that Texas dominates the US Mexico border crossings and that 85% of the trade between Texas and Mexico is handled by trucks. Texas is connected to Mexico by 28 international vehicular bridges, of which 17 of these crossings accommodate commercial import and export traffic with US Customer Services.
Texas’ Deep-Water Ports
Texas’ deep-water ports (including the Port of Houston, the Port of Beaumont and Corpus Christi, and the Port of Brownsville) allow Texas seaports to dominate foreign trade in the US. The Port of Houston is the largest gulf coast container port, handling more two-thirds of all US Gulf coast container traffic. The Port of Beaumont and Corpus Christi rank in the top 10 among all US ports for total cargo volume.
Products Moved by Trucks
Overall, top exports from Texas include petroleum and coal products, computer & electronic products, chemicals, machinery, and transportation equipment. Although almost all sectors of exported products are moved by truck in Texas, the top commodities moved by truck include agricultural products such as animals, animal feed, fish, grains and fertilizer.
Texas’ Interstate Highways
Texas is both second largest state (second to California) in both population and as well as vehicle miles traveled annually, and trucks represented 12% of the vehicle miles traveled. Texas has both the largest highway and interstate networks in the nation. The interstate highway network is vital to the Texas economy as it connects to the other US economic centers. In particular, its major thoroughfares include:
I-45 (connecting the Port of Houston to all northern US through the Houston and the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex);
I-40 (crossing the Texas panhandle connecting Oklahoma and New Mexico);
I-35 (connecting the Mexico border in Laredo to North Texas through the San Antonio and the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex);
I-30 (connecting other major highways to the north Texas border of Louisiana and Arkansas);
I-20 (connecting the north Texas border of Louisiana to El Paso), and
I-10 (connecting the Port of Houston to all states to and from California and Florida),
Texas Trucking Industry Facts
- 1 in 16 Texans are employed by the trucking industry
- 73% of good manufactured in Texas are transported by truck
- 85% of trade between Texas and Mexico is handled by trucks
- Texas has more interstate (centerline) mileage than any other state, totaling over 3,200 miles
- There are over 300,000 miles of public roadway in Texas
- There are over 66,000 trucking companies in Texas
- Trucking industry wages exceeded $22.5 billion, with an averages industry salary of $45,000
- There are over 185,000 truck drivers employed in Texas, with an average salary of $34,500
- Trucks represented 12% of the vehicle miles traveled in Texas annually
- A truck can take between 15-20 hours to driver across Texas at its widest point
- Texas Is ranked as the top state for exports
- Texas is connected to Mexico by 28 international vehicular bridges. Seventeen of these crossings accommodate commercial import and export traffic with US Customer Services.
- Mexico is the top international destination for Texas exports
For more information on Texas and its truck driver jobs, visit: www.texastrucking.com
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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.
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