Bulk cargo is bulk materials that is not packaged and generally sold by weight or volume rather than individual pieces. Bulk materials can include agricultural products such as grain, soybeans, corn; coal and other fuel related products; wood products like pulp wood and mulch; and construction products such as sand and gravel.

More information about bulk cargo hauling
Bulk Cargo is bulk material, usually a specific commodity, hauled using various types of trailers and is delivered to a customer for use in a specific industry. Bulk cargo includes grain, soybeans, corn, and other agriculture products; various liquids; coal, propane, gasoline, and other fuels; wood products like pulp wood and mulch; construction products such as sand and gravel; and recyclable materials.

Trailers used for hauling bulk cargo vary and are often designed for specific type of materials:

Hoppers: a trailer acting as a dump truck with the ability to tip and “end dump” the bulk material.
Walking Floor: a trailer that may or may not tip but includes equipment to push the cargo from the rear. Also allow for “dump spreading.”
Pneumatic: a large-body enclosed tank trailer, vacuum-sealed that empties using a pump and forced air. Often used to haul cement, sand, ash, and lime; flour, sugar, and grains; and plastic pellets, industrial alcohol, and dry and liquid chemicals.
Belt Trailers: a self-unloading trailer using a continuous belt pulled by a chain for unloading bulk materials.

Bulk Cargo drivers are typically hired by processors and distributors of bulk cargo, or if the need is large enough, by companies that use the materials. The producers of the material to be hauled may employ its own drivers, or they may contract drivers to haul and deliver the material.

Typically, bulk material haulers travel shorter distances than haulers of dry or refrigerated cargo. Bulk materials are often used within short distances of the supplier, and the materials needed are often common throughout the U.S. Agricultural products, if not available in an area of the country, are frequently perishable, and the window of time from field to the consumer market is limited.

As with all truck drivers, those hauling bulk materials must hold the appropriate CDL for the type of vehicle being driven (Class A, B, and/or C). Likewise, as the materials and trailer types a driver hauls will likely vary, so driver should be thoroughly familiar with the type of trailer the materials is hauled in and how to operate offloading features. It is advisable that those expecting to haul bulk materials obtain endorsements including (H) Hazardous Materials and (N) Tanker. In some states, drivers may be able to receive the (X) endorsement, a combination endorsement allowing them to haul Hazardous Materials in a Tanker-type trailer.

Many drivers hauling bulk materials are owner operators, owners of small fleets, and/or drivers experienced in the type of material contracted for hauling. The company owning the material, if not having trucks with trailers designed for the type of material being hauled, may contract with a carrier, a single owner operator, or several owner operators.

Depending on who or what carrier the supplier decides to hire to transport bulk materials, drivers can expect to be paid in varying methods. If a driver is an employee of a carrier, the bulk material will likely be considered as any other cargo. In this case, the driver will be paid per agreement with the employer. If a driver is an owner operator of a single truck or owns a small fleet, a supplier may contract to pay a lump sum upon delivery, or if a large amount of materials is to be delivered, periodic payments may be provided.

Job search faqs

Jobs.TheTrucker.com is one of the leading sources of long haul truck driving job listings, and its primary objective is to connect professional truck drivers with jobs. Jobs.TheTrucker.com’s job search functionality is designed to be simple and easy to use, and allows truck drivers to search for jobs by state, by driver type, by hauling type and by carrier.

Once you apply for a job, we match your qualifications to the appropriate job listings and send your application to the trucking companies immediately.

Jobs.TheTrucker.com’s job search functionality is designed to be simple and easy to use, and allows job seekers to search for truck driver jobs by state, by driver type, by hauling type and by carrier. When searching for truck driving 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.

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