13 Solid Stats about Driving a Semi-truck for a Living

Have you ever wondered what life as a semi-truck driver is really like? In many ways, being a commercial truck driver is more of a way of life than it is a job. This career is one that is very much in demand, and it offers flexibility that is attractive to more spontaneous types of personalities, gives workers the opportunity to explore different areas of the United States, and then, of course, there is the comfortable paycheck as an added perk.

Before you make the decision to become a semi-truck driver, you might want to familiarize yourself with some fun facts about the trucking industry and a trucker’s way of life. Here are 13 statistics you probably didn’t know about the trucking industry and being a semi driver:

  • Currently, there are about 5 million commercial trucks on the roadways of America, with approximately 2 million semi-trucks. If you lined each of them up end-to-end, they would just about reach the moon. That’s a big career family to become a part of.
  • truck driver salaryWhile the average wage for truckers continues to increase due to the shortage of qualified semi drivers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a commercial truck driver in the United States was $39,520 in 2014.
  • Big rig engines are approximately six times larger than passenger car engines and offer two to three times more horsepower. While the average car engine is only designed to last about 200,000 miles, the average semi engine will go approximately 1,000,000 miles.
  • 75 percent of American communities depend solely on truck drivers to deliver goods and services.
  • There are approximately 400,000 commercial trucking companies in the United States alone, and with truck drivers in such high demand, a qualified trucker might be able to obtain his or her dream career virtually anywhere in the U.S.
  • Trucking isn’t just a career field for men. There are more than 200,000 female “long-haul” truckers in the United States.
  • The average small business semi truck driver can cover over 125,000 miles per year. That is more than 3 million miles over the average trucker’s career.
  • In a single year, American truckers throughout the nation can travel as many as 200 billion miles. Combined, they could have trucked to the sun and back around 1,000 times.
  • Owner-operators are the safest truckers on the road and experience fewer crashes than anyone else in the industry. Maybe it’s because they are responsible for their own repairs?
  • In the United States, the average length of a semi-trailer without the cab is 53 feet, and with the cab is about 70 to 80 feet. The maximum these trucks haul is 80,000 pounds. In Australia, however, “road trains” roam the roadways. Road trains are tractors with four trailers that are capable of hauling more than 300,000 pounds!
  • You had better be geared up to drive the big rigs, because these babies have an average of 10 forward gears and two reverse gears. Some trucks, however, have as many as 18 gears.
  • It takes approximately 55 feet for a large truck to flip a U-turn. In other words, it might be a good idea to be familiar with your route and pay attention while driving the big rigs.
  • Approximately 1 out of every 14 American jobs are in the trucking industry. That’s equals out to about 9 million workers.

Without truck drivers, it would be pretty difficult for society to live the way we are used to living. Becoming a truck driver, however, can be demanding and is not for everyone. In many situations, truck drivers spend the majority of their lives away from home. Their hours are rarely regular, and they often find themselves dining wherever is convenient. There are a number of fascinating perks associated with this type of career, however, like excellent wages, geographical versatility, the freedom to be your own boss in some cases, and the ability to experience different cultures throughout the United States.

I went through the tractor trailer school and a semester of heating and air conditioning and it was awareness I really learned a lot. I used the Gi bill from the Navy to goto school !!!

Posted by Steven Altman on Friday, August 21, 2015

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