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Truck Driver is the Most Common Job in Most States

A lot of jobs that were pretty common 40 years ago aren’t so common anymore. There aren’t as many farmers as there used to be. The same thing is true for jobs like secretary and machine operator. But one job has been a mainstay in American life for four decades: Truck driver.

NPR recently ran a story where they listed the most common job for every state for each year, from 1978 to 2014. Truck drivers are everywhere.

 

Not all of those truck driver jobs are over-the-road, though. The story was based on census information, and the government categorizes delivery people as truck drivers, too.

Still, trucking has had more staying power than a lot of jobs. NPR noted a few of the reasons:

“Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation. A worker in China can’t drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can’t drive cars (yet).”

In 2014, truck driver was the most common job in 28 states. At its peak in 2004, truck driving was the most common job in a whopping 36 states.

In North Carolina, it’s been the most common job every year since 1986, the longest current streak. Not too surprising, since Charlotte is one of the most popular cities for load posts on DAT TruckersEdge.

Carriers Hire the Most Truck Drivers in 5 Years

While the map above is for 2014, it seems safe to say that a 2017 map would still look pretty similar. In February, trucking fleets added 10,600 jobs, the biggest increase in five years, according to the Wall Street Journal. This comes a month after fleets cut their payrolls by 5,100 jobs, so part of that increase was because fleets were adding back the jobs that went away in January.

Still, it’s a strong sign of growth for the trucking industry, so driving a truck is going to stay a popular job for a while yet.

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2013 HOS Rule Is Gone for Good

It’s official: The 2013 HOS restart rules are no more.

The 2013 version of the 34-hour restart rule required drivers to be off-duty for two periods from 1AM to 5AM before they could go back to work, and the restart could only be used once per week.

A poll of DAT TruckersEdge readers showed that 73% of them use the 34-hour restart on a weekly basis, so the 1-5AM provision forced a lot of truckers to operate during high-traffic times. That led to a big loss in productivity for most carriers.

Those rules were suspended in December of 2014, but whether or not that suspension was going to be permanent had been a question hanging over the industry ever since.

The FMCSA and Virginia Tech conducted a safety review to determine whether or not to go back to the 2013 version of the restart rules. Ultimately, they found that the 2013 version of the restart rule wasn’t any safer than the version of the rule that everyone is using now, so the current version of the rule is what’s going to stay in place.

 

Saint George Insurance is proud to partner with DAT to offer a special 30 days free on the TruckersEdge Load Board!

Sign up here: www.truckersedge.net/promo258

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