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How to be an Intermodal Truck Driver

To become a truck driver, a person needs to graduate high school or get a GED, pass their state’s standard driver’s license exam, complete professional truck driving training, earn a commercial motor vehicle license (CDL), apply for truck driving jobs, interview with transport and logistics companies, sign a contract, complete courses through the employer, and finally begin driving. Traditional, over the road (OTR) truck driving entails a particular way of life. The trips are lengthy, and the scheduling varies. Traditional, OTR truck drivers often sleep and cook in their cabs. Home is the truck. Because of this, some drivers choose to have a cat to keep them company on long, lonely trips. 

What is an Intermodal Truck Driver?

Intermodal truck driving involves driving freight between a different mode of transportation and the customer. The customer points may be locations such as stores, distribution centers, farms, or processing facilities. The other mode of transportation is most commonly the railroad but could also be ocean or air travel. The cargo pick up and drop off must adhere to a strict schedule. Intermodal truck driving is distinct from OTR truck driving because the trips are short and can typically be made in one day or less. 

How many hours can an intermodal truck driver make?

Full time intermodal truck driving is typically 45-50 hours per week. 

How much money can an intermodal truck driver make? 

Full time, local intermodal truck drivers typically earn at least $900 per week. Full time, regional intermodal truck drivers typically earn at least $1,000 per week. 

Why Choose Intermodal Driving

There are many reasons to choose intermodal truck driving over OTR truck driving and other professions. With an excellent schedule, a competitive salary, zero tuition costs, and meaningful work, intermodal truck driving presents one of the best values for individuals seeking gainful employment. 

Intermodal Truck Driving Allows for a Healthy Work-Life Balance

With flexible scheduling options, and reliable time at home, intermodal truck driving facilitates a health balance between work and life. Intermodal truck driving jobs allow time for drivers to be involved parents, passionate hobbyists, and more! Intermodal truck drivers are home enough to care for family pets, and don’t have to rely on a truck cat for company on long drives. 

Intermodal Truck Driving is Well-Compensated

Most intermodal truck drivers can earn salaries around $70,000, and the highest earners can make around $90,000 per year. The pay varies by experience, performance, and field scope. Regional drivers typically earn more than local drivers. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national median family income in 2021 is $79,900. Many sources state the national median family income for living comfortably in the United States is around $65,000. An intermodal truck driver’s salary is considered a good median salary for supporting a family. Furthermore, in comparison to other means of earning the same salary, intermodal truck driving is one of the most efficient options because the educational costs to enter the profession are so low. 

Intermodal Truck Driving is Efficient

Because most freight hand-ffs are drop-and-hook, drivers spend more time on the road and less time waiting around loading dock stations. Using cranes, containers can be easily dropped off and picked up in the yard. Drivers do not have to spend extensive time parking and waiting to load and unload. 

Intermodal Truck Driving Benefits Society

Intermodal truck driving is an integral part of the supply chain. Almost every object we interact with on a daily basis is impacted by some form of intermodal shipping, and frequently intermodal trucking. In addition to the commonality of intermodal trucking, it is good for the environment. OTR trucking is a major source of pollution. Combining truck driving with rail travel reduces emissions. 

How to Become an Intermodal Truck Driver

To become an intermodal truck driver, a person needs to follow the traditional steps for becoming a truck driver described above. Because intermodal truck driving jobs are location-based, it is ideal to apply for work with a freight logistics company with a hub near you. Once the appropriate licensure is obtained, the freight logistics company may require additional certifications like tanker endorsements or hazmat qualifications. Because the job requires data recording in addition to timely driving, communication, organization, and time management skills are important. 

Intermodal Truck Driving Jobs

While the profession of intermodal truck driving has many benefits, the most enjoyable positions are with the best companies. The quality of the freight company shapes not just the customer experience but also the employee experience. With over 60 years of experience as an industry leader, QFS is trusted by both customers and employees. The headquarters are in Cincinnati and truck driving positions are available throughout the United States. To look for the best intermodal truck driving job near you, contact QFS today!