Colorado CDL Trucker Salary Information
The greatest aspect of trucking has got to be the ability to work anywhere with the right training and credentials. You can live in any state in the U.S. or virtually any country in the world as long as you have the proper experience and paperwork.
You will be responsible for keeping the status quo –getting food to grocery stores, keeping businesses stocked with product, and sometimes bringing much needed supplies to those who have been affected by a natural disaster. The world depends on you.
If you’re looking for a trucking job in Colorado, there’s a good chance you may make deliveries to any or all of the states around the border – Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming.
This is a fantastic time to be a trucker in Colorado as the projected employment increase from 2014-2024 is estimated at 25% for the state, but only 6% for the U.S. as a whole. So if you’re looking for a trucking job, you’re in the right place.
Presently there are an estimated 23,380 truck drivers in Colorado. The average salary here is $47,340 and the average hourly wage is $22.76. Of course salaries fluctuate depending on need and city. For example, the median U.S. salary for truck drivers is $41,340 while Denver’s median salary is $47,740, Boulder’s is $42,540, Fort Collins is $43,480, and Pueblo is $37,930.
Is Training Included and Ongoing?
Training is a major component of learning any job. As a trucker you will have incidents in which your training will come in handy in solving issues and maybe even saving lives – from maneuvering through narrow spaces to driving through inclement weather and perhaps the biggest danger of all – the public.
Knowing how to anticipate a possible problem and solving it before it happens, or making the impact less by using your knowledge, you save yourself, other people and your cargo so that everyone can arrive safely at their destination.
When interviewing for a job be sure to ask about ongoing training as DOT regulations change often and you need to keep up with the changes and move up in your career.
Colorado CDL License Information and Insights
Every state in the country requires you to have a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate the following:
- A commercial vehicle that has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 26,001 pounds.
- A commercial vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers. This number includes the driver.
- Any vehicle transporting hazardous materials. These vehicles must have the proper placard to be in compliance with 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F. The placard looks something like this but with the required information regarding the material(s) in the shipment in each of the colored squares.
CDLs are valid for 4 years and if you have one, you can drive commercial vehicles as well as regular vehicles.
Following are some restrictions that may be placed on your CDL. K – Intrastate Restriction: means you can drive only within the state of Colorado. If you have an intrastate restriction it means one of the following:
- You are 18 to 21 years of age
- You self-certified to Non Excepted Intrastate Driving (option C) or Excepted Intrastate Driving (option D)
- You don’t meet the DOT’s medical requirements and the Colorado State Patrol issued you a waiver
- An FMCSA exemption lets you drive for intrastate commerce only
L – Air Brakes Restriction
If you took the skills test in a commercial vehicle that doesn’t have air brakes, you aren’t qualified to drive trucks with air brakes, so a restriction is placed on the CDL. Therefore, make a mental note right now – if you will be driving a truck with air brakes, take the skills test in a vehicle with air brakes. Otherwise it’s a huge hassle of passing a written exam on air brakes, buying another CDL permit with the restriction removed, and then passing a full driving skills test before you can get a CDL without the L restriction.
The same goes for other types of vehicle restrictions, too:
- E – No Manual Transmission CMV means you took the test in a vehicle with an automatic transmission.
- M – No Class A Passenger Vehicle means you can drive only Class B or Class C passenger vehicles.
- N – No Class A or B Passenger Vehicle means you showed up in a Class C passenger vehicle and that’s all you’re allowed to drive for now.
- O – No Tractor Trailer CMV: The vehicle you used for the CDL skills test was not a traditional tractor and didn’t have a fifth-wheel coupling system.
- V – Interstate Medical Variance: The V restriction is given if a driver has an approved vision or diabetes medical waiver from FMCSA.(SOURCE)
You need to understand and know your desired career path so you can understand what restrictions you should be aware of while trying to earn your CDL.
Colorado Trucking In The News
How Legalized Marijuana has Affected the Trucking Industry… Recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2014, and as more states legalize the drug, it’s becoming a real problem for the trucking industry. Drug tests have shown an increase in marijuana use for current drivers and especially job applicants who are failing at rates as high as 60%. High is right.
Many trucking companies are finding it hard to find good drivers with all the people testing positive for marijuana use. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
Trucking companies aren’t going to loosen their zero-tolerance policies (lucky for the rest of us) because marijuana is still illegal under federal law and Department of Transportation regulations (SOURCE).
But perhaps this could be the answer –
Self-driving Truck sets Guinness World Record
A self-driving Budweiser beer tractor-trailer went for a 132-mile jaunt last October and has officially been given a Guinness World Record. Otto, a tech company, manufactured the self-driving vehicle that hauled 51,744 cans of Budweiser from Fort Collins, through Denver and on to Colorado Springs October 20, 2016.
Everyone was safe as the state police were nearby and there was a man in the truck who occasionally sat in the driver’s seat. But even from the sleeper cab he was able to monitor the trip. He just never took the wheel. Guess he let Jesus do it (SOURCE).