Minnesota has a very diverse set of robust industries within their state. This typically lends itself to a diverse set of trucking jobs available to CDL drivers.
The Top 5 Industries In Minnesota
The Mayo Clinic is located in Rochester, MN and that helps rank Bioscience as one of the state’s top industries. The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine was ranked in the top 10 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The state ranks first in sugar beets and oats production.
Manufacturing is the second largest employer in Minnesota.
3. Wind Power
Minnesota ranks third in the nation in terms of wind-generated electricity (9.7 percent). Xcel Energy, headquartered in Minneapolis, buys more wind power than any other utility in the nation, and the largest wind turbine trucking company in the U.S. is also based here.
4. Data Centers
The state’s climate helps keep buildings cool naturally, saving data centers money on cooling. It might sound like nothing, but it really is a major cost. Also the state’s water is used in cooling technology, which lessens the cost of transport. Throw in some of the lowest energy costs in the country and now you know why Minnesota publicizes its data center hosting abilities. The infrastructure is already in place, too.
5. Animal Science
Minnesota is a national leader in livestock and livestock products.
Minnesota CDL Truck Driver Salary Information
For the almost 35,000 truck drivers in the state, things look pretty good. Taking a look at salaries, the median salary – 50% over and 50% under – is $41,340 for the overall US and $43,090 for Minnesota. When you look at different cities the median salary fluctuates as well:
- Minneapolis-St. Paul: $46,300
- Rochester: $45,850
- Duluth: $44,320
- St. Cloud: $39,800
The average salary for truck drivers in Minnesota is $44,500 and in that breakdown, the low is $30,660 and the high is $61,980. Depending on where you are in your truck driving career and what type of position you take your salary will be influenced accordingly.
Looking to the future there’s a 6% projected increase in the number of trucking jobs in the U.S. by 2024. The increase for Minnesota for that same time period is 4%.
Minnesota CDL License Information and Insights
Minnesota, like other states, must abide by Federal requirements for state licensing. All applicants must go through TSA screening and the appropriate medical tests.
License and Permits
- All applicants for a CDL regardless of class must have a Class D license with no motoring convictions in the last two years.
- Health checks are required to test eyesight and look for any medical conditions that may invalidate the application.
- Third party organizations offer training for applicants to learn to drive a CMV. Such courses are not mandatory but are highly recommended especially if you’re a new driver.
- Once the health checks and background security screening are complete you can apply for your CDL.
- Applicants aged 18 to 20 may apply for an intrastate CDL (within state lines only)
- Applicants aged 21 and older may apply for an interstate CDL (to drive outside of Minnesota)
- Applicants must be 21 or over to apply for the hazmat endorsement
CDL Requirements for Minnesota Residents
- Proof of current home address is required. ID must be up to date.
- Social Security card
- Proof of insurance
- Fulfill TSA screening requirements
Minnesota CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers
If you recently moved to Minnesota from another state in the US, you need to:
- Exchange your out-of-state license for a Minnesota license
- A straight swap is all that’s required if the license is current or expired less than two years ago
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Minnesota requires proof of current address and Social Security card
- Make authorities aware of any pre-existing medical conditions you may have and provide paperwork relating to treatment
- Any exemption paperwork should be made available for the application process
Medical and Physical CDL Requirements
- All applicants must undergo routine medical testing to ensure good health.
- Your medical records will be examined for pre-existing conditions such as seizures, epilepsy and heart defects.
- Pass a vision test
- Applicants who pass medical checks will receive a Medical Examination Report Form and a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. These are required for the final stages of the CDL application.
- At this point the Federal Medical Card is granted
- You may apply for restrictions if you fail the medical testing
Background Check for CDL Applicants
TSA screening is mandatory. Therefore, only citizens and permanent residents are eligible for CDL licenses. When an applicant needs an endorsement to drive Hazmat vehicles, fingerprinting and background checks are mandatory.
The sequence for the CDL application goes like this:
- Medical checks must be cleared (physical, vision, hearing, etc.)
- TSA screening
- Knowledge tests
- Driving Skills test
Knowing how to drive on ice and snow is obligatory due to rough Minnesota winters. Temperatures can be in the negative numbers and with the wind chill even lower. Also depending on the city snowfall can range from 36” to 70” (that translates from 3 feet to almost 6 feet. SOURCE
Minnesota Trucking in the News
Minnesota trucking company, Dart Transit, is working to combat human trafficking. A Minnesota trucking company is leading the way to help fight human trafficking. Dart Transit, located in Eagan, is training its drivers and warehouse workers on what signs to look for when trucks and trailers that may be smuggling immigrants. Many times these immigrants become victims of human trafficking. Because truckers drive millions of miles on U.S. highways each year, they witness more than most.
Other trucking companies like Dart are using videos to train their drivers on what to look for. They should look for situations that seem out of place, like a young person getting out of a truck with an older person or situations that seem questionable.
Now the senate wants more trucking companies to hop on board with this training. MN Senator Amy Klobuchar wants the effort to be national. She authored a bill that’s headed to the Senate floor to create a position for a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. DOT. The bill would set a national standard so truckers know that the government and citizens stand behind them and that they are doing a service for immigrants and young people who may be victims.
Since truckers are on the road so much it’s kind of like their neighborhood. So if they all are aware of what to look for at waysides and truck stops, these men and women are a valuable asset for law enforcement to identify and rescue victims of trafficking (SOURCE).