New Jersey is the Garden State and it borders three other states Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania. New Jersey does not have a lot of wide open spaces as some states do since there are 1,208 people per square mile. You’ve really got to love your fellow man.
New Jersey has some historic places including Ellis Island (which is technically between New York and New Jersey), where in the first half of the 20th century immigrants from all over the world passed through its gates in search of a better life.
Atlantic City has its famous boardwalk and in Fort Lee is the suspension bridge named after the first president – George Washington Bridge. The most populated cities in New Jersey are:
- Newark: 277,140
- Jersey City: 247,597
- Paterson: 146,199
- Elizabeth: 124,969
- Edison: 99,967
And these will be the best cities in which to find a job. However, don’t despair if you are in a smaller town. If you look you may be able to find a trucking job in the area. If not, start at the next largest city and look there.
New Jersey Trucking Salary Information
Salaries for truck drivers based in New Jersey are very good. Currently there are an estimated 42,990 drivers making an average salary of $47,990. Of course every driver doesn’t make the average, your salary will be higher or lower depending on your experience but even the low $31,660 isn’t too bad.
And the high is very good at $66,340. Another bright spot on the horizon for truck drivers looking for jobs in New Jersey is projected increase in jobs. From 2014 to 2024 the expected increase in the U.S. is 6% while New Jersey’s increase is expected to be 11%.
Median salaries change with each city and in New Jersey it’s just more good news no matter how you slice it (SOURCE):
- United States: $41,340
- New Jersey: $46,830
- Newark: $47,740
- Camden: $46,570
- Vineland: $43,640
- Trenton: $42,630
- Atlantic City: $42,380
- Ocean City: $41,350
A few of the top New Jersey industries that lend themselves to trucking are the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. Because of its strategically relevant location, New Jersey is ideal for manufacturing and exportation. The state has a well-developed transportation infrastructure plus extensive warehousing and distribution capabilities (SOURCE).
New Jersey CDL License Information and Insights
Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) applicants must submit a CDL Holder Self-Certification form and a valid medical examiner’s certificate, if required by the type of vehicle you will drive. If you’ve had a federal medical variance issued, it must also be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) BEFORE you can get your CLP.
The MCV in New Jersey is the same as the DMV in other states. You can find all the documents you need to fill out on the NJ MVC website or at any MVC Agency.
Note: Drivers under 21 years of age are only allowed to operate within New Jersey (intrastate) and must check either commerce category box 3 or 4 on the CDL Holder Self-Certification document.
CLP applicants who intend to meet the excepted interstate (category 2) or excepted intrastate (category 4) requirements will only need to submit the CDL Holder Self-Certification document and are not required to submit a medical examiner’s certificate or variance unless they have a passenger (P) endorsement on their CLP.
CLP applicants listed as non-excepted interstate (category 1) or non-excepted intrastate (category 3), must submit a valid, fully completed, legible medical examiner certificate. All medical examiner’s certificates must be completed by a federally certified medical examiner.
If you want to be a truck driver or a bus driver, you need a Commercial Driver License (CDL). But first, you must have a basic New Jersey Driver’s License. Per Federal regulations, CDL holders must visit an agency at renewal time. Renewal by mail is not currently an option.
When you apply for a CDL there are different classes depending on the type of commercial vehicle you’ll be driving¬. Each class has its own regulations.
Insights on New Jersey CDL License Classes
Class A includes tractor trailers and any truck/trailer combo with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of more than 26,000 pounds – provided that the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. You can drive any vehicle in Classes B, C, or D categories, and well if you have the proper extra endorsements on your CDL.
Class B includes any vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds. A vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds towing a trailer with a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds. A bus with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
You can drive vehicles in Classes C and D as long as you qualified for any added endorsements needed.
Class C includes any vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds that’s used to transport enough hazardous material that it requires a mandatory placard. Any bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds.
School vehicles designed for 15 passengers or less (including the driver) or any bus or vehicle used for hire and designed to transport 8 to 15 passengers (including the driver)
To get your CDL you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a regular Class D New Jersey driver license
- Be able to recognize red, green and amber colors
- Have 20/40 vision in each eye (with or without glasses)
- Be physically fit*
*Federal law and New Jersey regulations require commercial drivers to submit a self-certification form along with the valid medical examiner’s certificate, completed by a certified medical examiner, to the MVC. These items must be renewed every two years.
Application Process and CDL License Restrictions in New Jersey
Application process (SOURCE):
- Study the CDL Manual
- Visit an MVC Agency
- Pass the 6 Point ID Verification. Present your Social Security card for the initial commercial learner permit (CLP)
- Pay $125 for the test fee (non-refundable)
- Take the CDL knowledge test (written)
- After passing the knowledge test, return to any MVC Agency and obtain your CLP
- Practice driving in the type of CMV you want to be licensed for
- Schedule the skills/road test
- Take and pass the skills/road test
- Return to any MVC Agency for your CDL
Restrictions for CDL applicants under 21 years of age:
- Can only operate in intrastate (within New Jersey)
- Must select commerce category “3” or “4” on the CDL Holder Self-Certification form
- Will not receive a hazmat endorsement
- Will not receive a passenger endorsement
Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) restrictions:
- K – Intrastate only
- L – No air brakes
- P – No passenger restriction on CLP, if CLP has a P endorsement
- V – Medical variance (the driver must also have the hard copy variance issued by FMCSA)
- X – No Cargo in Tank, if CLP has an N endorsement
Commercial Driver License (CDL) restrictions:
- E – No manual transmission (If you take the test in a CMV with an automatic transmission, you will receive the E restriction and are prohibited from operating a CMV with a manual transmission.)
- K – Intrastate only
- O – No tractor trailer
- V – Medical variance
- Z – No full air brake
Exemptions – The following types of drivers do not need a CDL:
- Taxi drivers (less than eight passengers) and ride-sharing van drivers
- First Responders (operating rescue or first-aid squad vehicles)
- Farmers hauling their own products and equipment within 150 miles of their farms
- Non-civilian operators of military equipment
- Construction equipment drivers of vehicles not designed to operate on public roads
- Recreational vehicle drivers (as long as the vehicle is operated for personal use)
New Jersey Trucking and Transportation in the News
A police officer saw an 18-wheel tractor-trailer near the Washington Avenue section of the boardwalk around 5:30 a.m. The driver told the officer he got on at Albany Avenue in Atlantic City and based on the directions from his GPS he continued to drive up the boardwalk almost three miles to Washington Street, but then could not get off.
The truck could not turn and damaged nearly 100 feet of railing on the boardwalk.
It took four hours to remove the 100 feet of railing, backload sand on the corner to allow the truck to make the turn, unhitch the trailer, get the cab off the truck, and get a tow truck on scene to help.
Believe it or not, the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Still, he was issued a couple of summonses, mainly for driving off-road.
City officials and engineers checked to see if the truck caused structural damage and they also alerted Atlantic City about the incident so they could check for damage as well (SOURCE).