North Carolina is known as the state that was “First in Flight” thanks to the Wright brothers who completed the first successful flight of a mechanically propelled airplane at Kitty Hawk in 1903. States that border North Carolina are: South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. North Carolina has it all, mountains in the west, green forests in the central region and the Atlantic Ocean on its eastern coast. Speaking of the ocean, The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse located in Buxton is the tallest lighthouse in the country and stands at 193 feet.
The five most populated cities in North Carolina are:
- Charlotte: 731,424
- Raleigh: 403,892
- Greensboro: 269,666
- Winston-Salem: 229,617
- Durham: 228,330
North Carolina Trucking Salary Information
If you’re looking for a job as a trucker in North Carolina, you’ve made an excellent choice. Truck driving jobs in the U.S. are projected to increase 6% from 2014 to 2024. However, in North Carolina the increase is expected to be almost twice that at 11%. There are currently 54,400 drivers working in the state making an average yearly salary of $41,300.
Median salaries vary from city to city, but for the state the median salary is $39,410 compared to the U.S. average of $41,340. Broken down by city the salaries often look better:
- *Hickory: $43,320
- Charlotte: $41,710
- Greensboro: $41,270
- Raleigh: $40,400
- Winston Salem: $40,130
- Durham: $39,180
- Asheville: $38,290
*Hickory pays the highest salaries, likely because this city is famous for its furniture manufacturing.
Insights on Earning Your CDL in North Carolina CDL
CDL applicants must hold a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for 2 weeks days before taking any skills tests. Drivers must first pass the vehicle (written test) portion before scheduling skills (on the road) testing.
Security Threat Assessments for CDL Drivers
Drivers that need a HAZMAT endorsement on their license must be fingerprinted and have a background check. However, applicants who have their Transportation Worker Identification Credential Security Threat Assessment (TWIC STA) may use that as a comparable security threat assessment during the application process.
The 3 Types of Commercial Driver Licenses Available in North Carolina
Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle or vehicles being towed are in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Any single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds or any such vehicle towing another vehicle with a GVWR less than 10,000 pounds.
Any vehicle not described in Class A or B above but one that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or is used to transport a large enough amount of hazardous materials to require the vehicle to be placarded under C.F.R., Part 172, Subpart F.
CDL Requirements in North Carolina
Many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are required to have medical cards. Those who are must bring them at the time of the original application and any subsequent renewals. If questions arise about a driver’s physical condition, the DMV may require that driver to submit a completed medical report.
Commercial Learner’s Permit
- Must be held for 14 days before skills testing
- Valid for 180 days
- Limit two permits in two years
- Permits that are thirty days past the expiration date cannot be renewed until the driver retakes and passes all written tests.
Note: NCDMV now offers N.C. REAL ID driver licenses. See their website for more information. A Commercial Driver license is valid for 5 years.
Requirements & Documents
If this is your first time applying for an NC CDL you need to bring the following documents:
Proof of Age & Identity
You need 2 documents from this category that show your full name (including middle name) and your date of birth. Documents that do not include a middle name will not be accepted.
- A Social Security card or proof of Social Security Number.
- If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you need documentation issued by the U.S. government indicating your legal presence in the country.
- An insurance card with your name, policy number, issue and expiration dates
At the time of application, you must certify that:
- Your license is not suspended, disqualified or revoked
- You currently do not hold more than one Driver’s License
Medical and Physical Requirements
Many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are required to have medical cards. Those who are must bring them at the time of the original application and any subsequent renewals.
If questions arise about a driver’s physical condition, the DMV may require that driver to submit a completed medical report.
CDL Learner Permit – Additional Requirements
- You must be at least 18 years of age (21 for operations that require a medical card, interstate driving, and/or driving a vehicle with HAZMAT placards.)
- You must possess a regular valid Driver’s License
- Be accompanied by a licensed CDL operator, with the proper class of license, in the passenger’s seat next to you.
Take the Tests & Pay Fees
- Written Test: CDL written tests are provided at all full service Driver License locations.
- Skills Test: Federal regulations state that a CLP must be held for 14 days prior to skills testing.
Skills tests can be scheduled at many Driver License locations throughout NC.
Certified Third Party testers can administer the skills tests to employees of their company.
Some Other Key Things To Remember
- Only one license is allowed. If you have more than one, you could be fined up to $5,000 or put in jail.
- Once a CLP is issued it must be held for 14 days prior to any testing.
- Notify your employer and the motor vehicle licensing agency in the state issuing your CDL within 30 days of conviction for any moving traffic violations.
- Notify your employer if your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, or if you are disqualified from driving.
- Give your employer information on all driving jobs you’ve held over the past 10 years. You must do this when you apply for a commercial driving job.
- It’s a violation of State law to possess any alcoholic beverage (open or closed) while operating a CMV.
- Do not drink and drive. It’s illegal to operate a CMV if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is .04% or more. You’ll lose your CDL for one year for your first offense and if you have a second offense you’ll lose your license for life. No three strikes rule here. If your blood alcohol concentration is less than 0.04% but there’s a detectable amount, you will be put out-of-service for 24 hours.
North Carolina Trucking Related News
Some truckers are reluctant to drive through North Carolina because of a shortage of parking spaces where they can rest. A study was requested by state legislators after a 2015 News & Observer reported on a State Highway Patrol crackdown on truckers stopping for naps along interstate ramps.
Law enforcement efforts first focused on I-77 in Surry County, where there were complaints about parked trucks that were unsightly and generating litter. Truckers told The News & Observer that the shortage of truck stops and legal parking areas along I-77 forced them to park illegally on the ramps. Federal regulations ban truckers from driving too many hours without stopping to rest.
The study identified a need for more truck parking along I-77 in Surry County and around Statesville, as well as on I-40 in the Mocksville area. Another finding is that 85 percent of truck parking areas are at private truck stops, while the remaining 15 percent are at public highway rest areas.
State officials are trying to add more spaces as they build or renovate rest areas and weigh stations. North Carolina is attempting to provide better information to truckers and trucking companies about where spaces are available. According to truckers, finding a place to park in North Carolina is more difficult than in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia.
The shortage could get worse due to expansion at the Wilmington port and the new CCX rail terminal planned for Edgecombe County. Both of these projects will no doubt cause a significant increase in truck traffic (SOURCE).