How Much Can Truckers Make In Vermont?
Say the word Vermont and everyone thinks of snow, cheese, and ice cream. One of the biggest industries here is agriculture – specifically dairy. Ben & Jerry’s first ice cream shop opened in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont and now they are a household name.
Cabot’s is a large, well known cheese manufacturer in competition with several others including: Vermont Creamery, Maplebrook Farm, Spring Brook Farm, and Blue Ledge Farm. Vermont is also the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States. It’s the only state that doesn’t allow skyscrapers. No buildings are taller than 124 feet.
Logging and forestry (businesses that employ truck drivers) are also very important to the state’s economy, as is tourism. Vermont’s wooded mountain slopes provide the perfect scenery for hunting and fishing. Snowboarding and skiing are major draws in winter. Employment in tourist service industries makes up a large part of the state’s labor market. IBM is a major manufacturing employer and accounts for more than 1/4 of all manufacturing jobs in Vermont.
The average yearly temperature is 46 degrees F with 81 inches of snow per year. Hence the many ski resorts. As a truck driver in Vermont you definitely need to know how to handle your rig in snow. Even the bordering states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York get a great deal of the white stuff. Could snow be the reason projections for future trucking job growth is so low? Compared to the U.S. at 6% growth from 2014 to 2024, Vermont is a negative 1% during that same time period.
The most populated cities in Vermont are often the places you can find the best paying jobs, and that includes trucking:
1. Burlington: 42,417
2. Essex: 19,587
3. South Burlington: 17,904
4. Colchester: 17,067
5. Rutland: 16,495
The average yearly salary for truckers in Vermont is $42,990 (SOURCE) while the average hourly rate is $20.67. When looking at median yearly salaries, the U.S. comes in at $41,340 with Vermont coming in a bit lower at $40,400. If you break down the median salaries by city/area you get:
1. $42,220 Burlington
2. $41,790 Southern VT
3. $37,640 Northern VT
Whenever you look at generalized numbers like this remember your salary will fluctuate depending on your years of driving experience, conditions, type of CMVs you’ve driven and more. Enjoy new scenery every day especially if you drive over-the-road you may get the chance to see a large part of the country.
How Do I Get My CDL License in Vermont?
In order to operate certain commercial motor vehicles, drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed and issued standards for State testing and licensing of all CDL holders.
These standards require States to issue CDLs to certain drivers only after the driver passes knowledge and skills tests administered by the State and related to the type of vehicle the driver expects to operate.
Classes of CDL Licenses and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLP)
Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of more than 26,000 pounds. That includes a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds.
Class B: A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight that does not exceed 10,000 pounds.
Class C: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not fall under the definition of Classes A or B, and is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that’s designated as hazardous and is required to be placarded is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin.
– To obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid Vermont Class D Driver’s License.
– To obtain a CDL and operate a commercial vehicle within Vermont state lines (Intrastate), you must be 18 to 20 years old.
– If you are at least 21 years of age, you can operate a commercial motor vehicle between Vermont and another state (Interstate).
If you’re subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, you must have a physical every two years and physical must be performed by a nationally certified examiner from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
CDL Medical Self-Certification
If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or are applying for a CDL, you are required to certify the following information with Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):
– The type of driving you’re engaged in (interstate or intrastate) and
– Whether or not you’re subject to or exempt from the medical examination requirements of 49 CFR part 391
FMCSA Driver Exemption Programs (Diabetes and Vision Exemption)
The Federal Diabetes and Vision Exemption Programs have specific requirements, and requests for hearing and seizure exemptions. These requests may include medical exams, employment history, driving experience, and motor vehicle records, all of which must be submitted with your application. Within 180 days of receipt of your completed application, the agency will make its decision.
Federal requirements for drivers with HAZMAT endorsements include:
– Passing the HAZMAT written knowledge test
– Completing the Federal Security Threat Assessment
– Providing proof of U.S. citizenship or appropriate immigration status
– An FBI Fingerprint check
– Federal criminal history background check; and
– Paying any additional fees for fingerprinting and background check.
The Motor Vehicle Examiner may give you an eye test before you take the CDL knowledge tests. The vision test measures how well you see. If you wear glasses or contact lenses to pass the vision tests, then you’ll be required to wear them when you drive. A corrective lenses restriction will be placed on your CDL.
The road skills test has three parts: pre-trip inspection, backing and on road. If your vehicle fails the pre-trip inspection for safety reasons, it will be considered a test failure and you must make an appointment to retake the pre-trip inspection test. If you fail the skills test three times, you must wait six months before you can retake it.
CDL Application Requirements in Vermont
You can pick up a CDL application and commercial driver manual at any DMV Office. When you go for your scheduled appointment, bring these completed forms with you (SOURCE).
– All Driver Licenses or Learner Permits issued to you by any state
– Birth certificate
– Proof of residency
– Proof of legal presence if applicable
– Social Security Number
– Proof of liability insurance and a valid registration certificate for the vehicle you will use for your skills tests. You will not be allowed to take any of the skills tests without these.
– The vehicle used for the skills test must have a valid inspection sticker and meet all inspection requirements
– For School Bus Endorsement: School Bus Endorsement Application (with knowledge test score recorded by examiner)
Vermont Trucking Related News
The Smuggler’s Notch stretch of Vermont state route 108 is only open seasonally but that’s more than enough time for truck drivers to get stuck in the Notch. Large vehicles are banned from the treacherous road, yet still drivers find themselves stuck there.
Believing that higher fines would deter drivers from using this route the Vermont legislature voted to raise fines from less than $200 to $2,000 if a large vehicle gets stuck. At first the increased fine worked as a deterrent but for the month of October, four of this year’s total eight cases have happened after the increase.
Hefty fines weren’t deterring some trucks, with too many drivers blindly following GPS device directions and not reading the posted signs. “I can tell you firsthand it’s a challenge to pass through there in a four-wheeler. There’s a house-size boulder at one point that the road goes around, and line of sight is barely beyond your own hood.
Any large vehicle, especially any tractor trailer, is doomed.” No Vermont driver has gotten stuck in the Notch. All have been out-of-state drivers (SOURCE).