How Much Can CDL Drivers Make In Virginia?
The average salary for all truck drivers in Virginia is $41,330 and if you’re an owner-operator who charges by the hour, that average is $19.87. Of course salaries will vary depending on the type of CMV you drive, how much experience you have, and what type of job you’re doing.
Median trucker salaries in Virginia are $39,150 and $41,340 in the U.S. as a whole. By looking at individual city salaries you get a better idea of how the salaries all break down:
1. Arlington: $42,730
2. Harrisonburg: $40,830
3. Richmond: $40,010
4. Winchester: $39,180
5. Lynchburg: $38,260
6. Roanoke: $38,100
There are myriad types of driving to choose from. Over-the-Road driving can take you across the U.S. and back. You’ll be gone a lot, so if you have a family this may not be right for you. However, if you enjoy the open road, the changing scenery, and seeing the country first hand, it’s an exciting job.
Local jobs mean that you’re home every night and know the route you’ll be driving each day. If you have a family you may think about this type of job. If you don’t like routine though, you may try a regional driving job, which may be the best of both worlds. You might spend a few nights away, but nothing like an OTR schedule.
Different types of trucks can also earn you more money. For example, a refrigerated truck needs a lot more know how from the driver to keep temperatures consistent and the load in place. If you’re hauling multiple cars across the U.S. to different dealerships, that requires more knowledge than simply driving a truck across town.
The largest cities are often where the opportunities are, so check out the top five populated cities in Virginia:
1. Virginia Beach: 437,994
2. Norfolk: 242,803
3. Chesapeake: 222,209
4. Arlington: 207,627
5. Richmond: 204,214
Keep in mind that regardless of the market, America will always need truckers to deliver the goods. The projected increase in trucking jobs between 2014 and 2024 is expected to be 6% for both the U.S. and Virginia.
How To Obtain A Virginia CDL License
Commercial drivers are individuals who operate commercial motor vehicles. All truck drivers who drive for a living, volunteer drivers of church buses or private or public school buses and mechanics who test drive commercial vehicles must meet Virginia commercial driver’s license requirements.
It’s illegal for commercial drivers to have more than one license. You must keep the license issued by the state where you live and return all other licenses to the states that issued them. If you fail to return licenses from other states, you could be fined as much as $5,000, put in jail for up to 90 days, or both.
Virginia CDL Age Requirements
You must be 18 years of age to hold a CDL. Under federal law, a commercial driver must be at least 21 years of age to:
– Drive across state lines
– Transport hazardous materials in quantities large enough to require a placard
– Transport interstate freight (e.g., mail) within the state.
If you’re under 21 years of age, your CDL will have a “K” restriction meaning your driving privileges are valid only in Virginia.
Identification and Residency Requirements
If you apply for a CDL or commercial learner’s permit and DMV records show you have not held a Virginia driver’s license or ID card in the past, you must present documents proving your eligibility.
If you’re age 19 or older, you must show two proofs of identity, one proof for legal presence in the state, one proof of Virginia residency, and proof of your social security number. You will also be required to present a document to show that you’re eligible under federal requirements.
If you’re 18 years of age, you’ll need to show one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, one proof of Virginia residency, and proof of your social security number. You’ll also need to present a document to show that you are eligible under federal requirements.
Documents accepted by the DMV as proof of identity, legal presence, Virginia residency and social security number may change without notice.
Medical Certification Requirements In Virginia
All CDL applicants must certify that they are in good enough health to drive a truck, posing no danger to themselves or the public. You must prove that either you’re in compliance with the federal and Virginia motor carrier safety regulations or that you don’t have to comply with regulations.
If you need to meet the federal or Virginia motor carrier safety regulations, you must provide a valid DOT Medical Examiner’s Certificate completed by an examiner on the National Registry of Medical Examiners.
Driver Education Requirements
If you’re 18 or older, are applying for a CDL for the first time, you must either hold a valid Virginia driver’s license or have satisfied all the requirements to obtain such a license. In addition, you must:
– Pass a state-approved driver education program designed specifically for commercial motor vehicles
– Hold a commercial learner’s permit for at least 14 days, or
– If you did not complete the driver education program designed specifically for commercial motor vehicles, you must hold a commercial learner’s permit for at least 30 days before taking the CDL road skills test at DMV.
Tests may include a vision screening, CDL knowledge and endorsement exams, and a CDL road skills test. You may also need to take the two-part driver’s license knowledge exam. A DMV representative will tell you which tests you need to take.
Receiving Your License
Once you pass all required testing, your CDL or commercial learner’s permit will be mailed to the address you gave the DMV. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward driver’s licenses, so make sure that the DMV has your current, correct address on record (SOURCE).
Virginia Trucking Related News
Vehicle automation seems to be the topic du jour in the trucking industry. In September the Federal Highway Administration, with help from the Virginia State Police, demonstrated an automated three-truck platoon driving an 8-mile course on a Virginia state highway.
The closest following distance between the trucks during one of the test drives was 45 to 50 feet. At 55 mph that’s a following gap of just 0.6 second. Using dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), the computers on the three trucks “talked” via a radio using a 5.9-gigahertz transmission.
“This is important for highway efficiency,” said Michael Trentacoste, director of FHWA’s Office of Research, Development, and Technology. “Since we’re not able to increase the number of lane-miles quickly, we want to have trucks driving close together while still operating safely.”
Trucks running close together can improve fuel efficiency by reducing combined aerodynamic drag according to The North American Council for Freight Efficiency.
Volvo Trucks North America has been working with University of California researchers and a company called Peloton Technology. The university’s Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology program, or PATH, developed the system used in the demonstration. All three trucks were Volvo VNL 670s (SOURCE).