It’s no secret—trucking can be tough. Long hours, strict deadlines, and time away from home can make it difficult for some to stay driven.
Trucking isn’t one-dimensional though. In an industry that moves anything from milk to mansions, there is a huge spectrum of difficulty for haulers.
With the appeal of higher pay for more niche markets, some brave carriers are making some seriously impressive and complicated shipments.
Here are a few of the toughest hauls in trucking.
1. Log Hauls
Logs may seem like an unassuming contender for toughest hauls, but there are several factors that make logging hauling difficult.
- Logging often takes place in dense forests. Because the terrain is largely uncultivated, rugged roads and frozen camps are often hotspots for logs.
- No log is identical. Because of this lack of standardization inherent to artificial products, logs must be loaded with meticulous care to ensure stability.
- Logs are big! Unloading requires the use of cranes and other heavy machinery.
If you’re considering logging, it’s worth noting that despite its difficulties, log haulers typically make 20% less than the average driver. With difficult insurance premiums also a hurdle, logging is an endeavor of passion over profit for many.
2. Chemical Loads
Although the category of ‘chemical loads’ comprises a wide variety of products, one dangerous element unifies them: potential collateral in the event of a wreck.
Just imagine: If a shipment of ammonia were to spill anywhere near a nature or wildlife preserve, an entire ecosystem could be in jeopardy. Because of the unusually high risk, special training through the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is required.
With the addition of extra training required, chemical haulers do enjoy a 22% salary boost on average. With so many medical supplies requiring chemical precautions, chemical hauling can also be particularly purposeful.
3. REALLY Oversized Loads
We’ve all seen an ‘OVERSIZED LOAD’ banner on the back of a pick-up truck, dwarfed by the load it was following. Usually, these varieties of loads include construction materials, heavy machinery equipment, or even pools. But in the long run of trucking, there have been some REALLY oversized loads.
Imagine, for example, moving a water desalination unit weighing over 4,800 tons (9.5 million lbs.)! Or shuttling a space shuttle! Loads of this weight require months of planning, hundreds of axles, and some of the most skilled drivers in the industry.
Heavy hauling doesn’t typically equate to more salary, but it can mean greater security. Because heavy hauling requires a special permit administered by the state, the supply for movers of this variety is high and currently increasing.
4. Liquid Hauls
Although liquid hauls are more common than other goods on this list, many haulers fail to consider an important consideration in making these shipments.
Take a shipment of canned mandarin oranges, for example. If a truck makes a quick stop, the liquid in the orange cans will slosh forward, creating an additional few feet of stoppage for the driver. If the driver is unprepared, those few feet could make a tragic difference.
Like chemical hauling, liquid hauling can pay 30% more than a dry load. With admittance to this niche being more skill-dependent, the best way to get started to simply take up more and more liquid loads.
5. Specialty Hauls
This final category of shipment covers a myriad of products, but each requires unique conditions for hauling.
If a Lamborghini needs to be moved, scrupulous precaution is taken to ensure safe relocation. If a ferris wheel is changing venues, weight and shape must be considered. No matter how skilled your ratcheting game is, these loads are entrusted to only the most seasoned carriers.
Though pay can vary greatly, don’t be shy to take on a few specialty hauls. The credibility gained by touting a diverse load history can qualify you for bigger and more challenging hauls, often resulting in greater pay.
Trucking can be a complicated and challenging profession. When those challenges are intensified by some of the toughest hauls in trucking, you can make big profits… and big accidents!
What are some of the most difficult loads you’ve hauled?
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