After the craziness of the pandemic, the importance of essential workers like truck drivers has never been more valued. Truckers are the backbone of America’s economy and having them successfully transport needed goods kept the country moving. Now that most of America is back to work, and your value as a truck driving professional has been cemented, you might be looking to expand your truck driving career and become a refrigerated freight truck driver. Interestingly enough, with the increased need for medicines, frozen goods, and more, nationwide the demand for refrigerated freight hauling has never been greater.
Why Truck Drivers Like Refrigerated Freight Hauling
There are many reasons that standard truck drivers might want to become reefer drivers. They include the following:
- Pride in added responsibilities: Being a reefer driver means you understand and check your goods. This means you know what you are hauling and understand they need a specific temp setting. You also need to know how to maintain diesel fuel for a cooler trailer and know how to maintain a reefer cooler unit. Transportation of frozen or cold goods is vitally important, making your job that much more impactful.
“There is more responsibility when you’re hauling food. It just has a little more meaning when you haul something important. If that appeals to you, I think you should go for it.”Lee D., Refrigerated Driving Associate
- Better compensation: Because you must have a higher skill level to be a refrigerated driver, you will enjoy a higher per mile pay, and also enjoy more consistent freight and more time on the road, all of which means you will make more money.
“With the Refrigerated division, I’m keeping the same trailer for 4-10 days. I’m able to maximize my miles. You can drive 650 miles a day, easily.”Joe P., Refrigerated Driving Associate
- Your skills are versatile: Once you learn how to manage a cooler, you will be able to haul a variety of different types of freight. This means your training is more enhanced and transferable.
“We can put dry freight in a refrigerated trailer. Some people think that refrigerated freight is just consumable goods, like produce, meat, or dairy. We also haul things in the wintertime that need to be protected from freezing that are outside of what you would normally think of.”Bobby, Knight Refrigerated Driver Manager
Qualities of a Good Reefer Driver
If you think becoming a refrigerated freight driver might be a good next step in your career path, consider the following qualities that make up a good reefer driver.
- Attention to detail: Reefer drivers can’t just assume their load is right and hit the road. They have to pay attention even to minute details that could ruin the product they are hauling. Therefore, good drivers are people who are good at paying attention to details.
- Assertive: You might have to get assertive on occasion as a reefer driver to ensure that your product is handled properly.
- Flexible: You will be facing many situations which means you will need to be flexible and friendly as a refrigerated driver.
- Want to be part of something bigger: As a reefer driver, you will build solid relationships with trainers, dispatchers, and coworkers. You will be part of a family and a team.
- Want to succeed: If you are looking for opportunities to grow your career in the fast-paced industry of trucking, being a reefer driver might be the best next step for your trucking career.
Why Choose to be a Reefer Driver at Knight Transportation?
Once you determine that becoming a reefer driver is your next career move, you will want to figure out what company to work for. Knight Transportation is a good option for a variety of reasons, a few of which are listed below:
- Knight takes care of drivers: Knight Transportation supports its drivers, never leaving them stranded on the road during a breakdown. After staying with Knight for a certain number of years and reaching certain milestones, you have the ability to gain additional benefits, including bonuses and company stock options.
- You become part of a family or team: You become a vital part of the Knight Transportation family when you become a driver with Knight. When you walk into a terminal, you’re known by name. You are no longer relegated to doing everything on your own but have the support of a team. Drivers can be sure that there is always someone with Knight who is looking out for them.
“There are still about 15-20 drivers that I keep in touch with from when I first started with Knight Transportation way back when. I’ve built many long-term relationships with the drivers that I’ve helped become successful in their own careers.”Bobby, VP of Knight Refrigerated
- You grow: Knight gives you the opportunity to grow in your trucking career. They allow drivers to become Million Mile drivers, as well as owner-operators. You also have the chance to become a truck driver trainer and share your knowledge and stories with the next generation of safe drivers. This means steady year-round demand for reefers.
- You have options: At Knight Refrigerated, drivers can choose what kind of run they want to make. You can choose a regional, state-to-state run to keep you closer to home. You can haul dedicated lines of business, so you know you’re always driving the same lanes and routes. Or you can explore the country via trucking, and Knight Transportation is even open to issuing passenger passes, allowing you to bring someone with you.
“With Refrigerated, you can go anywhere and everywhere across almost every state. I’ve seen parts of this country that blew my mind.”Joe P., Multi-Million Miler and Refrigerated Driving Associate
- Having dedicated runs: This means you have the opportunity to run the same route and/or the same type of freight with the same company, giving you stability and consistency in your career.
Keep all the points listed above in mind when considering if refrigerated freight or refrigerated trucking is a good next step in your trucking career.
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