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Date: August 20, 2019
WHSV – “It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done in the past,” said Ken Rogers, a driver with IDM Trucking. “It’s very enjoyable. There’s some tense moments when you’re driving in traffic in some of the major cities, but you’re your own boss.”
For Rogers, driving a tractor trailer is his third career. The industry peaked his interest years ago. Now, he travels up and down the East Coast for IDM Trucking, based out of Weyers Cave.
“You don’t have to really report to anybody,” said Rogers. “They give you a load, where to deliver, what time to be there. It’s up to you to choose how, why, when and where, and get it there on time.”
As a part time driver, Rogers is only away from home a short time every week. He checks his truck, hooks up the trailer, loads up, and hits the road. He gets to travel, while bringing home a steady paycheck.
“This industry is very good for that,” said Jim Butler, with Blue Ridge Community College. “You can make a good, stable income right out of the gate.”
For people in the Shenandoah Valley, getting a CDL license is easy, thanks to a five week program at Blue Ridge Community College. In less than a month and a half, students of any age can learn about the truck, inside and out, while leaving the program ready to hit the road.
“Even though we have a lot of drivers now, we need a lot more drivers,” says Butler. “We need a lot of drivers.”
According to statistics gathered by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, salary for this position can range from $40,000 to more than $60,000. There is a projected growth of 2,988 jobs over the next decade in our region. Most of these positions require a certification and license.
“You have to be self motivated and you are pretty much your own boss the whole time,” said Rogers. “You take directions from your dispatch, but other than that, you’re on your own and it’s up to you to deliver the load on time.”