In a job market that's seen better days, the trucking industry is, well...trucking along. Midwest Truck Driving School in Escanaba says they get around ten calls a day from semi companies looking to hire.
"They need drivers bad," said school owner, Tom Bethiaume, Jr. "We cannot provide enough students. Every student that comes through our school, if they wanted to, they could leave with work."
If you have a passion for travel, trucking might be the right career for you, and the pay, not too shabby. Drivers make between $30,000-$70,000 a year.
"The money's good and it's a job that won't stop," said trucking student, Chad Owens.
Instructors say just about anyone can learn to drive a truck, whether you are older, younger, male or female. Of course, it takes some training and a lot of practice.
Stopping the semi is one of the greatest challenges. It takes twice as long than a regular vehicle for the larger vehicle to break. Rounding corners is another challenge as a disjointed trailer creates wide turns. Truckers need to remember to wait their turn at intersections; semis need more space to pull onto the roadway.
Backing up a semi is no walk in the park either. A driver needs to learn how to back up to alley docks of different sizes. Whether you're interested in becoming a trucker or not, instructors urge everyone to get a CDL license.
"We've said it many times, if everybody pretended there's a 43, 48 or 53 foot trailer behind them, it would cut the death rate in half, Berthiaume said.
Most U.P. residents do enjoy driving campers or trailing ATVs or boats, so it might not be a bad idea to get certified. Tuition can be a bit steep, but the class is only four weeks long, and you're ready to hit the road.
For more information, visit http://www.midwesta.com/.