CDL Truck Driving Jobs in Hawaii

Truck driving in Hawaii

Hawaii Highway
How can a group of five islands 2,500 miles west of the California coastline offer many opportunities for truck drivers? Well, for one, those seven islands can only produce so many of the needs of modern-day America. While the Port of Honolulu is the primary port among the islands, each has its own port where it imports every project imaginable for use or consumption — largely for the 10 million plus tourists arriving from the U.S. mainland who contribute nearly $18 billion to the state's economy. And with that many people, plus Hawaii's native population, the state relies on imports to meet their every need. Where do trucks come in? Well, while truck driving routes across even "The Big Island" aren't short, you won't find too many resort owners interested in meeting ships at the dock with hand carts; they aren't made for traversing the beach.

Geographic Advantages
When it comes to truck driver jobs, one thing can be said for Hawaii over all other states — If you want to be home every night, Hawaii is the place for you! While each of the islands have highways, the total mileage of all public roadways lanes is less than 10,000, the least of any state in the nation.

Bordering States/Countries
Hawaii and each of the islands composing the state are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, some 2,500 miles off the California coast.

As the economy experiences is ups and downs, Hawaii is a major tourist destination, and tourists consume products, many of which come from the U.S. mainland. While the trucking industry offers truck driver jobs, most would be considered “local” routes due to the limited mileage of highways on any single island.

Hawaii’s Deep Water Ports
Hawaii has 15 ports spread across its islands, the largest of which is Pearl Harbor. Nearby Honolulu Harbor is a busy port as well. The remaining ports are small, mostly served by ships traveling from Pearl Harbor and Honolulu.

Products Moved by Trucks
When it comes to truck driver jobs, Hawaii offers a variety of industries in which a driver can specialize. Whether they are exported out of state, out of the country, or simply remain in the state for the use of those living in Hawaii, according to the latest data from World’s Top Exports, the following are the primary products moved by truck drivers and offering many truck driving jobs to those calling Hawaii home:

  1. Light petroleum oils
  2. Miscellaneous petroleum oils
  3. Aircraft including engines, parts
  4. Iron or steel scrap
  5. Cold-water shrimps, prawns
  6. Unsweetened and non-flavored waters
  7. Macadamia nuts
  8. Specially designed instruments, apparatus
  9. Aluminum waste, scrap
  10. Petroleum bitumen

Hawaii Highways
Hawaii has no roadways classified as interstates, as the state’s roads do not connect to those of any other state. Instead, Hawaii has one route that receive federal funding as a “de facto” interstate. Route H-1 is located on the island of Oahu and serves Honolulu and its surrounding communities. The largest island, Hawaii, is circled by two state highways, Route 19 and Route 11.

For more information on Hawaii and its truck driver jobs, visit

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A commercial driver license (CDL) is a license required to operate large, heavy, or hazardous material vehicles in the US. The class of CDL a truck driver depends on the type of commercial motor vehicle operated. A truck driver may hold a CDL in one of three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Driver Type refers to the employment arrangement a driver operates. The most common truck driver arrangements include:

  • Company Driver: Drivers employed by a specific carrier with its own fleet of trucks. Companies can be carriers that contract to transport freight, or companies that carry their own freight.
  • Lease-Purchase: Drivers hired by carriers where the truck is leased to the individual driver.
  • Owner Operator (OO): Drivers who own the truck and operate as an independent business (also referred to as an "independent contractor").
  • Team Driver: Drivers operating with a partner who shares driving duties.

Hauling Type (or trailer type, or equipment type) refers to the type of cargo being hauled. Different types of cargo materials require different types of trailers, and each type of trailer requires unique driver experience.

Endorsements are required certifications for CDL holders hauling various types of equipment and freight. The most common endorsements for long haul truck drivers include:

  • Doubles/Triples: required for drivers hauling double or triple trailers.
  • HazMat: required for transporting hazardous materials.
  • Tanker: required for operating a vehicles designed with a permanent or temporary tank attached.

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Finding the right diesel mechanic job requires careful consideration of various factors. Research potential employers’ reputation and culture, evaluate compensation packages, and confirm that long-term growth and advancement opportunities fit with your career goals. Other factors to consider include: your own level of experience, skill and industry specialization vs the job requirements; CDL license requirements; tool requirements; location; training and professional development opportunity; work schedule, flexibility and work-life balance. For key considerations for finding a job as a heavy-duty truck diesel mechanic or technician, visit our Diesel Mechanic Job Resources.

Diesel mechanic certifications represent an industry recognized level of knowledge and expertise in a particular area of diesel engine diagnosis, repair or maintenance. These advanced certifications are offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and enhance a mechanic’s skill set and positively impact their qualifications and salary. Certifications may be obtained in specific areas such as gasoline and diesel engines, drive trains, brakes, suspension and steering, electronics, HVAC and preventative maintenance. For a listing of ASE certifications available specifically for heavy-duty truck mechanics, visit our Diesel Mechanic Job Resources.