If you are not a Kansas native, chances are your introduction to the state came through “The Wizard of Oz.” And if you were like most kids, Kansas was the last place you wanted to live or even visit. Well, it’s time to grow up! Kansas may still be prone to storms, but you don’t need to worry about your rig being hijacked by wicked witches or flying monkeys. If you run into any, you can bet “you’re not in Kansas anymore.” The Sunflower State has major terminals serving over a dozen of the nation’s largest carriers and is crossed by I-70, one of the major U.S. east-west transportation routes. Contrary to popular belief, Kansas isn’t a state that truck drivers pass through on their routes between locations. The state’s exports include tires and agriculture, but its top industry is aviation — aircraft engines and parts. You won’t find a yellow brick road leading to your destination, and when you arrive, you won’t be offloading in an Emerald City.
Situated in the heart of the Great Plains, Kansas has plenty of wide-open spaces. Its soil is agriculturally rich. Kansas is one of several states someone with a truck driver job might pass through on a cross-country route. Likewise, for truck driver jobs that call for hauling products between Mexico to Canada, Kansas is part of a heavily traveled route for north or southbound truck drivers.
Unlike many states, the relatively rectangular shape of Kansas provides for just 4 bordering states: Nebraska (north); Missouri (east); Oklahoma (south) and Colorado (west). All of these bordering states play a role in Kansas’s imports and exports, further adding the number of truck driver jobs available.
As the economy experiences is ups and downs, Kansas plays a vital role in supplying the nation with a variety of products, including necessities. The state has terminals for over a dozen of the nation’s largest carriers. Quite simply, Kansas is just about as central to the lower 48 as any other state, and this location means trucking is alive and well.
Products Moved by Trucks
When it comes to truck driver jobs, Kansas offers a variety of industries in which a driver can specialize as well as a large number of companies and carriers offering truck driver jobs. In terms of exports, nearly 20% of products shipped out of state are aviation-related (planes, engines, parts, etc.) But agriculture play a huge role in the Kansas economy and is an industry offering many truck driver jobs. Whether products are exported out of state, out of the country, or simply remain in the state for the use of those living in Idaho, 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 Kansas home:
- Aircraft including engines, parts
- Beef cuts (boneless, fresh/chilled)
- Wheat (excluding durum)
- Soya beans
- Beef cuts (boneless, frozen)
- Radio navigational apparatus
- Dog and cat food for retail sale
- Grain sorghum excluding seed
- New rubber tires
Kansas is limited in the number of interstates within its borders, but it is certainly not limited in total road miles, as many communities within the state are accessible only via U.S. and state highways. Interstate highways within Kansas total 970 of the state’s 290,000 lane miles of roadways and include:
I-70 (east west) at Missouri state line west of Kansas City through Topeka and the Colorado state line at Kanarado
I-35 (north-south) at Oklahoma border due south of Wichita to Kansas City
I-335 (north-south) from Emporia to Topeka where it merges with I-70
Auxiliary interstate around larger cities
For more information on Kansas and its truck driver jobs, visit www.kmca.org