TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The roar of the engine, the smell of diesel fuel and life on the road – big rigs can offer big dreams and big opportunities.

With the current shortage of qualified truck drivers, companies are turning to places like Tampa Truck Driving School, and instructors like Melo Paz. 

A three-week course can get you on the road and driving. Students who go through the course get hands-on training with semi-trucks. Eagle 8 HD photographer Paul Lamison gave it a try. 

The main thing Paz stressed to him was safety – from climbing into the cab to just getting the truck moving. 

Paul said it was kind of like driving a car – but way bigger. While it was nerve-racking, Paul did get to drive a big rig. He said he might not be quite ready for the long haul. 

All week long, members of our News Channel 8 Today morning team will be showcasing and trying their hand at jobs currently experiencing labor shortages. Watch their reports every morning this week on WFLA starting at 5 a.m.