Trucking is one of the most vital industries that keeps the economy of the United States going, and truck drivers are the backbone of this industry. CDL drivers are responsible for delivering goods to thousands of locations and businesses across the nation on a weekly basis. According to the American Trucking Association, the industry needs more than 80,000 truck drivers. So, if you are looking for a truck driving position, the opportunities are available now. Once you complete the qualification process, you will have many opportunities awaiting you.
If driving a truck for a living sounds like something you would enjoy, it is important to understand the steps involved in order to fulfill this important role.
If you follow these steps below, you can embark upon a career in truck driving that may take you to new states and places you have never seen before.
- Review the Requirements
Getting into the trucking industry does not involve overcoming many difficult barriers. Your driving record and your age are two common obstacles to starting the process. If you have a DUI or other major traffic violation on your record, that may prevent you from obtaining your CDL.
- Select a Reputable Truck Driving School
Due to the demand for truck drivers, trucking schools around the country are scouting for students to learn the profession. If you are looking to sign up with a truck driving school, it’s important to choose one that has a good track record and fits your budget.
Trucking driving schools with greater than 10 years experience and seasoned teachers are your safest option to ensure the best instruction. The school’s curriculum should cover all aspects of obtaining a Class A CDL. The school should instruct you fully on how to drive vehicles that weigh 26,000 pounds or greater, including passenger vans, dump trucks, livestock carriers, and tanker vehicles. Those who become employed with a trucking carrier, or independent contractor drivers may have the opportunity to drive any number of types of trucks, large vans or carriers during their career.
Reputable truck driving schools will not only provide a reasonable price for truck driving training, but they will often also provide various options for payment that do not include high interest rates. If you are unable to pay the tuition upfront, find out if a reimbursement program is available and/or tuition awards.
- Go Through Truck Driving School and Pass Required Exams
Once you have identified a trucking school, paid the tuition or enrolling in a reimbursement or scholarship program, the next step will be to go through the classroom work and complete the required number of driving hours.
Next come the three examinations to pass. Two of them will be your state’s CDL skills and written tests. Each state has different requirements, your local DMV should be able to provide you with more information.
You also need to pass a physical exam. Once the physician has cleared you, you can become a DOT medical cardholder.
- Get Hired by a Trucking Carrier and Begin Your Career
The final step is to obtain a position with a professional, licensed trucking company. This gives you the legal protection you need as a new driver. Reputable trucking companies will provide new CDL drivers like you with the tools you need to do your job. Once you are employed, you will be on your way to gaining experience, which can advance your career over time.
Truck Lease Programs
Various large trucking companies provide truck drivers the opportunity to participate in truck lease programs. Many drivers find our truck lease program very advantageous.
With a truck lease program, a truck driver can advance forward in achieving their career goals, including becoming an owner operator, which pays more than a standard truck driving job. With this program, a driver can become the owner of the truck they operate, start their own trucking business, and enjoy a more flexible working schedule.