Ready to take the plunge and become a truck driver, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. Here are several tips and information about the trucking industry that will help you make a decision. And when you’ve got all the requirements fulfilled, please click on the “apply now” button on this page!
- Trucking requires a commercial driver’s license. This is the most basic of all prerequisites to becoming a trucker. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is needed to operate any vehicle that is over 26,001 pounds. There are three classes of CDLs: A, B, or C. A class A CDL is the most common. You can also take additional tests to add endorsements to your license. To get your CDL, you will be required to take a written and road exam. Many people choose to enroll in a trucking school or training program to prepare them for the exam, but you can also obtain study guides to help you pass the exam without getting into a program. The Trucker’s Report lists three top driving schools to consider when looking for the best option.
- You’ll also need to take the Federal Motor Carrier Safety exam, which includes both a written and a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical component that checks your sight and hearing. You’ll need to pass the physical exam once every two years to maintain your license. The DOT physical is conducted by a licensed medical examiner.
- You may be asked to take random drug and alcohol screenings. This is required to keep the roads (and you) safe.
- Trucking is a very physical job. While you might think it’s mostly sedentary, there are some physical aspects of the job that will require you to put in some heavy manual labor. You will be asked to load or unload freight at some point. You’ll also need to slide the tandems, raise and lower the trailer jacks, and throw on heavy winter chains.
- Consider buying or leasing a truck. These are generally your two options. You can take out a loan for your semi, or you can get a commercial truck lease. Both will have you making monthly payments towards the balance of the truck, which will cost anywhere from $30,000 to $250,000. If you choose to lease the truck, the company who owns the lease is responsible for most of the repairs and maintenance. Typically, leasing payments are lower than loan payments, and you won’t be required to make a down payment. But if you own your vehicle, you can make modifications, plus you will actually own the truck after you finish making your loan payments.
- You’ll need to maintain a clean driving record. Having several moving violations or even a single DUI can prevent you from working with many carriers.
Having a CDL and a clean driving record means unlimited opportunities in the trucking industry. When you are ready to advance your career, apply with us!