Truck driving is the perfect career path for those who take joy in traveling the open road and find independence in working with freedom and autonomy. It can be a lucrative and rewarding career and the transportation world is constantly expanding. Whether you are just starting out or looking for a career change some things to take into consideration when learning how to become a truck driver.
Age and licensure requirements
Having a valid driver's license and social security number, being over the age of 21, obtaining a GED or High School diploma, passing background checks and screens, keeping a good driving record according to your state’s requirements, things that are mandatory before taking on the open road.
Obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
There are two approaches to obtaining a CDL
Attend classes at a truck driving school or a local college or technical school if they have a truck driving program. CDL courses can be completed in as little as three weeks with a full-time Monday - Friday program or up to six months with part-time classes. The typical cost for these types of CDL programs range from $3,000 - $8,000.
Sign on with a trucking company where you will receive your training for free in exchange for working for them for a predetermined amount of time. Most of the largest fleets (trucking companies) in the U.S. actively recruit individuals with no previous experience and offer paid training programs. Some companies have better pay packages and contract terms than others, so it pays to compare them for the best deal for you. The best large carriers to start with include Prime Inc.,Swift, Werner, and Schneider.
Pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved medical physical
You must provide proof of your DOT physical using a medical examiner’s card or medical examiner’s waiver before you’re permitted to take the CDL tests.