Becoming A Professional Truck Driver
One of the most thriving industries in 2017 is the trucking industry as tens of thousands of truck drivers are needed to combat the demand.
New truck drivers are required to get CDL training before they can legally operate a truck. Our 2017 trucking industry outlook looks positive for the new year and we’re expecting to see an increase in new trucking jobs.
There are some occupations which will always need to be filled unless life as we know it changes dramatically. Due to this, driving for a living will remain a viable career choice.
For many kinds of professional driving, however, a Commercial Driver’s License is required. Federal law requires that a Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL be held by anyone operating a vehicle weighing over five tons, carrying materials designated hazardous by the department of transportation, or carrying sixteen or more passengers (nine if the driver receives payment for doing so).
Private schools, companies that need truck drivers, community colleges are all examples of sources of training. When you choose where you will be trained do not consider cost alone but also any obligations to which you commit yourself by enrolling.
For example, a trucking company may offer training in exchange for a commitment to drive for them for a period of time. Such an opportunity can indeed be golden, but be sure you count the costs. The cost of CDL training can vary from one company or school to the next. Some avenues for commercial driver’s license training can cost upward of $4K-$5K or more.
More trucking companies are providing resources and CDL training due to high demand and the lack of truck drivers. Several trucking companies allow you to get your training from company sponsored CDL training. Again, the cost can vary. However, if you can save $1K on your CDL training cost, it’s worth it.
Check out our Trucking Schools Directory.
Study the Commercial Driver’s License Training Manual
This is a key step. You can get one through your local state DMV if the school you chose doesn’t provide one. Before you can get your CDL, you have to first get your CDL Permit.
Even if you think you know everything that would be covered in your CDL permit exam test, take the time to read and study your manual. Your CDL permit exam will be basic questions but the questions can be worded differently to test you, so keep that in mind.
If you’re going to get your CDL training through a company or truck driver training school, you need to take the time to contact them and ask for a manual. As I said before, if they don’t have a study manual, just go to your local DMV.
Getting Your CDL Permit
The more diligently you study the manual, the quicker you will be prepared to take the knowledge test. Then you can be issued a Commercial Driver’s permit. A permit will allow you to drive a commercial vehicle on public roads under the supervision of a physically present inspector. This will be a key to your developing the abilities you need to pass the maneuvering and road skills tests. Your CDL permit will make you legal and give you the opportunity to drive heavy-trucks.
Special endorsements are required for certain types of driving. There’s a number of special endorsements that can be obtained, such as transporting passengers, carrying hazardous materials, and pulling multiple trailers. Be aware of the training needed to obtain one.
Having multiple endorsements is a great idea, it gives you more opportunity and often more pay. Of course, these other endorsements are optional but you may want to get a few of these under your belt. In order to driver certain trucks, an endorsement is needed.
You will need to demonstrate an ability to conduct the daily truck inspections that are part of a driver’s regular routine. This is known as the pre-trip inspection, preparation that is required every day once you start driving.
Sound advice, make sure you use a truck you’re familiar with. Don’t take a truck to your CDL exam that you don’t know, make sure your taking your test in a familiar truck.
Medical Examiner Certificate
In order to drive a commercial vehicle an individual must pass a physical and obtain a medical certificate from a certified Medical Examiner. This is known as your DOT physical.
If your Doctor is not a medical examiner check the National Registry of Medical Examiner’s for one near to you. You will need to be reexamined every two years.
Driving can be a solid career choice. Drivers will always be needed. If you obtain a Commercial Driver’s license, and continue to meet the requirements for meeting it, you will always have a backup plan. That is always a good thing to have. Trucking can be extremely rewarding and offers you the opportunity to have a career.
New Truck Drivers
For all of you that are new truck drivers or considering to become a truck driver, I suggest reading our trucking book series. It’s a practical book series that you will understand, one without the big terminology of the industry.
These books are written by a truck driver for truck drivers, so you’ll be able to relate to it.
We need new truck drivers. It’s still a great time to get into the industry. Here at Truckers Logic, you’ll find all the resources and guides you’ll ever need. We’re a family of truck drivers and aim to help one another when needed.
Don’t forget to join us and like our Facebook page! We appreciate your support drivers!