How to Become a Truck Driver
Have you ever dreamed of getting paid to see parts of this country that you’ve never been able to see? The life of a truck driver is extremely challenging, but if you’re up to the task, it can be very rewarding and worthwhile.
- Complete high school or obtain your GED. Although not a formal requirement, most trucking companies (with about one-third of all jobs in this field) strongly prefer to hire high school graduates.
- Maintain a clean driving record. Excessive moving violations and/or any Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions can disqualify you from trucking.
- Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to drive trucks over 26,000 lbs. or any size truck that transports hazardous materials. Getting a CDL requires applicants to pass both a written and driving exam to prove their ability to operate a commercial truck.
- Prepare for and pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) exam of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition to a written test, truck drivers must pass a physical exam, including vision and hearing screenings.
- Many private schools offer training to prepare potential truckers for the CDL exam, which includes a period of driving under the direction of a licensed truck driver.
- Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for specific instructions on how to apply for a commercial driver’s license where you live.
- Keep in mind that the life of a truck driver can be lonely, with countless hours spent on the highway for long stretches of time.
- All employers must now conduct pre-employment and periodic drug testing of truck drivers. Failing a drug test can result in immediate termination.
You’re on your way to a new career as a long haul truck driver. The life of a trucker is not an easy one, so be certain you are up to the task. It is a tough job, but if you’re made to be a truck driver and have what it takes to succeed, you’ll love the freedom it offers.
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