What Does a Truck Driver Do?
Class A CDL Licensed Truck Drivers transport essential goods across the country every day and night. Most truck drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity of more than 26,000 pounds. These 18 Wheel Tractor-Trailers and the professional Truck Drivers who drive them deliver goods across state lines in route to their destination.
Truck Driver Career Benefits
- Starting Pay Averaging Up To $45,000 Per Year – First year drivers average up to $45,000 their first year.* That means you can expect to make up to $850 weekly or $1700 bi-weekly as a Class A CDL Licensed Truck Driver!
- Job Security– Truck driver jobs can’t be outsourced. Truck drivers are responsible for dispersing America’s goods and necessities across the states, and are needed throughout the nation. The ATA estimates a shortage of nearly 48,000 truck drivers, and the demand is expected to continue rising throughout the decade.
- Medical, Dental and Life Insurance– Medical and dental insurance are common perks in the truck driving industry.
- 401k Retirement Savings Plan – Earn money for retirement as you navigate the highway!
- Paid Vacation and Sick Time – Professional truck drivers need vacation time to unwind from work and sick time to recover from illnesses.
- Take your pet with you on the road! – If leaving your pet at home during runs isn’t an option, consider taking them on your trips! Certain carriers allow truck drivers to bring their pets as travel buddies.
Call us at or fill out the brief form to submit your information to our CDL Training admissions center.
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises
What Sets Roadmaster Apart?
- Over 25 Years of Experience Training more than 100,000 Graduates
- 3 to 4 Week Class A CDL Training and Exam Prep with Flexible Schedules
- Comprehensive, Hands-On Learning Atmosphere
- Top-Notch Practice Equipment, Facilities and Instructors
- On-Site Recruiters and Job-Placement Assistance
- Financial Assistance (for those who qualify)
- Training Locations Nationwide
Truck Driver Shortage
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) predict that if current trends last, there will be a shortage of nearly 175,000 truck drivers by 2024! Class A CDL trained truck drivers have a vital role in the economy and are responsible for distributing goods and necessities to all corners of the country.
Class A CDL License
In short, a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) shows carriers and employers that you are a certified and competent licensed Professional Truck Driver. Operating certain commercial motor vehicles requires specialized skills and knowledge.
What type of CDL do I need?
While the type of license is dependent on the branch of work you’re looking to pursue, Roadmaster courses are geared towards Class A and Class B CDLs, which are required of over-the-road (OTR) Professional Truck Drivers.
Why do I need a Class A CDL License?
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act’s goal is to improve highway safety by ensuring that drivers of large trucks and buses are qualified to operate those vehicles and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from the highways. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed and issued standards for testing and licensing commercial motor vehicle drivers. Among other things, the standards require states to issue a Class A CDL to a commercial motor vehicle driver only after the driver passes knowledge and skills tests administered by the state related to the type of vehicle to be operated. Drivers need a CDL license if they drive interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce.
How do I get my Commercial Driver’s License?
States are able to issue a CDL license only after a written and driving test have been given by the state or approved testing facility.
It’s important to train for your CDL exam for two reasons:
- The test itself can be extremely difficult to pass without the proper training.
- Many carriers won’t hire a candidate without proper training, even if you’ve passed the CDL exam.
Standard Rules for Getting Your CDL
- Stay healthy: Driving long distances requires focus and good health. The trucking lifestyle can be demanding, and it’s important that you’re in shape enough to meet the responsibilities of the role. Physical examinations are mandatory for most CDL seekers.
- Don’t do drugs: Beyond the obvious negative impacts that drugs have on your life, obtaining a CDL requires the successful completion of a five-stage drug test. Random drug tests are possible for all drivers so long as they hold their CDL. Consider the safety of yourself and others on the road. Many carriers are transitioning to hair follicle test that look back up to 90 days for drug usage.
- Keep a clean driving record: Schools and carriers alike look for drivers who have proven to be skilled and safe on the road. Unsafe or unlawful acts and violations can prevent you from obtaining a CDL. To learn more about what disqualifies a driver, view the FMCSA’s website here.
- Be of age: Drivers must be at least 18 years of age to be employed intrastate (within your own state) and at least 21 to drive interstate (across state lines).
From our Blog . . .
Great instructors and I promise you by the time you leave or even take your test you will learn how to drive and shift.Terry H.
Roadmaster has great instructors willing to take the time to help you learn. Good equipment also.Michael M.
If you listen and study, you can ace the test like I did. Just keep a positive attitude and believe in yourself.Crystal C.
Truck Driver Pay & Benefits
It’s one of the most important questions to ask when considering a new career. Money, after all, is what pays the bills and keeps life trucking along. Luckily for drivers, the current shortage means more opportunities to make money in the Professional Truck Driving Industry.
First Year Salary
With an annual salary of up to $45,000 in your first year, you can expect to earn up to $850 per week or $1700 every other week depending on your new employers pay schedule.
With an annual salary of up to $45,000 in your first year, you can expect to earn the equivalent of up to $20 per hour!
While benefits can be hard to translate into an exact dollar figure, they can be of great value to drivers. Before deciding on a carrier, you can determine if their benefits fit your preferred type of lifestyle. Benefits in trucking can include:
- Paid vacation
- Paid sick time
- Medical and dental insurance
- Life insurance
- Job security
- 401k retirement plans and more
Truck Driver is the most common job in the USA
Employer Training Pay
After you’ve signed on with a carrier, you will go through a period of direct training while clocking behind-the-wheel hours with a carrier trainer. Carrier training programs sometime offer a designated training pay that begins on the first day of orientation! Discuss training pay options with carrier representatives during their frequent visits to Roadmaster facilities.
From our Blog . . .
Partner Up to Make Even More Money
Team Drivers split an average $100,000 to $150,000 combined earnings and still earn sign-on bonuses of up to $10,000.*
It’s pretty much what it sounds like. A truck driver and another truck driver agree to sign on with a carrier as a team to make runs together. Team Driving is all about keeping the truck in constant motion and the goods moving. When there are two drivers in a truck, one can take the wheel while the other relaxes or does whatever they do in their off-time. This keeps the freight moving along the highways and productivity at a high level.
Solo truck drivers are required to stop and take time off to sleep before they can resume work. Team driving solves that issue, and the reward is that both drivers are paid for the combined mileage. The carrier wage is applied to the total mileage driven between the truck drivers, and is split between both drivers.
- Solo Truck Drivers – Up to $45,000
- Dedicated Drivers – Up to $55,000
- Team Truck Drivers – Up to $60-65,000
- Driver Trainers – Up to $60,000 – $80,000
In addition to regular pay, you may also be able to make money through various bonuses as a Class A CDL trained truck driver. Each carrier company is different, but most offer bonuses like:
- Type of Driving/Specific Carrier: Professional Truck Driving isn’t limited to one style of job. Positions like Team Driving, Dedicated, or Specialized Hauling (such as flatbed, refrigerated, and hazmat) are valued differently by each carrier based on current needs. The same type of position varies in pay rate from carrier to carrier.
- Monthly mileage – Some carriers pay extra to drivers who hit company thresholds for miles. Earn money for driving the longer distances and earn extra pay just because you drove them with your company!
- Sign-on bonus – In order to attract new truck drivers, competing carriers will sometimes offer sign-on bonuses for drivers selecting their company. The amount differs from carrier-to-carrier and can be a whole sum or gradual payments.
- Fuel efficiency – By using various fuel-saving practices, you prove to your carrier that you are a cost-conscious truck driver. Carriers appreciate that and many reward their drivers for cutting down on fuel use.
- Safety pay – Carriers strive for safe driving and may even offer bonuses for proven safety out on the highways. Proving that you can safely drive a tractor-trailer means more than good business, it means saving lives!
- Layover pay – If you are inconvenienced or stalled in the delivery process, some carriers offer layover pay as a way of compensating truck drivers for the time lost.
- Clean DOT Inspections – Clean Department of Transportation inspections are good for both the driver and the company. Carriers know this, and many pay their truck drivers for clean inspections.
- Referrals – Having a friend sign up for your carrier company could lead to hefty bonuses. CDL-trained truck drivers are in high demand, and carriers are ready to pay for them!
Truck Driver Training at Roadmaster
All of Roadmaster’s nationwide locations follow strict training and safety guidelines. You will need to complete 160 training hours in order to qualify for your Class A CDL license. Here is a look at the training that you will receive during that time at Roadmaster.
You will train on the following areas in the classroom during the beginning portion of your training
- Pre-trip Truck Familiarization
- Basic Vehicle Controls and Safety
- Visual Search, Lane Changes, Communicating, Speed Management & Space Management
- Hazard Awareness, Driving in Various Conditions, Railroad Crossings, Driving Emergencies, Antilock Braking System, Skid Control and Recovery, and Accident Procedures
- Transporting Cargo
- Combination Vehicle Safety and Accident Avoidance
- Hours of Service, Logging & Trip Planning
- Pre-trip Inspection
- Straightline Backing
- Practice Tests for CDL License Exam
After classroom preparation you will climb in to the cab of a semi-truck to be taught the following:
- Visual Pre-Trip Inspection
- Straightline Backing
- Trailer Backing Skills for multiple scenarios
- Basic operation of a manual and automatic transmission truck.
- Manual Transmission Shifting
- Drop and Hook Procedure for Trailers
- On the road driving in real word conditions.
Training After School
Just because you graduate Roadmaster and get your Class A CDL License that does not mean that your training is over. The employer that you go to work for will put you through additional advanced training and assign you a driver trainer to ride with you on the road until you both feel fully comfortable that you are ready to drive solo. Roadmaster’s job is to help you learn to drive a truck and get your Class A CDL License, but for professional truck drivers the training never ends!
Automatic Transmission Trucks
While not yet the norm, automatic shifting trucks have made their way into the fleets of most large carriers across the country. You can expect to drive one at some point very early in your career regardless of which employer you end up driving for.
All Roadmaster locations are now equipped with automatic and manual shifting transmission trucks. You can train on these trucks right now only at Roadmaster so that you are ready when you start your new job!
Truck Driver Training for Military Veterans
Making the move from the military to civilian life? Transitioning from a career in the military back into the civilian world can be a stressful period of your life. Veterans leaving the service often struggle to match their skills with a civilian career. The good news is that the truck driving industry is experiencing tremendous growth! The number of truck drivers needed to fill these positions in the next ten years is expected to reach 175,000. The disciplined, get-it-done mindset that our armed forces instill in its service men and women has proven to be an ideal match for truck driver training and a career as a CDL professional.
Roadmaster truck driver training school is approved for Veterans Training and our students, if qualified, are eligible for Post 9/11 benefits. In order to get the benefits started, the veteran or another eligible person will need to file an appropriate application.
Student eligibility for Veterans Education Benefits is established by the Veterans Administration. Initial eligibility and continued eligibility during enrollment is determined by the VA.
Roadmaster Drivers School is approved for Veterans Training and our students, if qualified, are eligible for Post 9/11 benefits.
What does Military Friendly mean?
Military Friendly is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community. The Military Friendly school designation is awarded to a school for their commitment, effort, and success in attracting and supporting military students.
A major benefit of Roadmaster is that we offer financial assistance if needed, for those who qualify. If qualified for assistance, you will receive around 80-100% of financial assistance for your tuition dependent on which finance company helps you with a tuition loan. In addition to financing options, we work with numerous trucking companies who offer tuition reimbursement programs and more!
Trucking Company Visits
Roadmaster has frequent on-site visits from trucking companies and their Driver Recruiters. Each of these Recruiters meet with students during their training and provide information about what their company offers when it comes to pay rates and bonuses, opportunities and driving options available to you, the schedules and home time, the benefits and other perks!
Up to 100% Tuition Reimbursement!
If qualified for training, you may receive around 80-100% tuition reimbursement for your tuition dependent on which company you chose to work with after graduation. This means on top of your regular paycheck, a separate check between $100 – $250 per month will be sent to your lender to help with your tuition.
Beware of Free Truck Driving Schools
Roadmaster does not offer free or company sponsored training. There are schools and carriers that advertise this training at no cost to the student. However, those programs require you to sign a contract allowing them to deduct fees from your paycheck in addition to agreeing to work for them for approximately 1 or 2 years.
Roadmaster does not participate in this type of training because it is set up to benefit the carrier, not the student.
Weekend CDL Training
CDL training in one of Roadmaster’s weekend courses provides all of the same expert knowledge and instruction of a weekday course while not conflicting with weekday schedules. Weekend programs run 7am-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays, but can vary slightly by location.
Imagine completing training and gaining the knowledge to test for your CDL in just eight short weekends. First year drivers can make up to $45,000 their first year,* and you could be on your way to a lucrative career in less than two months!
Truck Driver Shortage
The current shortage of truck drivers is great news for those looking for a solid career with incentives and job security! Carriers are working harder than ever to reward new hires with higher rates and better benefits
What does this mean to you?
- Competitive salary and rates
- Dental and medical insurance
- 401k retirement plans
- Paid vacation and sick time
- Improved bonuses and more!
The fact that truck driving can’t be outsourced and that current demand is only expected to rise in the next decade means job security for professionals in the Industry. Carriers are working harder than ever to reward new hires with higher rates and better benefits!
Job Placement Assistance
Job Placement Assistance at Roadmaster is a resource given to trainees for the length of their career at no additional charge as long as Roadmaster is in operation. With the help of our friendly industry experts, trainees learn the process of submitting an application to a carrier. Placement Assistance Staff help students through the applications process and see that trainees earning their CDL are given a choice of top-name carriers to apply to.
Get Pre-Hired During Training
Every week during your training recruiters from top trucking carriers will visit the school and present what career packages that they have to offer.
Each carrier is a little different and offers different advantages depending on your needs. That is what makes private “Pick Your Employer” CDL training so attractive!
Top Carriers Looking to Hire You
Roadmaster works with the top truck-driving carriers in the country so that you have only the best employers to work for. Werner, Swift, Covenant, Stevens and all the big trucking carriers all hire Roadmaster graduates even while they are still in school!
From our Blog . . .
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises