How to Become a Truck Driver

Learn how to become a Class A CDL Truck Driver

For you to qualify for your Class A CDL license and those readily available truck driver jobs, you will need to pass a few basic qualifications which we will outline.

How to Become a Truck Driver

Truck Driving Jobs are listed everywhere and the money you can make as a professional truck driver has never been higher. There is a significant shortage of Class A CDL licensed truck drivers which is causing trucking carriers to pay more money to attract truck drivers. If you are ready to learn how to become a truck driver just follow these steps!

Do you qualify to become a truck driver?

For you to qualify for your Class A CDL license and those readily available truck driver jobs, you will need to pass a few basic qualifications which we will outline.

Medical

Some medical conditions may prevent you from becoming a truck driver due to various Federal and state regulations relative to safety. The physical examination you take for your medical certificate confirms that you are healthy enough to safely perform the demanding job of a Class A Truck Driver and keep our nation’s roads safe.

These conditions are mandated by the federal government and are checked for at the required Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. A DOT physical examination must be conducted by a licensed medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry.

To start, you must fill out your health history. This includes information on any surgeries you’ve had, medications you are currently using, specific diagnoses, substance issues and symptoms. From there, the medical examiner tests various parts of your health. They test your pulse, blood pressure, vision in both eyes and hearing. You must also pass a urinalysis test. This is used for drug testing and detection of blood, sugar, or protein in the urine. During the physical examination, your doctor checks your overall health and each body system, marking it as normal or abnormal. The doctor then sends the DOT physical form directly to the licensing agency in your state.

Criminal Background

While having a felony on your record doesn’t affect your ability to get a Class A CDL license, it may affect your ability to get employed at a trucking carrier. Not all felons will qualify for jobs after obtaining their CDL license since several variables like the type of conviction, time since completion of sentence and whether the felony was violent or not will affect employment.

Driving Record

CDL training schools and trucking carriers look for drivers who have proven to be skilled and safe on the road. Speeding tickets, DUIs, and other traffic violations are important factors when getting a CDL but don’t automatically mean you’re disqualified.

Obtaining your CDL Learner’s Permit

A Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) only authorizes you to practice on public roads with a qualified CDL holder sitting next to you. Getting the permit involves more than just passing all the knowledge tests for the type of driving that you want to do. To make sure that you are eligible your driving record is checked for the last 10 years in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. You need to bring in the proof that your state accepts requires to show that you are medically qualified. Most types of commercial driving require a DOT medical card which means you need to have requiring a DOT physical. Your state may require specific documents it wants to see to prove your name and proof of residency.

Train to be a Truck Driver

Truck Drivers are required to hold a Class A CDL license to drive their tractor-trailers both in state and on long trips across state lines. To get a Class A CDL license, you should have a minimum of 160 hours of combined classroom and “behind the wheel” training driving a truck. Truck Driving Schools, like Roadmaster, provide training to assist you in obtaining your Class A CDL license in 3-4 weeks.

Getting Your First Job as a Truck Driver

Once you have obtained your Class A CDL license you are ready to apply for entry-level truck driver jobs. If you attend a truck driving school like Roadmaster, a career services associate will help you apply for your first job and assist you in getting your new career started. During the first few days of school, Placement Associates work with you to choose which company roles best fit your needs. They will review your job applications and help you submit them to potential employers. The placement staff will follow up with potential employers and notify you of employment offer letters.

If you are ready to get your career started as a professional truck driver, contact Roadmaster by filling out the application form or giving us a call at 1-800-831-1300.

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