Select Page

How to start a truck driving career

Are you considering a career change? Are you seeking a new path with stability, variety, and opportunities? One option that’s worth considering is a truck driving career. This field offers robust job opportunities, attractive earning potential, and a unique way to explore our beautiful country. Read on as we delve into how you can start a truck driving career and turn the open road into your new office.

Why do people find truck driving to be an attractive career?

If you’re interested in a career in truck driving, it’s more than just moving goods from one place to another. It can allow you to experience freedom and self-reliance and see different parts of the country daily. You might see a peaceful countryside one day and a busy city the next. You’ll also be part of a community of professional drivers. The job offers stability and security, which is essential today. A career in truck driving offers more than just a good paycheck; it’s a unique lifestyle.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Start?

To become a truck driver, you need to meet a few requirements. The most important is getting the required training and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This document is mandatory to drive a commercial truck on US roads. If you plan to drive through different states, you must be at least 21. If you only plan on driving within your state, you can start at 18. You also need to be in good physical shape and be able to pass a US Department of Transportation physical examination. These requirements are set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to make sure you’re healthy enough to drive safely. Remember, meeting these requirements is essential for a successful truck driving career.

If you’re interested in Class A CDL jobs, the first step is to obtain the required training and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This can seem overwhelming, but we’ll break it down for you. The process can vary from state to state, but it generally involves passing a written knowledge test and a hands-on skills test that includes road driving. The tests cover several areas, including vehicle inspection, basic control operations, and on-road driving.

Preparation is key. Take your time to study the relevant materials and practice your driving skills with a qualified training provider. Remember that all truckers had to start learning somewhere, and you can succeed with patience and determination.  It’s important to understand that the sense of freedom and adventure that awaits you in your new truck driving career makes it worth the effort.

Is a truck driving career right for you?

CDL Training Programs and Schools

If you’re considering a career in truck driving, all new drivers must obtain minimum training from a qualified training provider.   Attending a professional truck driving school can be a smart move to obtain this mandatory training. These training programs can help you prepare for the CDL tests by improving your knowledge and practical skills. Truck driving school usually lasts from 4 to 6 weeks and will teach you both in the classroom and behind the wheel. These programs cover skills you need to know about driving a truck, from basic inspection to driving skills.

Additionally, many programs will help you find a job after you’ve completed your training and obtained a CDL. This can provide you with valuable leads and connections for your job search. When searching for a CDL training program, look for institutions with a good reputation in the truck driver training industry, and always make sure they are qualified to provide the minimum training required under Federal regulations. Ask about their success rates, teaching methods, and if they offer job placement assistance. The goal is to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to succeed in your new career.  Remember, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and this might be yours.

Finding the Right Job

After getting your CDL, it’s time to find the right CDL job that matches your lifestyle and preferences. Do you want long trips or shorter routes? Do you prefer working with big companies or small ones? Look for employers who value their drivers and offer competitive wages, reliable vehicles, and time at home. Do your research, ask questions, and trust your instincts. Finding the right job is crucial because it’s not just a career change; it’s a lifestyle change.   Remember, anything worthwhile takes effort.

Once you obtain your first commercial driving position, gain experience and develop a reliable work history by sticking with your initial company for a fair amount of time.  Remember, carriers invest significant time and expense in hiring and training new commercial drivers. Leaving a new commercial driving job too soon can signal to other carriers that you will not be a reliable driver for their operation. 

The Payoff

If you’re starting a career as a truck driver, it’s essential to know the benefits of this profession. Being a truck driver requires commitment, resilience, and excellent driving skills, but the rewards are worth it. You get to experience the freedom of the open road, job security, and a steady income to support your lifestyle. It’s more than just a job; it’s a lifestyle, a calling, and a source of pride. To succeed, you must buckle up and prepare for an exciting journey. Let’s explore new horizons and embark on a fulfilling career. Here’s to a successful and enjoyable career as a truck driver!