How to Launch a Truck Driving Career
The door to the truck driving industry is wide open for truckers. The industry continues to experience high demand for qualified drivers and the process of becoming a trucker is fairly simple and straightforward. Here’s what it takes to launch a truck driving career.
1. Research different types of truck driving jobs
If you’ve got a love for travel, then cross-country trucking may be the best option for you. But if you’d like to spend weekends and nights at home with family, then you should consider local trucking opportunities. A few types of truck driving jobs include less-than-truckload (LTL), over-the-road (OTR), freight haul, refrigerated, tanker, flatbed, and dry van. Be sure to do your research on each one as your choice will determine the type of training you’ll need.
2. Enroll in a truck driving school
A truck driving school will teach you the written knowledge and behind-the-wheel skills you’ll need to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL). America Truck Driving School has multiple locations in Southern California where drivers learn the ins and outs of operating a commercial vehicle.
3. Earn your CDL
Depending on which state you’re in, you’ll have to pass a written and driving test. You’ll typically need to have a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for at least 14 days before you can take the driving test. Drivers typically must be at least 21 years of age to qualify for a CDL.
4. Pass the DOT physical exam
Every trucker must undergo a physical exam to ensure they’re fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle. You’ll need to bring copies of medical records, a list of your health conditions and medications, glasses or contact lenses, and hearing aids, if you use them.
5. Develop communication skills
You might think that driving a truck cross-country is all about operating a vehicle, but to secure, pick-up, and drop-off loads, truckers need to communicate with a dispatcher and warehouse workers. It’s important to be clear and precise in your communication to ensure your trip goes smoothly.
6. Apply to jobs
There is no shortage of trucking jobs in the US right now, and new drivers can use sites like Indeed and Glassdoor to apply for open positions.
7. Complete employer training
Most employers require new employees to complete training in company communication policies, vehicle maintenance, and other procedures. Once you’ve completed their training, you’ll be on the road in no time!