Becoming a truck driver is a fairly simple process. First, you have to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and then you have to get your first driving job. Getting the license is usually the easier part.
To qualify for your CDL, first stop by your local department of motor vehicles and ask about CDL requirements. States may have their own requirements about whether you need to take a written test before you can get your CDL instruction permit or if you must attend an approved truck driving school before testing.
You can also check out the website for your state’s department of motor vehicles.
If you do have to take a written test before you get the CDL, see if your DMV has a printed or online study guide that you can use for free.
The study guide should cover all the materials that will be on the written test, like what to look for during inspections, where to place warning triangles when stopped on the side of the road, and how to operate the vehicle safely. In our Member’s section be sure to check out the CDL Practice Test page for a little more test prep advice!
A CDL instruction permit will allow you to drive a commercial vehicle so that you can learn how to handle it before you take your driving test. However, you will only be able to drive it when you have a fully licensed driver in the vehicle with you.
At this point, many potential drivers attend a trucking school so that an instructor can help them learn how to drive. TruckingJobFinder provides helpful tools to help you find the right school. Most states require you to have the instruction permit for a set period of time before you take the behind-the-wheel portion of the CDL test.
The federal government requires that states test CDL applicants to make sure they know how to handle the vehicle they are hoping to drive. The skills test puts you behind the wheel so that an approved tester can verify that you are competent to drive. TruckingJobFinder provides detailed information
The simple act of completing the CDL skills exam does not guarantee you will immediately find a job driving a truck. Many firms are reluctant to hire new drivers until they have proven themselves safe and reliable. TruckingJobFinder has detailed information about navigating the rookie job search process to find companies who will continue your training so that you can become a seasoned truck driver.
There are some lessons you just have to learn on the job. Tasks like backing up a tractor-trailer will improve over time and only hands-on training will make it better. In addition to dealing with the normal challenges of driving, part of becoming a more successful driver is learning to navigate the trucking industry. TruckingJobFinder includes insider information from seasoned truck drivers who share their experience so that you can avoid making some big mistakes that will cost you money and frustration.