Truck driving is a fascinating career; however, everyone must follow some essential steps to achieve their goal. Truck drivers operate large vehicles, including 16-wheel tractor-trailers and tankers. Some work independently, while others work for fleets or transportation companies.
As a result, a truck driver’s training won’t just include learning the road rules but can take several weeks or months. The CDL license course for heavy vehicle driving also treaches you how to check your vehicle for safety, organize a long trip, and secure freight.
Steps to Become a Truck Driver
1. Find out whether you are eligible
You can obtain a CDL between 18 and 21 years of age. A person can also drive a commercial vehicle outside their home state after turning 21. You will also require a physical and DOT medical card from the FMCSR(Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s) national registry.
Each prospective and commercial driver must also provide the following documents to prove their identity, residency, Social Security numbers, and past driving records:
- Birth Certificate
- Driver’s License
- Social Security Card
- Utility Bill
- Copy Of MVR
2. Get Your State’s Commercial Drivers License Manual
One of the most accurate sources of information about getting a CDL is your state’s CDL handbook. Every state publishes a version adapted from a Federal standard.
As part of your preparations, and to help you plan for the future, it’s crucial that you read the CDL handbook. It will help you decide what level of CDL you need for your desired jobs and which endorsements you require.
3. Start Training
You can qualify to take the CDL test from community colleges, private schools, or trucking companies that offer CDL training programs. Auditing and accreditation programs may vary from state to state, so check out the BMV or DMV regulations in your state.
Typically, driver’s training lasts for a year. Some community colleges offer financial aid to truck-driving students. Company-sponsored courses are usually four to six weeks long.
4. Earn Your CDL
It would help if you had a CDL at the very least to become a truck driver. A CDL permits you to drive up to the size and type of vehicle specified by A, B, and C. You can find some details about the CDL types below:
Class A: The CDL’s restrictions are the least. You can fly the tractor-trailer combinations and drive vehicles up to 26,001 pounds in weight.
Class B: You could drive a single vehicle over 26,001 pounds.
Class C: It allows you to drive vehicles that do not meet the requirements for Class A or B, carry hazardous materials, or have 16 or more occupants, including the driver.
Discover which endorsements you will require and devise your plan to obtain your CDL.
Taking the Test
To acquire your CDL and join the ranks of the professional drivers, you will need to take what you have learned on the road and in the classroom and pass these final tests:
Vehicle Inspection Test- includes checking the tires, engine compartment, braking system, suspension, and coupling devices on combination units.
Basic Controls Test- includes offset and straight-line backing, alley docking, and parallel parking.
Road Test- a driving instructor evaluates the overall command of the vehicle, student’s awareness, turn signals, and the use of mirrors.
Endorsements- To increase your prospects in the trucking industry, you can also get some endorsements.
In many states’ BMV and DMV systems, you’ll have to pay for your CDL application, test, and license. License fees range from $20 to $120.
5. Get a Job
If you have the CDL, you will need a job! A paid CDL training program will help you find a good job as a truck driver. Some private truck driving schools might offer a placement program with a selection of trucking companies to graduates. If not, you’re on your own.
So, if you want to become a truck driver, a CDL license course is essential. Driving offers abundant job opportunities that are recession-proof, and you can see parts of your country other people can only dream of. A shortage of qualified truck drivers is also common, which results in stable careers and advanced opportunities for experienced and safe truckers.