Thinking About Becoming A Truck Driver? Here Are Some Important Tips

A truck driver is someone who transports goods from one place to another. Truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods within and outside a country. They usually drive large trucks with at least 3 axles and a gross combined weight of 26,000 pounds or more; however, there are also local truck drivers that drive cars or vans that weigh less than 26,000 pounds. Truck driving is the occupation with the largest number of fatal injuries in America.

It has been reported that every year about 4 million people apply for trucking jobs but only half get hired because so many people want this job! The average salary for a professional driver ranges between $40,000-$65,000 per year depending on how much you work and where you live. Some employers offer bonuses to drivers who work well. So, if you want to become a truck driver, here are some tips to take note of.

Commercial Driver’s License Requirements

To apply for a commercial driver’s license, you must be at least 21 years old to drive across state lines and 18 years or older to drive within your own state. You must also have the proper CDL class license; these vary depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive but range anywhere from Class A (huge vehicles) to Class C (van or small trucks). To apply for a CDL, you need to pass written and driving tests that the state you live in requires.

You will also need to pass medical, physical, vision, and drug testing; if any of these is not met by federal standards then they may not let you drive their truck. To receive your license, you must pass a general knowledge practice test and a physical exam where they make sure that you are healthy enough to be a truck driver. You must also show proof of citizenship or lawful status in the United States before you can receive your CDL.

Pass A Physical Exam

A physical exam for truck drivers is very similar to an annual check-up. You must keep in good health and take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding bad habits like smoking. Some diseases that you should make sure your doctor checks for include hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes), and sleep apnea.

Hypertension causes your blood pressure to rise, which can make you more susceptible to heart attacks. Diabetes causes your body not to be able to handle sugar correctly, which then gives you a higher risk of heart disease and stroke occurring. Sleep apnea happens when you stop breathing while sleeping, causing irregular heartbeat and constant fatigue throughout the day.

Skills Test

Truck drivers must be very skilled in order to maneuver huge vehicles. If you do not have a lot of experience with driving, an employer may ask for you to take a skills test or assessment that they administer.  You may also need to pass a road test to show proof that you know how to drive.

Some companies offer training courses if you do not have any driving experience, but this will typically cost you money and add on weeks of your time before you can start working for them. To pass this exam, there is no minimum number of hours that the driver must have been on the road; if he has quality skills, he will be able to pass.

Education And Experience

Truck drivers can come from all different types of backgrounds; however, most employers prefer that you have at least 1 year of experience as a teenager with your driver’s license. You can gain experience by working for your parent’s business or for someone else who has a CDL license. You can go to school for truck driving or earn your CDL by taking a course online, in the classroom, or at home with an experienced professional driver.

If you choose not to take any courses, it may be difficult finding employment as an entry-level driver because of the experience that they are looking for. However, if you already have a job and want to learn how to be a truck driver, most companies will let you do this as long as someone is around to teach you.

Background Check

Most employers want to make sure that their drivers do not have a criminal record before they hire them, and this includes truck drivers. They will check your criminal history and review your driving record. If you have had any speeding tickets or accidents on your record, it may make it difficult for you to find employment with the company of your choice. You can avoid some of these problems by enrolling in a truck driving school since this will show your employer that you are determined to become a safe driver.

Becoming a truck driver can be a difficult process, but it is not impossible. This article has covered crucial tips to guide you on your journey to becoming a truck driver.