Did you know that truck drivers transport at least 70% of goods in the United States? It’s no wonder, then, that commercial drivers are an important part of the economy. As it is, even amid the pandemic, there’s still a high demand for professional drivers; because of this, truck drivers will have little to no difficulty balancing work and home life.
However you started your journey to becoming a truck driver, or decided you wanted to become one, there are some requirements you need to fulfill. It’s not enough to buy a used Peterbilt semi for sale that you spotted the listing for a few months back. You need to prove yourself a skilled, competent, and reliable driver. So how do you do this? Let’s break the process down.
Get the Necessary Credentials
If you already have a regular driver’s license, you’re one step closer. If you need to renew your license, then do so. If you don’t have a driver’s license yet, then prepare yourself to take your state’s driver’s license exam and pass it. As long as you have a current driver’s license, you’re qualified to earn a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, later on down the proverbial road.
You’ll also need a commercial learner’s permit – another prerequisite you’ll need if you plan to apply for a CDL. The commercial learner’s permit is a sign that your state of residence is authorizing you to get the skills you need.
Attend Truck Driving School
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most long-haul employers look for applicants that have at least a high school diploma, or the GED equivalent of it. If you’re serious about becoming a truck driver, you should make sure you have either of those, as well as attend an accredited community college program on truck driving. Otherwise, you can go to a private truck driving school to learn the additional skills you need.
Choose Which CDL Type to Earn
There are three types of commercial driver’s licenses – Class A, B, and C – which correspond to the class of vehicles you’re qualified to drive. If you’re planning to make a career out of truck driving, you should go for a Class A CDL. With that license, you’ll be able to drive anything from tankers to flatbeds, and even the vehicles under Classes B and C, too.
Because of the versatility required from those who hold such licenses, it’s reasonable to assume that this type of CDL is the most difficult to earn. However, it’s well worth the effort and more cost effective. After all, if you go for just a Class C CDL and later decide you want to, say, drive a slightly bigger truck, or try your hand at driving a bus, you’ll have to go back to Square 1 and earn your Class B CDL.
Once you’ve passed all the tests and acquired your Class A CDL, all that’s left is finding employment. That sounds easier said than done, but you can get job placement assistance if you feel you’re getting nowhere by doing your own research and sending applications on your own.
Joie is the passionate writer and blogger of UsedVending.com. She enjoys writing and works at an amazing pace. Blessed with two adorable boys, she dreams of creating a successful career online. She also loves to write about parenting, home and family life, technology and gaming, as well as beauty and health.