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Tips for Becoming a Truck Driver

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  • Post category:Blogs

The opportunities within the trucking industry have never been better. With a current shortage of new drivers reaching an all-time high, the ATA has increased pay, benefits, and lifestyle-time in order to attract younger drivers. Want to be a truck driver? Here’s how!

Truck Driver Qualifications

You will need to forego a few basic qualifications in order to obtain your CDL license. Becoming a truck driver is an amazing experience and can help propel your new career!

Medical Qualifications

Certain medical conditions can disqualify you from becoming a truck driver. These are in part to specific Federal and state regulations and have to do with safety precautions. You will take a physical exam. This confirms you are healthy and fit enough to perform the tasks that accompany a Class A Truck Driver. The goal is to keep our roads safe.

The terms and conditions are mandatory by the Federal Government. As a result, the test is viewable by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT physical is conducted by a medical examiner. The examiner will be posted on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admissions (FMCSA).

To begin the process, you must present your health history. Please mention any surgeries that you have undergone, any medications that you are currently taking, all diagnoses, and substance issues. The medical examiner will check your heart rate, blood pressure, vision, and hearing. In order to become a truck driver, a urine test is a requirement. The urine test is a requirement to determine drug use, blood, sugar and any proteins in urine.

truck driver

Criminal Background Check

If you have a felony on your record, this will not directly affect your ability to obtain a Class A CDL License. It can have an effect on where you apply. Not all persons with a convicted felony will qualify for jobs after getting their CDL license. This depends on the type of conviction, and time of completion since sentencing. A violent felony will not look good on your record.

Driving Record Inspection

Skilled drivers are important. A skilled driver will have a clean background and will be able to prove their knowledge of all road safety laws. DUI’s, speeding tickets, and multiple traffic violations will affect the chances of obtaining a CDL.

CDL Learners Permit

A Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) only offers prospecting drivers the ability to practice on public roads. A designated CDL holder will accompany the CLP through the learning process. Obtaining the permit involves a little more than passing all knowledge tests. Eligibility includes inspecting the last ten years of an applicant’s driving record. The inspection looks through all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. A prospecting CLP must bring proof that the state accepts that they are medically qualified. In most cases, a CDL driver will have a required DOT medical card. A state may require more specific documents. This is in order to prove a person’s name and residency.

Truck Driver in Training

A Truck Driver will be required to hold a Class A CDL license in order to drive tractor-trailers. This goes for both intrastate and interstate transportation. A minimum requirement of 160 hours of classroom and “behind the wheel” training must be completed. CDL licenses are obtainable via driving schools like Roadmaster. A trainee can receive their license within 3-4 weeks.

Entry-Level Truck Driver

You did it! You have obtained your Class A CDL License and you’re ready to hit the world of commercial truck driving! Career services will provide help when looking for your first job. They will review your applications and help to choose what roles best fit your needs. Placement staff is on hand to follow up with potential employers and will notify you in regards to prospecting offers!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Eli Richardson

    It’s great that you talked about what you’d need to become a truck driver. Recently, one of my uncles lost his job, and he’s been looking for any job available but hasn’t found any. A few years ago, he drove a truck, so I think he could do it again, so I’ll be sure to share this article with my uncle. Thanks for the tips about what type of licenses you’d need to drive a truck.

  2. Tex Hooper

    Great tip about making sure your truck driver has the right CDL license.

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