Are you looking for a job that lets you travel and make good money? Truck driving might be a solution for you.
We’re going to go over the truck driver requirements. That way you know upfront if you’re a good fit for the job. You’ll also be able to better gauge if you’re a good fit for the trucker lifestyle.
Read on to see what you need to land a truck driving job.
Truck Driving Jobs
You might notice on your job search that there are many truck driving opportunities. That begs the question, why are there so many available? Don’t let this deter you, this doesn’t mean truck driving is a job no one wants.
It only means that truck driving is a lifestyle choice as much as it is a career one. Changing your lifestyle is a difficult commitment, and it’s worth thinking about. Here’s an example: as a truck driver, you may have exposure to hazardous chemicals or materials.
Hazmat drivers can drive hazardous products like fuel tankers. That’s why these drivers need a special endorsement. Special training and furthering your education are things to consider.
Hazmat endorsements, for example, offers extra training for emergency situations involving hazardous materials. This is a good option for those looking to grow their annual income. Working with hazardous materials or the lifestyle alone may intimidate some from trucking.
Another reality is that there are many truck driving jobs because the market is growing! In fact, truck driving jobs will continue to grow by 6% through 2026. Not to mention the healthy average national median salary settling in at $42k-43K.
Drivers get retirement, bonuses, travel, flexibility, and more! There’s no doubt that truck driving jobs offer a plethora of opportunities. Here’s how you can get on the path to certification.
Truck Driver Requirements Include Having a Driver’s License and CDL Classification
The first you need to know about is a CDL license. There are different CDL class licenses. These classifications let you transport materials, livestock, or passengers in larger vehicles.
Most States charge an extra fee to get a CDL on top of your normal driver’s license. You’ll also have to take a separate drivers test to show you know the CDL material. The CDL test is to test your knowledge of truck parts and operations.
It also includes a part to test your actual ability to drive [vision and road test]. There is different equipment in a truck than a car like air brakes, air dam, and tandem axles. If you have a regular driver’s license, you’ll need to invest in a CDL.
The good news is that some employers will pay to get you through truck driving school. The answer depends on the company, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Mechanics Are Welcome
It’s great news if you have a background in mechanics when applying to be a truck driver. That’s because you’ll have to do checks every day before shipping off. You’ll check tire pressure, axles alignment, and take a quick peek at the engine.
Diesel mechanics should mention their knowledge in interviews to highlight their expertise. Most companies want to have mechanics that can act fast if something goes wrong with the truck. Trucks do break down on occasion, so mechanics is a key skill to have.
Aim to show your diverse knowledge. Having a handyman in the driver’s seat cuts down on towing costs and saves on delivery time. That means happy customers, happy drivers, and happy trucks.
If you’re thinking about applying, look into a quick diesel trucks mechanics course. This is especially helpful for newer truck drivers with little experience.
Years of Experience
Having many years of driving under your belt is a definite plus for truck driving. For some employers, it’s a rule they abide by.
Some companies are in charge of hazardous material or fuel for gas stations. You wouldn’t choose a new driver for such a risky task, and neither would managers. If you’re newer and want to beef up your resume, we’ve got some tips.
Enroll in a few mechanics courses well-rounded knowledge of trucks. Then, mention you’re looking for experience. You might get to ride along with a full-time driver to pick up the ropes.
Most companies are looking for younger people who are free to travel. If you’re single, not going to school, and looking for a fun job, this might be your ticket.
A Clean Driving Record
On top of years of experience and a CDL, you need a clean drivers license. That means no:
- DUI’s or DWI’s
- Car accidents
- Pending misdemeanor or felony charges [including warrants for arrest]
The last one is a no-brainer, but it’s important to mention criminal charges. Any truck driver will have to submit to a drug test throughout their employment. Companies want to keep the roads safe, as well as their product.
Experience in Rough Weather and Terrain
You need to know how to drive in rough weather. Many companies send their truck drivers throughout the nation on road trips. That means you’ll be driving from all over the country.
You might end up in the North parts of the US during winter with snow and ice. In any truck driving interview, highlight your experience driving in difficult weather. Think about how you handle driving in heavy rain or on super windy days.
Do you know how to add chains to a truck when driving in snowy weather? Are you afraid of heights? Would fear of heights stop you from driving narrow passes throughout the States?
Ask before you apply where you’ll be driving. You don’t want to end up driving somewhere you don’t feel safe or confident in your skills.
Getting Up-to-Speed With All the New News
Now that you know if you meet the truck driver requirements, let’s look at what to pack! You’ve got the job and are ready to hit the road. Then, you think to yourself, “What do I bring?”
We’ve got a packing list that’s great for any new truck drivers looking for what to pack. We’ve narrowed it down to a top ten essentials so you can travel light. You’ll start to see items at trucks stops you might add along the way.
It’s always good to take a break when your done longing your hours. In the trucking business? Check out our logistics services to improve your driver’s log time logistics!