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Are you considering a career in trucking? Do you want to know what steps to take to become a commercial truck driver?
In many ways, becoming a truck driver provides job stability in an industry prone to automation. 98% of truck drivers relied on these jobs to earn a living.
Companies need qualified employees to fill these positions. If you want to transition from a different career into trucking, you need to take steps to get ready first. You can take driving lessons if you have never driven a big rig.
Keep reading to learn more about what to do before searching for commercial truck driver jobs.
Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License
Before looking for commercial truck driver jobs, individuals need to get a commercial license. This license is required by most employers and provides the necessary certification for operating larger commercial vehicles. To get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you will need to follow these general steps:
Determine Which Type of CDL You Need
There are three classes of CDLs: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A allows you to run a combination of vehicles with a total weight of 26,001 pounds or more, with the trailer weighing over 10,000 pounds.
Class B will enable you to use a single vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more or a combination of vehicles weighing less than 26,001 pounds but with a trailer weighing over 10,000 pounds. Class C allows you to run a single vehicle weighing less than 26,001 pounds but designed to carry 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials.
Meet Basic Requirements
To get a CDL, you must be 18 or 21 years or older to drive across the state or carry hazardous materials. You have a valid driver’s license and have no disqualifying criminal history.
Get a Commercial Learner’s Permit
In preparing for your CDL test, you must get a CLP. To get a CLP, you must pass the written knowledge test and any other applicable endorsements for the type of CDL you want.
Professional truck driver jobs need more knowledge and skill than regular driving. Attending a training program is a significant first step. These programs will give students the knowledge and skills to drive a commercial truck.
They can also teach students about the different aspects of the job, such as logistics, customer service, and safety. Additionally, many training programs have internship opportunities.
You may connect graduates with potential employers. People interested in becoming commercial truck drivers should research to find the best training course available.
Build a Clean Driving Record
Before looking for commercial truck driver jobs, building a clean driving record is imperative. Start by driving safely, following all traffic laws, and being aware of your surroundings to avoid being pulled over.
Actions such as speeding, seat belt violations, drug-related offenses, and DUIs will create negative marks on your driving record. They can disqualify you from specific jobs. This can cause employers to think twice before considering your application.
You must ensure your driving record and license are valid and clean. Furthermore, if you know of any past mistakes on your forms, take care of them as soon as possible. A clean driving record will give potential employers trust that you are a good and responsible driver.
Endorsements are added qualifications that allow you to run specialized vehicles or carry specific types of cargo. Depending on your CDL type, you may need to get one or more endorsements.
It is to use specific commercial vehicle types legally. Here are some common endorsements:
Before looking for commercial truck driver jobs, it is essential to research and educates yourself on hazardous materials that you may need to transport.
Learn what types and quantities are covered by the regulation. Take classes on handling, charming, and storing hazardous materials. You must pass a written test and undergo a background check to obtain this endorsement.
Tank vehicles carry hazardous materials. Knowing these transport regulations and safety guidelines is essential.
Complete safety training and certification courses and the Certified Hazmat Tank Vehicle Operator Course. It will increase your chances of securing a job.
A passenger endorsement allows an individual to run commercial vehicles carrying at least 16 passengers, including the driver. Approval will require Universal Pre-Trip and Safety Inspections of the car and an Air Brake examination specific to the vehicle.
Suppose a driver chooses to pursue a job driving a school bus. In that case, they may be required to have extra certifications such as a Passenger Endorsement License and School Bus Driver Certification.
Potential school bus drivers should also complete mandatory drug and alcohol screenings, physicals, and background checks before applying for available jobs.
Develop a Resume
Before looking for commercial truck driver jobs, you must develop a resume. It should include your contact information—also, a summary of your experience and qualifications.
This should include any truck driving experience you have, as well as any certifications you have acquired. Please give references from prior employers.
Additionally, obtaining extra certifications specific to your state or country can prove your qualifications. Developing a resume reflecting your ability can help you land the desired position.
Before looking for commercial truck driver jobs, networking is an important motivation factor in the job search. Understand the industry and the types of drivers needed. Considering the local market and the employer’s needs helps in preparation.
Knowing the industry and other market drivers is critical to approaching job searches with relevant information.
Visit events, talk to employers, search for job fairs, and connect with recruiters. These are all great ways to build up a network of potential employers who could refer you in the right direction.
Prepare for Commercial Truck Driver Jobs Today
Ensure your success before even looking for commercial truck driver jobs by verifying your CDL’s validity, obtaining necessary endorsements, completing pre-hire paperwork, and polishing your driving skills.
Getting ahead of the game and taking the initiative for your driver career will make the process of landing a trucking job effortless.
Don’t take your time; start working on these steps today for success!
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