If you want a fulfilling career as a trucker, check out this guide. Here’s how to jump start your trucking career and take the steps needed to get your license.
Some truck drivers are pulling in more than $60,000 a year. And the demand for these professionals is skyrocketing.
But it’s not always easy to know how to break into a trucking career, and going about it the wrong way can end in frustration.
There’s no need to worry. We’ve got you covered. Read on for a trucking career guide and how to increase your chances of success.
Why Choose a Trucking Career?
This profession is in high demand. Some estimates say there’s still a need for more than 50,000 drivers. This shortage means that a trucking career can pull in a solid income.
But there are other benefits that come along with this pay. The trucker lifestyle can give someone a break from the same-old scenery. It’s a good chance to shed the office walls for ever-changing views.
Many trucking jobs also come with added benefits like medical and retirement plans. Plus, a lot of companies give out bonuses for carrying certain loads or going long distances.
This also usually comes along with flexible schedules and the chance to choose how long of a run to take on.
With those benefits in mind, here are the top five tips for breaking into a trucking career:
1. Know What It Takes
One of the best ways to prepare for a trucking career is to know what it requires. A good truck driver will be able to communicate clearly and have excellent judgment.
Formal education isn’t usually required, but the driver will need to pick up CDL qualifications. Sometimes, drivers are required to earn a special endorsement or take on additional training. That usually depends on the company and what equipment the driver is using.
Most companies will run CDL background checks and make sure drivers meet all the CDL driving record requirements.
2. Know the Dangers
Getting caught off guard can end in disaster for a driver and trucking career. Here are some tips to stay out of harm’s way:
- Thieves: Stay on the lookout for burglars when hauling valuable cargo.
- Dangerous roads: Know the route and have alternative paths if the trail is too dangerous.
- Road rage: If other drivers are being reckless or threatening, call dispatchers or the police.
3. Prepare for the CDL
Each state has their own CDL tests, but there’s usually a written test and CDL skills testing.
The written exam tends to cover rules, laws, and safety regulations. It’s a good idea to get to know the state’s CDL manual. It’s smart to check out online practice tests and advice for acing the CDL test beforehand.
CDL skills testing will assess how well the driver can operate a commercial vehicle.
4. Trucking School
Trucking schools can help prepare drivers with knowledge for the CDL tests. They can also give truckers an edge through hands-on practice.
Courses can vary from as little as 30 days to as long as a year. Some schools will even let members use a truck for the final state exam.
5. Pick the Right Job, Not the First Job
It can be tempting to jump on the first job that comes along. But it’s smart to pick out trucking companies that fit the driver’s preferences.
Before jumping into a trucking career, determine your priorities and make sure the company fits the bill.
More Tips for a Trucking Career
This guide should get drivers on the road to a fulfilling trucking career. And we have more tips and advice for aspiring truck drivers.
Check out our other blog posts for more insider information about this job!