Interested in becoming a Truck Driver or Dispatcher? Learn more:
FAQs About Becoming a Truck Driver
How do I become a Truck Driver?
The first step is obtaining your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Of which, there are three classes A, B, and C. Depending on what kind of truck driving you will do will determine which classification you get.
Where do I get my Commercial Driver's License (CDL)?
CDL’s are obtained after completing a course and passing a test. The best way to go about getting your CDL is through a verified school. You’ll receive comprehensive education and get hands-on experience. You can learn more by visiting this website.
How much do truck driving schools cost?
The price for truck driving schools vary on which one you attend and whether or not you are getting a Class A or B license. On average you can expect attend a course to cost you between $3,000 to $9,000.
What is the difference between a Class A and B license?
If you have a Class A license, you don’t have weight restrictions you have to work around. A Class B license you can’t drive or haul a load over 10,000 pounds. To put it into perspective, with a Class B you will most likely drive a dump truck, straight truck, or other trucks that carry smaller loads.
Is a Class A or B a better option?
Both will afford you with employment opportunities, but which one you obtain will depend on your goals. If you go with a Class A, there are more options for you, but the cost of training will be a little higher. We have seen some who obtain their Class B and then get their Class A after they’ve had some experience.
How long will it take me to get through the CDL training?
If you attend full-time, which means you meet five days a week, the average course lasts about seven weeks. If you are committed to dedicating a full forty hours per week, you will either need to take up employment after hours or rely on your spouse.
How old do you have to be to become a truck driver?
You can get your CDL as young as 18, but you have to be 21 to drive across state lines. Each trucking company will have a minimum age requirement before you can work for them as a truck driver. At Beacon Transport, you must be 23 years old.
Can I get my CDL if I have a DUI?
States regulate their own rules for driving under the influence. For most people, you can either get a ticket or be convicted. Depending on how your case is registered might result in a suspension.
Can I become a truck driver if I have a felony?
Each truck driving company will have its own set of rules for hire, but the career choice as a whole provides many convicted felons with jobs.
How much do truck drivers make?
The median average for truck drivers is $37,000 per year. However, the more experience, the better your earning potential. Some seasoned drivers can make around $60,000 annually.
Are there medical benefits for my family and me?
Businesses are required by law to provide full-time employees with medical benefits. Policies will vary from state-to-state and business-to-business. For truck drivers who decide to work independently, you can obtain your own health insurance or go through the Healthcare Marketplace.
How long will I be on the road?
On average, truck drivers are on the road 1-2 weeks at a time. Some companies and drivers allow for 4-6 weeks on the road. Different companies offer different incentives. Some promise to get their drivers home each weekend.
Can I ask for time off?
Most companies try to honor time-off requests for their drivers, as long as enough notice has been given in advance of the schedule is made.
Where does the truck go when I'm not driving it?
Many states prohibit the parking of a semi-truck on their roads. Therefore, truck driving companies have terminals where they can be stored when they aren’t in use.
Where do I sleep on the road?
Truck drivers often sleep in their truck cabins while they are over the road (OTR). Trucks can be parked at any truck stop facility.
Will I have any expenses I need to pay for while I am on the road?
Most companies cover tolls, scale tickets, and repairs for their vehicles while their drivers are on the road. For the driver, the only thing they need to worry about is the cost of food.
What do I need to bring with me while I am on the road?
Personal possessions like your wallet, phone, and clothing are a must. Some drivers choose to kit out their cabins by installing mini fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers, but that is up to the individual.
Do I get to stop for a shower or use the restroom?
To a degree truck drivers are able to control their own schedule. As long as they are able to get their load to the destination at the approved time, you can stop to eat, shower, and use the bathroom as you see fit.
FAQs About Becoming a Dispatcher
What is a Dispatcher?
Dispatchers organize and schedule routes for truck drivers. They must remain in close contact with the driver, customer, and dispatch facility to get loads to their final destination on time. Attention to detail and accurate record keeping is necessary to become a good dispatcher.
What education do I need to become a dispatcher?
For the most part, training is on the job. However, many companies will ask you to have a high-school diploma or equivalent.
How can I become a dispatcher?
To find available job openings, you can email the companies you prefer to work for directly or check their career board for vacancies.
What skills will I develop?
Basic mathematics, language, and computer skills are required to get you ahead as a dispatcher. Most training will come with the job, but there are additional courses available to help improve on these fundamentals.
What are the daily responsibilities of a dispatcher?
Some of the daily responsibilities include answering the phone, coordinate and manage loads, determine best delivery routes, negotiating fees, and talk to drivers about their progress.
How much do dispatchers typically make?
The median average for a dispatcher salary is $42,000 a year but varies from company to company.
Is there upward mobility as a dispatcher?
Yes, many dispatchers become supervisors. With more responsibility comes more pay, with the average salary being over $60,000 annually.
What are the hours for a dispatcher?
Most dispatchers work from Mon-Fri, 9 am – 5 pm. There are night and weekend positions available as well.