Choosing a career is a decision you can only make for yourself. Those who enjoy being independent, the road, and visiting new places might find truck driving appealing. Are you ready to become one of the 3.5 million truck drivers in the US?
Some people find being a truck driver quite fulfilling, since they get to travel almost anywhere at their own pace. In addition, truck driving careers do not require five years of college courses. However, there are still a couple things you’ll need to keep in mind in order to jumpstart your trucking career with Beacon Transport.
Here’s how to become a truck driver with Beacon Transport:
- An independent nature
- Professional demeanor
- Mechanical basics
- Stress management skills
- A keen eye for detail and the ability to stay alert
- A great driving record
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when deciding to become a professional truck driver:
- Job Requirements
- CDL Certification
- Job Opportunities
In order to be hired by a professional company and drive a commercial motor vehicle, you should make sure you meet government requirements.
The general US requirements are:
- Be at least 21 years old to drive across state lines.
- Have a clean driving record and solid work history.
- Pass a background check.
- Have a non-commercial driver’s license.
Nonetheless, depending on your state, there may be additional requirements that you need to know. Be sure to check out your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website to become familiar with your state’s commercial driving rules and regulations.
After you earn your certifications, you will be ready to take the next step. A CDL, or commercial driver’s license, is required to become a truck driver anywhere in the US. In addition to attending a truck driving school, passing a drug test and submitting proper documentation, you will also have to pass a physical examination.
Typically, to obtain your CDL, you’ll likely have to spend about $3,000-6,000 dollars on truck driving school. Other options are available if you feel this price is too high for you.
The majority of truck driving school courses last about three weeks. In class, you’ll spend most of your time either in the classroom or on the road. You will learn about the pre-trip inspection procedure, logbook keeping, and federal motor carrier regulations prior to getting behind the wheel. Keeping track of your progress will be a primary goal as you learn how to load your truck correctly.
Within the first week of your three-week course, you will be driving a commercial vehicle on the highway. Driving, shifting, and up- and downshifting will all be covered here. The first few highways you will be given will be smaller, similar to your non-commercial driver’s license, but sooner or later you will be given bigger highways. Upon completion of your training course and passing your certification tests, you will be eligible to start searching for a job and earning your new income.
Upon earning your CDL and completing certification courses, you will be able to find employment with a wide array of trucking companies. It is important to make sure you meet the requirements of the company you are applying to before you begin your application. As with state to state differences in requirements, many companies will have different wants and needs to what you can provide.
Many trucking companies require drug and alcohol screenings before you can start working for them. You will be responsible for heavy machinery and commercial vehicles since you will be handling them on a regular basis. The company may also ask you about your work history and conduct a background check. Prior to applying, ensure you possess all the necessary certifications and background histories required by each company.
Becoming a truck driver can be a fun and rewarding career choice. Once you’ve completed your certifications and requirements by state, you’ll be ready to hit the ground driving.