If you’re looking for a line of work that pays well but doesn’t require an extensive or costly education, you may want to find out how to become a truck driver. Trucking allows you to travel and explore, and you can learn how to drive a commercial truck within about six to eight weeks. Plus, since there is currently a significant demand for commercial drivers, you shouldn’t have any trouble securing your first job.
How to Become a Truck Driver
Education and Training
If you’re wondering how to become a truck driver, you must first obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Much like a learner’s permit for a regular driver’s license, a CLP will allow you to drive a large truck with someone who possesses a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in the passenger seat.
From there, you will need training to learn how to handle a large truck by enrolling in a truck driving school. While you will obviously need hands-on training to learn how to drive a semi, you must also obtain a lot of information about commercial trucking, applicable laws, and safety guidelines. To select a school, you must take a number of factors into consideration, including all of the following:
- Behind-the-wheel training hours
- Class hours
- Experience of staff members
- Class sizes
- Extended curriculum offerings (such as Doubles and Triples)
- Admission procedures
- Program schedules
Since your choice of driving school will influence your knowledge, skill set, and (thus) your career, we encourage you to explore your options carefully. You can learn everything you need to know at the Truck Dynasty Driving Academy. Our professional truck driver training program involves 160 clock hours and four weeks of professional driver training. It provides the perfect jump-start to a career in the trucking industry.
Obtaining a CDL
Once you have completed your education, you will need to obtain a CDL. Although some states have specific rules for obtaining this license, the criteria generally remain the same since you must meet the minimum requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to get a CDL. You can choose from three classes of CDL (A, B, and C), each of which provides you with the ability to drive vehicles of different weights and towing capabilities. You may also want to obtain endorsements, which allow you to drive special vehicles, like school buses, tractor-trailers, or trucks that carry hazardous materials.
Each CDL class and endorsement requires you to pass three skills tests: the Vehicle Inspection Test, the Basic Controls Test, and the Road Test. Depending on where you take the test, it will either be handed to you immediately or mailed to you if you pass.
A Career in Trucking
As with most careers, the more experience you have, the better your job prospects will be. You can choose from a greater variety of positions and expect a higher salary after a few years on the job.
Most commercial trucking companies offer benefits packages to employees that include medical and dental care, and new employees generally start at around $30,000 per year. Your salary can grow significantly if you stay with the job. In fact, many truckers who have been working for a few years make upwards of $40,000 per year. If you’re interested in increasing your salary, consider obtaining endorsements that will provide you with the ability to drive double- or triple-trailers or trucks that contain hazardous materials.
Are you ready to learn how to become a truck driver? To get started, give Truck Dynasty Driving Academy a call at 417-831-8188, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!