If you’re thinking about becoming a truck driver, you probably have a lot of questions. How do I get started? What are the requirements? What kind of lifestyle can I expect? This guide will answer all those questions and more, giving you the information you need to make an informed decision about whether a career in trucking is right for you.
Getting Started as a Truck Driver
The first step to becoming a truck driver is to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL). To do so, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old (18 if you’re hauling intrastate only), have a clean driving record, and pass a DOT physical. You’ll also need to pass a written knowledge test and skills test specific to the type of vehicle you want to drive. Once you have your CDL, you’re ready to start applying for trucking jobs.
In order to be a successful truck driver, there are some requirements you’ll need to meet. First and foremost, you must be able to stay awake for long periods of time and handle long hours on the road. You must also be comfortable being away from home for days or even weeks at a time. Additionally, you must have good customer service skills since you’ll be interacting with people on a daily basis. Finally, it’s important that you have good map-reading and navigation skills so that you can find your way around without any problems (yes, a good trucker can still read a map!).
The Trucking Lifestyle
One of the biggest questions people have about trucking is what the lifestyle is like. For the most part, it’s an independent lifestyle. You’re responsible for getting yourself from point A to point B without any help. That means staying on schedule, making sure your loads are secure, and taking care of your truck. It’s important to note that there is some downtime when you’re not driving, so you’ll want to find ways to stay busy during those times. Additionally, since you’re often away from home for long periods of time, it’s important to stay in touch with your family and friends through phone calls, text messages, social media, or even video chats. As you get some experience under your belt, you will have lots of career options from over-the-road runs that take you coast to coast, regional runs that keep you closer to home or even local truck driving jobs that get you home daily.
Trucking can be a rewarding career for those who are looking for independence and flexibility. If you think it might be the right fit for you, take some time to research the requirements and expectations of the job so that you can make an informed decision. And if you decide that trucking is right for you, we wish you all the best as you embark on this new chapter in your life!
Ready to take the first step? Get matched with a company that can help put you in the driver’s seat!