How You Can Start Your Career in Trucking
Trucking is one of the oldest industries in the US, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Truck driving is a booming field with many opportunities for people who want to get their start.
There are a large number of companies out there that offer opportunities for new drivers because the industry has a shortage. With a rewarding earning potential and the promise of a free and open road, you can have a long, lucrative career maintaining the country’s supply chains.
How Hard is Truck Driving?
Trucking is a career that requires a lot of training and some physical strength. If you’re thinking about becoming a truck driver, you should know that it can be physically demanding and, at times, slightly stressful due to other drivers on the road and impending deadlines.
Truck drivers usually spend weeks away from home, but they can earn good money to support a family. Of course, becoming a truck driver isn't for everyone, but if you're interested in starting your career in the transportation industry, there are some steps to take before getting behind the wheel:
Step 1 - Research the Basic Requirements
Before you commit to entering the trucking industry, there are several things you must consider. It's important that you do your research and prepare yourself for the challenges ahead. The first step in this process is learning about the basic eligibility requirements for becoming a commercial driver.
To drive for most companies, you must:
- Have a driver’s license
- Be over 21 years of age (some companies will work with 18-21-year-olds)
- Have a valid social security number
- Successfully pass background screenings
- Have a clean driving record
- Graduate from High School or have an equivalent GED
Step 2 - Handle the Beginning Qualifications
The next step to becoming a truck driver is meeting the basic qualifications. You may need to pass multiple physical examinations, including vision and hearing tests, as well as a drug test. In addition to these basic requirements, some companies may require extensive training before they hire you as an over-the-road trucker. This is to ensure you are capable and experienced enough to handle the work.
Additionally, you will need:
- To pass a DOT-approved medical physical
- Pass your state’s driver’s exam
- Have a high school education or equivalency
These basics ensure you are physically, technically, and mentally prepared for life on the road.
Step 3 - Get Your CDL
You must first obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) to drive a commercial vehicle. The process of getting a CDL varies by state. You can sometimes apply for your license online or over the phone. In other cases, you will need to visit your state's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office and fill out an application in person.
It is essential to follow your state's specific rules regarding this process so that you do not unnecessarily delay getting on the road or take expensive training courses.
Once you have obtained your CDL and are ready to start driving trucks professionally, remember that having one DUI conviction will disqualify you from operating any truck under federal regulations. It simply is not worth risking your career for that second beer.
Step 4 - Start Your Job Search
Now that you have a better idea of how to get started in the trucking industry, it's time to put your knowledge into practice. You can begin by researching the company where you'd like to work. This will help familiarize yourself with their company culture and business model, as well as give you an idea of what positions are available.
Step 5 - Practice Driving & Stay Safe
Now that you have your license, it's time to get behind the wheel. You'll be on the road for long hours at a time, and it's important to take care of yourself when driving. Be sure to take breaks and keep your physical health in good order. You don’t have to be a marathon runner, but eating a well-balanced meal for energy and stretching throughout the day when you break is an excellent way to keep your blood flow moving so you don’t get tired.
Being a Truck Driver is a Rewarding Career
Becoming a truck driver may be a perfect choice if you're looking for a job that offers independence, flexibility, and rewarding work. By satisfying the requirements for employment and obtaining your commercial driver's license (CDL), you can get started in this high-in-demand career.
In addition to being able to drive large vehicles on highways or city streets, truck drivers are also responsible for loading and unloading their vehicles as well as driving their trucks through traffic jams during rush hour. They also have to maintain strict safety standards while operating their vehicles while complying with company policies and regulations.
Trucking jobs are ideal for people who love driving long distances as they provide an opportunity to meet new people while making money doing something they love doing: driving!
You can get a step up in the process of starting your career by reaching out to our team at DMR Transportation. We provide training and employment opportunities for drivers and logistics support staff. We are always happy to offer guidance to new drivers interested in a trucking position. Reach out today, and let’s discuss your options.