You’ve made the decision to be a trucker. Nothing between you and the open road but your truck. You love driving and it’s about time you started making money doing something you enjoy.
But, how in the wide world of trucking do you become a trucker? Is there a school? Do you have to buy your own truck? Are you working as a contractor or for a company? These are all questions that need answers.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about becoming a trucker.
Review the Requirements
The first thing to do before making any major changes is to review all of the requirements to be a truck driver. A quick Google search for your states and federal requirements for being a truck should provide the information needed.
Keep in mind that you will need to meet certain federal, state, and even company requirements before you can begin work. Each state has different laws and regulations governing truck drivers.
In most cases, you will need to obtain at least a commercial driver’s license from your state, which typically means attending a truck driving school.
Truck Driving School
Finding a truck driving school can be a rather daunting task. However, a good place to start is Google with the search phrase ‘cdl truck driving school near me.’ This should provide a list of the schools in your local area.
But how do you find the one that’s right for you? What types of things should you look for in a truck driving school?
The benefit of going to a truck driving school is to not only learn how to drive a commercial motor vehicle but to also learn how to pass the written and practical driving tests. As mentioned each state is different on the laws and regulations that oversee truck drivers. Likewise, schools too differ in how they teach their drivers.
A few things to look for when choosing a school:
- Find out how much tuition is and if there are other out-of-pocket expenses.
- Is financial aid or payment plans available?
- How long is the course?
- What is a typical class schedule look like?
These are all questions to ask the school. Once you have their answers you need to determine if they align with your needs and abilities.
Finding a Job
The stereotypical track is to finish truck driving school and obtain all necessary licenses before beginning your job search. Some schools will even offer job posting boards as well as a way to connect with other drivers and brokers in your area.
In some cases, however, the order of events is reversed and a company will hire you before you go to school. Typically this is because they will send you to truck driving school.
In these instances, however, be aware. This is not a free ride through truck driver school. The company is investing in you and doesn’t want to lose their investment.
In these situations, chances are the company will make you sign a contract to work for a certain amount of time following your completion of truck driver school. Once you’re done with your contract, you can venture out on your own by getting your own authority and trucking permits.
Regardless of which, much like choosing a school, find a job that is going to provide you a live-able wage, reasonable hours (as reasonable as trucker schedules can be), and if possible benefits.
Prepare Yourself for a Life on the Road
The most important thing to remember about wanting to be a truck driver is that it is a life on the road. While you may be able to hold for or negotiate schedules and pay rates to have a life closer to your desired lifestyle. However, keep in mind; you will be gone for the majority of the time. Especially if you take loads across the country.
However, there are some wonderful benefits to be a truck driver, like being able to see parts of the country you might have been able to otherwise.
To be a truck driver you’ll need to first understand the federal, state, and company requirements. And then you’ll need to find a truck driving school. Running a Google search for ‘cdl truck driving school near me’ will lead you in the right direction.
Truck driving isn’t for everyone, but for those who can handle being on the road for long periods of time and traveling all over the country, it’s a pretty decent way to make a living out on the freedom of the open road.
To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.