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How to apply and become a truck driver

Do you want to know what it takes so you can become a truck driver? Check out our article and prepare yourself for this goal!

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There are numerous motivations for becoming a truck driver. Some people want a change from sitting behind a desk or performing mundane tasks. Veterans might want to apply their knowledge of driving big vehicles in civilian employment. Others decide to look into trucking straight after graduation or when they retire. Traveling by truck is another option, and some couples choose to drive together.

Regardless of what are your reasons for wanting to become a truck driver, today, we are going to present everything you need so you can begin looking for a job as a truck driver.

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What skills do you need?

There are many skills you need to master, but we are going to present some key ones that you MUST have in order to be a successful truck driver:

Navigation skills:

You need to be able to get from point A to point B, which ought to be obvious. We have GPS these days to direct us to our destinations. But no matter how sophisticated the technology, it can never be completely accurate. particularly in relation to trucks.

You are in control of a 72-foot-long, 80,000-pound truck. It won’t always be able to follow the GPS’s recommended path, even if it is a trucker GPS. For trucking, it’s crucial to know how to read a map and to keep an updated road atlas.

Patience:

The mantra in trucking is “hurry up and wait.” As a truck driver, you will have to deal with traffic jams, hostile drivers, lengthy weigh stations and fuel lines, waiting for a shower to open, waiting to load, waiting to unload, and waiting to be given a load.

Learn to accept these delays as a given; any seasoned truck driver will be more than delighted to talk about them. Keep repeating the phrase “it is what it is” when dealing with delays.

Discipline:

Even the strongest motivation can only win you half the battle. It will bring you to your next challenge in life or at business, but discipline is what will get you over, around, or through it, no matter what it is.

No one can be 100% motivated all the time because it’s not in their nature. However, if you have discipline, you will make sure to do everything perfectly no matter how you’re feeling.

How to apply: what do you need after all?

Be aware of the age minimum before taking the process to become a truck driver. You must be 21 years or older to lawfully operate a commercial motor vehicle.

However, you can apply for a learner’s permit as early as 18 years old, and several federally funded pilot programs and military initiatives authorize the employment of younger drivers.

If you already match the prerequisites, let’s dive into the step-by-step.

Have a driver’s license

Before obtaining a CDL, you must currently hold a driver’s license in your state. You could even be allowed to start your profession driving delivery trucks with just a regular driver’s license while you’re training for your CDL. Driver’s license costs in the US range from $20 to $90.

Start a professional training

You can enroll in CDL exam preparation courses at community colleges, private truck driving schools, and trucking firms. Make sure you are familiar with the BMV or DMV requirements in your jurisdiction because some states have their own audits and accreditation procedures.

Programs for teaching drivers can continue for up to a year. Programs at private institutions and community colleges might cost anywhere from $1,000 and $10,000.

Earn your CDL and other important documents

You need at least to possess a CDL. Depending on the size and weight of your vehicle, CDLs are categorized as A, B, or C. For drivers hauling heavy freight, the CDL-A offers the most flexibility.

On your license, you could additionally need an endorsement code. For specialized vehicles like school buses and tankers, endorsements are crucial since they specify what you are permitted to transport. The various classifications and endorsement codes are explained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). However, you should also speak with your state’s BMV or DMV.

Then, finally, after all, is said and done, you can begin to look for a job at companies that hire truck drivers.

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