Aspiring truckers need to decide what type of commercial driving they are interested in, receive training, apply for a Commercial Driver’s License and find a trucking company. Commercial truckers work hard and often spend long periods of time away from home, but the profession generally pays well.
Before applying for a CDL, truckers need to consider what type of materials they want to transport and what type of driving jobs they want to undertake. Transporting some types of materials, such as liquids or hazardous materials, requires greater skill and more extensive credentials. Truckers should also consider the hours they want to work. Many trucking jobs require interstate travel and necessitate working long hours and spending many nights away from home. Other jobs, such as intrastate or local trucking, allow drivers to return home more frequently.
All commercial truckers must have a valid CDL, which requires taking an instructional course and passing an examination. Some trucking companies offer free CDL training to new drivers, while some drivers may need to take courses independently. After obtaining a CDL, drivers must find a trucking employer. Trade websites, such as TruckingTruth.com, offer lists of companies that hire newly certified truck drivers. Commercial truckers must typically pass both a background check and a drug test before being hired.