How to Become a Truck Driver

by Shenron on October 20, 2009

Ahh, the open road. It’s a wonderful place that very few of us get to ever actually explore. If though, you become a trucker driver, you’ll be seeing a lot of things that you once thought unimaginable. Truck driver may not be the most glamorous job of the bunch, but it pays pretty damn well all things considered. Today we’re going to cover the relatively easy steps of how to become a truck driver.

Truck Driver How to Become a Truck Driver

1. The first thing you’re going to want to do is graduate from high school with at least a GED. It isn’t absolutely quintessential to your success but people that graduate usually look better on an application form than someone that hasn’t. With your diploma in hand, you’re ready to keep on trucking (I apologize for the terrible pun!).

2. A standard driver’s license isn’t quite good enough to get behind the wheel of a big 18-wheeler. To hit the road you’re going to need what’s called a CDL, or in layman’s terms, a Commercial Driver’s License. This allows you to drive vehicles over 25,000 pounds in weight safely. There are always plenty of programs from state to state that offer classes on the CDL exam. Most of the time though the exam simply consists of an 8 hour training course that teaches you the ins and the outs of bigger vehicles and how they operate differently on the road. A few laps around the practice course should be all you need to take the real test. The exam consists of a written portion and a driving portion. Once both are completed you’ll be commercially rated to drive large vehicles.

3. If you thought getting through all the exams in high school was hard, you haven’t seen anything yet. In addition to a CDL diploma, you’ll also need to pass the FMCSR, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations exam administered by the USDOT. This exam is very similar to the CDL exam in that it just covers road basics and if you managed to get a regular driver’s license, you should be good to take this test right away. After completion of the written you’ll move on to a final test that checks your physical readiness. If you are of sound mind and body, you’ll get the all clear.

Truck Driver 5 How to Become a Truck Driver

Truck drivers are expected to have a clean driving record without many, if any, driving infractions since their first license. If you currently have or receive any DUIs while applying for or during your time as a trucker, you may stand to lose your license. Unsafe driving in a car is one thing. Unsafe driving in a vehicle that weighs upwards of ten tonnes is another. Safety is paramount so take all of the exams and classes seriously even if you’re just there to pass.

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