What does it take to be a truck driver? That’s a good question. And one that more people should be asking. Have you ever considered a career as a truck driver? If not why not?
The trucking industry is short of qualified drivers. Qualified drivers are in demand. It’s a drivers market. For those looking for a job that can lead to a career, trucking has a lot to offer. Many carriers offer outstanding benefits and good starting pay. A career in driving is a steady and reliable career—work will not run out in the foreseeable future. And well-paying jobs are available immediately; the average driver earns 40,000 per year– CNN Money. New drivers may start as low as $30,000 while experienced drivers can make $70,000 or more.
Driving a truck isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. One that may take you far from home for extended periods, work you 12 or more hours a day, and make it difficult to live a healthy lifestyle. It can be done, but exercise and healthy eating are not the norms on the road. Driving can be dangerous, not only the hazards of the road, but loads can be hazardous too. There is constant pressure to meet delivery deadlines, and the stress of traffic, and delays abound. This is not the job for anyone who succumbs to road rage.
Candidates must be 21 years of age and have a clean driving record. Anyone with a reckless driving conviction or DUI will not qualify. Passing written and road CDL (Commercial Driving License) testing is a prerequisite. Exams vary by state. Next, are written and a physical exams from FMCSR (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations). The physical exam includes vision and hearing tests, FMCSA Medical Requirements. There are schools, which prepare drivers for these exams, some are highly credible, and others are found lacking so be sure to vet any school before enrolling. Some carriers offer in-house schooling, which can be a good alternative to outside courses.
Are you ready to take on the challenge?
If you are, and you meet the requirements, there are plenty of opportunities to land a position and build a career. If not, who do you know that is? Who do you know that would make a good fit? Would you like to explore a career as a truck driver? Here are a few of the trucking carriers who are hiring.