How to Start a Career in Trucking
Posted on August 19, 2021 at 9:31 AM by Blog Committee
So, you want to become a truck driver? That’s great! We think that trucking is one of the most rewarding jobs out here. This is a career that has endless potential and is vital in ensuring food and commercial goods get to their destinations on a daily basis. Here are the things you need to do to get started.
Meet the requirements to become a professional driver.
You can get your CDL as soon as you turn 18, but you’ll be limited to local driving jobs. If you want a trucking job that takes you across state lines, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old. You will also need to pass a background check, have a clean driving record, stable work history, and pass a DOT physical.
Get your CDL.
In order to get your CDL, you will need to enroll in a truck driving school or a community college that offers a CDL program. These programs will vary in length and cost, but typically they’ll take 3-6 weeks to complete and cost between $3,000-$7,000. You can expect a mix of classroom learning and behind-the-wheel training to help you prepare for the CDL knowledge exam and skills test. When you go to take your CDL test, you’ll also need documentation to prove your eligibility. Exact documentation may vary by state, but this usually includes a valid non-commercial driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport, or a green card.
Decide what you want.
When it comes to trucking, not all companies are the same. To get to a good starting point, you should figure out what exactly you want out of your career and future employer. Some companies only have company driver positions while other companies only work with owner-operators, which will require you to purchase or lease your own truck. Consider whether you want to drive over-the-road, regionally or locally. Each of these driving roles have different schedules so think about how much money you’d like to make and how often you’d like to get home. If having a set schedule and predictable paycheck are key features for you, consider Hummer’s scheduled runs which include a regular schedule with guaranteed weekly minimum pay plans.
You also need to decide what your priorities are when it comes to compensation and other advantages such as pet/rider policies, health coverage and opportunities for advancement. All of these things will help you narrow down which company you want to work with.
Get a driving job.
If you’ve completed all of these steps, then it’s time to choose a company. Some carriers will require you to have some years of driving experience under your belt first. Others may have a student driver program that allows you to start working straight out of driving school. You’ll want to look at what you will earn, what kind of home time schedules will be available to you and what additional benefits and bonuses opportunities each company has. For instance, at Don Hummer Trucking, not only do we provide top pay and consistent home time, but we also offer a lot of extras drivers look for including our pet and passenger policy, courtesy cars at our terminals, on-site nutritionists, a driver referral program, and state-of-the-art equipment with the latest safety and comfort amenities. We also encourage you to speak to current drivers at the company you’re considering to get a feel for the company culture and learn more about what it’s like to work for them. When you think you’ve decided on a company, you can usually fill out an initial application on their website or call their recruiting team for more information.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your driving career and want to know more about working with Hummer, connect with us today!