How To Start A Professional Truck Driving Career
Posted on March 1, 2023 at 4:15 PM by Blog Committee
Are you tired of your current career and looking for a new, exciting and rewarding career path? Becoming a professional truck driver is a financially rewarding and reliable career choice with plenty of opportunities for truck transportion jobs nationwide. If you have never operated a commercial motor vehicle before, there are certain CDL license requirements you will need to meet. Learn how to start a career in trucking driving today!
What is a CDL License?
A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) is a driving license that allows you to legally operate a commercial vehicle. There are many CDL licenses available depending on what type of commercial driving job you want. So which one is right for you?
- Class A CDL: This CDL license class allows you to operate a large combination of commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 26,000 pounds. This is the top class of CDL licenes which will allow you to operate commercial tractor-trailers, flatbeds, tankers etc.
With a Class A license, you can operate vehicles of a lower CDL rating, although some extra endorsements may be necessary. To obtain a trucking job and drive with Don Hummer Trucking and most over the road trucking companies, this is the license you will need.
- Class B CDL: This CDL license class allows a truck driver to operate any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more. Truck drivers with this class operate several types of vehicles such as cement mixing trucks, dump trucks, and large commercial passenger buses.
- Class C CDL: This CDL license class allows you to operate any commercial vehicle not covered by the higher tiers of CDL classification. CDL drivers with this class drive many types of buses or have transportation jobs hauling certain amounts of hazardous materials.
How to Get a CDL License
To become a professional truck driver and get an over-the-road truck driving job, you will need to attend a truck driving school to obtain the necessary CDL training. With trucking contractors and freight carriers looking to fill the shortage of CDL jobs nationwide, there are many sources of training.
- Community Colleges: Your local community college is a great place to get training to obtain a truck driver job. Community college CDL training programs are always accredited. Getting your CDL from an accredited training program will give employers real confidence in your education. Employers hiring CDL drivers will also be certain that you meet all the Federal and state requirements to have a CDL license.
Most colleges employ expert professional driving instructors with years of experience driving commercial motor vehicles. These programs provide quality instruction and knowledge tests to prepare you for your future job in truck driving.
- Company Instruction: With such a great need for company drivers nationwide, some large trucking companies now offer CDL truck driving education for new hires or as standalone programs. These programs are not free training, requiring the applicant to pay to learn to drive CDL vehicles.
View a complete list of accredited training programs in your area.
What are the Steps to Getting a Class A CDL License?
There are essentially two steps to getting your CDL Class A license. The steps mirror the progression of the non-commercial driver's license you already have in your wallet. However, the knowledge required and the testing processes are a little different.
- CDL Permit: The first step to learning to drive a truck is obtaining your CDL permit. The written test for this will evaluate your knowledge about the vehicles you will be learning to drive. You will need to identify the controls and systems, know how they operate, and understand how to inspect them. Once you have your CDL permit you are able to begin physically operating commercial vehicles under instruction.
- CDL Driving Test: After earning your permit and gaining instruction you will be ready to take your driving test. The exam proctor will check your ability to inspect your rig for safety and proper function. Once you have inspected your vehicle you will then begin the on-road skills test.
For this portion, the exam proctor will test your ability to back up your vehicle in a variety of ways. You will then be tested on your general road driving skills. The examiner will watch and judge you on how well you execute turns, lane changes, handling intersections, and any railroad crossings you encounter. If you pass this section you will earn your Class A license.
Already Have your CDL and Professional Truck Driving Experience?
Don Hummer Trucking is looking to add experienced CDL holders to our team of Professional Truck Drivers. If you are tired of working for the other guys and want to come work with the best, fill out the Hummer truck driver application today. Don Hummer Trucking is a company dedicated to Delivering Value and providing consistency to their drivers and families.