Embarking on a trucking career is like setting off on a long journey: it requires a clear roadmap and a desire to reach your destination. This rewarding and dependable profession offers amazing opportunities to benefit your family, but how do you achieve such a career? Read on about the five essential steps to start your trucking career.
Step #1: Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
A standard driver’s license won’t permit you to drive a semi-truck or more. You must take your driving education a step further and obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The CDL requirements vary depending on your state. No matter what, you must have a clean driving record.
Then, it’s time to start CDL training! Save time and money when you follow these tips to choose the right CDL training program. Conducting substantial research about Class A training, Class B training, and the academy itself before signing up will ensure you receive the best education possible.
Lastly, you’ll need to pass a written test, a skills test, and a medical exam.
Step #2: Choose a Trucking Specialization
Trucking is a diverse and expansive industry, encompassing various specialized areas. Selecting a trucking specialization that aligns with your interests and goals is crucial when embarking on your job search.
- Dry Van: Transports general freight in enclosed trailers and ensures the cargo remains protected from external elements.
- Flatbed: Transports oversized or heavy loads that require open trailers.
- Tankers: Transports liquids or gases, such as petroleum, chemicals, or food-grade products. This specialization requires adhering to strict safety protocols and specialized equipment.
- Reefer: Transports temperature-sensitive cargo, such as perishable goods or pharmaceuticals, in temperature-controlled trailers.
- Hazmat: Transports hazardous materials, including chemicals, gases, or flammable substances. This specialization requires comprehensive knowledge of safety regulations and strict adherence to handling protocols.
Step #3: Prepare Your Resume
Your resume should make a long-lasting impression on each company you apply to. Be sure to showcase your CDL, chosen specialization within the trucking industry, and any noteworthy experience that aligns with your desired role. Include any contact information, other certifications, and any additional qualifications that demonstrate your excellence in the trade. This comprehensive overview will help you stand out and get the best trucking job available.
Step #4: Start Applying for Jobs
With your resume ready, it’s time to embark on your job search journey. You have two options: apply online or take a proactive approach by personally visiting trucking companies. Remember, it’s not just about submitting your application; it’s about forging connections and showcasing your passion for the industry.
After applying, follow up on your applications. Don’t hesitate to request feedback from companies that don’t hire you. This feedback can be invaluable for future applications, enhancing your chances of securing your desired job.
Step #5: Begin Training With Your New Employer
The journey can finally begin once your potential new employer hires you! The team will walk you through the necessary training to be a successful truck driver for their company. Absorb as much knowledge as possible, even if it may seem like you’re receiving repeating instructions. Remain patient, take it all in, and you’ll feel incredibly comfortable in your new profession.
Starting your trucking career isn’t possible without these five essential steps. Suddenly, all your hard work will be worth the wait.