Want to get out of the office and on the road to receiving great benefits? You'll need to start by reading our four steps to working in transportation. Wait, wait, there's good news! One of the four steps isn't growing a moustache, and you don't need to wear acid-wash jeans. If you weren't on board before, you should be now.
The best news of all is that trucking companies are hiring! Schneider National services nearly two-thirds of America's Fortune 500 companies, and they added nearly 2,500 new truck drivers last year alone.
Trucking can be an awesome job, but it's overlooked by many people. If you're already considering a transportation job or maybe you just started (because you found out you don't need a mullet) then take a look at the four steps to becoming a trucker.
1. Complete high school or get your GED.
It's not necessarily written in stone that you must have a diploma, but this is one of those things that will only help you. Some of the major trucking companies require it, but almost every company prefers it.
2. Keep a clean driving record.
Parking tickets? Sure, OK. Reckless driving? No, not so much. For companies to trust you with their freight, they'll have to be confident that you can get it from Alabama to Wyoming without incident. Having several moving violations or a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) will probably disqualify you from working for most companies.
3. Get your Commercial Driver's License.
There are federal guidelines for CDL requirements, but each state has its own rules. You'll need to verify with the Department of Motor Vehicles what those specific laws are in your state. Generally, though, you'll need to pass a written exam about laws and equipment, conduct a pre-trip vehicle inspection and demonstrate your driving skills. The easiest way to do this is to attend a driving school. It won't be free, but it will make the process much easier.
4. Pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) exam.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation exam has both a written and physical (hearing and sight) component, and you'll need to pass both. Once you pass the written you'll never have to do it again, but you'll need to pass the physical once every two years.
A word of warning: there are a ton of schools that offer to put you on the path to getting your CDL. Do your research and make sure you aren't getting hustled. The American Trucking Association (ATA) is a great source of information to get you started. The best way to be sure you aren't getting hustled is to check with the company you want to work for and be sure that the school you plan on attending is approved. So start looking for truck driver jobs, because they're looking for you!