Tips and tricks to getting a job as a Truck Driver
Truck drivers earn their living driving commercial vehicles from one location to the next. In most cases, truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods and materials, but other jobs require truck drivers as well.
When people think of how to become a truck driver, they are often interested in learning what it takes to start driving someone else’s vehicle or purchase their own truck. If you want to drive your own truck, you should look into learning how to become a truck driver owner-operator.
Regardless of if you own your truck or not, you will have to figure out how to get a truck driver license.
That is unless you choose to learn how to become a truck driver broker instead of learning how to become a truck driver. Brokers don’t drive the trucks themselves. Instead, they arrange for freight carriers to deliver freight within their network of partners.
The transportation industry has many opportunities, and it’s easy to get started.
Still asking, ‘how do you become a truck driver?’
Maybe this information will be helpful.
Truck drivers have numerous responsibilities, the most important of which is ensuring the safety of themselves and the other drivers they share the road with. To remain safe on the road, truck drivers must follow the rules of the road and abide by any regulations that govern the region they are driving in.
Truck drivers are also responsible for duties like:
Driving long distances to transport goods or materials
Loading and unloading cargo
Creating records of cargo deliveries
Reporting road incidents to their dispatcher
Inspect and maintain their vehicle
Make deliveries on time
Plan efficient routes using GPS
There are a few requirements that must be met before you can become a professional truck driver. For example, you may be wondering how old do you have to be to be a truck driver.
Well, the required age is 21, but there are exceptions.
While the Department of Transportation requires all professional truck drivers who cross straight lines to be above age 21, you can obtain a commercial driving license at the age of 18. Though, if you are below age 21, you will be limited to intrastate driving. For this reason, most companies prefer CDL holders who are at least 21 years old.
In addition to meeting the age requirement, you will likely also need a clean driving record and reasonable work history. Familiarity with the rules of your state’s commercial driving rules and regulations could be helpful during the application process as well. Check your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website to learn more about your state’s laws.
How To Get a Truck Driver License
Learning how to get a truck driver’s license is the next step toward becoming a truck driver. To obtain a Commercial Driving License (CDL), you must attend truck driving school. In addition to passing the course, you must also pass a drug and alcohol test and undergo a physical. Once you’ve been cleared, you will be granted your license, and you can begin looking for a job.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Truck Driver
Now you might be wondering how long does it take to become a truck driver. The answer isn’t as simple as you may think. To become a truck driver, you need to obtain your CDL and find a job that is willing to hire you. The first step, completing truck driving school, takes about seven weeks usually. The amount of time you will spend looking for jobs varies, but in general, it takes most people between one and three months to find their first truck driving job.
Driving trucks requires a large time commitment and adjustment to a somewhat uncomfortable lifestyle. Because of the amount of effort required to be a truck driver, they are compensated quite well.
If you’ve been wondering how much does a truck driver gets paid, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that truck drivers across the U.S. earned a median annual salary of $47,130 as of May 2020. The top ten percent of earners brought in around $69,480, while the lowest ten percent earned less than $30,660.
The industry you choose may impact your earnings as well. For instance, truck drivers in the construction and manufacturing industry earn less on average than drivers working in general transportation trucking.
How Are Truck Drivers Paid?
In most cases, heavy truck drivers are paid based on how many miles they have driven. They may also receive bonuses, depending on the structure of their work arrangement. Per-mile rates vary depending on where you work, the type of cargo you are transporting, and your level of experience. Long-distance drivers may notice differences in pay based on how long they are expected to drive.
How Often Do Truck Drivers Work
The majority of heavy-duty truck drivers work full time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates how many hours each driver is allowed to work, with federal law requiring drivers not to work more than 14 consecutive hours.
Between working periods, drivers must have at least 10 hours of time off duty, and they are limited to driving no more than 60 hours within 7 days and 70 hours within 8 days. After one of these working periods passes, drivers must take at least 34 hours off before starting another work cycle.
As a truck driver, you can expect to work all hours. Things need to be transported at all times of the year, so your working nights, weekends, and holidays aren’t uncommon.
Whether you are entrepreneurial or you prefer a typical job, there are many high-value advancement opportunities for truck drivers to pursue. For instance, truck drivers can advance into management positions if they develop the skills and competencies required to do so. They can also start purchasing trucks and develop a fleet of their own.
Truck drivers can advance their careers using the skills and knowledge they gain in the profession. For example, driving trucks can teach you time management skills that could be incredibly useful in other professional environments. Additionally, truck drivers often become skilled communicators after spending countless hours interacting with dispatchers and other drivers on their radios.