So you’ve decided to join the millions of men and women who are employed in commercial transportation. It is an exciting job but it can also be demanding. It takes a special breed to cope with the hectic lifestyle of a truck driver and if you feel you are one of them, then you must be ready to commit yourself to a job that would require much of your time and skills.
Here are tips that can help you know what to expect when you apply:
It pays to stand out.
So many truck driving positions are available and so many are interested to apply, so better be prepared to compete. It would help if you have a resume ready that shows your capabilities, service record and training. The trucking industry has a high turnover rate so it pays if you could show solid employment or least prove that you are not an employee who skips from job to job.
Most companies require that you be at least 21 years old with a valid Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Companies require Class “A” or “B” CDL. Also, you must pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) examination which you will need to take every two years.
You will also need to undergo written tests, a physical examination (from the company and the Department of Transportation) and drug screening. Your background will also be checked, so it’s good to have character and professional references who can vouch for your service.
A clean CDL is advantageous. Companies are wary of drivers with a spotty driving history. You can be disqualified from a truck driving job if you have been involved in more than two accidents within two years, have a incurred several moving violations, and have been involved in DUI, drug or violent incidents.
Some companies also require truck drivers to have a first seat experience at least a year prior to the application that the company can confirm.
Applying online is quick and convenient. Most websites have online forms that can be filled out in minutes and sent in seconds. You will need to create a user name and a password to join. A lot of these websites offer this service for free.
The sites also save your information so you can come back and update it from time to time. There is really no need to worry since your information will be secure. Websites use a good level of encryption and security to make sure that your personal details will not be available to anyone else.
The website of the company you are applying to may also be a good place to submit your application. Just go to their site and follow the online instructions.
The trucking industry does take care of its personnel and the benefits and wages are also very good. Rates vary from one company to another, but companies typically offer full insurance, paid leaves, retirement plans, even stock options and profit sharing.
When do you get the call?
The time it takes for a company to respond to your application varies. Assuming of course that your form is complete, there may be some reasons why they haven’t gotten in touch yet. Companies have certain criteria when choosing their truck drivers. It could be that your driving experience and their qualifications did not match or they might not consider applicants from outside their state.
Whatever the case, keep a level head and continue researching your opportunities. It might also pay to examine your qualifications more carefully and the hiring criteria of the company so you can find a better and relevant match. Other than that, keep looking until you find one that is right for you.
Truck driving is not your regular 9-to-5 job. It is a rigorous occupation that requires a good amount of discipline and independence. You can be gone for days at a time and if you have a family, you might miss out on certain special occasions and important dates. It is a stressful job where you spend hours and days alone in the driver’s seat, but like every other job, it is not without its rewards.