Becoming a Professional Truck Driver

One of the fastest growing occupations today is truck driving. The demand from various companies for skilled and trustworthy truck drivers is huge, leading to a large amount of available jobs. Those with the necessary qualifications, or those who wish to learn, should make the most out of rise in this career’s popularity.

Not just anybody can drive a truck for a living. Driving a truck professionally has many important requirements. Operating these huge vehicles is not easy. It can be very dangerous and requires special skills that can only be achieved by the proper training.

So how does one become qualified to become a professional truck driver?

All professional truck drivers need what is known as a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License. This special license is given to those who are qualified to drive a CMV or Commercial Motor Vehicle.

In order to obtain a license, applicants must pass a test to determine the drivers eligibility. This test consists of both a written test, as well as a practical driving test.

In order to teach drivers the driving skill levels required to pass the CDL test, many driving schools have been founded that specialize in truck driving. These schools offer to teach the necessary skills and techniques that are needed to drive trucks professionally.

The lessons are normally divided between classroom sessions and practical driving lessons. In the classroom, students will learn things like the basics of truck driving and parts that make up the various types of trucks.

Students should also get plenty of time behind the wheel. This is where they can practice and gain the proper driving skills.

Students will learn to drive different types of trucks and semi-trailers. They will gain vital driving skills such as proper use of brakes, turning corners, shifting, and all aspects of vehicle control. A truck driver must be able to maneuver their trucks through crowded traffic and possibly dangerous conditions.

There might also be lessons on the proper maintenance of trucks. Students will go through making a pre-trip check-up, and learn how to make basic repairs.

They will also study the special functions of the different trucks. This includes the loading and unloading of dump trucks, securing cargo, and the coupling and uncoupling of trailers among other things.

Once a student finishes the driving course they should be ready to take the CDL test.

There are actually several different CDL classes. These are:

Class A – is for a any combination of vehicles with a total gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more and the GWVR of the towed vehicle is greater than 10,000 lbs.

Class B – is for any single vehicle that has a GWVR of 26,001 lbs. or greater, or any like vehicle towing a vehicle with a GWVR that is less than 10,000 lbs.

Class C – is any single or more combination of vehicles, that is not of class A or class B, that can carry 16 or more passengers. Also included in this class are school buses less than 26,001 lbs. designed to transport less than 16 passengers and placarded vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

Aside from these classes, there are also endorsements that are needed to drive certain vehicles like tank trucks and semi trailers. These are issued after passing additional tests.

Employers will specify the requirements that they need in their drivers.

Truck drivers must be highly skilled drivers as well as being responsible people. Truck drivers must drive keeping not only their own safety in mind, but that of others on the road as well.