Prerequisites for Becoming a Truck Driver
- *High School Diploma or equivalent GED
One of the main requirements of becoming a TRUCK DRIVER is the ability to read and write. Although a *diploma is not mandatory, many trucking companies can ensure the literacy of their drivers knowing they have a H.S. diploma or GED.
- Minimum age to apply for a CDL is typically 21. However, some states do allow drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 to apply for a single-state CDL. Check with your local State Agency or Truck Driving School Admissions Office.
- Importance of Training
When starting out, many truck drivers may not be experienced in handling a vehicle carrying cargo. Perhaps they have been driving a school bus, van or public bus before they joined a truck driving company. For some people it may even be their first job.
In such cases, it becomes imperative that their company provide on-the-job training. Often times, businesses will send their drivers for additional training or refresher courses at a licensed Truck Driving School.
- Appropriate Licensing
Needless to say, the correct class of license is important for every type of truck driver.
Driving careers that require a:
Class A CDL License allows operation of most commercial vehicles and includes but are not limited to:
Tractor-Trailers, Truck Trailer Combinations, Tank Vehicles or Livestock Carriers
Class B CDL Licenses include but are not limited to:
Ready Mix/Concrete Truck, Dump Truck Driver or Large Passenger Buses
Class C CDL is a license to drive any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight less than 26,001 GVWR such as a small HazMat Vehicle or Passenger Van.
If you regularly transport hazardous or dangerous goods, you will also need a Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Certification or Appropriate Endorsement.
- Personality and Health
It is important that a truck driver has no physical handicaps that would limit safe operation of the vehicle. All drivers must pass a DOT Physical and Drug Screen. Good attitude and the ability to stay focused are of the utmost importance and should not be taken lightly.