Trucking is an essential and rewarding career path. Drivers keep our nation’s economy moving and due to high demand for qualified individuals, many jobs offer competitive pay and benefits.
If you’re interested in becoming a trucker, here’s how to get started:
1. Determine If Trucking Is Right For You
Before you get started on your journey to start trucking, it’s helpful to determine why you are interested in this career. Our article “Signs You Should Become A Truck Driver” lists some traits that are common in potential truck drivers. Many different types of individuals are drawn to trucking. If you’re a self-starter, interested in high earning potential, and enjoy the freedom of the open road, you may enjoy a trucking career.
2. Find A Truck Driving School
While some are able to earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL) without attending a trucking school, a program that meets entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements is typically the ideal way to get your license. This is because you have additional support and learning opportunities. Additionally, many companies prefer to hire drivers that have graduated from trucking school programs.
3. Take Your CDL Permit Test
There are two exams you’ll need to pass to earn your CDL. The first is a written test and after passing this, you’ll earn your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The written CDL test is a multiple-choice exam that covers general information related to semi-truck safety and operation. You may also take endorsement tests at the same time, such as those for hazardous materials (hazmat), tanker, and doubles/triples.
4. Take Your CDL Skills Test
After you pass your written CDL exam, the next step is the skills test. This is a practical exam that includes pre-trip inspections, tests for specific driving skills, and an on-the-road portion. Once you pass, you’ll earn your license.
5. Find a Trucking Job
Now that you have your CDL, the next step is finding a truck driving job. In most cases, you’ll start with an over-the-road (OTR) position. This is because these jobs are the most widely available and allow you to gain wide exposure to different driving conditions over time. Many truck driving schools, including Phoenix Truck Driving School, offer job placement assistance to help you find positions that meet your needs and desires.
6. Ongoing Training and Development
After you get a job, most companies have some type of company training. This often involves going on the road with a driver trainer and trucking under their supervision for a period of time. After this, you’ll be able to go solo, or drive with another trucker if this is your preference.
Even after your official training is complete, you’ll still have opportunities to continue to learn and grow. The best truckers are constantly honing their skills and working to improve their safety and efficiency on the road.
Earn Your CDL With Us
Phoenix Truck Driving School offers high-quality CDL training in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. We can help you earn your license and hit the road in as little as four weeks.