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Getting a Job Driving a Truck? What You Need to Know

Paisley Hansen
The trucking industry is the backbone of the American economy, which makes driving a truck a potentially rewarding and in-demand occupation. However, being a truck driver isn't for everyone. Consider these seven attributes of driving a truck for a living if you are considering a career as a truck driver.

You Will Need a Commercial Driver's License

To legally drive a truck for a living, you will need to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) from the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state. There are three types of CDL license. The one you need depends on the type of truck you want to drive.
A Class A license will allow you to drive trucks with a combined weight of 26,000 pounds. Class B is for single vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds and class C is for vehicles that transport more than 16 passengers or carry hazardous waste.
To get a CDL you will need to have a noncommercial driver's license, meet the age requirement in your state and pass a written and driving exam. Your state or the company you want to drive for may have additional requirements.

You Will Do More Than Just Drive

The primary job that truck drivers do is drive trucks, but that isn't the only responsibility. Truck drivers also assist or supervise the loading and unloading of cargo, perform safety inspections on their trucks, comply with state and federal regulations, keep a log of miles driven, work with dispatchers and keep their truck clean and in good running order.

You Will Need More Than Just Driving SkillsIt is a given that truck drivers need

It is a given that truck drivers need to be good at driving, but that is not the only skill a successful driver will need to possess. Truck drivers must also be adept at time and stress management, communication and problem-solving.
Truck drivers must be able to manage their time well to make delivery deadlines. They must also be calm under pressure and able to improvise solutions to unexpected problems. Drivers must also be able to effectively communicate with customers and employers.

You Must Be Comfortable With Solitude

Most truck drivers spend several weeks on the road, followed by a few days at home. To be successful in this career, you will need to be comfortable with being away from your friends and family for long periods. This can be a difficult adjustment for drivers who have families.

The First Year Is the Hardest

All new jobs come with an adjustment period, but the first year of truck driving can be particularly hard. Not only do you need to adjust to operating a large, potentially dangerous vehicle on unfamiliar roads in all kinds of traffic and weather conditions, but you have to adjust to the lifestyle that comes with being a trucker.

Safety Should Be Your Priority

New drivers tend to have more accidents than experienced drivers. Accidents will go on your driving record and could cost you money and potential jobs. It is important to get comfortable with driving your truck in difficult conditions and obey traffic laws. If you do have a serious accident, you may need the assistance of a truck accident attorney.

You May Need More Training for Heavy Loads

Some types of truck drivers, such as delivery drivers, typically only need a high school education and a valid CDL license. However, companies who hire drivers to haul heavy loads typically prefer drivers who have attended a reputable truck driving school.
Truck drivers play a vital role in the United States economy. A truck driving career can be very rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Knowing what to expect before you take on this career can help make your transition easier and more successful.