Tips and Advice for Becoming a Truck Driver
Taking control of 84 feet and 40 tons of moving metal with a powerful engine, is not a job for just anyone. Traffic authorities understand this and will not even allow them to be driven with a regular license, a special license for commercial drivers must be obtained.
A CDL— Commercial Driving Permit— is only available after special training has been given after a special driving permit. The good news is that no special experience or education levels are needed to begin training for this.
But the training and job experience can be well worth it. As a financial venture this job is profitable, it is also a personally satisfying occupation that allows you to see parts of this beautiful continent that few people get to enjoy.
Commercial Trucking is a Regulated Industry
As a safety precaution for motorists and road travel safety, the FMCSA —Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration— oversees the particulars of the regulated industry of commercial trucking. Many of the economical restrictions have disappeared and now commercial trucking is becoming a competitive industry, many companies offer very attractive incentives.
Safety is a constant concern, however.
All Commercial Truck Drivers will be asked to:
- Pass a drug and alcohol test regularly
- Present a police record or background check
- Study and Abide by the rules and regulations of operating a commercial truck
Carriers can be extremely competitive but never take risks with the lives and services they provide. Carriers adhere to the guidelines set by the FMCSA very closely, a qualified driver will be in high demand in the trucking market, but a driver the hide elements of their backgrounds and history will not last long in this business. Here are some good tips for safer trucking.
Finding a Truck Driving Training School
There are many commercial truck training schools all over the country, many opened up after the economic recession. It is important to be sure that the truck driving school you are opting for is well certified, accredited and properly qualified for providing this training.
Some of the shadier ventures in this line of work will charge you a hefty price for training but in the end leave you out in the cold without a job prospect or much chance of even finding one.
On the other hand, a licensed and accredited commercial truck driving school be able to provide you with the solid credentials that will get you the job you need. Following are some things to look for in a commercial truck driving school.
– Accredited by the ACCSC and Licensed by the DMV of the commonwealth of Virginia to provide instruction on commercial driving.
A Proper licensed and accredited commercial truck driving school will require a study period of over 8 weeks to fully instruct you on operating commercial trucks.
Vehicle systems— There are many truck types and driving techniques to mater. 10 forward and 2 reverse gears can be tough for anyone to handle. Then there are the particulars of flatbed, refrigerated and tanker trucks.
Documentation— Of course a lot of this will be done by computer, but the job is all about moving large and often valuable merchandise from place to place. These companies will put some legal responsibility of the carriers and therefore the drivers who will be transporting their goods.
Operating systems— Are you familiar with an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit). These devices provide the cab with all the luxuries of home away from home; they also provide the power for dispatchers and GPS trackers.
Another alternative that can prove highly effective is to study with a carrier sponsored school. This is done on the value of “sweat equity” in other words you will have to work for the company for a specified amount of time to pay for the tuition costs — this time span is often a year.
You are sure to find that some carriers are better teachers and offer better training than others. Many of the larger well-established organizations offer better opportunities that the less connected small time schools.
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