If your dream is to drive a truck and make the big bucks, becoming educated on how to earn the CDL (or Class A Commercial Driver's License) can help you get a head start. To be an official trucker and have a career on the open road, you must pass a test determining if you are qualified to drive a commercial vehicle. It's not just about being able to turn the key and hit the gas, but it is about knowing when it's safe for you and your cargo to be on the road. To help you prepare for your CDL, consider these tips.
Becoming an official trucker (and driver) is a bit more complicated than earning your CDL. There are different routes with different regulations. To become a truck driver, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the federal and state laws regulating commercial driving. You can earn your CDL, which is a stepping stone to getting your own endorsement. Once you earn your CDL, some endorsements allow you to drive in specific job roles. Some of these endorsements, like the HazMat endorsement, require an additional test. Other endorsements can help you specialize in driving school buses or handling hazardous materials.
Professional training is essential to becoming a trucker. It can help you learn how to safely drive a truck and gain skills that future employers will be looking for. Professional driving schools offer Class A CDL driver training that prepares you for the CDL exam. These schools provide classroom lessons and hands-on experience in the field, so you can see firsthand how to transport cargo safely and legally.
If your state does not have training programs for CDL holders, you'll need to take a regular driver's license exam. You'll need to pass it before you can start earning endorsements, so plan on studying after you get your CDL. Many professional driver schools offer the CDL holder both classroom learning and hands-on driving experience. Contact your school for advice if you're unsure how to prepare for the test.
Working at a trucking company or driving school can significantly help your career. Find out if the company you're interested in has a job placement program. You could be getting paid to train to become an official trucker, making your transition much easier on you and your financial situation.
The tips above should be helpful if you are a driver looking for the most effective way to prepare for your CDL test. If you want to get into the trucking business, earning your CDL and taking professional training must give you a competitive edge when searching for your first big break in the industry.