Truck drivers make our modern lifestyle possible. From getting products to the right point of sale to keeping hospitals supplied with vital medications, truck drivers deliver the vital goods that keep our world working.
But what are the requirements to be a truck driver in the state of Virginia? What do students learn in a formal training course? How does completing an educational course help drivers build a better career in the Hampton Roads area?
Virginia State Requirements
The Virginia State DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) regulates the licensure process for CDL drivers, including tractor-trailer drivers. In order to successfully apply for a CDL, applicants must:
- Be at least 21 years of age (those between the ages of 18 and 21 can qualify for a CDL that allows them to operate vehicles within the state)
- Show proof of residency within the state
- Comply with federal and state medical certification requirements for motor carrier operators
- Be registered for the Selective Service, if applicable
- Completed the DMV application and include applicable fees
- Complete an authorized training program
- Pass a knowledge and road skills test
Additional endorsements, such as those that allow drivers to haul hazardous materials, require further steps. Talk to your DMV representative for more information on endorsements for your CDL license.
Lessons Learned in Truck Driving School
Why do you need to take a driving instruction course? The skills you learn in these classes ensure that you’re ready to safely and efficiently operate large trucks with heavy payloads. In your studies, you will learn:
- How to safely load and unload cargo.
- Proper documentation techniques.
- Road safety and emergency response measures.
- How to maneuver oversized vehicles through a variety of terrain types and weather conditions.
- Information on legal regulations that apply to your position.
The goal of a truck driving school is to produce safe and legally compliant drivers. Your study course will prepare you for the realities of driving a tractor-trailer.
Benefits of Formal Education for Truck Drivers
Successful completion of an approved CDL training course is a requirement to receive a license in Virginia. However, even if it weren’t required by the state licensing agencies, getting a formal education has many benefits for future drivers in the Hampton Roads area.
- Your training course should show you the ins and outs of a daily driving routine. The hands-on instruction you get should prepare you to take charge of your own rig on the first day of employment. Even if your employer offers on-the-job training, your certificate of completion will qualify you to take more responsibility from the beginning, which might be rewarded with higher pay and more career choices within the company.
- Your instructors and fellow students could be a lifelong source of job leads, references, and supportive friendships. During your program study, your fellow students could encourage, assist, and support you.
- Your training course will expose you to different techniques and methods that you may not learn in an on-the-job training. Employers only train new hires in the skills needed to fill their position. If you decide to try a new direction in your career, you’ll have to start over from the beginning with a new company. With your driving school diploma, you’ll be ready to fill a variety of driving positions without needing additional training.
Does truck driving sound like the career for you? Get started on your path to success with a certificate of completion in Tractor-Trailer Driving from Advanced Technology Institute. This program is local to the Hampton Roads area and is designed to get residents ready to serve the many manufacturers and businesses that rely on drivers to distribute their goods. Contact ATI today to reserve your spot in upcoming sessions.