Do you hate the idea of cubicles, glaring fluorescent lights, and middle managers checking in on you every hour on the hour? If so, then you have probably have felt unfulfilled in many previous jobs. You need a career that is just as outside the box as you are and a career as a commercial driver might just be it.
What to Expect with a Career as a Commercial Truck Driver
Commercial truck driving can be a very fulfilling and rewarding job, yet many people overlook it. The primary reason why people are both drawn and repelled by truck driving is due to the fact this is a lifestyle. While those with many years in this career are able to be more discerning with the jobs they pick, newcomers to the field can often expect to be placed in positions that require they be away from their home and families for days, even weeks at a time.
This job also requires you to be alone the majority of the time as you transport goods from one place to another. This aspect of the position makes it a great choice for individuals who love their independence and time to themselves but it likewise makes it a poor career choice for individuals who are highly social and need constant job feedback from their co-workers and employers. But if you are the type who aspires to see new parts of the country and traveling by yourself, then you’ll find this career very rewarding. In addition, there is a strong sense of camaraderie against drivers when they do meet as they share stories only long haul truckers and heavy-duty truck drivers can know.
That said, there are a number of regulations instilled to ensure drivers enjoy a fair work life. This is particularly true when it comes to regulating the amount of hours truck drivers can work — these regulations are put in place both to protect the driver and the public from needless fatigue accidents.
Currently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has mandated drivers work no more than 14 straight hours, comprising of up to 11 hours spent driving and the remaining time spent with affiliated work, such as assisting with cargo loading and unloading. Additionally, drivers are limited to driving a maximum of 60 hours within 7 days or 70 hours within 8 days after which they must have 34 hours off before the start of another 7 or 8-day run. Naturally, these are the maximum limits and most drivers will enjoy much more relaxed scheduling with those drivers who own their own truck enjoying near complete schedule flexibility.
Getting the Necessary Education & Training
First, it’s advisable for anyone wishing to pursue a career as a truck driver to have either a high school diploma or GED and have a clean driving record. While neither of these are prerequisites to enroll in most CDL courses, most trucking companies will require them. Note that a few parking tickets and minor traffic violations are acceptable but major moving violations and/or a conviction for driving under the influence will often disqualify a driver from working for most major trucking companies.
The next step to becoming a commercial truck driver is obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License, or a CDL. Every state has its own rules for obtaining a CDL and there are certain federal guidelines that must be met by an individual seeking their CDL.
In general, these requirements include passing a written exam, conducting a pre-trip vehicle inspection, demonstrating driving skills, and passing a special safety regulation exam. While an individual may certainly complete such an assessment by themselves, most drivers have found attending a truck driving school to be the easiest and most effective way of beginning their career as a commercial trucker.
This is because undergoing CDL training at a reputable truck driving school puts you ahead of the crowd. Graduates of a licensed program who also have a clean driving record could enjoy flexibility in which firm they want to work for, the type of equipment they want to drive, and the hours they work. All of which can assist graduates to obtain the long-term goal of becoming an owner-operator and enjoy even greater control over their work.
Contact Advanced Technology Institute to Learn More
Are you ready to leave your old job behind and enjoy a future of more options and independence as a commercial truck driver? Seize the day and take that step towards your future. Contact us at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), to learn more about undergoing our program in tractor-trailer driving and obtaining your CDL license. This program could prepare you for all aspects necessary to obtain a Class A CDL so that you can quickly join the millions of other American truck drivers in this rewarding career!