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Training American Truckers since 1963

  • Duke The CDL eXpert

How do I get a CDL and a trucking job?

Truck instructor

Becoming a truck driver can be a life-changing decision. From job stability, a higher salary, travel, and a more independent work environment. What's more, the trucking industry is experiencing a truck driver shortage.

You must be thinking, "That sounds too good to be true."

Well, for once, that is not the case. As long as you have a clean driving record, starting your trucking career is a straightforward process. Let us walk you through it.

  1. There are three classes of CDLs—A, B, and C—that determine the type of vehicles you are permitted to drive. Class A is for operating vehicles with a

  1. combined weight of over 26,001 pounds, whereas the towed vehicle weighs over 10,000 pounds. Class B is for vehicles weighing over 26,001 pounds, with towed vehicles less than 10,000 pounds. Class C is for any vehicles not covered by Class A or B but designed to carry 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials.

  2. You will need a regular driver's license, be 18 years old (21 if you want to drive across state lines), and pass the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination.

  3. This involves passing a series of written tests on rules and regulations related to commercial driving. The CDL permit will allow you to practice driving on public roads with a qualified CDL holder sitting next to you.

  4. Look for reputable CDL training programs or schools near you. Community colleges, vocational schools, and private driving schools often offer CDL training. You can also consider company-sponsored programs, which may offer paid training in exchange for a commitment to work for the company for a specified period after obtaining your CDL.

  5. The CDL test consists of three parts- a vehicle inspection test, a basic controls test, and a road test. You must demonstrate that you can safely operate a commercial vehicle.

  6. Once you pass all the necessary tests, you can apply for the CDL and pay any required fees (these vary by state).

So you went through all the steps, took all the classes, and aced the test. What's next? Well, now you need to find a job.

Thankfully, there are a lot of resources to help you find the job of your dreams.

  1. Utilize Your Training School’s Resources: Many CDL training schools offer job placement assistance. They may have partnerships with trucking companies that are looking for new drivers. Take advantage of your school's job placement services, including resume preparation and interviewing workshops.

  2. Attend Trucking Job Fairs: Job fairs are great opportunities to meet potential employers face-to-face. You can learn about different companies, the types of routes they offer, and what they’re looking for in new drivers. Some job fairs are specifically targeted towards the trucking industry.

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