5 Things You Need To Become A Truck Driver

What do you need to become a truck driver?

 

If you are looking into driving a truck as a career and are wondering what you need to become a truck driver, then you are in the right place. I’m going to share with you 5 basic things you need to consider if you are even going to be considered a candidate for the career.

Let me start off by saying that becoming a truck driver is not hard. There may be a few challenges some people have to overcome but, compared to other career choices, becoming a truck driver is easy.

Here are the 5 basic things you need to help you clear the first step of starting your trucking career.

 

1. Your Age

truck driver ageEven though you can become a truck driver before you are 21yrs old, you will find it very difficult to find a company that will hire you. If you find one, it will most likely be like farm work, oil field work etc and you will not be allowed to drive across state lines.

As of this writing, to become an interstate truck driver (meaning you drive across different states), you need to be at least 21 years old. There is a bill in Congress where they are talking about lowering that age requirement to 18 years. Maybe things will change in the future.

 

2. Your criminal record

As a truck driver, you will be moving thousands, sometimes millions worth of merchandise. Trucking companies want to know that they are hiring someone they can trust with that kind of freight.

Your criminal record is one of the ways to help them identify the kind of person they are hiring.

If you have a criminal record, it may be hard for you to become a truck driver but, it doesn’t mean they won’t consider you. Depending on the type of crime and how long ago the crime was committed, some trucking companies will give you a chance.

What you may need in this case are strong references and a good work history to help improve your chances of being considered.

 

3. Your driving record.

This one shouldn’t surprise you because trucking companies are in the business of moving freight and the autonomous trucks being talked about haven’t yet taken over the truck driver jobs.

Just because you can drive doesn’t mean you can get a trucking job. The trucking industry wants or should I even say needs safe drivers.

They want to move that freight safely and on time. That’s where truck drivers have to shine. When it comes to driving, we (truck drivers) are mostly judged by two factors.

1. Are we safe drivers?
2. Are we reliable drivers?

Too many accidents, speeding tickets, and moving violations make it hard for you to get a trucking job. This is because it tells the trucking companies that you are a reckless driver and you may be hard to insure you.

If you have an accident or a moving violation on your record, trucking companies will still hire you. But, that will depend on the company and how long the violation was.

So, make sure your driving record is good or isn’t too bad.

 

4. Your work history

Your work history helps to show the company what kind of person you are as an employee.

Do you keep jumping around from one company to another, or are you one that is stable? Having a good work history will help to separate you from the crowd and also speed up your application.

Also, keep in mind that most trucking companies don’t want to see a lapse in employment. If you do have a lapse, you will have to account for it.

 

5. Your Health

Trucking companies want to know that you are healthy enough to be driving a truck.

Believe it or not, there are many drivers that have failed to make it through orientation because of their health. the big issue that takes drivers out is high blood pressure.

Before being hired on with a trucking company, you will need to go through a medical and physical exam. And you will need to do that exam every 2 years or every year if you have a health issue that needs to be kept under control.

 

Why do you want to become a truck driver?

 

When I got into trucking I did not have a specific goal of what I wanted to achieve as a truck driver. I guess I just assumed that there was a way of “climbing the career ladder.”

I don’t want you to waste your life like I did. Time in trucking flies. I don’t want you to look back one morning and realize ten years have passed and you haven’t climbed any ladder.

If you don’t set a goal of what you want to accomplish in trucking. You may have nothing to show for the years you spend driving trucks.

So, if you choose to become a truck driver, think hard about what you want to make of your trucking career. Write it down and make a workable plan towards it.

If you chose to become a truck driver, this bonus step alone will put you in the 20% of truck drivers that have a great trucking career.

Until next time,

Stay Safe.

Winter Driving Tips For Truck Drivers

Winter is almost here and driving a truck is not for the faint hearted. It needs a person of character, strength and prime physical fitness to sit behind the steering wheel of an 18 wheeler.

Driving a truck during winter weather can be a real challenge. It needs 100% alertness, courage, experience and above all professionalism. This is because, it is not only your life that is at stake, but so many other drivers and passengers on the road.

Prior to getting on the road especially during winter, it would be appropriate to call upon your experience and professionalism as a truck driver to ensure that you reach your destination safely.

You want to be satisfied that in no way has your actions been responsible for the unfortunate actions of others on the road. You are the professional driver. Others on the road with you may not be displaying the kind of professionalism expected from you.

So, here are a few tips to help you.

Check the weather conditions

Prior to starting your trip, it is important that you check with the relevant authorities, radio and weather reports, so that you know what sort of weather you could expect between your departure point and destination.

Check your truck

A thorough check of your truck should be executed by none other than yourself. This is because you will be the one behind the steering wheel with the responsibility to reach your intended destination safely.

Every documentation and accessories (like chains) you would need to keep your truck within the laws of the State and safely on the road should be with you without any wanting.

Keep your truck clean and visible.

Windows, mirrors, headlights and rear lights should all be well cleaned and in perfect working order. Because with visibility down in winter, it is not only you who should be able to see the road ahead, but other drivers should be able to see you too.

Also, keep in mind that driving with your lights on even during the day time, helps others see you.

Wear appropriate clothing.

Carry appropriate clothing that you would require if you have to stay an extended period of time on the road between the two points of your intended trip. It is not unusual for emergencies that lead to road closures to occur during the winter.

Keep your fuel tank full.

Try to keep your fuel tank filled up as much as possible. This will help to ensure that if you get stranded on the road due to an emergency, you will have enough fuel to keep your engine running to provide you with the heat to keep you warm.

Also, Keep a good supply of water, beverages and snacks in your truck for such emergencies.

Driving on slippery roads

Driving on slippery roads requires defensive slow driving and careful maneuvering.

Keep your truck in the right slow lane.

Drive without making sudden lane changes or quick braking stops.

Keep a very safe distance between you and the vehicles in front of you.

Driving at a moderate speed will make you a safe driver and get you to your destination safe and sound.

Stay Safe!