How To Become a Truck Driver

How To Become a Truck Driver

truck driver cab hands on the wheel dashboard

September 26, 2018

Ellis Law Corporation

Truck Accident

Driving a truck can be a good job, with salaries ranging from $30,000-40,000 at the entry level to $70,000 or more for experienced drivers. It’s also a job where demand is high, so as long as you can pass the requirements, your chances of landing a position are very good.

But how does one become a truck driver? There are a variety of requirements.

1. Make sure you meet the requirements and have the abilities.

First, think about whether you meet the requirements of the job. Most companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old. You’ll need to have a driver’s license, of course. You’ll also need a very good driving record. A history of accidents or even one driving under the influence (DUI) conviction is likely to disqualify you in the minds of many employers.

Many companies require that drivers have at least completed high school, although others will accept drivers who don’t have a high school diploma.

You should also think about whether you have the abilities needed, both psychological and physical. Truck drivers need to be away from home for long stretches of time. They work very long hours — sometimes 12 or more hours at a time. They require stamina for long-haul work.

2. Apply to truck driving school.

Truck driving is not a job where you need no training. On the contrary, a number of truck driving schools teach how to drive a truck and the laws surrounding the operation of trucks. Programs can last up to 10 weeks or so.

Instruction will include both study and written work and hands-on instruction in driving. Many schools have placement programs for promising graduates.

3. Obtain a commercial driver’s license.

After going to truck driving school, it’s imperative that you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if you want to be a truck driver.

Under California law, you must pass a written test and then a driving test, with the same class of truck as the one you are applying for a license to drive. Applicants must bring their own truck to the test.

Applicants are allowed three attempts to pass the test.

4. Pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation exam.

All truck drivers must take and pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) exam. It is a two-part test, written and physical. The written part tests your knowledge of Federal traffic laws. The physical portion tests your hearing and vision. The second part needs to be repeated every two years.

5. Work in orientation sessions.

Because truck driving is complex, many companies require their drivers to work in orientation sessions before completely driving on your own. You may have a mentor who rides with you on the first few drives.

When Truck Accidents Happen in the Los Angeles Area

Despite the extensive training and licensing of truck drivers, a number of factors cause all too many truck accidents in southern California.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a truck, call the L.A. truck accident lawyers at Ellis Law Corporation today. We have the experience, knowhow and tenacity to fight for maximum compensation for your losses. Call 310-641-3335 to discuss your case. The first appointment is complimentary, and you never owe us money unless we win your case.

Additional Resources:

  1. How to Become a Truck Driver. WikiHow.
  2. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. Commercial Driver License Information.