As a nation, we rely on truck drivers to move both raw goods and finished products. These men and women truly are the foundation of the American economy and without them, we could not meet our basic needs.
Because of this continuing dependence, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) means fantastic career security for people who hold one. While work as a truck driver isn’t very glamorous, the job does have a number of very attractive benefits.
Commercial truck driving does not require a four-year college degree, which means entering the field is inexpensive and relatively straightforward. Truck drivers also enjoy good compensation, job flexibility and the chance to see the country from coast to coast.
Requirements vary from state to state, but if you are considering a CDL license for your career, there are four basic steps to get one.
Understand the requirements
The first step of seeking a CDL should be reading the Requirements section of your state’s CDL manual to find out if you qualify for the license. Typical requirements include a minimum age and physical characteristics. Meeting these requirements will ensure things go properly throughout the entire sequence of seeking and obtaining a CDL.
Earn a CDL Permit
If you have a standard driver’s license, you likely had to earn a learner’s permit as a precursor and the same is required of people seeking a CDL. You can acquire a Class A CDL permit by passing scores a number of written exams. In most states, the written tests cover general topics, air brakes and combination vehicles.
Classes and Endorsements
CDL classes and endorsement require additional testing to obtain and can broaden a driver’s employment possibilities. Every state has the same three CDL classes (A, B and C) that pertain to the size of vehicle the license holder is legally able to operate.
Endorsements pertain to specialized kinds of commercial vehicles that a holder is allowed to operate. For instance, a ‘T’ endorsement pertains to double/triple trailers and an ‘X’ pertains to tank vehicles hauling hazardous wastes.
Take CDL Skills Test
To receive a CDL, you must pass a CDL driving test, which involves a 3-part exam: a pre-trip inspection test, basic control test and driving test. The test is conducted at either a state CDL test location or an authorized third-party test location. As soon as the abilities test has been passed, a driver can be issued a CDL license from her or his state.
Attending a CDL school is a good way to get a Commercial Driver’s License. People trying to get the license without formal training often find it’s much harder than it seems. Professional CDL training includes both classroom instruction designed for the written exam and hands-on training for the skills test.
If you are currently considering a career as a commercial truck driver, please contact our experts today! We can give you a career outlook and guide you toward getting proper CDL training.