February 28th, 2013
Truck Driver Articles
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Truck Driver Training
Truck drivers have an important job. These professional drivers transport various goods and raw materials across the country and keep the economy humming. If you’re interested in becoming a commercial truck driver, then you should know there is some specific training required before you can land a job.
In order to drive a commercial truck in the United States, you need to first obtain a CDL license. This applies to any vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds. A commercial driver’s license will require a skill assessment and a written test. You will also need to pass a medical examination every two years.
The skills test will assess your ability to perform the pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and will also include a driving test. Don’t worry—you will have plenty of opportunities to drive a vehicle in your CDL classes before you take the exam. The written exam tests your knowledge of the various mechanical systems of the commercial vehicle, such as brakes, cargo area and transmission.
You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a CDL license and if you are younger than 21 then you will be restricted to driving within the state that you obtained your license. Most interstate truck driving companies prefer to hire people who are 23 or older with excellent driving records.
Truck Driver Training Locations
Truck driving training may be obtained from several different resources. Your local community college may offer classes, although the hours and availability may be limited. Many commercial truck-driving companies also have training programs available. In some cases, these companies may offer to reimburse your tuition if you sign a contract with them after passing your exam.
Finally, there is several private truck driving class providers available in almost every major metropolitan location of the United States. You may be eligible for financial aid if you sign up for these classes. A word of caution: the quality of classes from these companies varies considerably and that’s why it’s important to do plenty of research prior to committing to classes.
Do Your Research!
You can research truck driving training companies online and it also helps to contact people you know for recommendations of classes. This will be an investment of money and about six months of your time, so it’s important that you choose wisely.
When you choose a truck driving training provider, make sure you choose one that has good trucks. Some schools will have out-of-date trucks that are not very similar to the ones you will be driving for a company. You want to learn on equipment that is current.
When you are taking truck-driving classes, you may also use truck-driving simulators. These are stationary cabs that are set up with digital screens that will simulate various road conditions and situations. Good simulators will incorporate truck driving sounds and a certain degree of movement as well.
If you enjoy traveling the open road and believe you may want to make a career of it, truck driving could be just the solution for you. The best way to find out is to talk to working drivers and find out what it’s like.