Thinking of becoming a truck driver? Be sure to consider the critical skills required to drive a big rig truck!
Trucking isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle, so before jumping in with both feet, be sure to understand what the job involves.
One of the big perks of a driving career? Even though the economy is still somewhat volatile, there are truck driving jobs available, in nearly every town and city in North America.
In fact, there's a shortage of skilled truckers, so the 'trucker' is in the driver's seat, so to speak!
In Canada, Class A trucking jobs, require a Class A license. This can be achieved by completion of a paid driver training course from an accredited program, along with the driving and written test. Or the test can simply be written without any training.
The Canadian system requires little or no practical application before testing. There's too much in class time and not enough on the road driving experience required.
Every few years, a commercial driver is required to do a written test, not a driving test. In my opinion, this system doesn't ensure the sharp driving skills of a driver. It simply tests the ability to memorize.
The system in Canada could use an 'overhaul'. Apprenticeship would be a good idea. Practical application and experience are the best teachers in this trade.
Becoming a truck driver in the U.S., requires a CDL, which is the required certification to drive a commercial vehicle.
There are oodles of CDL schools available with varying prices, locations, program scheduling and job placement.
Unlike Canada, these driving schools vary widely in the quality of their programs, so make sure to dig around for as much information as possible, to find the driving school that gives the best bang for the buck.... not necessarily the cheapest school, but the best quality for the money.
In the U.S., it's possible to find a good reliable carrier that is owned and operated by the carrier... company-sponsored CDL training.
They'll pair up an experienced trucker with a newbie, to learn the
ropes, and then hopefully a job and then eventually a CDL.
This is a somewhat decent method of training because it provides genuine on the road practical experience which is the key to being a trucker who can get a job anywhere.
Should you decide not to stay with the company that did the training, you've still got the training and experience.
But, be sure to carefully read the carrier's contract. If the training or the job doesn't work out, guess who will be stuck paying for the training..... BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!
If just starting a job search, the line, 'Sorry, not enough driving experience', probably sounds very familiar. The biggest reason companies don't hire a driver, is 'not enough experience'.
Rack up experience years, because experience counts. This is true of any profession. It may be necessary to take a driving job that isn't quite perfect, just to get a foot in the door.
One of the best ways to learn the ropes as a newly licensed driver, is to talk and watch, experienced, seasoned truck drivers.
Talk to them, listen intently, tap their brains for information, ask questions, and follow them up and down the highway.
If you've always dreamed of driving big rig trucks, becoming a truck driver can be a great career!
No matter if you're a freshly licensed driver or a seasoned pro, keep on learning how to improve your driving. If you think you are done learning all there is to know about the job, throw away your keys.... you're a danger on the road.
Over confidence is down right dangerous. Letting your guard down is deadly.
Where would you like to go next?