The trucking industry is growing quickly and has a lot of job openings. As of 2019, there were about 2 million big tractor-trailer drivers, and the need for careful and skilled truck drivers is growing. Without a doubt, this also makes competition very tough. In this case, drivers need to be highly skilled, dependable, and responsible to stand out from the other drivers.
The job market is very competitive, but there are plenty of chances for skilled, efficient, and safety-conscious drivers. Being a truck driver is an interesting job that can pay well if you have the right skills and personality. The piece tells you how to get ready for an excellent job as a truck driver by training, being aware, and having a positive attitude.
Getting Ready for the Job of Truck Driver
There is a big need for skilled truck drivers in the transportation industry right now, which makes the job market very competitive. 2019 research shows that 72.5% of all freight in the U.S. is transported by trucks. This makes truck driving a big business in the country. This huge increase in demand is caused by many things, such as the growing need to transport goods across the country.
This means that people who want to work in transportation have a lot of choices. However, they need to do the right things to succeed in this tough field. Aside from being old enough and having enough schooling, there are a few other main requirements to become a professional driver.
- Your perfect driving record will show that you have never been in an accident or broken the law while driving.
- Again, if you want to get a business driver’s license in that state, you need to show proof of where you live and your social security number.
- Your mental and physical health are the most important things that determine how reliable you are as a safe driver.
- Last but not least, a background check will make sure you have no crime records.
All of these standards and tests are needed to show that you are a safe and trustworthy driver. The next part will talk about the steps and help you make a plan for how to move forward in a planned and organized way.
Get a Learner’s Permit for Commercial Driving
Before you can apply for a driver’s license, you will need to get a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). After studying at home with online materials, you can take the CLP test at a nearby testing center. Then you start getting a CLP and going to driving school to learn how to get a Commercial Driving License (CDL).
What Kind of CDL to Get
Why is picking the right type of CDL so important? This is a big choice because it affects what kind of vehicle you can drive and the job you want to get.
Class A: This is for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and cattle carriers.
Class B: Vehicles stay in the town and don’t go across countries.
Class C: This group includes small vehicles that can carry smaller amounts of goods.
Because it lets you drive Class-B and Class-C vehicles, a Class-A license gives you more options and makes your business more viable. You might also need an endorsement code to move special items, such as dangerous chemicals.
Get the Skills You Need
Joining a training program to learn the skills needed to be a truck driver is a great way for truck drivers to stand out in the job market. You will not only learn new things and improve your skills, but you will also get the licenses and badges you need to show potential employers that you are qualified for the job.
Many schools and colleges offer driver training programs that teach you both the theory and practice of driving a truck and help you get your CDL. These good things will happen because of the training:
- Training programs that work will help people get better at what they do and give them an edge over their rivals.
- In addition to learning the basic skills you need to drive a truck safely, getting your license would be easy. To work as a truck driver, you need a business driver’s license.
- You will feel confident enough to do well in this tough field after finishing a training program. Besides that, it will help you get the job you want.
How to Get the Skills You Need?
The skills needed to drive big, heavy vehicles are different from those needed for regular driving, so truck drivers have to learn them. One has to complete particular training and exams to be certified as a commercial driver and confirm the driving requirements.
To become a great driver, you need to get the right training so that you can bring the right skills to your job. The specific training helps you learn the facts and abilities you need to pass the test when the training is over. The following abilities must be acquired during your training, which is tested during the licensing exam:
You have to meticulously learn how to control the vehicle, how to carry out inspections, and how to troubleshoot. It would demonstrate your capabilities to operate the vehicle safely and efficiently, which are requirements in a competitive environment.
Guidelines for Safe Operation
To stand out as a reliable and effective driver, safe operating procedures must be understood and followed to minimize distractions, adjust speed, utilize space, and analyze visual cues. Your ability to drive in adverse weather or on high-risk roads makes you more demanding in the trucking sector.
Advanced Operational Techniques
Getting adept at sophisticated operating methods will help you identify possible risks or hazards and deal with unexpected situations more tactfully. Awareness and application of advanced techniques will help you maintain solid control over vehicle movements in any emergency, which are the most desired qualities of a competent driver.
Handling System Malfunctions
Maintaining the vehicle in top operating order is one of the most critical responsibilities of drivers, which calls for having a firm grasp of how to recognize, evaluate, and proactively handle technical problems. You can operate your vehicle more effectively and smoothly because you understand maintenance and on-road inspections.
Importance of non-driving activities
Besides driving skills, drivers also need knowledge and awareness about certain non-driving activities. It will make them more competent in handling different challenging situations and maintaining distinctive positions to beat the competition.
Documentation Compliance: Maintaining accurate records shows you are dedicated to safety and legal compliance.
Medical Preparedness: Keeping the required medical supplies on hand will help you deal with medical emergencies.
Environmental Regulations: Complying with environmental regulations guarantees legal compliance and makes the driver more accountable.
Fatigue Management: To be a competent driver, ensure safe driving by putting your health first and managing your tiredness.
Maintenance of the Vehicle: Properly servicing your vehicle can reduce the possibility of problems, guaranteeing dependable and secure shipping.
Substance Awareness: Understanding the effects of alcohol and drugs will promote road safety.
Emergency Response: Learning how to react to crises quickly and systematically improves your reliability as a driver.
Technology Proficiency: Staying current on the latest technological tools and techniques gives you a competitive edge.
Maintaining the Right Approach
Expert drivers are in great demand since they possess specific distinguishing characteristics. These drivers are more than just people operating a vehicle; they are also careful planners, concerned about safety, and proficient at handling challenging logistical situations. They know how important it is to be on time, follow tight guidelines, and maintain efficiency. The following parameters play a great role in truck drivers’ careers, helping them move forward in a competitive environment:
- Aptitude and a positive approach
- Ability to maintain attention to details
- Fast assessment of potential risks and taking action
- Effective coordination with concerned people
- Adaptability and flexibility to handle situations
Although many trucking businesses are prepared to offer driving jobs, not all drivers can live up to the rigorous standards demanded of them. That’s why there is a dire need for dependable, disciplined, and sincerely enthusiastic people for truck driving jobs.
There is a high demand for efficient and professional truck drivers, making the employment market super competitive. Businesses always emphasize the effective and safe transportation of goods and look for capable drivers to deliver consignments efficiently. This article highlights that in addition to getting the required licenses, prospective truck drivers should concentrate on acquiring the necessary skills through training and building capabilities to maintain a strong work ethic, passion for perfection, and commitment to safety. This is how they can succeed in this competitive environment and become a highly valued asset.
James Johnson is a former truck driver who now works as a writer, specializing in the trucking industry. With over 15 years of experience on the road, James has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities faced by truck drivers and the trucking industry as a whole. His writing focuses on issues such as safety, regulation, and the latest industry trends. His work has been featured in several trucking publications and he has received recognition for his contributions to the industry. In his free time, James still enjoys being around trucks and often attends truck shows and other industry events.