Truck drivers are in demand, and with a deficit of over 50,000 drivers it makes sense to get your commercial driver’s license now and start a new career on the road.
There’s a certain freedom to tackling the open road for your day job, while still facing a challenge on a daily basis as you strive to meet delivery schedules. The money isn’t bad either, the average fleet drive makes $73,000 a year.
In just 6 days you could secure a Class B CDL, which permits you drive a vehicle that tows a trailer up to 10,000 pounds. Class B allows drivers to drive a Class C vehicle, but not a Class A.
You can earn a Class A CDL on a 15-day course. Class A licensee can also drive vehicles that fall under the Class B and Class C categories. Class A drivers are qualified to tow trailers over 10,000 pounds.
You can obtain a CDL license as soon as you turn 18, however in order to cross state lines as a truck driver you need to wait till you’re 21.
Many people are facing big decisions. You’re graduating high school and you don’t think college is right for you, but you still want to be employed in a job that pays well and you can enjoy. Or perhaps you’ve been stuck in a dead end job and you feel you’re wasting away. Maybe you just need a change of pace from your office job, or you feel it’s time to change your career path.
Regardless of the why, there are so many reasons to get your CDL now.
First and foremost, truck drivers get paid well and you don’t have to spend four years at college to obtain that high paid position. If you love to drive, hate the 9 to 5 life, and you work well under pressure… then truck driving could be perfect for you.
What does the typical day of a truck driver look like? Well, it’s early to rise, up no later than 6am. You head to the truck stop to get some coffee, inspect the truck and trailer, check messages, complete the logs, and check the weather and safety conditions.
Then you head to the receiver or shipper where you’ll live load, live unload, or drop and hook. You may spend hours sitting around waiting if you get paid by the miles you drive. However, you can use the down time to plan your route. It’s important to factor in fuel stops, weigh stations, and road construction.
Dependent on your schedule you may have to eat on the go, but if there’s time you can stop at a restaurant. As the evening draws in it’s important to keep your eye on the time clock to ensure you don’t violate laws, this can be costly. When you pull over for the night it could be a truck stop, an off ramp, or the property of a shipper or receiver. Essentially, you can park up anywhere you can fit your rig, provided you aren’t breaking any rules. Shut down for the night, shower, eat, call home, and hit the hay.
If you become an over the road driver expect to spend very little time at home, however there are other jobs that will allow you fewer long haul trips. It’s all dependent on how you prefer to operate.