The first step in pursuing a career as an over-the-road truck driver is to obtain your commercial driving license (CDL). This license lets potential employers and law enforcement agencies know that you have the training and experience needed to operate a semi-truck safely.
With most of the nation's consumer goods being transported on major highways, the career outlook for commercial drivers is good. You can set yourself up for success by keeping the following tips in mind when obtaining your CDL.
Work With an Accredited School
It can be tempting to have a friend who has passed the CDL exam help you prepare for your own exam. This option might seem like it would be more affordable, but it can cost you in the long run.
Major trucking companies want their drivers to have a certain level of training. This training can only be provided by an accredited driving school. When you choose to pay more for your education, your CDL can open doors to jobs with all of the major trucking companies doing business in the United States.
Prepare for Both Tests
A common mistake aspiring commercial drivers make is focusing too much on the road test in preparing for the CDL exam. You should spend an equal amount of time preparing for the written test.
The information that you receive in the classroom is designed to prepare you to handle any situation that might arise when you are behind the wheel of a semi. You must pass both the road test and the written test to receive your CDL.
Respect the Responsibility
A CDL doesn't just change your future career opportunities, it also means that you must change the way you drive at all times. The way you drive your personal vehicle could have an affect on your CDL status. Any moving violations that you receive in a personal vehicle could compromise your ability to retain an active CDL in the future.
You will also be required to eliminate all alcohol use when behind the wheel. Even a blood alcohol content below the legal limit in a personal vehicle could result in a revocation of your CDL. Be sure that you are prepared to respect the responsibilities that come with a CDL before investing in your commercial license.
Driving for a commercial trucking company allows to generate income while traveling the nation. Set yourself up for a successful future by obtaining and securing your CDL.