Becoming a long-haul trucker can be a rewarding occupation. Long-haul truckers can work independently and see the country as they travel on their routes. Many trucking companies are now looking for long-haul truckers since the industry is rebounding after the slowdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This is a great time to get involved with the industry.
Imroj Singh, a trucking industry entrepreneur, based in California, explains becoming a long-haul trucker and the licensing and professional certifications you will need before you begin work.
To become a long-haul trucker, the first step is learning how to drive a truck. If you already have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you will be well on your way already. If you do not have a CDL, you need to follow state and federal guidelines for receiving one.
The minimum requirements for getting a CDL may seem daunting. First, the applicant must have a valid non-commercial driver’s license. They need to have at least one or two years’ driving experience, depending on the state. They must be 21 years old to drive across state lines or to drive hazardous materials.
Drivers must prove citizenship or lawful permanent residency. They must pass background screenings. Importantly, they must provide every state’s name with a driver’s license over the past ten years. This enables the state to check the driver’s record and ensure no outstanding problems.
Many disqualifying conditions could keep a commercial trucker off the road.
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Incurring two serious traffic violations within three years
- Driving with a blood alcohol content over 0.04 percent
- Having an open alcohol container
These conditions and scenarios would disqualify a driver from receiving a CDL license or have it taken away.
Most trucking companies require that applicants attend a specialist truck driving school. These schools teach students how to handle a semi-truck, including in hazardous driving conditions. Some would-be truck drivers find this step challenging, and not everyone passes their test on the first try.
Most truck companies require that job applicants have a clean driving record and positive work history. A college degree is not required, but a GED is generally accepted. Truckers must also receive background checks before hiring. Also, drivers must pass drug and alcohol screenings to be certified.
What is the Job Like?
Many long-haul truck drivers enjoy the independence of being behind the wheel. For people who enjoy driving, trucking can be a rewarding occupation. It is also satisfying to know that your work helps businesses across the country get much-needed supplies to the people.
Being a long-haul trucker involves setting your schedule. While you often have predetermined routes that you need to follow, you decide how you spend your eight to ten hours behind the wheel each day.
Becoming a long-haul trucker means that you will not fall into a monotonous routine. You will continually find new challenges and adventures.
One of the best benefits of being a long-haul trucker is that it has a shortage of drivers. This means that it should be relatively easy to find work and that the pay will be good. In general, truckers make around $40,000 per year in most parts of the country.
Daily Requirements of the Job
One of the daily requirements of being a trucker is filling out electronic logs. Trucks are tracked by the company, including hours when the engine is running. Electronic logs eliminate the paperwork that used to be necessary for truckers.
Truckers will often need to help unload their vehicles when they reach their destination. They are responsible for the way the load is packed and for its safekeeping along the way.
Freedom to See the Country
Truckers often get to see more of the country than anyone else. While a semi-truck can’t park everywhere, truckers can get an excellent sense of the countryside and the places they visit. They can sample local food and attractions, and they can continually add to the new places they have been.
Independence and Profit
With a relatively low barrier to entry, the trucking industry can be profitable for the right drivers. While they see the country, they can support their families at home. Long-haul truckers are independent and can largely set their schedules. Having the training to be a long-haul trucker means that a driver takes safety seriously and is always alert for potential dangers. Truck drivers pride themselves on their safety records.
Imroj Singh wants potential long-haul truck drivers to know that their employers will appreciate them. His company and many others are hiring experienced drivers and bringing them new career opportunities. Becoming a long-haul truck driver may be the right career for you.