Truck driving is a great career for those who love to drive and want a unique job that allows them to see the world. But the trucking industry isn’t for everyone, so you’ll want to think long and hard about whether it is for you before committing to a trucking career. Here are some important things to know before becoming a CDL driver.
You’ll Need a CDL License
Before you become a CDL driver, you’ll need to get your CDL license. You’ll need this license to legally drive commercial vehicles and to get a job as a commercial truck driver. The process of acquiring a CDL can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. You’ll have to pass several written, practical, and medical tests to qualify. While it’s not always required, it’s also advisable to attend a CDL training program to prepare for your exams and learn all the skills you need to know.
Drug Testing Is Required
As with many other jobs, you’ll need to pass a drug and alcohol test before qualifying for employment as a CDL driver. But even after employment, drug and alcohol use and abuse are taken much more seriously than in many other industries. In addition to pre-employment drug testing, drug tests will be required in various situations throughout your employment as a CDL driver. This includes random drug tests and testing after involvement in an accident.
You Should Enjoy Driving
This may sound obvious, but if you’re planning to start a career as a CDL driver, it’s absolutely essential that you love to drive. As a CDL driver, driving commercial vehicles across the country will be the bulk of your career. You’ll spend long hours at a time on the road behind the wheel, so you really had better enjoy it. If you don’t, a career as a CDL driver is not right for you.
It’s a Hard but Rewarding Career
No one who has ever driven as a CDL driver would likely tell you that the job isn’t hard, but many would tell you that the job has its perks and can be rewarding. On the one hand, CDL driving does have negatives to it, such as odd work hours, being away from loved ones for long periods, or sitting in the cab of a truck alone for hours. On the other hand, as a CDL driver, you’ll be driving around the country and seeing sights and locations that you’ve never seen before. At times, and on certain roads, driving can even be a relaxing way to spend your day. Weigh the pros and cons of the career and decide if it’s the right one for you.
Keep these things to know before becoming a CDL driver in mind as you are making your decision. CDL driving can be a great career—you just need to prepare for everything that comes with it.