How to Become a Trucker

Not many people stop to think about how the products we use daily get to the stores. Every product used in homes and businesses was delivered by a commercial trucking company. The trucking industry is always in need of professional truck drivers because we need these products that we use every day.

Without truck drivers to deliver these everyday products, stores would be bare, and Americans would have no way to purchase the things they need. Instead, we would have to drive directly to the manufacturers or grow our own food.

Private fleets offer new drivers an excellent opportunity to get their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and make a comfortable living doing something many of us love – traveling. You may even want to consider becoming an owner-operator.

Why Consider a Trucking Career?

The trucking industry is in demand of truck drivers as many veteran drivers reach retirement age. The shortage of seasoned professional drivers is opening the eyes of many trucking companies. Trucking companies are offering great perks and benefits to attract potential drivers.

If you are looking for financial security and love to travel, then the trucking industry is looking for you. Trucking companies are willing to train people just like you and provide financial incentives to keep you with their company. To get started, you should know how to get your CDL and what type of driving you want to do.

How to Acquire a CDL

Many trucking companies value your interest in the industry, and they will pay for your Class A CDL training. Some companies even have classes onsite. You may also get hands-on, over-the-road training.

If you take the CDL course through a trucking company and pass, you then become a valued member of their trucking fleet. If you are acquiring a CDL to become an owner-operator, you are certified to begin your new business venture once you pass your test. The great part about joining the trucking industry is that the CDL training class can take as little as four weeks.

What Type of Driver Do You Want to Become?

Many people do not know a lot about the trucking industry and often think there is only one type of professional driver, which is a long-haul driver. You would be surprised to find that gaining a Class A CDL opens many career opportunities within the trucking industry. Some trucking jobs do not even require a CDL.

CDL Career opportunities include

  • Bus or limo driver
  • Semi mechanic
  • Truck terminal supervisor
  • Dispatch operator
  • Distribution driver
  • Recruiter
  • Administrator
  • Mail courier

There are many rewards of becoming a commercial trucker.

Gain Financial Security

The job economy is low, and so are the wages employers offer. The one industry that still thrives is the trucking industry. You will be surprised to learn what a new commercial driver can make within the first year, not to mention how their earning potential can grow over time.

Some first-year CDL drivers make over $40,000, and that is if they choose to be solo drivers. Team drivers can make up to $75,000 in their first year. Drivers who decide to become trainers can almost double the pay of a new solo trucker, averaging between $60,000 – $80,000 annually.

Maybe you have decided to become an owner-operator. You can take the numbers above and multiply them by the number of drivers you choose to employ. The average owner-operator has an earning potential of over $100,000 annually.

There are some influencing factors that can increase income. These factors include:

  • Mileage bonuses. Many trucking companies reward drivers for meeting a mileage goal/quota.
  • Safety bonuses. While trucking companies strive to become the best and fastest in the industry, they also compete to be the safest. Many trucking firms offer bonuses or rewards to drivers with safe driving practices.
  • Advantages of fuel efficiency. Truck drivers who learn and apply fuel-saving techniques are rewarded for the fuel costs they save their company.
  • Compensation for layovers. Companies recognize that unexpected conflicts happen with scheduling. Private trucking fleets will often compensate drivers for any paid driving time lost due to such disputes.
  • Rewards for being a long-term employee. Most trucking companies value long-term loyalty. So, they reward professional truck drivers who stay with their company for a long time.

Truck Driver Benefits

In addition to earning potential income, there are many other benefits to becoming a commercial truck driver.

Paid leave of absence

We know that everyone gets sick and may need a few days to recover. After a while, truck drivers need more than just a few days home with their families, too. So, private trucking fleets often offer paid vacation time and sick pay for their drivers.

Health insurance

Every company in the trucking industry knows if a professional trucker gets sick, the truck sits still. So, in the best interest of trucking firms, they keep their professional drivers healthy. Many companies in the trucking industry offer paid medical, dental, and vision insurance to their truck drivers to ensure their drivers are healthy so the truck remains on the road.

Retirement, 401K, and life insurance plans

Many private trucking fleets give their drivers options to participate in various life insurance, retirement plans, or 401K benefits.

Gain Job Security

Finding a job can be tough in today’s economy. Finding a job that pays what you need is even harder. Now, try to find a career path with the option of advancing. You can have all these benefits if you choose a career as a professional driver.

One thing that is important is keeping jobs in the country. Moving freight in the United States cannot be outsourced to out-of-country trucking carriers. Goods distributed in the United States must be carried by United States trucking fleets driven by drivers just like you.

The trucking industry is one of the most secure industries to get into. Since store shelves must be filled and people demand necessities, commercial drivers will always be required.

Big Perks According to Veteran Drivers

If you ever speak with an experienced truck driver, they will often tell you that becoming a professional driver was one of the best decisions they have made. You will often hear stories of their friendships with other drivers and people they met along their travels.

Speaking of travel stories, you may hear some drivers speak of beautiful snowcapped mountains or the time they drove through the Grand Canyon. You will not meet one over-the-road driver who does not have a story to tell about a beautiful layover at a beach.

Professional drivers love having financial security for themselves and their families. Also, the memories they acquire along the way will stay with them long after they retire from driving.

If you are considering becoming a professional truck driver, stop hesitating; your professional trucking career begins today.