Working as a trucker has a certain allure to it and there are many people who are drawn to the unique benefits of the industry. However, most people are also fully aware that this isn't a job you can just apply for and hit the road in short order. In short, no one looks at a big rig and thinks to themselves, "That must be pretty easy to drive."
With that in mind, there's more to being hired as a trucker than just wanting the job and feeling like you're ready to tackle life on the open road. The following tips should help you understand what it really takes:
1) Make sure you have a clean driving record
First and foremost, any company you apply to as a prospective long-haul trucker is going to want to see that you're a safe driver, and that means you should have no accidents of any kind on your driving record in recent years, according to Schneider. It is, of course, a big ask to totally avoid even a small fender bender when you're putting in tens of thousands of miles behind the wheel of your personal vehicle, especially because many accidents you might end up in are someone else's fault, but that's the bar you have to clear to be considered reliable.
2) Proper licensure
The other thing to think about, obviously, is that most trucking companies won't hire you without your CDL license, though some will do so if you seem to have the right stuff — with the understanding that you will complete the training and licensure processes before you can hit the road, Schneider said. You have to be willing to put in that work, and you should understand that the training can be more difficult than you might expect.
3) Really understand what the job truly asks of you
Some people might look at a trucker's job and think, "How hard can it be?" simply because driving is something they do every single day, according to Trucking Truth. The reality, though, is that the vast majority of people have never driven for eight or 10 hours at a single stretch by themselves, let alone been prepared to do that every day for a week or more. Likewise, it's not easy to spend a long time away from family and friends, not sleeping in your own bed, planning your route and so on.
4) Apply in more places
If you've read all of the above and determined you think you still have what it takes, it's time to start looking for work, according to Smart Trucking. While many freight companies are hiring truckers right now, you do have to remember that many will be very choosy in their hiring processes, so it's a good idea to apply to as many firms as you can. That way, you increase your odds of finding one who is willing to take a chance on you, especially if you have never done it before.
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