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How to become a Truck Driver?

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Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 09 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Becoming a Truck Driver comes with a specific list of qualifications to apply for a job. In most cases, transportation companies require their employees to have completed their high school diploma or GED at a minimum. Post-secondary or private trucking training programs are favorable for positions requiring more responsibility or more serious candidates in the industry. Possessing previous experience in driving big vehicles is an excellent asset for applicants as well. Many employers require at least two years of prior work experience in the field. More importantly, drivers require valid licensing to operate light or heavy cargo transport trucks, with the number one being a state's commercial driver's license (CDL). To obtain a Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP), you must pass a written knowledge test. The tests are multiple-choice and around 50 questions long. If you are writing a test for an endorsement or other add-on, there will be an additional 25 questions.  
Obtaining the necessary license(s) starts with an accredited driver training course at a vocational school or community college where industry professionals teach students how to drive trucks as well as learn the regulatory details to pass licensing exams. Aspiring Truck Drivers will also find it helpful to know that commercial vehicles fall into the category that requires endorsement licensing. For instance, a T-endorsement allows the driver to pull a double or a triple trailer, or a P-endorsement permits drivers to operate a vehicle used to carry 16 or more passengers. An N-endorsement will allow the operator to pull a tanker trailer. It's essential to research all applicable endorsements and restrictions available in detail on the FMCSA drivers page
Additional certifications and validations are necessary depending on the type of truck and the applicable governmental regulations. Drivers operating vehicles equipped with air brakes require a special endorsement to do so, and drivers transporting dangerous or hazardous goods also require a special permit. 

What can help you become a Truck Driver
Apart from licensing and other required essentials, Truck Drivers need before embarking on their professional journey are secondary skills or additional training that come in handy for a career as a driver. Many of these skills are developed during driver training and specialized post-secondary programs. Take some time and get a good look at our list below. 
  • Certification to operate light or heavy cargo trucks.  
  • Exceptional mechanical and driving skills. Displaying outstanding levels of alertness to be aware of their surroundings and identify and prevent risks and avoid accidents.   
  • Staying alert and awake during long hours of driving.  
  • Monitoring the status of the vehicle and the cargo and conducting regular check-ups on the vehicle, performing minor mechanical maintenance or repair tasks as needed.   
  • High levels of self-reliance and resourcefulness. Working alone most of the time and being capable of solving minor problems without help.   
  • Excellent physical condition and stamina for loading and unloading cargo and the ability to endure long journeys. 
  • Great stress and time management skills, working according to schedules, delivering cargo on time, and assessing situations and emergencies independently.   
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, interacting with loading and unloading crews, liaising with employers and customers.   
  • High levels of honesty, integrity, and reliability.