Are you looking to find a new, exciting career instead of settling for the next dead-end job? The field of trucking may be your next destination. But, before you can get started enjoying the scenic views of the country, you should first check to see that you fit the requirements to become a truck driver.
Not only are there federal requirements you must fulfill, trucking companies often have their own standards that must be followed. Being aware of these requirements will make filling out an application and talking to a recruiter both quicker and easier.
Read on and find out if you meet the requirements to start your career as a truck driver.
What Requirements Do I Need to Meet?
Before you get your start on the road, you will need to meet some federally recognized criteria. These include:
- Being at least 21 years of age. While there are some potential laws that would allow 18 year olds to drive semis, the current law stands that you must be 21 years old. Currently, 18 year olds can drive in most states so long as they do not cross state borders, but the minimum hiring age for the majority of trucking companies is 21 or older.
- A 10 year driving history. For every state you have lived in, you will need to provide a 10 year driving record. This includes any tickets or traffic accidents that may have occurred in that time. Each company has different safety qualifications. To confirm your driving record, you can request a report or abstract from your local DMV office prior to applying.
- A valid CDL/able to pass CDL exam. If you don’t already have your CDL, you must be able to pass the exam to get started on the road. Your CDL exam will include three portions: a road test, vehicle inspection and a backing test. Don’t worry about learning it all on your own – if you enroll in a truck driver training program, they will be able to teach you all of the proper procedures to pass your test.
- Meet medical qualifications. There are some medical conditions that will make it impossible for you to safely handle truck driving. Check with a medical professional certified by the Department of Transportation to determine if your health condition would be a concern for someone driving long distances and needing to pass a DOT Physical. Keep in mind that lying about a disqualifying condition is considered deliberate omission or falsification and will make your CDL invalid.
These factors may not necessarily be immediately disqualifying, but will require further discussion with your recruiter to determine your eligibility:
- Criminal record. An applicant’s criminal record is to be evaluated based on the job for which the applicant has applied. Each company will have different qualifications regarding criminal record. Contact the company you wish to drive for to seek out their qualification info.
- A high school diploma. While a high school diploma is not required to get your CDL, some trucking companies require that you have a diploma or GED in order to work there. Check with the company before you apply to avoid an immediate rejection.
- Endorsements. Depending on the type of cargo you will be carrying, you may be required to gain certain endorsements. These will require some additional testing and training, but may come with a higher pay grade too.
Do you meet the requirements to become a truck driver? Apply for Prime’s Student Driver Training Program. For a small fee of $155, you can enroll in a CDL training program that can prepare you for a career as a Prime driver.
If you’d like to ask a recruiter more about becoming a truck driver, contact Prime today. We will be in touch with you soon to discuss your trucking opportunities.