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electric semi-truckManufacturers and the industry at-large are viewing electric semi-trucks as the next big thing, already pouring billions of dollars into the effort. As a driver, you’ve probably heard about this phenomenon but may not know much about the trucks themselves or how they’ll impact the industry. Here’s what the future holds for electric semi-trucks.  

What is an Electric Semi-Truck?

An electric semi-truck is any semi that runs on batteries, specifically lithium-ion-cobalt or ion phosphate batteries. Despite that major difference from a diesel rig, driving an electric semi-truck is more or less the same. Manufacturers also claim that these trucks will cost less to maintain than traditional diesel trucks over the lifetime of the vehicle, and they’ll be much quieter than a standard diesel rig. 

What’s the Latest on Electric Semi-Truck?

Though there are a number of manufacturers out there pumping money into electric semi-trucks, it has yet to take over the trucking industry. That’s not to say that electric trucks only exist in theory right now. Large carriers have already bought electric semis for their fleets and are using them today. Freightliner recently announced that their electric eCascadia trucks have hit a combined one million miles on the road. 

Why are They Being Developed?

Concerns over humans and their impact on the earth have been growing steadily for decades, and many fingers are being pointed at the auto and transportation industries specifically for their heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Manufacturers see the tide turning and want to be on that first wave to capitalize on this new market for electric, sustainable trucks.  

Who are the Big Players?

1. Tesla

Back in 2017, Tesla announced their own electric semi-truck, simply called “Semi” but the trucks have yet to see the road, with the company pushing back production dates multiple times. As of right now, the trucks are set to go into production in 2023. These missed deadlines haven’t stopped companies from placing orders, with Walmart Canada placing an order for 130 trucks in 2021. According to Tesla, the Semi will come in two models, one that can travel 300 miles on a single charge, and one that can travel 500.  

2. Freightliner

Freightliner’s two main electric trucks are the eCascadia and the eM2. The eCascadia is your standard rig, suitable for carrying a 53’ trailer. The eM2 is an electric take on Freightliner’s classic box truck. Both trucks can travel up to 230 miles before needing to be charged.   

3. Volvo

Volvo’s electric semi is called the VNR. The truck is similar to the Freightliner eCascadia but has Volvo’s signature sleek look. According to Volvo, The VNR can travel 275 miles on a single charge, outperforming Freightliner slightly. Volvo recently had the largest order of electric trucks to date come in and aim to have half of the trucks they sell be electric by the year 2030.  

4. Nikola Motors

You’ve probably heard of the other manufacturers, but maybe not this one. That’s because Nikola is a startup company founded in 2014. Nikola states that their electric-semi, the “Tre” can travel up to 350 miles on a single charge. 

Will Electric Semi-Trucks Overtake Diesel?

Probably, but not for a while. Just as electric cars are taking more and more of the market share, it’s plausible that electric semi-trucks will do the same eventually. While they’ll steadily get more and more popular, it’ll be a long time before they overtake classic diesel trucks. 

The biggest reasons are their high sticker price, scarce availability, and OTR limitations. Right now, electric semis are only recommended for last mile and short-haul deliveries, not regional or OTR runs. This is mainly because a nationwide infrastructure of charging stations doesn’t exist for electric semi-trucks yet. 

Even if a carrier does pony up for the cost of an electric truck, it’s not just the truck that will cost you money. There’s a whole infrastructure, including electric grids and charging stations that need to be implemented as well to ensure the trucks will run smoothly. While manufacturers say electric semis will cost less in the long run, those initial costs are just too much for most fleets to justify spending on a new technology. Until these issues are in the rear-view mirror, electric semis won’t be overtaking diesel.  

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class c cdlIn the trucking industry, we hear a lot about Class A and Class B CDLs. What some people may not know is that there’s a third Class of CDL as well, called a Class C. This is the lowest rank of CDL a driver can hold. While it can be a great steppingstone to a CDL A or B, a Class C on its own is very limited. If you’re a Class C driver, the good news is that upgrading your CDL isn’t that difficult.  

What is a Class C CDL?

The FMCSA defines a Class C vehicle as, 

“Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.”

In layman’s terms, this means that Class C holders can transport passengers and HAZMAT in any vehicle under 26,000 pounds. Most commonly this means school buses and other smaller passenger vehicles, like a shuttle bus or limo. Class C does not cover large city buses, since those on average weigh more than 26,000 pounds. 

Since Class C is the lowest rank of CDL a person can hold, it’s also the most limited in terms of what you can drive with it. CDL B drivers can drive dump trucks, straight trucks, and more in addition to Class C vehicles. CDL A drivers are allowed to drive just about any CMV, as long as they have the necessary endorsements. 

These endorsements are crucial, as there are virtually no jobs available for class C drivers who don’t have their “H”, “P”, or “S” endorsements. This is why many drivers find it advantageous to skip getting their C altogether and jump right into a CDL Class B or A. 

Should I Upgrade My Class C CDL?

The answer to this question really depends on what you plan on doing with your driving career. If you don’t ever see yourself driving larger vehicles, like straight trucks, dump trucks, or even a semi, then your CDL Class C is a fine option.  

If you do have any interest in doing those jobs somewhere down the line, it may be in your best interest to get a CDL A or B license instead of a CDL C. When you think about all the available jobs for CDL A and B drivers right now, it’s worth your consideration to jump up to one of those levels. You can still get all the same endorsements that allow you to drive a school bus or HAZMAT vehicle, you’ll just be able to drive bigger CMVs as well.  

How Do You Upgrade a Class C CDL?

If you already have your Class C, the good news is that you can upgrade it to an A or B whenever you’re ready.  

To upgrade to a B, you’ll need to pass the written air brakes exam, then retake your on the road skills test in a CDL class B vehicle. Keep in mind that you’ll need to bring your own Class B vehicle to the testing site, and it will need to have air brakes. 

The process for upgrading to your Class A is very similar. The only difference is that in addition to airbrakes, you’ll need to take the combination vehicle test as well. You’ll also need to retake your road test in a Class A vehicle too.  

While the number of jobs available to Class C CDL holders is more limited than Class A or B, it’s a fine option for those who are only interested in the unique driving jobs mentioned above. But, most drivers might find it worth their time to invest in a Class A or B CDL instead.  

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cdl student
It’s no secret that there’s a national need for drivers right now in the trucking industry. CNN estimates that carriers across the United States are in need of 80,000 truck drivers. Pay for truck drivers is increasing as well, making now a great time to get started in the trucking industry. For those interested, the first step is to enroll in driving school. While most CDL students will understandably want to be drivers for a while after graduating, they shouldn’t think they’re locked into that role for life.  

There are many positions within the trucking industry that don’t involve driving. Dispatching, driver training, and yard management are just a few of the options out there. That’s why it’s important for CDL students to think through options and plan out where they want to be in their career. Here are four of the best career planning tips for CDL students.  

1. Research Available Jobs

The first step is to see what trucking jobs are currently available. This is something that you should make a habit of doing regularly, even if you’re not looking at the moment. You might find out about positions you didn’t even know existed that could change your career planning goals. 

We spoke with Jim Kunkel, Operations Manager for Drive My Way’s recruiting partner, NFI Industries. Jim shared his experiences in the trucking industry, how he got to where he is, and the advice he has for CDL students trying to career plan. 

“I applied to NFI as a yard jockey. As I was going through the 4-week training program, I learned many things about trucking. During the training, I switched to become a driver. After 4 and a half years as a driver, I had the opportunity to become a yard coordinator. From there, I moved into a logistics coordinator position that eventually became a logistics supervisor position. Now, I hold the position of Operations Manager,” shared Jim.

Using Drive My Way is a great way to find out about such positions. Create a free profile one time and receive automatic alerts when a job is posted that matches what you’re looking for. No need to create dozens of accounts or scroll through generic job boards only to be spammed by recruiters for jobs that don’t match your needs. 

2. Find a Job that Fits You

cdl studentsThe first step to career planning is to take stock of what you find important from a personal and professional standpoint. What do you want your income to be? How much do you want to be home? Do you want to be in a customer facing role? Do you want to earn extra certifications? What kind of freight do you want haul? You’ll want to answer all these questions and find a position that meets your needs.  

Aside from your wants, also take stock of your individual workstyle. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you enjoy working with a team or working solo? Are you detail-oriented or do you think more big picture? All of these things are extremely important when career planning.  

Jim shared, “My experience as a driver has prepared me in a number of ways. It’s helped me with route planning loads and backhauls, two very important skills in my current role. Also, because of my time on the road, I understand the good and bad of what drivers go through on a daily basis. This has helped me when talking driver through stressful situations, like breakdowns and accidents.”  

3. Talk to People in the Industry

The trucking industry is full of experienced people who are happy to share their knowledge. If you’re thinking about your career after graduation, talk to people in a variety of different roles within the industry. Their unique perspective will inform your career planning more than anything else will. They can share with you the best steps to take to get into a certain position and what it takes to succeed when you’re in it. 

As a CDL student, your instructor is a great person to talk to about this. Their first-hand knowledge is the best resource you have at this point in your career. 

Jim shared, “One day I was approached and asked to consider a yard coordinator position. This was the best thing that happened for my career. Then through hard work and training, I moved my way into a manager position. With NFI, the sky’s the limit. You can go anywhere and do anything. I know I’m not done advancing myself.” 

4. Keep Your Resume Up-to-Date

This is a common tip for young professionals in corporate environments, but it’s true for the trucking industry as well. You never know when you’ll meet someone and be asked to send out your resume quickly for an opportunity. You don’t want to be scrambling, trying to get it together last minute. Avoid this by making it a habit of updating it every time you have a new experience or gain a new skill.  

“Learn all you can about every aspect of the industry. This includes DOT laws, the laws for the individual state you’ll be operating in, as well as brokerage, and load booking. Also, I’d recommend exploring other career paths in the trucking field other than driving. You never know what’s out there that could be a great fit for your experience,” shared Jim. 

Career planning is something that never really stops for most drivers. As you change as a person, so do your career goals and aspirations. That’s why it’s important to always be planning and proactive, so you can take your next career step with confidence. 

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non-cdl driver job
Do you need a commercial driver’s license to be a professional truck driver? Not necessarily. There are quite a few ways to get a non-CDL driver job. As delivery services become increasingly popular, driving jobs are in high demand, and a CDL isn’t always required. A non-CDL driving job is a great way to see if professional driving is for you. It’s also typically very quick to start, so if you want to jump right into driving, a non-CDL driver job could be the perfect fit. 

What Jobs Don’t Require a CDL?

Many professional trucking jobs require a CDL, but not all of them. Many delivery jobs with companies like Amazon, UPS, and FedEx do not require a CDL. Similarly, some box truck, reefer, and hotshot jobs do not require a commercial driver’s license.

Each company has different qualifications, so read the job description carefully for each non-CDL driver job.

If you’re new to trucking, you might be wondering whether you should get a CDL or apply for non-CDL jobs. Ultimately, that depends on what you want out of a trucking career. If you want to see the country and anticipate spending many years in the industry, a CDL will allow you to get a wider variety of jobs. On the other hand, if you want to jump in quickly and prefer to stay closer to home, a CDL may not be necessary. Non-CDL jobs are in demand and often keep you in a smaller range. Here are the pros and cons to consider before you take a non-CDL driver job.

1. The Pros

Fed Ex VanA non-CDL driver job can be a great choice because they are much faster and cheaper to start than earning a CDL license. For many delivery, box truck, and hotshot jobs, you will be able to start very quickly. If a CDL is not required, the only training you will need is typically provided with your new position. Similarly, there’s no large upfront cost for CDL training, so non-CDL jobs are a good choice if you want to get to a paycheck as quickly as possible. This also makes non-CDL driver jobs a particularly good fit for people between jobs. You can start right away with very little initial cost. 

Another huge perk of non-CDL driving jobs is that they are often local work. Many positions keep drivers in a relatively close geographic area. This means that drivers get to go home daily, which can be particularly good for drivers who want to spend more time with their families. Not all non-CDL driving jobs are local, so make sure to read the fine print before you take the job so you know exactly what to expect.

2. The Cons

There’s a lot to love about the “quick to start and quick to earn” nature of non-CDL driver jobs. That said, they are not for everyone. There are a few drawbacks that are worth considering before you jump right in.

DHL Van

First, some non-CDL driver jobs are contract work. When that’s the case, the pay may be lower, hours and workload may be inconsistent, and employees are often guaranteed fewer company protections. For people who live for the hustle, contract work can be a great way to earn extra cash. It’s not for everyone though. In addition, not all non-CDL driver jobs have a clear path for professional development. In other words, some of these jobs are great if you need a short-term job for a little while, but growth opportunities may be limited. 

The final factor to consider when looking at trucking jobs is vehicle use. Non-CDL drivers who use their personal vehicles for work should factor that into the total cost of the job. There will be some natural wear and tear on your vehicle because of the added use.  Typically the driver is responsible for any gas and maintenance costs, even when the cost is a result of increased work use.

3. How to Start

If you are ready to get started in trucking with a non-CDL driver job, the first thing to do is get a sense of jobs in your area. Based on the jobs you see, decide if there is a specific job or company that interests you. Then, read the job descriptions closely and clarify whether there is any additional training required. Look for jobs that are a good fit for your skills and lifestyle preferences, and you are ready to get started!

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commercial truck driving
Are you considering making the career switch to commercial truck driving? A CDL job is not just about the work for drivers who take pride in their profession. Driving is a lifestyle. It’s a commitment. It’s about feeling you belong and you’re valued. You decide if commercial truck driving is right for you. We’ll help you find the job that fits your skills, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

1. What Is It?

Commercial truck driving is any job where you are driving a commercial truck. While most people think of the 53’ semi-trucks that you see on the highway, commercial driving also includes school buses, garbage trucks, straight trucks, and more. Typically, commercial driving means hauling goods or people (in the case of passenger vehicles) from Point A to Point B. There are tons of different commercial driving jobs, and your day-to-day depends on your specialty and run type. 

2. Types of Jobs

Type of Run

The first distinction in trucking jobs is the type of run. Your type of run determines how far you typically drive from home and how many nights you spend on the road. Local drivers are usually home daily and stay in a relatively close geographic range. These drivers tend to spend more time on surface streets and do regular deliveries to customers. Over the Road or OTR drivers are the other end of the scale. These drivers are often on the road for several weeks at a time and may run loads from coast to coast and anywhere in between.

Regional drivers fall in between local and OTR drivers. They are usually home several times a week but also spend some nights on the road. Their geographic range might include several states in close proximity to their company’s home terminal. Last but not least, are dedicated trucking jobs. Dedicated drivers have a set route and deliver to the same customers on a consistent schedule. 

Type of Haul

cattle haulerThe second classification of commercial drivers is in type of haul. Depending on the type of goods you haul, you need a different type of truck. Many rookie drivers start with dry van or refrigerated (reefer) trucks because they are a good way to get experience without too many extra details to worry about. These are the 53’ box-shaped semi-trucks that are so common. Dry vans haul non-perishable goods, and reefer trucks carry loads that are temperature sensitive.

Tanker trucks haul liquid or dry bulk goods such as milk, sugar, or sand. Drivers need a Tanker endorsement to drive this type of truck, and there is an additional endorsement if you want to haul hazardous materials like chemicals or gasoline. Flatbed trucks haul a wide range of loads on trailers that are completely flat. Flatbed drivers often have to secure their loads with tarps and require some physical labor. There are also several types of specialty freight such as auto hauling, intermodal trucking, and livestock transport, but many of these jobs require a few years of experience. 

Type of Driver

two men in a truckThe final big decision to make is what kind of driver you want to be. As you can probably guess from the name, company drivers work exclusively for one company. Company drivers can work solo or in a team of two people. Starting as a company driver can be a good way to learn the ropes of a job without also having to run a business. It is also a good way to build your reputation as a good driver. 

Some drivers work as company drivers for their entire careers. Others choose to work for themselves. If you want to make your own decisions about when you are home, where you run, and what you haul, become an owner operator. These drivers run under their own authority, and they own their own equipment and negotiate for loads. Owner operators must be confident running a business as well as meeting all regulatory requirements.

Lease purchase drivers work with a company and put money down to start paying for their own truck. Lease purchase drivers work for one company, and at the end of the lease, these drivers will own their trucks. Programs that offer lease purchase are a good way for some drivers to work toward becoming an owner operator. 

3. Job Outlook

The job outlook for commercial truck driving is quite strong. There is a high demand for quality drivers, and there is a shortage of drivers available. Many companies are willing to hire new drivers, and drivers with a few years of experience and a clean record will be able to choose from top jobs that are a good fit for their skills and lifestyle.

One of the most important questions when you change jobs is the pay. Commercial driving can be quite well-paid. It all depends on your type of job. Typically OTR positions pull a higher wage than regional or local jobs, and NTI, the National Transportation Institute, anticipates that wages for all three will rise over the next 36 months. 

NTI anticipates that wages will rise for OTR, regional, and local jobs over the next 36 months.

Drivers can be paid in a variety of ways, so it’s important to look at total compensation when you compare job offers. To start, there are many types of truck driver pay. Some companies pay drivers by the mile, others by the hour, some by the load, and still others will pay with a salary. In addition to your base pay, company drivers frequently earn bonuses and have benefits included. These can add a significant amount of money to your bank account! Even beyond pay, consider things like home time as part of your compensation. If two companies pay the same wages but one gets you home more often, that might be a better fit for you, even though the money is the same. The bottom line is, look for a company that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle preferences.

4. How to Get Started

Once you decide that commercial truck driving is the career for you, the first step is to get your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). To be a professional truck driver, you need to be at least 18 years old. To drive interstate or hazmat routes, you must be at least 21. You will need a CDL A or CDL B. A CDL A license is the most universal because it also allows you to drive most CDL B and CDL C jobs. That said, it takes less time and money to earn a CDL B. Learn more about each license type and decide what is best for you. You will also need to consider whether to get any CDL endorsements for specialized loads such as hazmat or tanker. Once you have figured out what type of program you need, find a certified driving school where you can get started.

After you have your CDL, you are nearly ready to hit the road with your first job! As part of your CDL training, you will have completed your DOT physical fitness test.  Before you can officially hit the road, you will need to register with the FMCSA Clearinghouse. This database tracks positive drug and alcohol tests to identify unqualified drivers. As of January 2020, all drivers must be registered with the Clearinghouse for future employment. After that, the only thing left is to find your first job!

While the job search can be overwhelming, we’re here to help. Drive My Way partners with companies that are ready to hire new drivers and experienced pros alike! We’ll help you find a job that matches your skills and lifestyle preferences.

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cdl requirements for trucking
If you are ready to make the change to trucking, there are several CDL requirements to keep in mind. There are different types of commercial driving licenses and regulations can vary based on state. Also, make sure you meet the basic requirements and do some research on driving schools. A little preparation beforehand will get you off to a good start in trucking!

1. Who needs a CDL?

People who operate large commercial vehicles need a commercial driving license (CDL). That includes truck drivers! There are three main types of CDL: A, B, and C. 

  • CDL A: For drivers who want to operate vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds. That includes tractor trailers. 
  • CDL B: For drivers who want to operate a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of less than 10,000 pounds. 
  • CDL C: For drivers who want to operate a commercial vehicle with a GVWR that is less than 26,000 pounds and transports hazardous materials or 16+ passengers.

Class A licenses are the most universal license type. Drivers with a CDL A are also qualified for CDL B and CDL C jobs. A CDL A is a bigger time and money investment than the other license types, but the payoff is well worth it for many drivers.

2. Basic Requirements

Before you get started in a CDL program, there are a few basic requirements. First, you must have a non-commercial driver’s license and some previous driving experience. Next, you must be at least 18 years of age to earn a CDL. To operate across state lines or carry hazardous materials, drivers must be at least 21 years old. In addition to age and license expectations, drivers have to meet physical and medical standards. Many states have specific rules, so make sure that you check the regulations for your state. As of February 7, 2022, entry-level driver training will also be one of the CDL requirements for drivers. 

3. Do I Need a Driving School?

If you are a new driver interested in getting your CDL, there is a lot of information to go through. One of the big questions is whether or not to get your license through a driving school. The short answer is: it’s your decision. That said, while it’s not technically required, most people do go through a driving school. That’s because driving schools offer a lot more than a CDL driving license. Driving schools also train you on specific skills such as key rules and regulations, maneuvering, and how to fill out a logbook to name a few. 

If you decide to get your CDL license through a driving school, there are a few more decisions to make. Choose whether you want to go through a school from a specific carrier or a general CDL driving school. No matter what you decide, do your research before making your final choice. This is a big financial and personal investment. Your CDL school should help prepare you for your license and often will help you find your first job. A little research at the start goes a long way!

4. Passing the CDL Test

One of the last CDL requirements before you can hit the road is to pass a written and practical test. Just like your non-commercial driving test, you will need to log hours with a learning permit before taking the written test. Then, drivers need an 80% pass rate to earn their license. The test has multiple choice questions and is often taken on a computer.

State CDL manuals and free online practice tests are great ways to prepare for your written CDL test.

It’s a good idea to study up beforehand. State CDL manuals are an excellent place to start. You can also take online practice tests to make sure you’re ready for the real thing. Typically, the written test is then followed by a skills test. You will need to demonstrate your ability to do a pre-trip inspection and properly maneuver a tractor trailer.

5. Should I Get Endorsements Right Away?

Many new CDL drivers start out hauling Dry Van or Reefer (refrigerated) loads. These types of loads often do not require any endorsements and are a good way to build experience. If you don’t have a specific job type in mind, start in a job that doesn’t require endorsements. 

On the other hand, if you know what you eventually want to haul and it requires an endorsement, you could get certified right away. There are 6 types of CDL A endorsements including Hazmat, Tanker, Passenger Vehicles, School Bus, Doubles/Triples, and Tanker/Hazmat. Each allows the driver to carry a specific type of specialty load. Figure out which endorsements you need for what you want to drive. Then decide when the best time is for you to get those endorsements.

Getting your commercial driving license opens a lot of exciting opportunities! Once you understand the CDL requirements, you are ready to get started in trucking.

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Want to Get Your CDL License? Here's What to Know

Getting your Commerical Driving License (CDL) is a big deal. It’s an exciting step toward a career as a professional driver, and we hear from lots of veteran drivers that it’s the best job out there. Earning your CDL license isn’t an overnight process, but it’s worth it. Take the time to prepare yourself for each of the steps, and you’ll be on the road before you know it. Here are a few things you should know before you get started.

Types of CDL Licenses

There are three main types of commercial driving license: A, B, and C. They all allow you to operate large motor vehicles, but each is designed for a specific purpose. A CDL A license is considered the most universal because it allows you to also drive most CDL B and CDL C jobs. Here are the distinctions between each type of license

  • CDL A: Allows drivers to operate vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds. This license lets you drive tractor-trailers (also known as semi-trucks, big rigs, etc.) as well as most Class B and Class C vehicles. 
  • CDL B: Permits drivers to operate a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of less than 10,000 pounds. This license (sometimes with endorsements) allows you to drive most straight trucks, buses, box trucks, dump trucks, and most Class C vehicles. 
  • CDL C: Allows drivers to operate a commercial vehicle with a GVWR that is less than 26,000 pounds and transports hazardous materials or 16+ passengers. This license is typically used for passenger vans and small HazMat vehicles.

With any of these license types, you may need to supplement with endorsements. Not all trucking jobs require them, so consider what you’re interested in before you commit to adding them. The standard endorsements are (H) Hazardous Materials, (N) Tank Vehicles, (P) Passenger Vehicles, (S) School Buses, and (T) Double and Triple Trailers.

Eligibility

From a Federal perspective, the eligibility requirements to be a truck driver are pretty straight forward. If you can satisfy these requirements, you’re off to a good start.

  1. You must be 18+ for trucking in the same state (intrastate trucking)
  2. You must be 21+ for trucking between states (interstate trucking) or carrying hazardous materials
  3. Don’t have any criminal offenses on your record that disqualify you from earning your CDL

Once you’ve confirmed eligibility at a federal level, look into the specific requirements for the state that will be issuing the license. Every state is a little bit different, but there are several common things you will likely be asked for. 

  • Proof of ID
  • A release of your driving record for the past 10 years
  • Demonstration of medical health
  • Pass a written and skills test
  • A road test fee (usually $50 – $200)
  • Verification that you’ve completed a professional training course

You can only have a CDL License from one state at a time. If you move (or have another reason to transfer your license), make sure you review the CDL license requirements for your new state. 

Choosing a Driving School

Once you have decided what type of CDL License is right for you, it’s time to pick a driving school. There are pros and cons to all programs, so research carefully. Technically, you’re not required to get your license through a driving school and could self-study for your tests. That said, many companies will only hire if they see the driver has gone through a verified driving school. You can also get your license through a company-sponsored program. There are benefits and drawbacks to this, but it’s a good option for many drivers. We recommend that future drivers get their license through some type of verified program. 

As you look for programs, look for the following as signs of credibility: 

  • Is the school/program accredited? (Approved by the Department of Education)
  • Is the school program certified? (Approved by the Department of Transportation)
  • Is the school/program licensed? (The instructors and curriculum meet state guidelines)
  • Is the school/program listed with the Better Business Bureau? Use these ratings to compare programs
  • What’s included in the price of tuition? Quality programs usually offer all the necessary supplies, classroom and over-the-road training, and extra help if requested. 

If you can’t find answers to any of these questions, make sure you get in touch. The driving school or program should be able to answer any questions you have before you get started. Most programs have a similar curriculum and are a mix of classroom and on-the-road instruction. You can expect to cover things like operating a truck, use of electronic logs and other industry tools, and safety procedures among other essentials

Time and Cost

Getting a CDL License is an investment in your future. Like any training program, there is a cost in both time and money. The total cost varies by state, but you can expect to spend about $3,0000 – $7,000 on a training program. As a rule of thumb, the more training time required for your license type and endorsements, the higher the cost of the program. A full-time driving program usually takes around 7 weeks, though it can take longer. Deciding to obtain a CDL License is a big commitment, but it will pay for itself quickly through your new career.

Passing the Test

After you have completed a certified driving program, you must have your Commercial Learning Permit (CLP) for two weeks. Then, it’s time to take your CDL test.

The exam has written and practical components. For the written exam, the test is multiple choice and typically taken on a computer. An 80% passing rate is required for the written exam. For the road test, you must not have more than 30 points deducted from your score.

The examiners will be watching for your ability to maneuver the vehicle, your behavior during the test, and your ability to handle pressure or stressful situations. Reviewing your state CDL training manual and spending practice time in a rig are great ways to prepare. 

You passed! Time to get hired

Now that you have your CDL license, it’s time to start looking for a job. This might sound intimidating, but many driving schools offer resources and connections to their students. That’s a great place to start. You can also use driver-friendly platforms to search for jobs that match your lifestyle and job preferences. As you are offered opportunities, make sure the position is a good fit for you. Ask the recruiter the essential questions about pay, home time, operations, and equipment to get as much information on the job as possible. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to hit the road!

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Today’s Job of the Day is from DuBois Chemicals

DuBois Chemicals develops, manufactures, distributes and supports proprietary chemical and equipment products for a broad range of industrial and commercial applications, fulfilling mission-critical customer needs.

DuBois Chemicals is hiring Dry Van, Tanker, and Flatbed Local Drivers in Shelbyville, IN.

Drivers transport various goods from warehouse to customer’s locations using various sized power units ranging from class A to one ton flat bed and goose neck trailers.

This transporting follows DuBois policies and DOT guidelines for the safe operation of a motored unit. Following safety procedures to transport hazardous materials is a must for DuBois Target Zero safety initiative, for driver and for public safety.

Position Details:

  • An average hourly rate of $20/hour with the opportunity to earn safety bonuses
  • Runs are 75% local with some overnights, around 300 miles from Shelbyville
  • The schedule is Monday through Friday with some weekends.
  • Drivers load and unload and use a pallet jack and fork lift.

DuBois offers Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, and Disability. In addition, drivers receive PTO and 401K effective after 90 days. Hazmat, Tanker, and Doubles endorsements are required for hire.

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Today’s Job of the Day comes to us from Dupré Logistics, LLC

Dupré Logistics commits to their team members, their customers, and their community. Dupré strives to be “the ideal place to work”, and are always seeking exceptional talent to join their team of professional drivers. They invest in and reward loyalty, knowledge, performance, and a desire for growth.

Dupré Logistics is currently seeking the following CDL A drivers:

Drivers earn excellent money, receive pay weekly, and receive health benefits immediately upon hire.

In addition, Dupré offers a great benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage, 401(k), profit sharing, short and long-term disability, company paid life insurance and much more.

Also, Dupré provides well-maintained, dedicated equipment, out and back freight, and drivers’ benefits start on day one.

Dupré Logistics asks that applicants be at least 23 years old, already have their CDL A license, and have at least two years of two years recent T/T driving experience. Positions typically require Hazmat, Tanker, or TWIC endorsements.

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Today’s Job of the Day comes to us from Fort Transfer.

Fort Transfer provides the trucking industry with superior quality service and reliability. As a family owned and operated company, Fort Transfer meets the needs of their customers with terminal locations in the South and Midwest.

fort transfer

In addition, Fort Transfer leads in specialized services of liquid bulk and operates one of the largest liquid bulk storage facilities in the Midwest. Also, by continually looking for new ways to add value to their customers, they exceed the competition in the industry.

Currently, they seek the following CDL A owner operator positions:

Fort Transfer offers great pay for their owner operators. The average driver earned $220,000 last year. In addition, drivers are typically out 10-14 days for drivers near the terminals.

Overall, they ask that applicants have a Tanker endorsement. They prefer Hazmat and TWIC endorsements, but these aren’t a requirement. Lastly, they require 1 year CDL A with 6 months tank experience.

Interested in applying?

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