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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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What Does It Take to Be a Car Hauler Truck Driver?

One of the most recognizable trucks on the road is a car hauler. Those big double-decker rigs, bringing shiny new cars to dealerships across the country. Easily recognizable, and something that might be an excellent, and lucrative choice for a job in trucking. If you are interested in a job delivering cars, here’s what it takes to be a car hauler truck driver.

Basic Qualifications

When looking for a new truck driver job, you usually need to start with meeting the basic qualifications. And a car hauler must meet basic requirements to be considered for the job.

First thing you need to have is a Class A CDL driver’s license and all the requirements from the Department of Transportation that go along with getting your license.

Over the Road Experience

So you’ve got your license, and now you need some practice navigating over the road. Long hauls across the country, winding roads, crowded city streets: these are all things that you’ll need real world experience when you’re getting ready to deliver cars. Once you’ve been driving for a while, in most cases 1 or 2 years, you might want to start looking at your opportunities for first car hauling job.

Car haulers usually need 2 years of experience for insurance requirements, but it can  vary by state or by job.

No matter what the time is, the goal is to get plenty of experience with driving safely, learning the ropes, and keeping your record clean.

Clean Driving Record

With the value of the cargo for a car hauler, there’s a lot of risk that goes into this job. These drivers always have to be safe drivers. Frequently, these drivers are hauling a dozen or more brand-new sedans. Sometimes your haul might be someone’s private collection of extremely expensive antique cars. Other times, you’re hauling burned-out wrecks headed for scrapyards.

No matter what the load, if you are considering a job as a car hauler, ensure that you have a clean driving record.

Additionally, these drivers are subject to all the standard drug testing rules, if not more, due to the high cost of the loads.

Total Attention to Detail

This is a tough job. It requires total attention to detail at every step. As most car haulers are usually responsible for loading and unloading the cars, they not only have to transport them safely, they need to get them on and off the truck safely. This means 100% perfection in your routine while spacing the cars and strapping them down in place. No damage in transit or during delivery is paramount to your paycheck.

It might take years of practice getting to the point where you’re ready to work as a car hauler, but a few years in a specialized trucking field can be the best step to getting there.

Car hauler jobs come in a few shapes and sizes. From the open-sided double-decker rigs carrying new cars to dealerships across the country, to enclosed trailers hauling one of a kind cars for a private collection, getting into hauling cars might be a great job for you. If this is the next job you’re looking for, complete a Drive My Way profile. We work hard to match you to the exact truck driving job that’s best for you.

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4 Tips for Nailing the Virtual Interview for a CDL Job

Interviewing for a job is probably not on anyone’s list of favorite things to do. Interviews can cause stress and worry. But they are a crucial step in the process. For a seasoned CDL truck driver looking for a new job, you’ve probably seen and heard every possible interview question and technique in the book. However, even for those drivers who have been through dozens of interviews in their careers, the virtual interview can be a new way of the hiring process.

What is a Virtual Interview?

A virtual interview is exactly what it sounds like. A recruiter wants to setup some time to talk to you about joining their company, and they want to interview you. The difference here is that you’re not going to go to their office to have the meeting. You’ll receive an email with information on how and when the meeting will take place. The email should detail the program to use for the call, and how to dial-in when it’s time for the call. For those of you that are used to having video calls with friends and family, it’s very similar. But instead of checking in on how your family is doing, it’s going to be you and the interviewer talking about a potential new CDL driver job.

Preparation

Whether you recently lost your trucking job, or you’re simply looking to explore other opportunities, you need to be prepared for your virtual interview. Be ready for whatever questions they throw at you. Do your research and have your questions ready for the interviewer. That’s a great place to start. But since this one is virtual, not in-person, you need to be sure your environment is going to be ready for the call. Here’s a quick checklist to think through:

1. Prepare Your Environment

Is there loud background noise? Will you be able to hear the interviewer? Is there enough privacy to talk through your answers and questions? Could the interviewer be distracted by what’s going on behind you? Consider all of these things when selecting where you’re going to be when it comes time for your virtual interview.

Try to find a quiet place, free of distractions, where there’s good lighting so they can see and hear you well.

Use your environment to help raise your confidence during the interview. But be sure that it’s in a space conducive to a business meeting.

2. Check Your Technology

Do you need to test the software the company will use? Is your wi-fi or internet connection reliable? Is it best to use your phone or tablet? Or will you be better with a larger screen like a laptop or a desktop? Be sure whatever you choose, you’ll have all the technology working, well before your call is scheduled.

Check your connection and make sure everything is plugged in or fully charged. And have a backup plan handy just in case the day of the interview there’s a snag.

Be sure to test your camera to make sure it’s working properly. And make sure that your phone or laptop is set on a level surface, and not at risk of moving around while you’re talking. One less thing to worry about when you are having the call.

3. Choose Your Clothing

Even though you don’t have to meet your interviewer at their offices, it doesn’t mean this is a pass to stay in your pajamas for this meeting. It’s still a job interview.

You should dress the part of someone who’s looking to make a great first impression. Make sure you look your best and wear a nice clean shirt.

Nobody will know if you’re still in your gym shorts as long as your top half looks presentable and professional.

4. Be Authentic

Even though a virtual interview might be new for you, treat this interview like you would any other job interview. You know that you’re prepared, and your driving record is in good shape. Now it’s time to be yourself!

You’ve got a new advantage in the virtual world, you’re not on their turf in an unfamiliar office. You might be at home, or in the comfort of your cab if you’re out on the road.

Use this to your advantage to put any game day jitters at bay. Being prepared and comfortable can help you nail this interview!

Is the Virtual Interview the New Normal?

For now, many companies continue to have office employees continue to work from home. This means that most of the recruiting and hiring will be done from home. Many companies have been doing this for months now and can seamlessly handle the entire process without ever meeting in person. This might be the new normal for some time. So if you’re in the market for a new CLD truck driver job, the virtual interview is something that you can expect for the foreseeable future.

If you are looking for a new job, please let us help. We can help find you a perfect fit trucking job.

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FoodlinerToday’s job of the day comes from Foodliner

Foodliner, Inc. is one of the largest bulk food carriers in the country and a Transport Topic Top 100 carrier. We are looking for Professional Class A CDL truck drivers to join our team. In this fast-paced, high-tech world, Foodliner takes the time to make our drivers feel like the valued team members they are. We treat each truck driver like a person, not a number.

Foodliner logoBe part of a growing transportation organization that goes the distance for customers and is committed to the careers of its employees. While you “Go The Distance” for our customers, we “Go The Distance” for you! We offer a variety of opportunities to support your growth and changing lifestyle needs throughout your career

Foodliner is hiring CDL A Regional and Local Liquid/Dry Bulk Truck Drivers in various locations. 

Job Opportunities:

Regional Liquid/Dry Bulk Truck Driver

Local Liquid/Dry Bulk Driver

  • $1,200 a Week Guarantee Pay!
  • Location: Fargo, ND
  • Paid Time Off: 80 hours in the first year
  • $65,000 – $75,000 / year
  • $3,000 Sign-on Bonus, $6,000 if you have bulk (Liquid or Dry) experience!
  • Additional bonuses for seniority ($2,750 annual), performance (quarterly – up to 5.5% of gross earnings), driver referrals ($5,000)
  • Paying Practical Miles
  • Home daily
  • Medical, prescription, dental, vision, short and long term disability
  • 401K with company match
  • $50,000 Life insurance policy

Equipment

  • Freightliner Cascadias
    • 10-speed manual transmission
    • 2015 and later

Experience & Qualifications

  • Class A CDL
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Tanker endorsement preferred
  • 12 months recent Tractor-Trailer driving experience (with a truck driving school certificate preferred) or
    24 months Class A Tractor Trailer Driving experience
  • Must pass all DOT requirements, physical exam and drug test
  • Good MVR and safe driving record

Interested in applying?

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virtual celadon hiring event

Today’s job of the day comes from our Virtual Celadon Hiring Event

As you have heard, Celadon abruptly filed for bankruptcy last week, leaving over 3,000 drivers jobless just a few weeks before the holiday season.

In response, a Facebook group was created to connect drivers to support resources. Drive My Way partnered with administrators of the group to create a Virtual Celadon Hiring Event to provide a reliable platform to connect drivers and employers.

Since launching the event, we have published dozens of new jobs to our Drive My Way platform. We put drivers first, focusing on providing qualified matches for your jobs and for their needs. Drivers can create a free driver profile and receive matches to jobs that meet their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences.

Interested in applying for the jobs?

Learn more about the companies, jobs, benefits, pay and more.

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trucking jobs no experience

Truck drivers are currently in high demand just about everywhere. But what if you’ve just gotten your CDL and you’re lacking in the actual required driving time? Though most driving schools offer help finding your first job, some don’t. Searching on your own, you could easily find yourself in the vicious circle of needing experience, but not being able to land a job because you don’t have enough experience. To try and help you better navigate this new driver pitfall, here are some helpful tips for landing truck driving jobs with no experience.

Be Open to Options

Consider driving trucks other than tractor-trailers at first. Your CDL gives you license to drive many other types of trucks. There are plenty of local jobs driving truck that could put you in a position to be home every night, earn a decent wage, and still gain that necessary experience you need. Delivery trucks, passenger transit vans, construction equipment, or other heavy commercial vehicles are all good truck driving jobs with no experience. It’s worthwhile to look into other options while you’re working on logging miles.

Apply Everywhere

It’s easy to set your sights on a “dream job” and not look anywhere else. But be cautious that you don’t get tunnel vision and limit yourself. Look into apprenticeship programs. Leverage the resources available from your training school. There might be carriers that have great opportunities for a new driver. Look for companies that offer finishing schools or ride-along programs. You can always plan to go back to focusing on that dream job once you’ve got years of driving time under your belt.

Read ALL of the Fine Print

Some companies might offer you a trucking job with no experience. But in exchange for that, they might require you to stay for a certain number of years. Or offer bonuses that only pay off after you’ve worked there for quite a while. Though these jobs are a great opportunity for a new driver to learn and rack up miles, it could impact your ability to seek other opportunities if things don’t work out, or if you need to move to another city. No matter the reason, be 100% sure you understand all the fine print associated with these jobs. You don’t want to feel that you’re stuck somewhere if that’s what you actually agreed to do. The details in the fine print might make all of the difference between a job and long-term career.

Keep Your Record Clean

Most importantly, it’s key to keep your record clean while you’re working on gaining experience. Those years of working something other than your dream job could be useless if you’re racking up safety or other violations along the way. Use all the resources at your disposal to learn and improve. Keep your eye on the prize while working trucking jobs with no experience. You’ll be able to broaden your net and grab your dream job in no time.

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In an industry where drivers are in high demand, drivers can and will be laid off. Companies can still have financial problems and end up closing. Smaller carriers might be bought by larger outfits, and then ultimately downsized. Any number of things can happen, and unfortunately you might find yourself left out in the cold. So if this happens, do you know what do if you lose your trucking job?

Don’t panic and take the first job you find. This is a great opportunity to take stock about what you liked and possibly didn’t like about your job. Take the time to weigh out your options, because you’re in a great position to make a change for the better.

Consider the following if you lose you trucking job:

  • Do you want to spend more weeknights at home?
  • Do you want to spend as much time on the road to maximize your paycheck for the next year?
  • Do you want more shorter runs that make the day go by faster?
  • Do you want better overall benefits?
  • Do you want your dog to ride along with you?

No matter what your preferences might be, if you lose your trucking job, sign-up for an account with Drive My Way. With the ability to add 20+ personal driving preferences, it’s the best place to find that next perfect fit job for you! Take a look at what Lawrence Kilgore says about his experience using Drive My Way.

At Drive My Way, we’ve made it quick and easy to complete a profile. And we have a team of experts available to help you along the way. Best of all – it’s free!

So if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of losing your trucking job, please let us help. We can be a great resource to get you back on the road in your perfect fit trucking job.

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Recruiting and hanging onto good truck drivers is a major concern for most trucking companies. The driver shortage is something that’s been talked about for years, and it’s not going away any time soon.

With driver salaries and bonuses continuing to climb, many companies are taking a hard look at what that means for their truck driver recruitment efforts. And what they need to do to attract and retain good drivers.

We asked our Facebook driver network to vote on what’s more important to them when looking for a new truck driving job: a good salary or a large sign-on bonus?

Our results were overwhelmingly in favor of a good salary with 95% of the votes!

Focus on Salary

As it turns out, that’s the direction some hiring managers are now taking. Some companies are moving forward with plans to cease sign-on bonus add-ons in favor of putting together a solid long-term salary package. By not offering sign-on bonuses, they’re seeking to avoid attracting job-hoppers, and keep everything clear and up-front on take-home pay expectations.

They’re planning that in the long-haul it will be good for both the company and the truck drivers if drivers’ checks are predictable and the calculations are clear.

You may have had offers that were a great starting salary, but no bonus. Or an low-to-average starting salary with a 5-figure signing bonus. Or that rare unicorn with a high salary and a great bonus to start. In any case, you need to be certain you understand what you’re agreeing to.

Make sure you read all of the fine print, both with your salary offer and / or your sign-on bonus. The fine print might make all the difference to your paycheck and ultimately your future career with that trucking company.

We know that money isn’t the only deciding factor when selecting your new company.  But when it come to salary vs. sign-on bonus, what do you think? Let us know your opinion on our Facebook Page. Share your story and you could be featured in an upcoming post!

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DRIVER-HIGHLIGHT-TIFFANY-ADAMS-WITH-WEST-COAST-TRANSPORT

For Tiffany Adams, being a truck driver runs in the family. “My dad was a truck driver, so it’s in the family blood”. Though she tried a few things prior to getting into the trucking business officially, since age 21, “trucking was the only way to go” for her.

Tiffany’s favorite route to drive is “I-24 going through Kentucky.

It’s the most beautiful run anyone could ever do.” The summertime bluegrass lined roads all around Paducah are her favorite.  She recommends a stop at Patti’s Settlement 1880’s restaurant if you’re in the neighborhood. A stop at Patti’s “definitely should be on your to-do list if you’re in the area”.

After a normal day of 10-11 hours, she mentions a struggle that she’s advocating for: MORE PARKING.


“The daily struggles today we have is parking. Parking is so limited to the truck stops that we have across the nation, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find parking after 5 pm. And it’s just getting worse. It’s getting to the point you can’t find parking, and you need to drive 20+ miles out of your route just to find a place park”.

She hopes that in the future there’s expanded parking available at truck stops and rest stops around the country.

Tiffany drives with her husband Weston.

You can find them passing the time “listening to a lot of country music while we’re riding down the highway”.

When they’re not out on the road or getting ready for their next long-haul, they enjoy spending time playing with their horses, their family and hanging out with friends. “We love what we do we provide for our states, building supplies, rail road supplies, your every day needs”.

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The growing shortage of empty driver jobs impact everything from rate hikes to product prices. In other words, fewer drivers means it costs more to transport goods, resulting in a pricing increase for manufacturers that gets passed on to consumers.

Solutions and suggestions for how to fill empty driver jobs range from pay increases to more shared routes between drivers. Also, individuals talk about how exactly to draw millennials to the field. This would replace the retiring baby boomers and those uninterested in coping with recent ELD changes.

Writer and millennial Nicole Spector, took a ride as part of her assignment with an experienced UPS driver, Becky Ascencio. The pair shared a 12-hour shift, traveling from Sylmar to Fresno, Ca.

Ultimately, Spector won’t joining the 7% of women driving big rigs. However, she understood what the job requires. In addition, she also understood exactly how much work is involved. Lastly, Spector learned what it means to love your job.

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