Breaking into any new business can be hard, but when that business requires a specific, certifiable skill, it’s even harder. Getting your first job trucking requires a lot of advance preparation so you can prove yourself to potential employers. First things first:
Learn How to Drive a Truck
Don’t expect to get hired without practicing first. This can be done under the table if you have a friend with a truck who can teach you how to drive it. Or it can be more official; attend a truck driving school and you can get hired right after you graduate. Plenty of companies offer reimbursement to truck drivers who get training in school. There are even paid apprenticeship programs that give you experience working for certain companies and pay themselves off after a year of work.
To start your training as a truck driver, all you need is a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). But once you get started as a professional driver, another license may be required. Which license(s) are required is different in different parts of the world, so make sure to do your research beforehand on what license you’ll need. In the United States and Canada, an IRP (International Registration Plan) license is required to drive a tractor trailer.
Look for Jobs
Truck driving is a constantly growing business and more workers are needed all the time, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a job once you have some training and experience under your belt. Don’t limit yourself when searching for jobs. It’s much harder to find a job if you only want to drive locally or regionally as opposed to OTR (Over the Road). You also shouldn’t restrict yourself to working exclusively for a company. Many truckers make their living as hot shot drivers, who work for companies without a contractual obligation.
Working for hot shot carriers is a great way to break into the business of trucking. Many companies provide hot shot truckers with trucks, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about buying your own. Drivers get to choose their own routes, they don’t have to fill out paperwork, and they can expect a 75/25% profit split with the companies they work for.
Know the Law
Last but not least, if you’re going to be driving through multiple provinces, make sure you’re familiar with the laws in each state. Truck drivers can be subject to fines if they don’t follow the rules of the road closely.
For more information, talk to companies like McMillan Transport Ltd.