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How to Start your Career as a Truck Driver

Starting a new career is never easy. It takes hard work and dedication, and a whole lot of consideration about what direction you want to take in your career.

Truck driving is more straightforward than many other career paths you’d find nowadays. That doesn’t mean it’s easy though! Beginning your new career as a trucker takes patience, focus, and a strong work ethic.

Still, if you’ve decided on truck driving, you picked a great time to do it!

Currently, truck drivers are in ultra-high demand. So, jumpstarting your move into the trucking world now almost guarantees a job with good pay and benefits…

All you have to do is get started. If you’re not sure where to begin, keep reading! We’ll explain the steps you need to take for a successful trucking career and where your training could lead you…

Step 1: Obtain your CDL

The first step for any new driver is getting a commercial driver’s license or CDL. Without it, you’ll be going nowhere fast.

You can start by getting a copy of the commercial driver’s license manual in the state where you’ll begin your training. That’ll give you a solid introduction to all the details of driving a truck.

From there, you’ll need to take a CDL class to learn the specifics. A high-quality CDL class should give you about 200 hours of training, including driving with time with a CDL instructor.

All that studying and practice behind the wheel will become important later because you’ll need to pass the CDL general knowledge test.

With all that out of the way, you’ll be issued a commercial learner’s permit, and finally you’ll be able to take your commercial driving test.

Be aware that you’ll need to be in good health (to pass a DOT physical exam), have a clean driving record, and you’ll need to know the truck you’ll be driving inside and out.

Step 2: Practice, Practice, Practice

Like with any job, you’ll need a lot of practice to get it right.

This is especially true when it comes to trucking—if you’re hauling 30,000 pounds of cargo at highway speeds, you really need to know what you’re doing.

Practicing safe driving techniques and maneuvers will start with your CDL training, but it doesn’t end there.

Of course, you’ll probably need a rig to practice backing up, proper lane changes, safe hauling, etc. But if you’ve finished your CDL course already, where are you going to find a truck to practice with?

Well, your CDL school might be able to help—they may offer extra driving time or lessons if you need the practice. 

And if you can’t find a truck, look around for a trailer. You can even rent one for the day. Sure, it’s not as big as an actual rig, but it’ll provide you the feeling of backing up a trailer.

Step 3: Start Applying!

Like we mentioned earlier, truck drivers are in high demand right now…

But that doesn’t mean getting a job is going to be a piece of cake.

You’ll still need to do some shopping around for a company that suits your needs.

Will you want to drive long routes over-the-road, or local routes so you can stay close to home? Is the company you’re applying for supporting you and your family with competitive pay and benefits? 

These are just a few questions you should ask yourself before you sign the hiring paperwork.

Plus, your new employer won’t just let you hop in the truck and start driving—you just got your CDL, after all. 

So, you’ll almost always have to go through a company training course to become familiar with your employer and the equipment they’re running.

Step 4: Find a company that matches your values

This one ties in with step 3, but don’t overlook it.

The last thing you need as a new trucker is to jump into the first job that comes your way. You have in-demand skills, so you can and should choose a company that matches your values! 

Use your skillset to your advantage. Look for a company that offers good pay, benefits, and a business model that works for you and your family’s needs.

Trucking is a difficult job, so it’s important that your employer works for you just like you work for them.

Step 5: Enjoy your Career on the Road

With a CDL and plenty of practice under your belt, you’re probably eager to get out on the road.

And if you’re looking for a new employer, you’ve come to the right place.

Like we said: you should work for a company that values you and your skills. One that offers the complete package! Things like…

  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Benefits/healthcare packages
  • Quarterly bonuses
  • Retirement plans
  • Modern equipment
  • A professional mechanic team

Sounds pretty good right? Well, you can receive all those benefits and more with JFW Trucking of Commerce City!

Welcome to the best tracking local owner operator job you’ve ever had.

At JFW, family comes first. That’s why we offer some of the best pay and benefits in the business—we want to help you support you and your family.

We strive for honesty, integrity, safety, and a work environment that supports our employees. If those sound like values that fit your needs, all that’s left for you to do is apply!

Start your trucking career with the best in the business, or continue your career with a job you’ll be excited to show up to every morning, with JFW Trucking.

Apply now on our website, we look forward to hearing from you!

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