You’ve finished trucking school, and now you’re feeling ready to head off on your first solo cross-country trip. Before you can strike out on your own, however, there are a few more steps you need to take after completing your CDL training.
Pick a Carrier
The employment opportunity you choose will depend on the type of CDL you have. With a Class A CDL, you’ll be looking at trucking opportunities. A Class B CDL will allow you to drive buses. Research carriers and listen to testimonials from previous and current employees to find the best fit for you.
Fortunately, this doesn’t need to feel like a daunting step. Your driving school can help you find a job placement, making it easier to get your foot in the door.
If you’re interested in higher earning potential, or if you want to be more attractive to employers, consider pursuing additional training to receive endorsements on your license. Some endorsements you can pursue are:
- Double and triple trailers. This endorsement allows you to drive a truck with two or three trailers in tow.
- Tanker vehicles. With this endorsement, you can haul liquids and liquefied gases in bulk.
- Passenger. This endorsement is required if you want to drive a vehicle with 16 or more passengers.
- School bus. This endorsement allows you to drive a school bus.
- Hazardous materials. Receiving this endorsement means you can transport hazardous material or hazardous waste.
Receive On-the-Job Training
Once you’ve found an employment opportunity, you’ll be required to complete some on-the-job training. The length and nature of this training will vary by carrier, but will generally consist of:
- Completing employment requirements such as physicals, drug screens, background checks, and paperwork.
- Attending driver orientation and partnering with a driver-trainer
- Practicing advanced driving techniques necessary for your specific job.
Drive With a Trainer
Before you can head out on your own, you will spend some time driving with a trainer. During this period, you will do the work you would normally do on your job, but with your trainer guiding you through the process. In addition to driving skills, you will learn other important skills associated with the unique aspects of life as a truck driver. Your trainer will teach you about receiving and making deliveries, living out on the road, finding your meals, and how to take breaks.
Keep Your CDL Up-to-Date
Throughout your career as a commercial driver, continue practicing safe driving to keep your license and stay on the road. You may even consider a taking CDL refresher course to brush up on your driving skills.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be driving solo in no time!
At United States Truck Driving School, we offer high-quality CDL training programs. If you have questions about beginning a career as a truck driver, contact us today so we can help you get started! 303-848-8443