What is the process to become a CDL certified truck driver?

I am a 23 y/o male and I am wanting to get into the trucking industry. What is the process. I know I have to receive my CDL from the state I live in (Alabama) but what is the process of training and what is a good way to get in with a company since I have zero experience? What is the industry norm of a company paying for training? Also what seems to be the going average rate for a beginner driver? Thanks for your help.

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    There are a couple of ways to go about.

    The first thing you need to get is a learners permit. This does not require any driving experience but does require a written test. You need to go to your local DMV office and get the books to study. You will need one just for the CDL. Then if you want to have different endorsements, you will need to get the books for those. Example: HAZMAT (hazardous materials): Bulk tanker or commercial bus. You would do well to study. The HAZMAT portion is tough. Many companies like you to have a HAZMAT endorsement so you can transport common items like car batteries and such. Don't worry about the tanker endorsement. Then, you will either have to attend a truck driving school or work for a company that trains their own drivers. Many are getting away from that. Schnieder National is one of the few who still do but they are charging for the training right now. You will have to call them and get the details. Other companies like JB Hunt, Werner and Swift only require minimal experience from 0-30 days and will bring you up to speed. These companies require you to have your CDL before coming on board so you will have to go to a driving school. Check around on those. Find out up front what kind of job placement assistance they have, how much they charge, and how long the training is. Ask them who some of the companies are that they place with. Then call those companies and tell them what you are planning to do and if you would be eligible to apply for them. This way a school won't get your money, hand you a CDL and then place you Bad Bob's Household Goods and Log Hauling Company. If you get into a halfway decent job, try to stick it out for at least a year (unless they are total crooks.) Once you get about 3 years of safe operation under your belt (with as few different companies as possible) you can get a job with just about anybody out there.

    With a clean CDL in your pocket, you will always find work. It may not be the dream driving job but it keep a roof over your head and food on the table.

    Truck driving is a tough job. 70-90 hour weeks. Never really knowing where you are going next and little at home time. But a driver his first year should make around $30,000 and with 3-4 years experience and with a good compoany, 38-50k a year.

    To a professional driver, his CDL is his livelyhood. Tickets in your personal auto can affect your hiring. Speeding tickets are a huge no-no. Accidents with bodily injury are a real black flag. NO DUIs! Many go back over 10 years on your MVR (motor vehicle record) check.

    Hope this helps.

    Source(s): Safety, Training and Compliance Manager for a trucking company. Over 1.5 million miles driving.
  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Vehicle History Search Database - http://VehicleHistory.siopu.com/?kemR
  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avttv

    There is a bit of a process involved in buying a route. Before you can even consider it, you will need to be qualified through FedEx to drive. There will be a background check, driving record check, and drug screening. A CDL is not needed to run a route, but most states require you to be DOT certified. You will then need to find a job working for a contractor, and have a minimum of 1 year experience before they will allow you to buy a route. As far as the truck goes, it's best to wait until you have a route in mind. As the route you would be buying is already owned by someone, there is already a truck on it. You'll be able to see what he's using and how it's working for him, then decide what's best for you. On a Home Delivery route anything from a Sprinter to a P-700 is used; Ground routes use anything from a P-700 to a bob tail. Check Craig'sList in your area to see if there are any ads for FedEx drivers. In my area a lot of the contractors who advertise job openings use it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Many companies offer driver training. Still others work with truck driving schools. Twenty two years ago I went through a company school so my information may be a bit out of date.

    A few things to consider,

    How long do you have to drive for the company after training?

    what % of people graduate the program?

    what % of people are still driving for the company a couple of years after training?

    what do they pay drivers?

    How often will you get home?

    How much time do you get to spend at home?

    Who pays to have the truck unloaded ( lumper fees)?

    What cost are involved?

    These are just a few things to think about.

    • 5 years agoReport

      cdl-secrets here. Do not go to a trucking company and sign a contract when you can go to a great cdl school and have 5 to 10 job offers and sign no contracts.I'am retired from the corps side of a major trucking company and if you go to my website cdl-secrets.com you can get the right information.

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  • 1 decade ago

    find yourself a local communtiy college that has a driving school. after completion, hook up with a company you wish to drive for, they will usually reimburse the cost of the school as long as you stay with them for a certain length of time. then you must go thru an orientation process, usually 3 days worth. the you will be assigned a trainer with whom you will drive with for about 6 weeks before the company will turn ya loose in your own truck. the usual starting pay on your own used to be about $.32/mile. but that was when i was driving. get ready for it. driving aint for everybody. a lot of stress in the job. i have known drivers that have had 5 heart attacks but cant give it up. it is in their blood too much. they will die in the truck.

    Source(s): ex-driver
  • 6 years ago

    Like Chris said, the best way is to call companies one of out time...all companies have a recruiting department.

    Just find a company thats local, and that offers good pay + good home time, and call them.

    Good Luck!!

  • 1 decade ago

    call one of the companies who hire drivers, they usually put their number on the back of semi's they often time will help you through the process and tell you where to start.

    Source(s): www.bestdriverjobs.com
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