Becoming a truck driver in state?
I am just 18, and not old enough to have a job to drive out of state. I have a few questions. How can I find a job in Tennessee. How much would I suspect to make a week? About how many miles would I be driving a week?
- YODELLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
You are quite likely to find it VERY hard to get a job driving a large commercial vehicle at the age of 18, even in-state. Most local tractor-trailer jobs, like Fed Ex, grocery delivery, etc...require at least 1 year OTR and a minimum age of 23. They also pay very well & can be quite competitive, so usually you've got to offer more than the minimum to be competitive.
Only a handful of OTR jobs hire people who are 21....most companies have a minimum age of 23 or even 25. (Covenant is in TN, though, and they do hire at 21). Insurance requirements usually mandate a minimum age....just like with car insurance, most companies that insure commercial vehicles consider people under 23-25 to be a big risk. That's why it's generally only the big companies (Schneider, Werner and Swift are the others I can think of) who can self-insure and afford to hire 21 yr olds.
When I went to truck driving school in FL, there was one guy there who was 19 and got his in-state CDL. He did say he was able to find *possible* work driving a local soda delivery truck (one of the small ones you see delivering to gas stations). Those kinds of jobs are usually hourly, but generally pay in the range of $11-13 bucks an hour.
I have also heard of construction companies hiring people under 21 with a CDL, to operate dump trucks on-site. The construction industry is hurting a bit right now in most places, but it may be worth a shot. Maybe try to get on with the state's road construction department? Pay is also hourly, ranging from $9-13 an hour as far as I know.
You'd also be able to get jobs where you drive a car or van on a daily basis- like flower delivery, courier, airport shuttle driver, parts runner for NAPA, Mac Tools, Snap-On, Car Quest, etc. Usually the minimum age is 18 and you don't always have to have your own vehicle (like with the auto parts stuff). It's not a big truck- but it'd get you behind the wheel and out of a regular workplace, and learning how to navigate traffic smoothly in ANY vehicle is going to be good experience once you're old enough to go OTR.
I would start checking the job ads every week- see what kinds of driving jobs are available and if you don't see a minimum age listed, call and ask. Go around to construction sites and check with the field office or foreman to get an application. Keep an eye out for the parts runner vehicles & ask them how to apply. Ask the soda delivery guy at the gas station for info.
Just start looking and asking....if you don't have your CDL yet you may find it's wiser to wait until you're 21, as most OTR companies want you to be a RECENT graduate from a school if they will hire you. I know what you're going through- I was in your shoes at 19-20 when I decided I wanted to drive a truck :)....IMO it is best to wait until you're old enough, but only you can make that decision. Good luck!