Truck drivers are an essential part of what keeps American moving. Nearly every product that is sold and bought has been transported at some point via a long haul truck. Such products include the everyday necessities of food, water, and even the cash that’s found in the neighborhood ATM. But despite the big demand for experienced truckers, there’s been a woeful shortage of people willing to take charge behind the wheel.
A recent Fortune article titled ‘There’s a slow-rolling crisis in trucking labor–and it’s costing everyone‘ examined this issue and found that the American Trucker Association estimates a need for as much as 35,000 to 40,000 truckers nationwide. And that’s just the current lack as these numbers are set to more than triple in future years as the ATA estimates that as much as 100,000 drivers need to be added to keep up with the driving demands of America’s economic expansion.
There has never been a better time to join the crew and sign on with a trucking company. Interested? The first step to take towards a career as a trucker is to attend an accredited trucking school and obtain a truck driver training license. The following are a few of the key fundamentals you’ll learn with CDL training:
- Importance of nurturing authentic and strong relationships with customers and colleagues. While much of your time as a truck driver will be spent solo and on the road, having positive interactions is a key aspect of CDL training. That’s because customer service is at the heart of the trucking industry and that means only those with a positive attitude will be able to adapt to the often difficult and inescapable scenarios inherent in the transportation and shipping industry (such as traffic delays and mechanical failures).
- Importance of being physically prepared for the demands of a trucking career. There are many CDL training programs that require students to be able to pass a physical test. This isn’t a desk job and truckers are expected to do much more than just sit behind a wheel. As a trucker, you’ll be continually getting up and down from larger trucks and will often be required to help load and unload the fleet. A physical test will ensure that you’ll be prepared to handle varying road conditions, heavy weights, and the carrying of products and packages on and off the truck.
- Importance of knowing the ins and outs of truck maneuvering. Students of a reputable trucking school will spend much of their class time learning the various controls and maneuverings specific to truck driving. This includes learning all of the controls on deck and how to use them. Students are taught all of the important aspects pertaining to driving large trucks safely and efficiently. This includes learning how to maneuver, turn, tow, load, unload, reverse, and other maneuvers within a heavy fleet.
- Importance of staying organized. As a truck driver, you’ll mostly be working independent of immediate supervisors and will be expected to keep yourself and your operations highly organized. CDL training emphasizes the importance of staying atop your work with the keeping of a detailed logbook and hours of deliveries, maintenance, and other aspects related to driving.
The Different Trucks
Once a student has finished their hours and courses at a truck driving school, he or she will have obtained a CDL license. There are three types of CDL licenses that are available for drivers of commercial grade trucks:
- Class A License – Required for drivers of tractor trailers and/or vehicles that are carrying 26,001 pounds or more.
- Class B License – Required for drivers of vehicles that weigh a maximum of 26,000 pounds and are towing anything in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- Class C License – Required for drivers of vehicles that are carrying hazardous materials or chemicals, large passenger trucks, and other vehicles that don’t fall strictly within the Class A or Class B licenses.
Knowing what types of commercial trucks and cargo you want to drive will help you when researching enrollment in a truck driving school or other CDL training program as some will specialize in certain classes or types of training. After all, this is a broad industry that includes the following careers and jobs:
- Transporting goods (such as food, mail, or money)
- Transporting hazardous chemicals (such as petroleum)
- Working in human services and transportation (such as becoming a bus driver)
- Working in waste management or construction services
Knowing where you want to go with a CDL license will help you know which truck driving school to attend and what training you will need.
— ATI (@AdvTechInst) August 14, 2015
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Want to learn more about Advanced Technology Institute’s Tractor Trailer Driving certification program? Contact us today to learn about how you can enroll and earn your CDL license in as little as three months. Contact us at 800-468-1093 or request information today.
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