There is a huge demand for professional truck drivers, and it’s not hard to see why. This is a difficult job, and one isn’t just given to anyone who has a driver’s license. In order to drive a commercial truck like a big rig semi, that individual needs truck driver training in order to get a special license that proves they are good enough to drive the heavy duty trucks in all major situations. This type of training starts with truck driving school in order to pick up a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
What Is a CDL?
Simply put, a CDL is a Commercial Driver’s License. Depending on the specific school or training course that you are taking, a CDL can take anywhere from four to seven weeks. This training involves both some in class training, studying a legal driving manual, and a lot of actual training time on the road with the instructor. This is the minimum license that is absolutely essential in order to be able to drive any type of a semi.
Truck Driving School
The main truck driving school in any given area will change depending on the exact location. That being said, many areas have a community college that works with local businesses to create a truck driving school. While these programs tend to be only a few weeks long, it is also important to realize that a driver almost never goes straight from a CDL and graduating a trucking school program and right to the open road.
More training will be involved with ride-alongs, supervised trucking routes early on, and a concerted effort is made to make sure that the recent graduate gets the actual experience he or she needs in order to safely go out on their own for the long term on the open road and to succeed.
The follow up training will vary from company to company depending on their routes, needs, and policies, but it’s safe to assume that for several months a graduate will be supervised and working on a limited basis until they are truly ready for the open road on their own.
Specialized Driving Licenses
Specialized driving licenses beyond a CDL refer to special licenses that are given out to individuals who are qualified to drive trucks hauling hazardous materials. This can be for propane, oil, and gas or dangerous chemicals and industrial waste. These licenses will require driving training and written tests above and beyond a basic CDL.
Even beyond this, it’s important to understand that to get these licenses, a trucker will often need to get to the point where they have been driving solo with a regular CDL for some amount of time. After proving themselves with years on the road, then additional training is available to get trained for the even more lucrative positions of transporting hazardous materials.
There’s a lot to know about truck driver training, but it is a profession that could be a good deal for a large number of people. This training doesn’t take an entire semester or it doesn’t take years, and because of the extremely high demand the possibility of job placement is much better than with a 4-year degree in many cases. At the very least, the promise of a high paying job with only weeks of necessary schooling is a great temptation and can provide a massive return on investment.
Beyond that, it’s up to the individual to decide how far they want to take the trucking career. The sky is the limit for the hard working trucker willing to do what it takes to excel in the field.