The number of registered vehicles amounts to a staggering 275,913,237. Becoming a commercial motor vehicle driver can be a significant career move.
Driving trucks for a living has excellent job security, tons of room for growth, and gets you on the open road–what’s not to love?
But before you get into it, there are certain things you should know. Keep reading to find out what you must consider before pursuing a trucking career.
- Qualifications for Commercial Driving
Qualifications for commercial driving require a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, basic knowledge of traffic laws, as well as the right attitude. It’s important to understand that being grumpy, tired, or distracted can endanger others. Commercial drivers must take their job seriously and remain alert and responsible when behind the wheel.
You must also consider additional requirements, such as obtaining a commercial driver’s license and specific training. Commercial drivers must also possess adequate health and fitness. This is to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle for the required time and comply with regulations.
Commercial drivers must have good customer service skills, organizational skills, and the ability to work with other drivers and adhere to the loading schedule. It would help if you considered all these factors before taking on the role of a commercial driver.
- Benefits vs. Risks of Becoming a CMV Driver
Becoming a commercial motor vehicle driver can come with many benefits and risks. Before deciding to enter this field, it is essential to consider the pros and cons to ensure this job is the right fit.
One of the benefits is that a career in CMV driving can be financially rewarding. It also offers flexible hours and the freedom to travel nationwide. Drivers must be attentive and alert while on the road and obey all traffic regulations.
The lifestyle of a commercial motor vehicle driver can be demanding and overwhelming as long hours and extensive travel can often take their toll. While the pay and flexibility can be attractive, weighing the benefits and risks before beginning a career in this field is essential.
- Evaluating Licensing Requirements
Before becoming a commercial motor vehicle driver, one should evaluate what type of licensing is required. Many states have specific regulations that dictate the kind of license needed depending on the type of vehicle you are driving and the purpose of the vehicle.
Aspiring commercial motor vehicle drivers should also double-check to see what type of classes they need to acquire such a license and the minimum age requirements. Not all states have the exact requirements when it comes to their driver licensing procedures. It is essential to consult with the appropriate state agency to ensure you obtain the license correctly.
- Assessing Laws and Regulations for Commercial Drivers
It is aware of current regulations concerning hours of driving. They should also know rest periods in between driving shifts. It is essential to maintain a safe work environment.
It is also essential to develop a good understanding of the various safety protocols included in the regulations. Not adhering to these protocols could lead to severe implications. It can be suspended licensing or revoked commercial driving certifications.
- Understanding Relevant Safety Techniques
Most CMV drivers must take courses on highway safety, proper loading, coupling, handling of trailers and trucks, and defensive driving. It would help if you took the time to inform yourself about vehicle maintenance, cargo security, accident prevention, emergency procedures, seasonal concerns, and winter driving safety.
If you are hauling hazardous materials, you should adequately educate on the regulations and safety techniques for moving these materials.
- Health and Fitness Requirements
Someone needs to consider their physical and emotional health. Proper physical and mental health is vital when dealing with the rigors of the job. Drivers should adequately assess the lifestyle that a truck driver must maintain.
You must also pay attention to state and federal medical and physical fitness regulations. A potential drivers should talk to their doctor and ensure their medical fitness level is ideal for the job. Blood pressure, vision, and hearing align with the requirements.
- Investigating Trucking Companies and Employment Opportunities
Investigating trucking companies and employment opportunities is the priority. Here are some things you can do:
- Seek out reviews from past employees
- Inquire about available routes and cargo
- Ask about insurance policies
- Follow procedures
- Determine the company’s safety record
- Amount of functional training for drivers
- Employee referral bonus
- Type of vehicles driven
- Size of the organization
Ensure you investigate the hours of service and rest period requirements, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates these. Consider the insurance cost and what you will expect from you as a driver.
- Costs Associated with Becoming a Driver
The initial qualification process to drive a CMV involves obtaining a medical certificate and a commercial driver’s license (CDL). It is also necessary to stay current on annual medical requirements, commercial driver’s license renewals, and other federal regulations. Make sure to factor in the passenger endorsement ELDT training course.
After the necessary purchases of license plates, fuel, tires, and truck maintenance, there are also costs for insurance that can vary depending on cargo type and destination. Potential fees related to Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections and roadside weigh station stops must be considered.
Learn about Being a Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Today
Becoming a commercial motor vehicle driver is a complex task. Before deciding, you should carefully consider these factors, such as licensing, training, and transportation demands.
If you are considering entering this field, contact your local DMV office to learn more about the licensing and training requirements. Get the facts before you commit!
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