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CDL TRUCK DRIVER
CDL Truck Driver
Getting the goods America depends on from point A to point B? As a CDL truck driver, you’ll make it happen. Most are long-haul drivers who operate large tractor-trailers over intercity or interstate routes.
You’ll first need to complete truck driving school (usually 3-6 months). Once hired, you’ll normally receive on-the-job training, driving a truck with a more experienced mentor-driver in the passenger seat.
Good communication, customer service, and judgment skills are a must in this job. It’s important to have excellent hearing and vision and be in good physical condition, especially if your job requires loading and unloading freight. You’ll need to be comfortable sitting for long periods and able to adapt to changes in driving conditions.
Federal regulations require CDL drivers to maintain a clean driving record and pass a physical exam every two years. You’ll have to pass random testing for drug or alcohol abuse, and can have your CDL suspended if convicted of driving under the influence, or of a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle.
You may want to take additional training to receive endorsements to your CDL that will show your ability to drive a specialized type of vehicle or transport hazardous materials, for example. Endorsements usually result in a pay raise as well.
At this stage of your career you may want to buy or lease trucks and go into business for yourself as an owner-operator. In addition to their driving tasks, owner-operators also have business tasks, including finding and keeping clients and doing administrative work, such as accounting.