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TRUCK DRIVER

Requirements

Trucking is a difficult profession that requires skills and attitudes beyond driving. You need a clean driving record and will need to obtain a CDL. Within your home state, you may be eighteen years old, but once you cross state lines, you are subject to federal regulations that mandate you being twenty-one years old. Typically, trucking firms look for drivers who are at least twenty-two.

Some states require a minimum level of truck driving school experience before issuing a license. Maine, for example, calls for an eight-hour course. There are many trucking schools around America to teach you all you'll need to know. The schools include classroom instruction that will help you with the written portion of the CDL exam. You will learn how to inspect your vehicle, how it operates, and how to drive safely before even putting the key in the ignition. Once you move the truck out of the parking lot, you will be taught how to maneuver on city streets and highways.

After obtaining your CDL and finding a job, your training will continue as the trucking company teaches you how to handle their vehicles and cargo. Companies look for drivers who will speak to people at both ends of the trip in a courteous manner. Your appearance should also be fairly neat and clean. Remember, you will be representing the company, so you need to make a good impression.

You may be asked to spend time with an experienced company driver before being given your first run.

Your company will routinely check your physical condition (while the government calls for every other year, most companies check their drivers annually) and will test you for drugs. Your physical condition calls for excellent eyesight and hearing in addition to free use of your arms and legs. People who are color-blind or suffer from epilepsy are not eligible for the CDL.

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