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Taking The Steps To Obtain a Driving Job

by Holly Plude - Published: 4/28/2017
4.2 1 votes

There are over three million trucking jobs throughout the U.S – and through this, out of all the modes of shipping, trucking remains the most versatile. As you likely already know, nearly everything consumers have in their homes are a result of a truck driver transporting it from a rail yard, ship yard or warehouse to the store one made a purchase at.

Ask yourself these questions: Do you have a wanderlust spirit? Do you enjoy the open road? Are you able to easily be away from home weeks or months at a time? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you might consider truck driving as a career.

In Recent News
January 5th: Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 2nd: Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27th: Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System

The Basic Steps To Obtaining Your First Commercial Drivers' License Include:

Let's Take A Closer Look At Each Step In The Process

1. Commercial Driver’s License Manual

2. On page 2 of Section 1 of the Michigan CDL Manual, you will find the license eligibility requirements. These are state requirements based on federal requirements.

3. Applying for a CMV involves first obtaining a commercial learner’s permit (or temporary operator’s permit)

4. Take and pass required knowledge tests.

5. Following your CDL application process you will receive your temporary operator’s permit (not valid for border crossings).

6. Schedule and take the CDL skills test.

In the state of Michigan, you are required to take the skills test through a state approved third-party tester. Some states still provide skills testing – such as California. However, the majority rely on state certified third party testers – such as Florida.

Types of CDLS

Not all CDLs are the same. Different license types and different endorsements allow you to drive different types of equipment. If you want to drive anything (not passenger related), you want to obtain a Class A license with a T, X and air-brakes endorsement.

Class A

Class B

Class C

Endorsements
While the subject of researching, obtaining and testing for endorsements is quite broad, the following are the most commonly obtained and commercially usedwithin the driving industry.

T: Double or Triple trailers

P: Passenger vehicles designed to carry 16+ individuals (i.e. charter bus)

N: Tank (i.e. tanks hauling oil or petroleum fuel)

H: Hazardous Materials (i.e. flammable materials such as petroleum fuel)

X: Combined Tank and Hazardous Materials

S: School Bus

Air Brakes (you must have this endorsement to legally drive any vehicle with air brakes, regardless of the other endorsements)

Knowledge Test

The knowledge test given is dependent on the endorsement you are applying for. The test is in written form and comprised of multiple choice answers.

Skills Test
There are three components to the skills test. The first is vehicle inspection test. Next is a basic control skills test performed off the road. The last portion is the actual driving test.

All three segments must be passed. If any one of the segments is failed, the entire test is terminated. You will have to retake the skills test, but should receive credit for any segment you did pass. However, this credit only applies to retesting that occurs on the same CLP. Once you renew your CLP, any testing from the skills test will expire.

Most third-party testers require you to provide the testing vehicle. The vehicle must have proof of the GVWR so that you can prove you are testing in a vehicle commensurate with the license you are pursuing.
There are several requirements for the testing vehicle:

Bottom Line

Truckers have one of the most rewarding careers. It is true, the job comes along with its share of stresses, however, when you stop and thinking about the fact that truck driving jobs are essential to the United States economy you quickly realize that truck drivers are essential. If this is a career you are interested in, take time to investigate. For those who have the luxury of living in a larger area or state like Texas, drivers should be encouraged to look around and find what opportunities may be nearby.

If you are having trouble deciding, consider something offered from a life management consultant. Put pen to paper and make a list of pros and cons. It is easy to list out your pros and cons in your mind, but when you look at them on a piece of paper (or on a screen) the gravity of your decision is more real. Then, to keep the process from being overwhelming, take each step you must complete and break it down into “bite size” pieces.
Truck driving is an amazing opportunity. If you are considering it, check out the trucker jobs posted on online and see what potential opportunities await you in your city.
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