So, you want to be a CDL-A truck driver? Great idea! A career in trucking can provide the pay, flexibility, and fulfillment that you’re looking for.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to get there:
Meet the requirements!
- Be 21 years of age or older: You can get a CDL license at 18, but according to the federal requirement, you are not allowed to drive across state lines or haul hazardous materials until you are 21.
- Have a clean driving history: Certain criminal offenses or driving violations can disqualify you from being eligible to get your CDL. Reach out to a Carter Express recruiter to find out if you’re eligible!
- Have a strong work ethic: Truck driving is often an extremely fulfilling and lucrative career, but it’s not for everybody. Truck drivers are heroes, and they work like it!
- Go to driver’s school: You could study or finance schooling on your own, but plenty of carriers (including Carter Express) offer paid training, scholarships, or sponsorship for truck driving school.
- Get pre-hired: Companies will often foot the bill for a driver to get their CDL if they agree to work for them once licensed. Carter Express can sponsor you, covering 100% of tuition costs. Or, we have a tuition reimbursement program.
- Obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP): To practice driving, you’ll need to pass a written test and get your permit. To apply for your CDL, you need to have had your CLP for 14 days.
Pass your tests!
- Pass the CDL skills exam: After completing truck driver training and practicing driving, you need to take a CDL test. Different states have different CDL manuals that are tested on, so make sure you’re studying your state’s manual!
- Pass the DOT medical exam: The U.S. Department of Transportation requires drivers to pass a physical exam by a certified doctor before being issued a CDL.
- Pass pre-employment screenings: Most carriers will do an employment history search, criminal history search and drug test before hiring a CDL-A driver.
- Gather your documents: Keep your driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate or U.S. passport (or a green card if necessary) handy while applying for CDL-A truck driving jobs.
- Find a job: Find a carrier that meets your needs. Our supportive culture, low turnover and safety focus make Carter Express a great option for new drivers – Let us prove it to you!
- Start driving: After you’ve got your CDL, Carter Express has a six-week paid training program to prepare you for your new career.
Carter Express offers a variety of CDL-A truck driving opportunities with competitive pay, support for drivers and a family focus! Visit drive4carterexpress.com/students to learn more about our driver training or call (833) 934-2103 to speak to a recruiter!