Have you ever wondered what it really takes to become a Class A truck driver? Here are the basics of everything you need to know about trucking jobs around the country.
How Old Must You Be to Receive CDL Training?
In order to receive CDL training through a certified program, you have to be at least 21 years old. You also need to already have a valid driver’s license in the United States. You cannot have received a conviction for DUI, either drug- or alcohol-related, in the last five years. Finally, you have to be able to pass a DOT physical and DOT drug screening.
What is the Difference Between a Class A and Class B CDL?
A Class A CDL is the most common commercial driver’s license around. There are far more Class A CDL jobs out there, which is why most drivers pursue it. Once you have this license, it allows you to drive any Class A vehicle, which is basically any big rig. Additionally, you are allowed to cross state lines with a Class A license, making you a far more attractive prospect as an employee.
With a Class B driver’s license, you are allowed to drive a freighter that weighs more than 26,000 pounds with a single axle trailer. While you have to be 21 years old to receive a Class A license, you only have to be 18 to get Class B. This makes this variation a good starting point for people who know they want to be truck drivers later on in life. With a Class B CDL, you can typically get a job in furniture delivery, parcel delivery, or household goods moving.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Truck Driver?
When you are first starting, you can expect to make anywhere between $45,000 and $60,000 annually. As you gain experience or add endorsements onto your license your income as a Class A CDL truck driver goes up. If you find the right employer some Class A truck drivers that have longevity with the same carrier can earn over $100,000 annually. With that type of income, Class A truck driving offers one of the few opportunities to earn six figures without the large expense of attending a university.
How Long Do You Have to Be Away from Home?
Many truck drivers find they are away from home for between two and three weeks at a time. Once you have more experience with the same company, you can ask for more dedicated time off. In fact, some places will let you have more home time after spending only three months with them. At Duncan Trucking our drivers are on a dedicated route from Phoenix, AZ, to Long Beach, CA, so they are able to be home four nights every week.
How Long Does Truck Driving School Last?
Most drivers will find they can complete their CDL program in as little as four weeks. You will not be paid during this time, but it is an essential step to engaging in a fulfilling career. There are plenty of CDL training locations around the country, and you can find schools in Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and more.
How Do You Know If You are an Experienced Driver?
While some companies will hire anyone with a CDL, others only want experienced drivers. With Duncan and Son, you qualify as an experienced driver if you have twelve months over-the-road of verifiable truck driving experience within the last year all with the same carrier or you can have twenty-four months of verifiable Class A over-the-road truck driving experience within the last three years.
What Should You Do Next If You Want to Be a Truck Driver?
If you have all of the proper qualifications, then you should apply for a truck driving position at Duncan and Son Lines, Inc. We also have non-driving positions available. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about potential job openings or our services.