The image of cruising across America passing your days and nights behind the wheel of a huge truck is a romantic one to many, but what does it take to actually do this job and what are the benefits? Answering the question “how do I be a truck driver” is fairly simple. Before you run out and sign up for a school, there are some things you should know about truck driving. This career is not for everyone. The hours can be incredibly long and you will spend the majority of your time away from home, unless you drive with your spouse as a co-driver, which is actually fairly common. Today´s long-range trucks essentially have tiny apartments attached to the rear of the cab and they can be quite comfortable. Cramped but tolerable. The work can be dangerous simply because you are carrying a great deal of valuable merchandise. An auto transport can easily have $500,000 worth of autos and sometimes carry up to $1 million worth: A tempting target for criminals.
Truck drivers usually have two different driver licenses. Their regular is a Class A, issued by the State in which they reside. The other is a Commercial driving license that permits them to drive vehicles that are more than 26,000 Lbs and sometimes trucks carrying hazardous materials. There is one restriction here. Commercial driver licenses can have a total of 6 special endorsements. The basic permit to drive heavier vehicles and permits that allow drivers to drive “combination” vehicles, double and triple trailers, tankers, passenger vehicles, and hazardous materials. Convicted felons are permitted to test for all endorsements except hazardous materials. According to the US “Patriot” Act, anyone convicted of a felony of any type is not permitted to transport any materials labeled as “hazardous.” All drivers must pass a federally mandated physical exam, including both vision and hearing, and repeat it every two years. The job, unlike jobs such as graphic artist or business manager, can be physically demanding.
This essentially means that you will need to take the State driving test and the commercial test separately. The questions are quite different, and what ever type of vehicle you are testing for, you will need to provide that vehicle, registered and insured, in which to take the driving test. This means that if you are taking all six tests in one day, you will need three vehicles, car, Semi trailer, and passenger transport, like a bus. You will also need the appropriate trailers, standard box, tanker, double, and triple. If you do this you should be ready to spend the entire day and maybe more and you will certainly need to schedule an appointment. If you have an employer, in many cases they will supply the vehicle and a driver to allow you to take the test. If you are attending a truck driving school, like North American Truck Driving in Denver, the school will supply the vehicle so that you can learn how to be a truck driver in the most efficient manner.