Hiring Process For Truck Drivers: What Do You Need To Know?
Hiring Process For Truck Drivers: What Do You Need To Know? - AllTruckJobs.com

Hiring Process For Truck Drivers: What Do You Need To Know?

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Truck drivers are in demand and play a critical role in the U.S. economy. Just like others involved in the transportation industry, truck drivers must complete a process before they can secure employment.

If you are interested in becoming a truck driver, here are the steps to meet the FMCSA’s requirements.

FMCSA Requirements for Truck Drivers

Truck Driver meeting requirements to get CDL

The transportation industry has stringent requirements for all parties involved in freight transportation to protect public safety. For example, freight brokers must obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and must obtain a freight broker bond to do so, protecting the public against any possible misdeeds by those arranging the transportation of goods.

Likewise, truck drivers also must complete certain requirements. When you complete all the steps involved in obtaining your CDL and securing a job, you should always comply with the FMCSA’s regulations and traffic laws.

Complying with the legal requirements for truck drivers might reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. Understanding the regulations and rules that apply to you can also help you protect your CDL to enjoy a lengthy and profitable truck-driving career.

Before you can become a truck driver, you will need to complete the steps listed below.

1. Get a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

Before you can get a commercial driver’s license, you will first need to obtain a commercial learner’s permit and complete a truck driving and truck safety course. Getting your commercial learner’s permit will allow you to finish the truck driving course you are required to complete.

2. Get Your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Once you pass the truck driving and safety courses, you can apply for your state’s commercial driver’s license (CDL). This will involve taking and passing written and driving tests. If you plan to apply for a position requiring you to obtain endorsements, you will need to apply for those and pass the relevant tests for them.

3. Complete a Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical

Before being hired to work as a commercial truck driver, you must take and pass a DOT physical. The physical must be conducted by an approved medical examiner who is listed in the FMCSA’s National Registry.

You will need to complete a detailed medical history form before your physical. At your appointment, your physical examination will check to make sure that you meet the following standards:

• Visual acuity of at least 20/40 in both eyes with or without glasses or contact lenses

• Peripheral vision of at least 70 degrees in each eye

• Sufficient hearing to hear a forced whisper from five feet or less with or without a hearing aid

• Good blood pressure and pulse rate

• Urinalysis to check for underlying conditions like diabetes

• Physical exam to check your overall health

4. Pass a Motor Vehicle Records Check

When you apply for a job as a truck driver, the trucking company will complete a background check to ensure you do not have major driving violations. A DOT background check will investigate your driving record, safety record, employment history, and your ability to safely perform the job.

5. Pass the DOT Drug Screen

Trucking carriers must send their prospective drivers for DOT drug screens as a condition of employment. This test is a five-panel urine screen that is conducted by an approved laboratory and is meant to ensure the public is protected. Owner-operators are also required to undergo DOT drug screens before they can drive.

6. Meet the Age Requirements

Most trucking carriers require their drivers to be 23 years old because of insurance requirements. If you are younger than age 21, you won’t be able to haul cargo across state lines. You must be at least 21 years old to obtain a HAZMAT endorsement.

7. Provide References and Proof of Education

While you don’t need a college degree to become a truck driver, most companies want to see that you have either obtained a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED).

You will also need to present a copy of your certificate showing you completed truck driving school. Providing references allows prospective employers to verify the information you have provided in your application and interview.

What Do Truck Drivers Do?

What truck drivers do

Being a truck driver involves more than simply driving a commercial vehicle. The following are some of the common responsibilities truck drivers might have:

• Driving either short or long distances to deliver cargo

• Completing pre-trip and post-trip inspections

• Coordinating with logistics staff and dispatchers

• Help with loading and unloading and ensuring cargo is loaded safely

• Ensuring special requirements for certain types of cargo are followed

• Delivering cargo on time

• Following hours of service rules

• Maintaining inventories of cargo and deliveries

• Getting signed delivery receipts and clearance for routes from management

• Refueling and cleaning the truck

• Reporting issues found during inspections

• Reporting any incidents to dispatchers

• Using GPS to plan routes

• Keeping the CDL updated and complying with DOT physicals and drug tests as required

What Is Involved in the Application Process?

Filling out a truck driving job application

Most trucking carriers use the following process for hiring truck drivers:

• Driver completes and submits an online application

• Human resources reviews the application to check whether the applicant meets the minimum requirements

• Applicant meeting the company’s requirements is scheduled for an interview

• Interview is completed

• Background check is completed

• Driver submits proof of current DOT physical or must complete one

• Trucking company makes a conditional offer of employment that is contingent on passing a pre-employment drug test

Once a driver takes and passes the DOT drug screen and the physical and is hired for the position, they will complete orientation to familiarize themselves with the company’s policies and procedures. This is important for helping drivers to be reliable, safe, and productive employees.

The final step in becoming a truck driver after securing a job is starting your driving career. Your manager will schedule your first dispatch, and you will then be on the road.

Find Your First Truck Driving Job

Truck Driver Seat

Now that you are familiar with the hiring process, it’s time to get out there and search for your first truck driving job!

With so many different options, you may not know where to start. You could spend weeks sorting through different websites. Instead, you may want to expedite the process by using an online job board like AllTruckJobs.com. You have the option to browse jobs yourself or apply now to our online application.

Don’t wait! Get out there and get some commercial driving experience!

Author: Hit The Road Jack

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