Truck Driver Training Facts
By : Kris Koonar
Truck drivers handle the transportation and collection of goods throughout America. Weighing over 10,000 pounds, these vehicles are used for intrastate or interstate travel. Loading and unloading of the merchandise and the basic maintenance of the truck is taken care of by the truck driver.
To pursue a career as a truck driver, the candidate should be an expert driver of vehicles, as per the US licensing laws. The aspects of vehicle control, brake-control, and speed limitations need to be mastered for a person to qualify as a truck driver. Obtaining a truck driver license in America is difficult. A person needs to have knowledge of highways and routes. Candidates also have to know how to maintain records of mileage, deliveries, and to do the paperwork required for each loading. State and federal regulations and the employer require these records. Regulations such as speed limits, load limits, and driving hours, which differ from state to state, need to be strictly observed by truck drivers. The career involves high levels of concentration and long periods of solitary living. Candidates should be self-reliant, security conscious, and have good physical fitness and stamina for loading and unloading goods.
The theory test has to be passed successfully before undertaking the practical test. In order to be eligible for the license, the applicant has to be over 18 years of age, along with a clean driving history. A medical test must also be passed, along with additional training in driving vehicles containing hazardous chemicals.
Some people hate being cooped in a small office, and they enjoy the wide open countryside. Truck driving as a career is ideal for such people, who find driving in various conditions, and being out on the road for long hours a pleasurable activity. Sometimes drivers may even be able to travel outside America, if they get the authorization to do so. One of the other advantages of being employed as a truck driver is that a person has the choice of working on a temporary or permanent basis. Furthermore, he can set his own hours to work either nights or days.
The salary rates of truck drivers depend on the employer and the type of load. A qualified and experienced truck driver earns a salary of $25,000 to $40,000 a year. Truck drivers have work shifts that involve traveling at late hours, and hence being away from home at nights. Therefore, for safety reasons, the law has limited the total hours worked in a day, and also in a week. Thus, the US regulations govern the number of hours a person works, the distance that he can travel, and the amount of load his vehicle can carry.
The traveling involved as a truck driver depends on the type of work that is required to be done. It can range from local deliveries to national goods transportation, or even continental work. The employers of truck drivers are either haulage firms or distribution departments. Some experienced lorry drivers become self-employed, owning and driving their own vehicle. Career progression to supervisor positions is possible.
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There are literally hundreds of truck driving schools across the country, each with different programs. As with any business, there are good ones and there are bad ones. But you have to know what to look for in a trucking school.
There are essentially three different types of truck driver training programs. The first is a private school, the second is a public institution and the third is a training program run by a motor carrier.
Truck Driving Job Descriptions
Truck Driver Safety
CDL Truck Driver Training
Candidates need to pass a test to acquire a semi driver license. The test ascertains the driving ability of the candidates. Maneuvering in a limited space, 25 miles of driving at a stretch, and questions on the Highway Code are some of the factors that comprise the test. The candidate must also be cognizant of the truck driver regulations and aspects of vehicle safety.