A commercial driver’s license, or CDL, is one of the first essential steps for anyone looking to start a career as an OTR truck driver. Since operating a large commercial vehicle requires a great deal of skill and safety awareness, there are several important things you must do to obtain your CDL and begin a successful career as a truck driver. At HO Wolding, we are one of the leading OTR trucking companies, offering several OTR trucking jobs for qualified drivers, both young and old. If you are considering a career in truck driving, here is everything you need to know about getting your CDL, and starting on your path to success.
Understand the Restrictions
In order to obtain your CDL, you must be 21 years of age (18 in some states for driving interstate), have a prove of residency in the United States, and be able to provide identification and a social security number. If you qualify for all of the above, you are eligible to apply for a CDL.
Medical and Knowledge Tests
As many know, a physical and vision test is required before you can become a CDL holder. Additionally, you must be able to pass a knowledge exam on the basics of operating a commercial truck safely. This is where many accredited truck driving schools start to make a difference. While never required to take a CDL knowledge tests, truck driving schools can provide the courses you need to feel confident going into the exam, and help clear up any misunderstandings you might have with the information.
Obtain Your Commercial Learners Permit (CLP)
Once you have passed the knowledge exam, you will be issued a commercial learners permit. This permit allows you to drive on public roads with a certified CDL holder in the passenger seat, in order to practice your driving skills before taking your formal CDL road skills exam. A truck driving school will provide CDL certified truck driving instructors to help you prepare prior to your formal exam. These permits are typically valid for 1 year and require a 14 day gap between when they were issued to the driver, and when the driver takes the on-road exam.
The Final Test
The day has come to take your on road exam. The testing site will require you to bring your own vehicle, and be prepared for a pre-trip inspection. Provided you pass the pre-trip inspection, the instructor will go through the basic control skills for operating various systems in the cabin, then take you on the full driving exam. This will test your skills in a variety of situations, along with your safe driving abilities. Once you pass the exam, you are ready to apply for a number of entry level CDL jobs to start your career off right.
HO Wolding is proud to bring on recent CDL holders onto our team. Having a small-business atmosphere, while being backed by Bison Transport helps us bring the benefits of a large corporation, while still maintaining great relationships with all our employees. Competitive salary, comprehensive benefits packages, safe driving bonuses, and plenty of PTO are just a few of the advantages for driving for us. Call us today at (715) 824-5513, or check out our current OTR trucking jobs today!