In order to work as a truck driver, you should be able to comply with the CDL requirements which are imposed by the state where you would be working. Knowing what exactly would be needed in order to acquire a Commercial Driver’s License is important for all those who are aspiring to work as truck drivers. Without the physical abilities and skills that are required from you by the government, you will not be issued a license to drive trucks and all of your truck driving training would end up useless.
First and foremost, you have to come up to the required age limit for truck driving which is 18 years old. If you are going to enroll in a truck driving school, make sure that you would be 18 years old upon graduating from the course. This is the minimum age requirement which has been set by the government especially for those who would be driving trucks interstate however is 21 years old.
Next, you should have a valid driver’s license when you apply for your CDL as well as your Social Security ID. They are both required for the application for identification and regulatory purposes. You will need to present them upon application.
Aside from this age limit, you also have to be physically capable of handling tasks that are done on a truck. You will need to undergo the physical exam which is conducted by the Department of Transportation for this and they include examining your height, weight, and general health; performing several tasks such as lifting, crouching, kneeling, and squatting in order to determine your ability to examine and handle the truck. These skills are needed for unloading, inspecting, putting equipments into the truck, climbing, and raising or lowering the truck’s landing gear.
After this, you will have to pass the written and skills test for truck driving also. To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License, you need to pass both of these tests by having an average of at least 80%. The written exam will include a General Knowledge Test and another one for the particular type of vehicle that you would be driving – passenger, school bus, tanks, hazardous materials, double or triple combinations, and a combination truck of tank and hazardous materials. After passing the written test, you would need to undergo the road test or skills test. You will be required to do vehicle inspection; basic control of the truck such as turning and moving forwards and backwards; and driving in actual traffic situations. You also need to pass at least 80% at the skills test.
If you are looking for an interstate trucking job, then you would also need to have a federal medical card and should be at least 21 years old. Without them, you would not be allowed to operate a truck outside of your state.
In order to acquire a CDL, you should be able to comply with the said requirements which are being of legal age, having a valid Social Security and driver’s license, passing the physical test by the DOT, passing the written and skills test, and having a federal medical card.