With the growing need for more truck drivers and the number of quality truck driving jobs available, now is a great time to join the profession.
Before you start down the path of becoming a trucker, however, it’s important to understand the qualifications. Below, we’ve written out the general requirements for truck drivers. You should also know that companies often have their own unique requirements in addition to the general qualifications.
With that said, let’s take a look at the basics.
To be a truck driver, you must have a CDL (Commercial Drivers License). Specifically, you’ll need a Class A CDL. You must be at least 18 to obtain a CDL. Before you get your CDL, you’ll need to complete trucking school. While there are a few states that allow you to earn a CDL without trucking school, most companies won’t hire you without proper school training.
Thankfully, trucking school only takes about 7 weeks with prices ranging between $3000 -$7000. If you’re not sure how you can pay for trucking school, make sure to check out this post.
While you can earn your CDL at 18, you have to be 21 to drive across state lines. Because of this, most major trucking jobs will require you to be at least 21, if not older. There are still respectable trucking jobs to be had at 18,19, or 20. In fact, these jobs could get you some good experience that you can put towards an even better job.
Once you’re 21, you’ve completed trucking school, and you have your CDL A, you are officially qualified for a large number of trucking jobs. However…
Things That Might Disqualify You from Driving Truck
Your personal driving record can have a big impact on whether or not a company will hire you. Speeding tickets, accidents, careless driving, and especially DUIs are all taken into account.
Having a DUI on your record doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get a trucking job. The recentness of the DUI is a major factor. Your first DUI will result in a one-year suspension of your commercial license. Once you get your license back, you’ll likely have to wait a few more years before a company will hire you.
Some companies will not hire anyone with a DUI on their record, regardless of how much time has passed. Two DUIs will result in the permanent loss of your CDL, meaning you’ll have to look elsewhere for a career.
As for moving violations and accidents, the exact requirements will depend on the place you’re applying. Just know that if you’ve had multiple accidents and tickets in the past few years, you could face some opposition in getting a trucking job.
At Woodruff Enterprises, we pride ourselves in treating our drivers like part of the family. With Woodruff, you can expect competitive pay, paid vacation, quality home time, no touch freight, performance incentives, and more.
Best of all, most of our drivers work within a 500-mile radius, allowing them to keep fairly consistent schedules (especially for the industry) while ensuring they’re never too far from home.
However, this also means we have high expectations for our drivers. The minimum driving requirements at Woodruff are:
- 2 years of Class A CDL experience
- Minimum 23 years of age
- 3 year MVR history review
- No DUI over past 5 years
- 4 violations over 3-year period are reviewable
- Greater than 4 violations over 3 years is unacceptable
- No more than 1 at-fault accident allowed (more than one will require submittal for review)