What Does It Take to Be A Truck Driver?
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to hit the open road as a professional driver? Hauling freight is no easy feat! Drivers must meet CDL licensing qualifications, DOT physical benchmarks, and have the lifestyle and personality to excel as a driver.
Minimum driver requirements to apply for a CDL vary from state to state, but there are several rules that hold fast across the board. Potential drivers must have a regular driver’s license with a clean record, be at least 21 years old (for interstate driving) and pass an applicable background check. Drivers younger than 21 years old may be allowed to get their CDL in select states but won’t generally be allowed to drive across state lines, or transport hazardous materials.
Truckers may not be known as the peak of physical fitness, but in order to be a professional driver, you must meet DOT health benchmarks. Drivers may be required to unload heavy boxes, tie down freight, and get in and out of your truck with ease. It’s not just the obvious strength requirements. Truckers often go long periods without sleep, and experience physical and mental stress that can take its toll. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, but there are physical aspects of truck driving some may not realize.
Any longtime trucker can tell you that hauling is more than a career. It’s a lifestyle. Time spent transporting freight away from home is just a part of the job for drivers. It’s not uncommon for truckers to spend weeks at a time on the road, away from friends and loved ones. For those who can’t spend that much time away from family or other obligations, dedicated driving may be the best option. While over the road (OTR) truckers often live out of their truck cab for days or even weeks at a time, dedicated drivers stick to a local route and get home each night. Make sure the job you choose fits your lifestyle. Life on the road can be lonely but it doesn’t have to be!