Congratulations, you’ve become a truck driver. Now you’re probably asking yourself, “what’s next?” What is life like for a new professional truck driver after you go through the CDL training, pass your exam, and earn your license? Because you’re officially a truck driver, here are some things you will probably experience during this exciting new stage of your life.
The first step to take after you obtain your CDL is to sign with a carrier. As with any job, once you’re eligible, you want to get started as soon as possible, and since you need to go through several phases before you can officially drive alone, you’ll want to start looking for a carrier sooner rather than later.
There are some lucky ones who have already pre-signed with a carrier before even taking their CDL exam or graduated from school, and some within the first week or two.
But if you haven’t, don’t get discouraged.
You don’t just pick the first carrier you can find. Instead, see what carriers can offer you in terms of tuition reimbursements, benefits, job opportunities, and more. Remember, this is your future you’re looking after, so ask around before choosing a carrier. Another important question for CDL graduates to ask is whether their carrier provides paid training.
Once you’ve chosen a carrier, now what? In most cases, the next step is to continue training. Your carrier will train you in some advanced driving techniques, and once you get those down, you’ll begin driving with a trainer usually until the carrier thinks you’re ready to be on the road on your own. Again, before you sign on with a carrier, check to make sure you are going to get paid for training if that’s important to you.
So, by now you’ve passed your exam, got your CDL, picked a carrier, trained, and you’re finally ready to be on your own. Now it’s time to drive.
Most beginner truck drivers start out OTR (Over-The-Road), or driving long distance trips. This is how you gain valuable experience and is standard in the trucking industry. After a year or so of driving OTR by yourself or with your team, you can either stay as an OTR driver or move into another role in the industry. Other opportunities include a local or regional role, or becoming a dispatcher or driver trainer. Your career path will be completely up to you.
The trucking industry provides excellent pay, benefits, and job security, so you’ll be driving on to a successful career as a truck driver, or whatever path you decide to take with your CDL.
When it’s time to consider a career in the trucking industry, we offer two amazing companies to work for: North Dixie Truck and Trailer, Inc. or Roeder Cartage Company. Depending on your area of expertise, we offer jobs for safety directors, mechanics, dispatchers and all types of jobs related to the trucking industry. Click on the links today and see what we offer and apply today.