Getting Started

The decision to become an over-the-road truck driver will impact you and your family more than most other career paths. The demanding schedule requires an enormous adjustment for all involved. Just to get started, you will need specialized training. There will be state and federal requirements that you have to meet. Your finances will fluctuate. And sitting behind a big wheel, driving a truck, will occupy most of your waking hours.

A good place to start to find out if you're a match for this career is by talking to drivers. Drop by a local truck stop and ask to buy a cup of coffee for a driver. Most will be willing to share their experiences. You can also learn a lot through trucker's message boards and chat rooms. If you're lucky enough to have a friend or relative who drives currently, take a week or two to travel along.

Here are several articles to help you with the first steps in becoming a driver:

Quick Reference Checklist 
A point-by-point look at the many aspects of a trucking career: requirements, training, lifestyle changes, financial compensation, and misconceptions.

Considering Companies and Training
Looking into companies and their requirements will help you determine what training program will best prepare you for entry into your new career.

Looking for Employment
Know what your needs are and be prepared with a list of questions to ask the recruiter. Take along all necessary information when applying for a job.

Red Flags That Hamper Employment
There are many things that are red flags to carriers including felonies, traffic violations, drug and alcohol charges, and gaps in employment.

What to Take
You've landed a job and are preparing to go on the road with your trainer. Space is limited inside a truck cab, so pack carefully and take only the necessary items needed.