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Everything You Need to Know After Receiving Your CDL License

Managing to get through, and getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is big achievement. It opens the doors to the world of commercial truck driving. Before one can embark on that journey as a commercial truck driver, there are various steps that one needs to follow after getting their CDL license. Below are a few steps on what to do and expect after getting your CDL license.


Step 1: Research for Available Commercial Driving Jobs


This should be the first thing to before finishing your training and receiving your CDL. Take time and settle for the best company that you will be happy working for in the long run. Avoid the temptation to rush to the first company that gets your attention or offers you a job. Factors to consider when looking for a suitable company include:


  • Salary: how much is being paid per hour and/or mile, or if one is getting a fixed salary with or without bonuses.
  • Work schedule: know how often you will be at home or away, try talking to other drivers or check in trucking internet forums. You can also talk to various truck human resource departments since work schedules vary per company.
  • Reimbursements: some companies help repay CDL school tuition costs.
  • Other things to consider include the equipment you’ll work with, the companies’ reputation and if it offers other benefits like insurance, retirement benefits and vacations allocated.

Step 2: Build Your Resume


Although not necessary in getting a trucking job, a resume will give you an advantage over other applicants. Visiting a trucking companies’ human resource department in person with a resume in hand is a good idea. Check if your CDL School or other schools organize career fairs or job placement programmes that can link you up with trucking companies. Having a business card is a good idea too.


Step 3: Send Applications


This naturally follows the first two steps mentioned above. Once you have settled on a few companies that you might wish to work for, fill out their job application forms.You might include other relevant information like; your driving history, volunteer experience, any relevant work history, a letter of recommendation and where applicable, criminal record and military experience.


Step 4: Sign With a Carrier


Signing with a carrier should be an easy step, however, it is important to consider the pros and cons attributed to each company you are interested in signing up with. These advantages and disadvantages can be clear if you carry out step 1 above thoroughly. It is good to consider the signing bonuses or CDL school tuition reimbursements, associated with signing up with a particular carrier.


Step 5: Complete Training


Once you have signed up with your preferred trucking company, the next step is to engage in job training. During this period one gets to learn advanced driving techniques, company operational procedures and on road situations that you might not have experienced during your CDL training.


Step 6: Gain Experience


Gaining experience is important for your trucking career. Most companies offer OTR (on road trips) to rookie drivers in order for them to experience long distance travel across state lines. You may also be put in a team to enable you have breaks as you adapt to life as a trucker. After a few years, most companies allow you to take up different roles in the company as a recruiter, mechanic, etc. it is advisable to seek companies that offer these growth opportunities.


Step 7: Practice Self-improvement


It is important to continue with educational classes to widen your knowledge and make you suitable to play a higher role in the company should the opportunity arise. This will also help build your resume. Most community colleges offer classes to truckers.