Basic Requirements to Becoming a Truck Driver
There are lots of excellent reasons to go into trucking. It’s a growth industry and, with the right company, offers competitive pay and benefits along with a flexible schedule. But it’s a skilled profession that isn’t for everyone. Becoming a commercial truck driver requires a higher level of knowledge, skills and physical ability than driving a non-commercial vehicle. The U.S. Department of Transportation has developed a set of strict requirements for commercial drivers. And at TransForce, we set the bar even higher. Our drivers are required to meet a tougher set of requirements above and beyond the U.S. DOT rules. These additional requirements help us maintain our outstanding safety record. And we don’t cut corners on verification procedures.
According federal requirements, drivers must meet the following criteria:
- Must be 21 years old.
- Must speak adequate English.
- Must be able to safely operate the type of equipment he or she is assigned to drive.
- Must be physically qualified to drive a commercial vehicle (according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standards). You’ll need a valid medical certificate completed by a registered medical professional.
- Must provide a list of moving violations in the past three years.
- May not be disqualified from driving for any reason.
- Must have a valid commercial license and a road test certificate–usually a CDL (Commercial Driver License).
To get your CDL, you should get a copy of your state’s CDL manual (available online). You are required to pass a skills test (and in some cases a written test). You’ll be issued a CDL learner’s permit that allows you to practice with a licensed CDL driver before earning your license. Special endorsements are required to operate the following types of vehicles: a truck with double or triple trailers, a truck with a tank, a truck carrying hazardous materials or a passenger vehicle.
At TransForce, we have a list of non-negotiable requirements above and beyond those listed by U.S. DOT. These have been put in place to make sure we preserve our outstanding safety record and get the very best drivers. We run a nationwide background check on all candidates to let us know about any disqualifying criminal convictions. Our additional requirements are as follows:
Our drivers must have a minimum of one year of recent (within the last 24 months) experience driving the type of equipment that they will be assigned to operate.
Clean Accident Record
Our drivers may not have DOT defined accidents in the past three years (in any type of motor vehicle). This includes all accidents in which the driver was convicted for a moving violation in connection with the crash or charged with responsibility for the crash.
Limited Moving Violations/ No Convictions on Serious Offenses
Our drivers may have no more than three moving violations in any type of motor vehicle in the past three years.
Our drivers may have no convictions for any of the following serious offenses (in any type of vehicle) in the past seven years:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol (.04 or greater alcohol concentration, driving under the influence under state law, or refusing to test).
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- No more than one excessive speeding violation (15 mph or more above the posted speed limit).
- Reckless driving.
- Any moving violation in connection with a fatal accident.
- Vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide.
- Eluding a police officer.
- Operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license.
At TransForce, safety is a top priority, and we are serious about hiring the very best drivers. If you are an experienced driver with a CDL, are medically fit and have a safe driving record that meets our very strict requirements, we want to talk to you.