Truck Driving School
Keep on truckin'
Truck driving is one of the most in-demand jobs today. At any given moment, millions of tons of food, raw materials and consumer products are whizzing around the country in the trailers of 18-wheelers. Driving a truck can be very lucrative, but it's also physically and mentally demanding - many careers are shortened by back or other health problems, as well as the need to stay in one place and put down roots.
Before you start looking for truck driving schools, keep in mind: truck driving is not nearly as simple as people might think. You can't learn the skills required to drive an 18-wheeled truck in the average traffic school class.
You not only have to learn how to handle 18 gears, air brakes and the responsibility that comes with all that cargo, you also have to learn highway regulations, border crossing and other legal concerns, vehicle inspection and basic mechanics, as well as vehicle weight and dimension limits. And remember, truck driving doesn't always entail highway driving - drivers are also expected to be experts in the special difficulties of city driving, including crowded streets, parking, ensuring pedestrian safety and more.
Truck driving companies and training schools prefer applicants to have at minimum a high school education. They also require physical examinations. In some cases, drivers may need to prove they can lift heavy objects and handle special cargo (i.e. understand dangers, precautions and considerations).
The best long-term strategy for a truck driving career is to commit to long hauls early in your career (especially if you're younger and have no children or family commitments). In your later years, you can settle into a pattern of short hauls and delivery driving. In most cases, it's difficult to advance beyond basic truck driving, although managerial positions may arise. Another career option for motivated and experienced truckers is to go into warehousing or warehouse managing.
To be a successful truck driver, you'll have to develop your business sense, especially when it comes to keeping an eye on the bottom line. Long haul trucking is very lucrative in the short term, but it also has a very high burnout rate.
Though there may be some variation year to year, truck drivers are almost always in high demand. Wherever there is a need for a product, there will be a need for someone to deliver it.