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How To Avoid Failing Your CDL Training Pt. 1

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Truck driving is a career that appeals to a slim section of people. It’s not an easy job and there will be a lot of people watching you if you make mistakes. In other words, if you’re going to be a long haul trucker, you have to love what you do. Here’s how to make sure you’re making the right choice for the job of a lifetime.

1. Make Sure You Understand the Job

The most common reason people begin training for trucking is that they want to make more money. This can be done, however, it’s a bad reason to start. You have to be committed to the job, because it’s not a job – it’s a lifestyle. When you get your CDL and start driving, it will most likely be long haul trucking. Make sure you and your loved ones understand this, because it takes getting used to.  So be sure you have managed your expectations, and especially those of your family by planning for this type of change.

2. Come to School Ready to Work

If you avoided attending college because you thought it would be too hard, don’t sign up for truck driver training. Most courses only take about 150 hours of training, but it’s difficult and full of technical information. Make sure you’re committed to learning as much as you can. Remember – any fool can push a pedal down and crank a wheel. You will be learning much more than that, such as complicated state regulatory procedures, engine and tractor maintenance and how to navigate legal issues. Don’t treat it as a “pay to play” scheme, because it’s not. So when you enter training, get serious, be ready to work and then make friends to form your network of support.

3. Adjust Your Attitude

Trucking fleet operators put a lot of faith in their drivers. They don’t hire just anyone to navigate an 80,000 pound semi trailer through commuter traffic and hazardous highways. If you broadcast the attitude of a know-it-all without the skills to back it up, CDL trainers will make note of this and it might cause hiring issues for you later. Trucking involves a lot of aptitude tests and background checks. Fleet owners will want to know everything they can about you, and go to great lengths to find out during the hiring process. Make sure your driving and legal records are clean, and that you present a positive attitude during training and hiring. Presenting a little positivity goes a long way.

That’s all for this installment. Next time we’ll have a few more examples that will help aspiring truck drivers get ready for training and stand out during hiring season.

 

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