Truckers new to the industry face a unique job landscape with many opportunities. When considering potential candidates, companies look for a combination of qualifications, experience, skills, and job readiness. Here are a few things truckers should possess when searching for a job.
Truck drivers need to have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). Drivers don’t need a formal college education but should consider attending trucking school to learn how to operate a commercial truck and navigate the trucking industry. CDL requirements vary across states, but many companies prefer drivers with a certificate of completion from an accredited truck driving school.
Trucking companies prefer drivers with at least three months of driving experience, but given the current shortage of truckers in the industry, companies are considering all licensed drivers.
Of course, drivers with at least one year of experience will qualify for higher rates and more lucrative positions and benefits.
3. Technical skills
Truck drivers need to know how to operate electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record miles driven. The trucking industry has shifted from mistake-prone handwritten logs to computerized logging. Trucking companies prefer candidates who are familiar with this logging method.
4. Communication skills
Truck drivers must know how to clearly communicate with their dispatcher to ensure loads are picked up and delivered efficiently and on time. Truckers represent their company and should get along well with others.
5. Drug-free blood test results
Truckers must follow state and federal regulations for drug and alcohol testing. Job candidates must pass a pre-employment drug test before they can be allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A drug and alcohol test may also be required after an accident that resulted in an injury or death.
Truckers also undergo random testing throughout the year. Employees will not receive advance notice of the test. Companies may also test employees suspected of drug or alcohol use while on the job.
Drug tests look for the presence of marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine. Drivers’ blood alcohol concentration cannot be 0.02 or higher.
Trucking companies may administer additional testing and test for additional drugs.