For many drivers, your first year as a professional truck driver is going to bring exciting changes, some disappointments, and a few serious challenges.
There is no way around it – you have to pay your dues to earn the right to move up the career ladder as an experienced CDL Class A driver. Perhaps the second biggest career decision you make is selecting the right company to drive for after graduation from cdl training school.
So, obviously the question you are asking is “what is the first biggest career decision I will have to make?” And that’s a very good question ….
The biggest and most important career decision you will make is sticking it out no matter what company you have gone to work for, and no matter how tough it gets! Get that all-important one year (or more preferably) of driving experience under your belt no matter what it takes!
You’ve heard the expression “forewarned is forearmed” … doing your research and diligence can make a big difference, but if you have not done diligent research specifically on cdl driver training and trucking companies, and you went to work for the wrong company, don’t leave – if you do, you may become just another statistic.
If you leave before you’ve completed your first year, you may sabotage your professional truck driving career. If you couldn’t go the distance on this job why would any other trucking company believe that you will last with them? These are just some of the repercussions that can occur:
- you may owe the trucking company reimbursement for cdl training and other expenses
- you may be viewed by a future employer as someone who does not take their career seriously
- you may be subject to an unfavorable comment placed on your DAC Report which will follow you during your career
- you may be unable to find another truck driving job
- you may have to take a CDL Refresher Course at an additional expense
When you are starting out, there are few trucking companies that are offering CDL paid training, and few trucking companies that are hiring recent graduates from CDL training schools. So, your choices at the onset of your career are somewhat limited, which makes doing research and diligence even more important.
But even if you are not happy with the company you’ve gone to work for right out of the gate, a decision to leave that company could very well end your career before it even began. Trucking companies don’t like to see new drivers bouncing from company to company. And if you’re away from the trucking industry for a couple of months, you may have to take a CDL refresher course – and start all over again !
The Biggest and Most Import Career Decision
You Can Make Is Your Commitment To
Do What it Takes To Make It
Through Your First Year
Your near-future objective should be to earn the qualifications to get hired by a company that hires only experienced drivers, which represents more than 90% of the trucking industry. Learn the ropes, get the feel of the industry and its regimen and work and prepare for bigger and better times. These are your ‘beginner days’…
To qualify as an experienced driver you must have a minimum of one year’s incident free, verifiable truck driving experience. Note that I said “incident-free” and “verifiable”.
After one year of professional driving experience, you are eligible for hire by one of the “good companies” … companies that hire only experienced CDL Class A drivers. Once that occurs you can expect:
- better wages
- better working conditions
- better equipment
- better home-time
- better driver treatment
When starting out with your first truck driving job, look ahead to better times. Try to prepare for one year of sacrifice, plan your finances and consider that you may have to dip into your savings or make other temporary life altering changes. Whatever the case it’s critical that you be prepared for the commitment and sacrifice of working long hours running over-the-road for no less than one year – no matter what it takes, because ….