After earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you’re probably eager to start your trucking career. There is a high demand for over-the-road (OTR) drivers and this can make it easier to find a trucking job with no experience beyond school. That being said, it’s still helpful to know what to expect and how you can start your career as quickly as possible.
Some tips for finding and succeeding in your first trucking job:
1. Take Advantage of Job Placement Assistance
Attending a truck driving school with a job placement assistance program is arguably the easiest way to find your first job after earning your CDL. At HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school), our team helps place students with motor carriers who are hiring new drivers. Many of our students have offers before they graduate.
Working with a job placement assistance team takes the pressure off you. You won’t need to search for companies that are hiring CDL drivers with no experience. Instead, a member of our team will match you with jobs that fit your preferences.
2. Start With OTR
Whether you are starting your career with the help of a job placement assistance team or not, you should be aware that you will probably drive OTR first. These routes take truckers across the country and are the most impacted by the driver shortage.
One reason for this is that regional and local jobs often involved more complex driving such as backing into multiple loading docks a day, frequent city driving, and night driving. An OTR job may involve all of these situations, but they are more spread out, which gives you a chance to practice your driving skills.
Additionally, OTR jobs typically pay more and may offer tuition reimbursement to help you cover the cost of school.
3. Focus on Safety
During your first year on the road, focus on safe driving. Be patient with yourself as you are learning new skills and make sure you do things correctly rather than rushing through them. Don’t speed, don’t drive distracted, and ask questions if you need help.
Making an effort to focus on safety during your first year helps you build experience that will be valuable throughout your career. These actions should become habits over time and you’ll be protecting yourself and others on the road.
This also builds a strong record of safe driving, which is valuable for advancing your career. Whether you plan to stay in your current position or move to a different carrier, a commitment to safety can help you get ahead in the trucking industry.
The Benefits of Attending Trucking School
Graduating from a CDL school program is helpful for getting your first trucking job, and these benefits go beyond job placement assistance. Most carriers prefer truck driving school graduates compared to those who are self-taught. CDL school also gives you the opportunity to learn from skilled drivers with real-world experience.
Get Your CDL and Start Your Career
If you are ready to become a commercial driver, HDS truck driving school can help. We offer day, evening, and weekend classes. You can get on the road and start earning in as little as four weeks.