You need a CDL to drive:
Generally, you must be 21 years old to drive interstate , be a legal resident of the U.S., read & write English, and be able to pass a DOT physical examination.
It very rarely makes sense to get a Class "B", rather than "A", because it will severely limit your future opportunities. Once you have the Class "A", you can legally drive any commercial vehicle, so it's always better to go for the "A", if at all possible.
The hazardous materials endorsement will allow you to haul freight containing material requiring placards. Even if you are not currently in a position where you need one, it is always recommended to get it, anyways, for future opportunities.
You will need to pass a TSA background check, as well as take a written exam. The background check could take 30-45 days to complete, so get it done early.
The TWIC card, or Transportation Worker Identification Credential, is required for drivers requiring un-escorted access to shipping ports and other maritime facilities. It will require a TSA background check, as well.
Currently, the Hazmat background application costs $86.50 for new applicants, the TWIC application is $128.00.
There are a handful of crimes and conditions that will disqualify an applicant, like treason, murder, robbery, arson, or being under warrant or indictment. Some of the disqualifying factors have minimum time frames that must have passed.
Not necessarily, but the cleaner, the better. Some companies are more lenient than others on tickets, accidents, etc., while many will require that a certain amount of time has passed since the incident.
Yes, if the application asks for it. Answer any questions accurately and honestly, as the trucking companies will find it, anyways, and omissions will make you look bad.
If it's asked for, and you neglect or forget to include it, the company will probably not hire you if (when) they find it.
Yes, it's not out of the question, though it will make things harder and narrow your options.
Everything. Expect trucking companies to dig up things that you may even have forgotten about.
The DOT requires you to provide work history, or explanations, for the last 10 years. Every company will approach it differently, but having a lot of jobs or a lot of employment gaps may make it harder.
Yes. Some companies run credit checks, some don't, but as long as you don't have a history of stealing or embezzling, it shouldn't be much of a problem.
No. You must be a legal, permanent resident of the U.S.
21 years old to drive interstate , 18 for intrastate travel.
It varies by state. Some have no requirements, most require at least a year.
Very seriously. Getting caught texting or using a hand-held phone while driving carries DOT penalties, along with the various state and local laws.
No. All companies will have rules prohibiting alcohol in the truck, and possessing alcohol while either on-duty or driving will put a driver out-of-service for at least 24 hours.
No, not if you're a company driver. Most, if not all, companies will prohibit it, most customers will prohibit firearms on their properties, and the various state and local laws are a legal labyrinth that just makes it too risky.
It depends. State laws will vary on what you can carry for personal protection, as will company rules. Even personal defense sprays are illegal in some states.
Yes, you will need a "home base".
In most states, yes. Illinois, for instance, requires re-taking the exams and skills test.
The hours-of-service regulations allow for drivers to drive 11 out 14 hours per day, 60 hours total in 7 straight days, and 70 hours total in 8 straight days. The first day in the 60/7 or 70/8 scenario falls off at midnight, so good drivers will keep a rolling total that will let them maximize their driving.
A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:
Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations
A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.
A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.
State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.
GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer, minus any trailers.
Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).
The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.
The GCWR refers to the total weight of a vehicle, including all trailers.
Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.
Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving While Intoxicated
When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.