When it comes to a truck driving career, there’s plenty to prepare for. You’ll need to be ready for long days of driving, life on the road, and proper licensing in order to make sure you’re always prepared to handle a driving contract job. It’s extremely important to have your CDL license for independent contracting. CDL licensing prepares you for driving commercially, which is much more complex and very different from driving passenger vehicles. To make sure you’re prepared for long haul truck driving and meeting all the safety standards for independent contractors, here is our helpful CDL guide.
CDL Learner’s Permit
First things first: you’ll need to pay a visit to a Motor Vehicle Administration office with all your paperwork in order, such as your regular driver’s license, to begin the CDL process and obtain a learner’s permit. When applying for a CDL permit, be sure to have a passport, birth certificate, or other accepted form of documentation.
Your training is another important part of the CDL process, especially for independent contractors. Many trucking companies will provide proper formal training, but getting training and a truck for the license exam can be more difficult independently. Since you cannot rent a truck unless you already have a CDL license, many independent truckers will loan their truck from a contact or friend in the industry for their exam. There are even trucking schools that will provide CDL training to help you prepare for the license exam. After 160 hours of driving time and training, you’ll be able to take your license exam.
Perhaps the most vital part of the CDL exam is the pre-trip inspection. In fact, this is where most people fail the CDL. You’ll spend plenty of time in training on this since you’ll need to inspect your truck every day during your career to make sure everything is working properly and safely.
During your skills and road test, you’ll need to operate the truck in a testing environment. The Motor Vehicle Administration provides reading material on what to expect during your skills test so that you can prepare for the exam. Just be sure to call the MVA to make your license exam appointment and specify the type of commercial driving exam you will need to take (truckers wouldn’t need to take the CDL for school bus driving, for example).
Baltimore Freightliner-Western for all Your Trucking Needs
Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.