Remember your last day of school? Remember that feeling of freedom, of getting out in the real world and making something of yourself? No more boring lectures, tedious studying, and stressful test taking, right?
Wrong, at least if you’re a prospective CDL truck driver. You’re going to need to hunker down and do some work if you want to get behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. Everyone understands why we need to make sure truck drivers are physically and mentally capable and responsible on the job, but that doesn’t help much when you’re stressing out over your future career.
Take a deep breath and relax. Follow the process, put in the time, and you’ll be just fine. Here’s what you’ll need to do in order to ace your CDL test and take that big step forward in your career.
The first thing you’ll want to do is get your hands on your home state’s CDL handbook. Don’t know where to find it? The DMV has a great website that will help you to track it down instantly, right here. Read the manual from front to back, going over the information until you feel you know it inside and out. There won’t be any trick questions on the test; every possible answer can be found somewhere in the handbook. We also recommend taking a few practice tests before jumping into the real deal, especially if you’re not entirely confident.
Once you’ve passed a written test, you’ll be issued a permit that allows you to practice for your driving test. Do you hear that little voice in your head telling you to teach yourself, that you don’t need any help learning? Don’t listen to it. Driving a commercial vehicle requires a different set of skills and techniques than driving other vehicles. Plus, you’ll need to know how to inspect your truck for compliance and perform other tasks like attaching the trailers. Get yourself a great teacher and practice with diligence.
At every stage of the process, be sure to take full advantage of every resource you can get your hands on. If you have a question, Google it. Watch instructional videos and join an online trucking forum to engage with the community. Once you feel like you’re ready, contact your local DMV or an approved outside tester to schedule the big day. As long as you’ve put the effort in and prepared yourself, you’ll be just fine. Good luck!
Platinum Drivers is a driver staffing and placement service in Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. We’re always on the lookout for new, motivated CDL drivers that are ready to join the workforce.