If you’re dead-set in becoming a trucker, then getting your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is a definite must. Passing the CDL exam should be your top priority and is what most reputable truck driving schools are aiming for. With the pressure of passing the exam being a real thing to aspiring truck drivers, it can get overwhelming when you try to figure out where to start.
To help you out, here is a step-by-step guide to getting your CDL.
1. Meet the requirements
Before you can even decide to get your license, you’ll have to check if you meet the minimum requirements of getting one. While the federal requirements vary from one state to another, there are basic requirements that apply to many states, such as being a certain age and owning a non-commercial driver’s license. You may also need at least one or two years of driving experience and pass any background screening done by the state.
2. Decide which type of vehicle you’ll be driving
In order for you to proceed, you’ll need to understand which options you have available, namely the types of vehicle you plan on driving. This will determine which types of permits you’ll need to get. You’ll need to pass a comprehensive test depending on the type of commercial motor vehicle you plan on driving, so review the manual accordingly. The types of commercial vehicles available include school buses, vehicles that carry hazardous waste and general commercial vehicles.
3. Review for and pass the CDL exam
The next step involves passing the actual CDL exam. It’s generally composed of a written test as well as a practical driving test, much like getting a regular driver’s license. The test itself may be a bit intimidating to some. For this reason, it’s suggested that you take a review class or go to a truck driving school to help improve your chances.
If you live somewhere in Florida, you’ll need to learn the guidelines for getting your CDL that is specific to that state. There are reputable truck driving schools in Florida that offer such services, which can prepare you accordingly. Schools like these generally give you insight not only to the exam itself, but also real experience you can use in more practical environments.
Bonus Tips for the CDL Exam
1. Understand the test
It’s important that you know which vehicle you’ll be tested on and focus your efforts there. If possible, don’t study any material you’re not planning on getting an endorsement from. You’ll just end up overwhelming yourself with too much information you won’t necessarily be using.
2. Focus on your weak spots
While it’s important to review all the subjects for the test, it’s best to focus on the topics you have a hard time grasping. You should be able to know which topics you’re struggling with, so that you can try taking practice tests on these until you get better. This should improve your chances of passing
3. Study smarter, not harder
It’s important to never cram when you’re taking any test. You’ll just burn yourself out. Try to pace yourself, and if you need to rest, then get a rest. Whenever possible, try to maintain a more flexible study schedule, and make sure to study only when you are most alert.
Like any sort of endeavor, becoming a truck driver is a long and hard road. With the right attitude and the right outlook, however, getting there is not that hard. You just need to work smart and pace yourself just right, and before you know it, you’ll be driving that big rig of your dreams in no time.