to Find a Trucking Job
The demand for truckers is very high, and
it is relatively easy for most qualified truckers to find steady work.
Nonetheless, some researchers estimate that as many of 15% of drivers,
even those with extensive experience, get disqualified when applying
for a trucking position. Why are so many truckers getting turned away
if the need for trucker is so high? It all has to do with being
The key to landing a trucking job is being prepared and knowing what to
expect when seeking a trucking job. Most often, truckers start the
hiring process by speaking to a trucking recruiter. Recruiters
frequently hire only for one company (the company they work for
themselves), so it may be to your advantage to shop around and talk to
a number of different recruiters to find the position that is the best
fit for you. If you do speak with a number of recruiters, be sure to
take notes so you can keep track of who said what.
Never lie to a recruiter when seeking a trucking job. The truth will
come out eventually and it is much better that you be completely honest
from the beginning, even if it means disclosing some negative
information, than to lie and get caught for it later. Recruiters will
ask you for a variety of information, so be sure to have the following
- A current, non-expired CDL with an accurate home address
- Your work history for at least the last 3 years (some recruiters may
want 5 or 10 years of history). If you have been unemployed for some of
this time, you will need to provide solid professional references to
account for this period.
- The names and contact information for all of your former employers.
- Proof of your work history including old W2 tax forms, reference
letters, or DOT numbers. This information will be especially helpful if
any of the companies you worked for previously have since gone out of
- A copy of your driving record or MVR
- Proof of eligibility to work in the United States. You will be
required to complete an I-9 form upon hire, so be sure you have valid
documentation to show that you are eligibly for hire.
New Homeland Security regulations require that al commercial truckers
undergo a background check prior to being hired. As part of this check,
companies will pull any criminal records and copies of your Motor
Vehicle Driving record from all states in which you have a driver's
license (commercial or non-commercial). Companies will also see a copy
of your DAC report which will reveal previous driving jobs, any
accidents in which you were involve, and notes of any problems with
If there is anything on your record that might be questionable, it is
very important that you disclose this to the recruiter right away. It
is much better to be professional and proactive upfront than to have
the recruiter undercover some nasty information on their own. A
potential employer is going to need to know about any incidents, or
accidents, for at least the previous three years. Be sure to hold onto
all incident records, including accident reports and tickets, so that
you can provide this documentation if needed.
Nearly all reputable companies will also require that you undergo a
drug screening, so be prepared to certify that you are drug-free and
take a drug test on the spot if you are offered a position. Your offer
will be contingent upon the successful results of the test.
If there is anything about your past (or current) medical health that
might bring up concerns about your ability to perform your duties as a
trucker, be prepared to show a doctor's note that releases you to work.
Although, by law, recruiters cannot ask about your medical health prior
to offering you a position, an offer can be rescinded if you are not
able to certify your ability to do the job. If you have recently had a
medical ailment, surgery, or are taking any sort of prescription
medicine, chances are high that you will be required to present a
medical doctor's release noted that you are cleared for commercial
tractor trailer driving with no restrictions.
Finally, be prepared to a road test and pass the necessary DOT physical
upon receiving an offer. If you haven't been behind the wheel in a
while, make sure you brush up on your driving skills. You will not get
a second test to take the test if you fail it so you want to be sharp
the very first time to step into the company's cab.
Although the hiring process to secure a trucking job may be long and
tedious, the payoff is well worth your effort. So if you've made it
though all of these steps successfully, congratulations. You're hired!
Laura Adams is a qualified careers advisor with 11 years experience. Truckers Jobs Information
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