How to Land a Truck Driving Job With No Experience
You’ve probably heard that now is a great time to be a truck driver. There’s a nationwide shortage of drivers, and with so many set to retire in the coming years, it looks like it will be a driver’s market for the foreseeable future.
But…what does it take to become a truck driver? And how can you land a truck driving job with no experience? In this article, we’ll cover four strategies you can take to increase your chances of finding and landing your first truck driving job.
#1 Attend an Apprenticeship Training Program
If you want to find a truck driving job with no experience, the first step you need to take is to attend a driver training course.
At TSI, we offer a six-week program for new drivers (three days of classroom work and six weeks of hands-on over-the-road driving). In our training program, you’ll be teamed up with an experienced professional driver who will show you everything you need to know to master the big rigs. You’ll learn the mechanical aspects of tractors and trailers, how to inspect a rig and load for safety and compliance and how to plan your routes and log hours. You’ll also learn about defensive driving in urban and rural environments, backing up, and parking.
#2 Obtain a CDL
Although the demand for truck drivers is high right now, the reality is that it is still going to be a challenge to land a no-experience truck driving job. You’ve got a lot of competition for these positions, so you have to give yourself every advantage that you can.
A good way to get ahead of the competition is to first get hands-on experience through a training program, and then get your CDL. Obtaining a CDL is a lot like getting a driver’s license for the first time, except it’s more stringent, and there are different classes with different requirements.
To drive over the road you’ll have to be at least 21-years-old (18 for in-state driving) and obtain a medical certificate. But once you have your CDL, you should start knocking on lots of doors, applying to as many driving jobs as possible.
#3 Highlight Past Military Experience
Another way to potentially find truck driving opportunities is to highlight past military experience. If your military occupational specialty involved driving trucks, you can show a prospective employer your DD214 as proof of your driving experience.
However, don’t expect that to automatically get you a truck driving job with no experience. Employers know that driving for the military is different than driving a civilian truck. What your military experience might help you do is save some money and time getting your CDL. Although each state has different rules, many will allow the military to sign off on the driving test, although you’ll still have to take the written part.
#4 Work for an Independent Owner-Operator
Lastly, another good place to look for no-experience truck driver opportunities is with small independent owner-operators. Often, these types of ‘mom-and-pop’ operations will be willing to give an inexperienced driver a break and even give them training. A good way to find out about these jobs is to talk to drivers at truck stops and carrier hubs. They usually know who might be hiring. These smaller operations will often have local and regional driving opportunities that pay well.
Become an Experienced Driver With Help from TSI
Finding no-experience truck driving jobs can be frustrating, but at TSI, we’re here to help. We’re a family-owned company that’s been in operation for 40 years; we’re proud to have helped many drivers begin their careers.If you want to get your start into the trucking industry, apply for our six-week training program. It’s one of the easiest ways to get hands-on experience. Plus, we always have plenty of truck driving opportunities available for both new and experienced drivers. Contact us today to find out how we can put you behind the wheel of a big rig.