You’ve finished your CDL training, and are ready to start your new career in trucking. What happens now? Here are the next steps in the process to become a full-fledged Class A certified truck driver.
The next steps after CDL training are:
- Pass the State CDL Exam
- Sign with a Carrier
- Company training
- Drive Solo
Now, let’s consider each of these steps in detail.
Pass the State CDL Exam
In order to receive your Commercial Drivers License (CDL), you must first pass a written exam provided by the state DMV. In California, this exam contains 50 questions. You must correctly answer at least 40 of those questions in order to pass.
The California DMV provides sample tests for your benefits. Upon successfully passing the CDL exam, you’ll be issued your license.
Sign with a Carrier
Once you’ve got your CDL, it’s time to sign with a carrier. This may be a carrier company that pre-hires students from CDL training programs, or you may decide that you want to sign with another trucking company.
In any case, when selecting a carrier to sign with it is important to consider several factors, such as what the carrier offers in terms of salary, work schedule, tuition reimbursement, benefits, opportunities, and so forth.
Once a carrier hires you, you’ll likely have to undergo advanced training provided by that carrier. When you have a firm understanding of the new driving techniques the company has taught you, you’ll most likely go on the road with a trainer. The trainer will determine when you’re ready to drive by yourself. Many trucking companies also offer training pay during this time, which is a definite plus!
Finally, you’ll be able to drive a company truck by yourself. New hires generally work over-the-road (OTR), or long-distance driving, at the start of their careers. After you’ve gained about a year of experience, you’ll be eligible to work in other driving positions, if you so desire.
If you’d like to learn more about what to expect after CDL training, or how to get your driving career started, contact us today!