Interested in applying to trucking school, but not sure where to start? In many cases it is a simple process. Just make sure you go online or ask an admissions counselor about all the requirements for joining the program (there are guaranteed to be at least a few) before looking at a schedule or paying your fees.
- Make sure you meet all requirements.
Because the trucking occupation is so heavily regulated due to the potential dangers on the road, there are a plethora of requirements for applying to a truck driving certification program. First and foremost, you have to be at least 18 years old. Even if you are 18, chances are you will only be able to drive within your state, and will not be able to take jobs that require you to travel longer distances (you will have to be 21 to take on such jobs). You also should have a valid driver’s license in the state you intend to take classes (although you will earn a CDL upon graduation). The school may also ask that you have a working proficiency in English, meaning you know enough to read instructions on highway signs, talk to employers and officials, and fill out the requisite reports. You may also be asked to obtain special permits before a certain point in the class – most likely the by the time you start training on actual highways. You may also be asked to show proof of permanent residency before class starts, and if you are an immigrant you will need to show proper documentation.
- Meet the necessary regulations.
The trucking industry is a very heavy regulated field that is monitored by the Department of Transportation in order to sure that proper practices are taking place and that truckers are staying safe on the road. For this reason you will most likely be asked to pass a D.O.T. physical before classes start. If you pass the physical, which will test your fitness level and make sure you don’t have any disqualifying health conditions, you will be given a medical card. If you have taken a D.O.T. physical in the pass, you may be able to avoid taking it again by presenting the school with a valid medical card. You will probably also be asked to pass a D.O.T. drug test. It is imperative that the results are negative in order for you to gain entry into classes and to be allowed onto the trucks. A lot of trucking companies also have their own restrictions and regulations, so some trucking schools may comply with their wishes by asking that you have a clean motor vehicle record. This means that within a minimum length of time, you have not been convicted of a DUI, hit and run, reckless driving incident, or certain other illegal activities. You will also need to demonstrate that you have not committed a felony or major misdemeanor within a certain period of time.
- Submit appropriate documentation.
In order to get started with trucking school, you may need to submit an application and other documentation, such as high school or college transcripts. If you don’t have any transcripts (and sometimes even if you do) you may be asked to pass a reading test and supply the school with the results. In many cases signing up for classes can be fairly straight forward, and only includes you showing proof that you meet all requirements, picking the classes that fit your schedule, and paying your registration fee and/or course tuition.