Trucking companies in North Carolina are always in search of competent truck drivers. If you wish to drive for long hours, particularly in the night or early morning, truck driving would be a perfect career option for you. However, to work as a commercial driver, you will need to acquire a commercial driver’s license or CDL by passing the CDL skills test. It is extremely important to attend truck driver training in North Carolina for making the process of getting a CDL smoother. Training offered by CDL schools of the state will help you in developing the skills for working as a professional truck driver. To pass a CDL skill test, you must concentrate on three basic areas. They are:
1. Pre-trip vehicle inspection: Every commercial driver must be aware of the methods of inspecting vehicles for damages and faults and finding out whether the different parts of the vehicles are in order. While preparing for the CDL test, you must study the rules of pre-trip inspection carefully. You should know the process of checking key components of commercial vehicles for instance engine belts, tire pressure, coolant level etc. According to veterans of the US truck driving industry, a CDL applicant must memorize all these procedures meticulously before appearing for the test.
2. Driving laws: You must have thorough knowledge about the rules of the road for passing the CDL test. As a CDL driver you must be aware of various limitations, procedures and road signs that a regular driver does not need to know. During the CDL test you will need to prove your understanding about these driving rules.
3. Driving skills: Truck driver training in North Carolina focus mainly on developing the driving skills of the aspiring truckers. This training program will teach you all the basic elements of driving. The training administrator will assess the drawbacks in your driving skills and help you to correct them before you sit for the CDL skills test. You may not be good in parallel parking or backing up, but after attending the CDL training sessions, all those hitches in your driving skills will be gone. The prospective truck drivers are also informed about the emergency procedures and road signs during these training sessions.
What are the different types of truck driving schools that operate in the state of North Carolina? Residents of North Carolina can obtain truck driver training from public places like colleges, private schools and CDL schools run by some of the most reputable trucking companies of the state.
Truck driver training at private schools: It is the costliest place to get trained for commercial truck driving. However, the quality of teaching these private trucking schools offer is extremely impressive. The trainees of these schools can work with fairly new vehicles. The instructors of these institutes have several years of experience of working in the US trucking industry.
Truck driver training at colleges: Truck driver training provided by the colleges in North Carolina are mostly part of a vocational training program. These training programs can be attended for a very small amount. These colleges also recruit trucking industry veterans as instructors, so your chances of obtaining CDL will be quite high after undergoing training at any of these public institutes. However, trucks used for training might not be new and you may not get the chance of operating the latest equipments.
Truck driver training at trucking companies: A number of North Carolina based trucking companies run their own CDL training programs. If you want to work for any specific trucking company, find out whether it runs an in-house training program for aspiring truckers. A company sponsored truck driver training in North Carolina is one of the most cost-effective ways of preparing for CDL exams as well as for getting truck driver jobs.
Other than passing the CDL exam, the aspiring commercial driver should meet certain requirements for successfully obtaining the commercial driver’s license. The requirements are as follows:
· To become a commercial licensed driver, you will have to be a resident of North Carolina. As proof of residency, you can submit copies of your Social Security card, a valid vehicle registration card or passport, neutralization or immigration papers or military orders.
· For obtaining CDL, your minimum age should be 18 years. However, if you are looking to obtain a commercial driver’s license for carrying hazardous materials or for driving outside North Carolina, you will have to wait for another three years i.e. till you turn 21.
· You must have a valid North Carolina driver’s license for personal driving and should have a clean prior driving record while applying for CDL.
If meet each of the requirements discussed above, you will be allowed to take the North Carolina CDL skills test. You will first need to pass this written examination by scoring at least 80%. Training provided by any top CDL school should allow you to obtain the required score. Once you pass the written test, you will be asked to inspect your vehicle thoroughly for flaws in its safety features. A DOT (Department of Transportation) inspector will accompany you during this inspection test. The other two exams you will need to pass for getting CDL are: control skills exam and on-road test. During these exams, you will have to prove your driving skills and your ability of performing tasks like braking, backing up etc. Training sessions at a truck driving school are usually enough for preparing a CDL applicant for these driving skills tests.
After completing truck driver training in North Carolina and passing all the CDL skills tests, you will get a commercial driver’s license. A CDL will allow you to work as a professional trucker. For the first 2 to 3 weeks, you will have to work as a trainee driver. As a trainee, you can expect to get $300-$500 per week. However, once you become a regular driver, you will get paid based on the number of miles you drive. The average annual salary of a truck driver ranges between $36,525 and $45,602.