A question that is often asked about becoming a truck driver relates to how much training is needed to get a commercial drivers license and then a job. The question is important because it assumes that time is the important factor. There’s no doubt that the more hours you spend driving a truck the more experienced you become. However, even that can be based on a false premise.
Time is not the important factor. Quality and depth are. You can spend 100 hours driving a truck, but if you have not been taught the right habits to begin with, all you are doing is practicing bad habits. Having a sold learning foundation is what makes a good truck driver, not how many hours that you spend behind the wheel.
We can take this a step further since a driving test is not the only test required for a commercial drivers license. You need to demonstrate knowledge of road rules, knowledge of trucking requirements (for example, log books and loading limits), and a knowledge of truck safety. You also need to know how to carry out a pre-trip inspection. These are factors that are required before you even step into the truck.
Once you have that solid skills foundation, there’s no doubt the more hours you spend driving, the more capable you will become. You will also become more comfortable and secure in your own abilities, especially when it comes to heavy traffic and unusual road conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or ice.
When looking at a truck driver training school, don’t look at how many hours they promise you behind the wheel. Look at the complete package. Are they teaching you to drive, or are they teaching you the material required to both pass your commercial drivers license test and to become a competent driver. After all, you can’t become a competent driver without that commercial drivers license.