There are several factors that our society has taken into consideration when determining who is or isn’t fit to become commercial truck drivers. To begin with, trucks are large vehicles that can do a lot of damage to both people and property in the wrong hands. Another important factor is the security of the goods being transported. Companies need to be secure in the knowledge that a shipment will arrive in the same state that it left, and that includes quantity as well as quality. Items “falling off the back of a truck” is no longer an acceptable scenario in our society.
Looking at the first factor, our lawmakers have this process fairly straightforward. You need to pass a written theoretical test that shows you know the road rules and regulations related to truck driving. You then need to pass a practical test that demonstrates your actual ability to drive a truck. Truck driver training will help you get through these requirements.
Our lawmakers have also determined that age is an important factor. You can drive a truck within your state from the age of 18, however, you must be at least 21 before you can drive trucks across state lines. There is also a requirement that truck drivers have a working knowledge of English – both written and spoken. The age requirement focuses on maturity whilst the English language requirement focuses on a driver’s ability to understand directions, read road signs, and communicate effectively with others, particularly in an emergency.
Health is also an important issue. Truck drivers need to undertake regular DOT health checks. These are designed to identify any health issues that may create problems when a truck driver is behind the wheel. High blood pressure can cause strokes, for example, not a problem anyone wants to see, especially in a truck driver who is hurtling down the highway at high speed in a fully loaded truck. You can add to that alcohol and drugs for the same reasons.
When it comes to the security of a truck load of goods, the requirements are not as stringent. This is generally left to employers to check as part of their hiring processes. Drug offenses and offenses committed whilst driving a truck may prevent an individual from holding a commercial drivers license.
Road safety is paramount in the minds of our lawmakers. If you can meet the requirements that those lawmakers have laid down, then you’re most welcome to join the ranks of our trucking community.