Contrary to popular belief, individuals must actually meet several different requirements before they are allowed to become professional truck drivers. The law acknowledges the fact that if someone is being trusted with a nearly 10-ton vehicle on the road, he had better be trained, tested, and capable of handling the responsibility. Driving a truck can be an extremely difficult occupation and it takes a special kind of person to do it correctly.
When California trucking companies are hiring new drivers, the applicants must meet these important standards:
- Meet minimum standards according to federal law. There are basic government requirements for someone who is interested in becoming a truck driver. An individual must be at least 21 years old, be able to understand and read English, be physically able to operate a commercial vehicle, and not be disqualified by other specific federal restrictions.
- Possess a commercial driver's license. If a person meets the federal standards, they will also need a commercial driver's license, also known as a CDL. A CDL is not just proof of your ability to drive a truck, but also your professional skills and aptitude. You must take and pass vision, knowledge (law), and performance (pre-trip, skills, and driving, if required) tests to get your original CDL and/or endorsements or to upgrade to a different class of license.
- Pass an employment screening process. You may have your CDL and meet the federal standards, but that doesn't mean a company is going to hire you right away. It's the same idea as getting a college education, doing an internship, and then going out in the "real world" to find a job. If you apply at a trucking company, the boss will probably consider your past driving history, whether or not you were in any accidents, and if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Company rules may even require you undergo a drug test.
Even with all the checkpoints a prospective truck driver must pass, there are still many truckers who get out on the road and cause serious—and sometimes fatal—truck accidents. If you were injured in a truck accident that you did not cause, call 818-716-6400 to contact the Woodland Hills truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of John P. Rosenberg for a free consultation. You are also invited to request a free copy of our book, The 5 Worst Mistakes That Can Ruin