Are you looking to maximize your income as a first year truck driver, but don’t know how to do it?
One way truck drivers can maximize their potential income is by adding endorsements to their Class A CDL. Doing so allows drivers to haul different types of loads.
Specifically, adding a HazMat endorsement makes drivers especially attractive to truck driving companies. Below, we lay out exactly what a HazMat endorsement is, and tell you how you can get one.
What is HazMat?
The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) defines hazardous materials (HazMat) as anything that has designated health or physical hazards. Examples include dry cleaning chemicals, hairspray and transmission fluids. There are various types of Hazardous Materials that you can haul, and are classified below:
Right now, you might be thinking you’ll be looking like this if you add the endorsement and start hauling HazMat loads:
But in reality, while there is an added risk because of the type of material you’ll be transporting, it’s not all that different from hauling regular freight.
Benefits of HazMat Driving
Adding a HazMat endorsement opens up opportunities with many benefits for you as a truck driver. Hauling HazMat freight has its risks, which is why there are additional requirements, regulations, and tests to get it; but with the added risks and requirements, comes better pay. You're added skillsets and knowledge to your CDL are valuable to companies, and the pay increase proves it.
Another benefit to it is that it gives you options. Not only can you run HazMat freight across the country, but you can still haul non-HazMat loads as well. With more options comes more miles, and more miles comes more money.
One of the best ways for you to bring home bigger paychecks at a company like PAM Transport is to run Team HazMat. While having a HazMat endorsement on your own increases your pay potential, operating a big rig with a teammate who also has their endorsement further increases your pay potential.
So How Do I Go About Getting My HazMat?
While exact requirements may vary from state to state, the process of getting your HazMat endorsement will probably look something like this:
- Complete a threat assessment application through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or in person at an application center.
- Schedule an appointment to visit an application center to provide required documentation and fingerprints. Having your U.S. passport or driver’s license is also required. Visit this page to find out what else you’ll need to bring.
- In addition to your general knowledge and skills tests, your state will require you to take an additional HazMat endorsement knowledge test. Review your state’s CDL manual for more information.
- Once you’ve passed your background check and knowledge test, you’ll be able to add your endorsement to your CDL. You’ll have to pay a fee for adding it, and the cost varies from state to state. Some trucking companies, such as PAM Transport, offer reimbursement plans for adding your HazMat.
What If I Don’t Have My CDL Yet?
Driver Solutions can help you achieve your dream of becoming a truck driver! Attend our company sponsored CDL training program to not only receive the training and experience you need to be a successful driver, but to get connected to a carrier company that has a job waiting for you.
PAM Transport will pay for your trucking tuition, and reimburse you for a HazMat endorsement, as long as you drive for them for a year upon completion of truck driving school. PAM is the ideal place to start your trucking career, and you can make up to $50,000 in your first year on the road!