A lot more goes into truck driving than getting a CDL license and hitting the road. It's a tough job. Some people can handle it, and some people can't. What traits do truck drivers need to succeed & excel in a trucking career?
Pass the DOT Physical
At a minimum, all truck drivers must pass a basic Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. It's a requirement for your CDL license and a must-have for employment with any trucking company. Why? Because an unhealthy driver is an unsafe driver.
Meet Employer Health Requirements
Some truck driving companies have minimum health requirements that go above and beyond what's required for the basic DOT physical. For example, there may be a BMI (body mass index) limit or a stricter blood pressure requirement. The main reason individual companies have stricter requirements is because of insurance — the healthier their truck drivers are, the lower their insurance costs will be.
Be in Decent Physical Shape
Aside from passing the physical and meeting basic trucking company health requirements, you need to be able to get in and out of a truck 8-10 times a day. You should also be able to load and unload a trailer when & if it's needed.
Be Willing to Spend Time Away From Family
The first year on the road, when you're getting your over-the-road (OTR) experience, is tough. A lot of new truck drivers are gone anywhere from 2-3 weeks at a time and if you have young children at home, that can be really hard on a family. It's really a lifestyle change & successful truck drivers have to be willing to ‘put in their time’ during that first year. Once you have some driving experience under your belt, better truck driving job opportunities will become available.