3 Common Truck Driver Job Requirements You Should Know

Before you can become a truck driver, get your CDL license, or enroll in truck driving school (well, a good truck driving school), there are certain requirements that you have to meet.

Driving Record

First and foremost, trucking companies will look for a good driving record. They're going to verify whether or not you have a relatively clean record as a regular car driver. Why? Because this often demonstrates responsibility and respect for the rules of the road. Also, the better the record, the lower the insurance rates.

Criminal Background

Convicted felons cannot cross over the border into Canada in a commercial vehicle without a special waiver from the Canadian government. This is obviously going to be a big concern for companies who haul freight between the U.S. and Canada, which is very common in the OTR segment, particularly in the more northern states. Alcohol-related offenses are also often a big no-no. Alcohol-related driving offenses are usually an automatic disqualification, but other alcohol-related offenses can also be a strike. Why? Because they can affect insurance rates and also be possible indicators of a history of irresponsibility when it comes to substance abuse.

Medical Requirements

For the most part, the Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees most of the medical requirements, however some companies may have stricter standards for their truck drivers because of safety concerns.

Before obtaining their CDL licenses, all truck drivers must go through a DOT physical. It's just your typical physical and they check for things like diabetes, high blood pressure, vision and other medical problems that could be an issue on the road. For example, if you're an insulin-dependent diabetic, you can't obtain a CDL license.

Medical requirements are often a gray area as waivers may be obtained from the DOT depending on the truck drivers' experience and specific condition. However, if you have questions about the DOT's Medical Program, I'd encourage you to check out their FAQ.