Should you get your CDL Class “A”?

Should you get your CDL Class “A” License?

As a young child, I never dreamed of actually becoming a professional driver.  Seeing the trucks on the road really amazed me, but I thought to myself “I could never actually drive one of those, there’s no way”. Fast forward 30 years into the future, and I’ve been driving them from the age of twenty one. This post is not meant to discourage anyone against getting their CDL, but rather to let people know exactly what they are getting into.

I’m sure everyone has seen the classified ads spouting that you could make upwards to 90k your first year as a CDL holder. First line of business, in this business, is that companies will lie to you to get you hired. Some companies are quite honest, but most of them will tell you whatever you would like to hear to get you in their doors, and hauling their freight. Listen to what the companies are telling you, and make sure you have a strong BS (for lack of a better word) radar. Bigger companies generally have more freight to move, but also have a lot more people working for them, and their recruiters have a quota they must meet, whereas smaller companies may not have more freight, but have less stress and a better personal relationship with you. I’m not here to tell you how much you can or will make in your first year, especially now that we have the EDL mandate in effect.

Here are some things to ponder as you’re on the verge of whether to get your CDL license or not:

  • Are you a social butterfly? – We spend long hours by ourselves in a small box of a truck.
  • Do you have small kids? – You may miss some of their performances (although now we can facetime)
  • Do you love a set schedule? – We tend to never have a set schedule, some deliveries are at 2-3 am , it’s very sporadic
  • Do you need a set paycheck? – we get paid in miles, not hours (unless you’re local, then you can get paid in hours)
  • Do you have urgent medical needs? – Some things can be ok out on the road, some cannot.
If you think you can pass that last check list then that’s great! Even so, being out your first month, you’re sure to have homesickness. Some have it worse than others.

Looking forward into your career as a Professional Driver,  it would be helpful if you :

  • Are a Hermit – we spend long hours alone by ourselfs
  • Enjoy driving  – Speaks for itself
  • Can live in a small area for weeks on end – Some drivers get home every week, some are out much longer
  • Don’t mind using public restrooms and showers. – we use the restrooms wherever we might be able to. (sometimes literally)
  • Don’t mind waiting hours to get loaded or unloaded – just kidding, even us long time drivers don’t like waiting
  • Enjoy the freedom of the open road – nothing else quite compares
  • Can sit in traffic for long periods of time – got to love atlanta and chicago traffic

These are just a few of what I could gather in my mind in a short period of time as to what to warn new drivers about. I would really like to hear your feedback on this subject, and perhaps I could help answer any area that I have not covered in the post.

The only dumb question is the one not asked

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