Commercial Driver

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How to Become a Commercial Driver
Commercial Driver Job Details
Skills and Qualities of a Commercial Driver
Commercial Driver Salaries
Influential Professional Commercial Drivers
Leading Commercial Driver Organizations
Top Cities for Commercial Driving Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Commercial Driver

Most employers require at least a high school diploma. Requirements regularly state that applicants should be able to pass appropriate background checks, pass drug tests and hold a valid drivers license and hold a commercial driver's license, a type of driver's license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. There are my technical schools that offer programs in commercial driving. The Professional Truck Driver Institute does offer certification of programs that meet their standards. Because driving different vehicles requires specific experience, many employers either require applicants to already have driving experience with the type of vehicle they will be handling, whether a service van or semi truck.

There are specific physical requirements that commercial drivers must maintain to keep their license, including having at least 20/40 vision (with glasses/contacts ok), have a 70 degree field of vision in both their left and right eyes, not be color blind, and pass hearing exams (the measurement of which is being able to hear a "forced whisper" at a distance of 5 feet or less). Drivers must also have all their limbs, which must all function, and not have high or low blood pressure. People with health issues that could endanger the goods and other drivers on the road, such as epilepsy or diabetes, are disqualified from being commercial drivers.

Many employers require that their employees be at least 22 years old, able to lift a certain amount of weight, and have at least 3 years of truck driving (if they are going to drive trucks, that is).

What does a Commercial Driver do?

Commercial drivers are the operators of vans, small trucks and semi trucks for the transportation of goods across the country. Although driving is their primary responsibility, drivers are also tasked with making sure their vehicles are safe and operational (although they probably don't perform complex maintenance themselves), loading and unloading of goods, knowing company policies and documentation requirements for the delivery/pick-up of goods, etc.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Commercial Driver?

Beyond the physical requirements of the job, drivers must be able to meet sometimes demanding delivery schedules and maintain a professional demeanor in all their responsibilities. Some drivers are the last link in a chain of service, like delivering furniture, for example, and are a part of a company's customer service measure. Other drivers are transporting goods over long distances and must have a clear understanding of their physical limits as well as what it takes to get their goods delivered on time so as to main their schedule and maintain safety on the road. All in all, good judgment is highly important, as drivers are operating large vehicles that can be lethal. Good communication and people skills can be important, too, depending on the job.

How much does a Commercial Driver make?

In 2007, truck drivers of large semis made the most, with a range from $23,000 - $54,000+. Other commercial drivers made between $14,000 - $47,000.

In 2006, median hourly earnings of truck drivers were $16.85. Other drivers made less of an hourly wage than truck drivers.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Due to the nature of this job, the influential professionals would probably be those in the leadership of the key professional/government organizations as well as those who are leading large ground transportation companies. For example, Terry Burnett is the chairman of the Professional Truck Driver Institute as well as the President of Burnett Insurance Corp.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The Professional Truck Driver Institute and the Transportation Security Administration are both important organizations in the field of commercial driver.

What are the top cities for Commercial Driving jobs?

Because this category of job is rather expansive, reaching from long-distance truck driving to merchandise delivery, there seems to be no one city that has the "best" opportunities in this area. There do appear to be a large number of opportunities in cities throughout the US, however.

Houston, Texas is the top city for commercial driver jobs in the United States, with Dallas, also in Texas, coming in at second place. Phoenix, Arizona is the third place city for commercial driver jobs, with Chicago, Illinois in fourth place. In fifth place is New York City.

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