We all are accustomed to sharing the roadways with trucks. This may lead some to wonder what qualifications truck drivers must meet to operate such large, heavy, and potentially dangerous vehicles. In general, there are certain requirements that individuals must meet to become truck drivers. In addition to basic education requirements and attending a professional truck driving school, truck drivers must possess a commercial driver’s license. Professional truck driving school teaches truckers how to maneuver large vehicles along highways and through crowded city streets.

During professional truck driving school, truckers also learn federal laws and regulations that govern interstate trucking and the trucking profession. The United States Department of Transportation is considering mandating a requirement that all newly hired truck drivers attend a truck driving course. Following truck driving school, truck drivers typically learn while on the job from a mentor driver, which provides them additional training concerning the specific vehicle they will drive and the type of material they will transport. The period of on-the-job training typically lasts from one to three months.

Requirements for a commercial driver’s license can vary by state but generally require both knowledge and driving test components. Additional endorsements, such as for transporting hazardous materials, can also be obtained by truck drivers. Important qualities for truckers to possess include a trucker’s physical health, visual and hearing ability, and hand-eye coordination. According to federal trucking regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers must be randomly drug and alcohol tested. Truckers who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or are convicted of a felony involving a motor vehicle, can have their commercial driver’s license suspended.

An unqualified truck driver can be a serious concern for motorists on the roadways. Even with stringent requirements truckers must meet, truck accidents can still occur when a driver is unqualified, speeding, fatigued, or otherwise negligent. It is important in those circumstances that truck accident victims are familiar with their legal options and seek the assistance they need to best act on them, should they so choose..

Source: United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, “How to Become a Heavy or Tractor-trailer Truck Driver,” Accessed Dec. 21, 2015