Did you know that it only takes three weeks to get your CDL license and that will allow you to sit behind the wheel of a MAC truck? It’s true, and with growth of the industry expected to continue through 2018 or beyond, there is a demand for drivers. Truck drivers are earning over $40,000, on average, to haul goods from point A to point B.
One can easily see why it would be an attractive proposition – truck driving. After all, it requires little to no education, past experience is desirable, but not always necessary. Why wouldn’t a person consider it? The problem, though, is that the lack of proper training can leave the rest of the drivers (and passengers) on the road in great danger. There are more than 400,000 accidents involving tractor trailers each year and, sadly, nearly 4,000 people are killed, as a result, annually. That being said, if you are going to try for your CDL license and a new career, do your best to properly prepare. If you aren’t the one getting the license, give tractor trailer drivers the respect that they deserve on the road.
There are varying requirements for earning a CDL license, depending on the state of residence. In Florida, the person applying must be over the age of 18 (some restrictions apply for those between the ages of 18 and 21) and must pass a series of oral exams, along with a road test. There are three classes of CDL licenses. Class C restricts a person to driving only vehicles with a gross weight less than 26,000 pounds. Class B serves those needed to drive vehicles weighing more than that, and Class A is for vehicles over 26,000 pounds with towing capabilities up to 10,000 pounds. Oral exams are given by the Florida DMV. The local St. Petersburg DMV administers these tests as well.
Regardless of the class selected, there is a base of knowledge that is required about the operation and preparation of the vehicles. Additionally, a person must study air brakes, when applicable. On average, the whole learning process and testing can be completed in just three weeks.
This means that a person who has driven little more than a minivan can earn a license and be driving an 18-wheeler in less than one month’s time. This brings up the question – is a person really capable of knowing everything he or she should in such a short period of time? There are plenty of offices throughout this country that require new “desk job” employees to undergo a longer training period than that.
There are programs established in several states, including Florida, that offer instruction from existing drivers. Mandatory classes, evaluations, and a pass/fail system do ensure that new drivers are getting the basic information needed to become good drivers in the future.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember, when you leave your Saint Petersburg home to take to the roads, remember that many drivers operating tractor trailers might not have been doing so for long. They are prone to accidents, just as anyone else would be. Give them space and always be alert for potential trouble. If you are involved in an auto accident, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney.