Looking for a job? Have you considered driving a truck?
What is involved? Driving, early starts and maybe night driving, lots of fast food and little exercise.
What skills do I need?
- You need to have a full automobile driving licence.
- You need to be over 18
- Since September 2008 for bus drivers and from 10 September 2009 for truck drivers, you need a Driver Certificate in Professional Competence (CPC) to be a professional truck or bus driver. To get a Driver CPC you first have to pass the driver theory test and get your learner driver permit. You must then pass:
- A Driver CPC multiple choice theory test
- A Driver CPC case study theory test
- The driving test
- A Driver CPC practical test
- The ability to speak English. Many companies will not let you onto their premises unless you can understand safety signs and directions written in English.
- Patience. You will meet a lot of stupidity as you drive around the country, largely from inexperienced drivers.
- The ability to work early mornings, or late evenings, without it affecting your body chemistry too much
Where do you start? There are several routes into the job.
- You can start as a driver’s assistant, sitting in the cab, helping to unload and blocking traffic when the driver is reversing the truck. The company will hopefully contribute towards the cost of your truck driving training.
- You can pay a truck driving school to teach you the ins and outs of handling different kinds of trucks.
Once you have a licence you can apply for driving jobs anywhere your licence is valid, or you can buy a truck and set up a transport company. Setting up as an owner-operator is best left until you have more experience of the business.
There are always going to be jobs for truck drivers. It's just a matter of finding them. This is implicit in any distributed economy, where such a large proportion of end-users are only reachable by road transport.
Owner operators have to actively seek out loads to carry. The Internet makes this much easier. You can contact load brokers, who have access to information on loads to be moved from one part of the country to another. No longer will you have to factor into your quotes having to return empty, so you will get more jobs.
Trucking companies are always looking for employed drivers and all you have to do is to search the Internet, especially the specialist truck driving agency sites to find opportunities in your area.
You will be able to apply for more jobs if your licence covers a wider range of trucks and if you are prepared to travel longer distances or to consider night driving.