Small Business Brief


Moving Your Product: A Guide to Hiring a Truck Driver

Truck drivers can make up to $80,000 a year. Yet jobs for commercial-vehicle operators remain plentiful. Across the country, 51,000 more truck drivers are needed to meet the demand for additional shipping necessitated by an increase in regular online shopping.

If you need to ship something valuable as an individual or small business, do not leave transportation to chance. Unskilled driving can lead to accidents, breakage, and even lawsuits.

Hiring a truck driver is an important investment, and it may be easier than you think to find someone who is qualified. Here are some important items to consider when looking for your man or woman of the road.


There are many rent-a-driver sites to check out online. When matches are made, you will want to look for someone with a few years of verifiable experience as a driver of the type of vehicle you will need.

Check out your driver’s history. There should be no record of suspensions, revocations, or cancellations of driving privileges in the last 10 years. You also want to be sure that they have no convictions for Driving Under the Influence, use of drugs, leaving the scene of an accident, or using a vehicle to commit a felony.

Physical Health

Truck drivers are working through the night. You will want to hire a driver with good vision, hearing, and mental health.

Any problems with a foot, leg, arm, or hand could interfere with your driver’s ability to hold the wheel or use the pedals when tired. Breathing problems, blood sugar issues such as diabetes, or arthritic symptoms could also be a problem. Orthopedic, muscular, or vascular diseases can cause a driver to be unqualified.

A history of alcoholism, nervous, organic, or functional disease should also disqualify potential candidates. Your driver should be able to see at a distance and meet hearing standards.

The Section 391 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations requires that certain physical requirements be met by drivers. Be sure that your driver has complied with all regulations. You can also get records on driver safety and health from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Division of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A neat and clean personal appearance is also evidence of professionalism and adequate self-care. Be sure you meet with your prospective driver in person before hiring them.

Experience With the Type of Vehicle Required

You will want to look for a driver who has experience driving the type of truck you will be using to transport your material. They need to have successfully completed a driver’s test on a compatible machine. 

Some types of transportation require special licenses, such as moving hazardous materials. Make sure you check with your state’s regulations before hiring.

Meeting Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Your driver should meet Section 391 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The Administration’s purpose is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Besides meeting physical qualifications, the regulations require that drivers have experience training and driving commercial vehicles. 

Drivers should also have a valid commercial driver’s license issued by one state or jurisdiction. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that drivers have a proven ability to determine whether or not cargo has been properly located, distributed, and secured. They should be familiar with the procedures for securing cargo on the vehicles they will be driving.

Truck Driving Careers

You may want to consider having a trusted business associate obtain their commercial driver’s license so they can transport your cargo themselves. Getting your CDL is a great idea for a number of reasons.

There are countless opportunities for truck-drivers to make extra money as a part or full-time job. Some make as much as $100,000 a year.

If you are looking for a great part-time job where you don’t have to sit behind a desk all day long, truck-driving is a great opportunity. It offers flexible shifts that can be balanced with other life responsibilities. Truck-driving is also a wonderful gig for veterans with experience handling different mechanical systems.

Speaking English as a second language is an advantage if you become a truck driver. Knowing other languages will enable you to communicate better with customers and managers.

Commercial Driver’s License

In order to get a commercial driver’s license, folks need to pass a number of requirements. First, there is a written knowledge test that can be prepared for using the CDL manual.

After you pass the written exam, you must submit to a routine background check. There is also a TSA background check required if you will be driving past state lines.

While you are practicing for the practical portion of your test, you will need a supervising driver who has the same class and type of license that you want.

You may also need to complete a state-approved certification class. Look around for a CDL school near me.

Some states require that you drive with a licensed driver for a certain number of hours before you schedule a skills test. The types of operations you perform will depend on the kind of vehicle you plan to drive.

After you have passed the CDL skills test, you can pick your license up at the DMV that same day. You can also wait for it to be mailed to your home.

Hiring a Truck Driver

Hiring a truck driver is a critical decision. Make sure you search for someone who is experienced, physically strong, and equipped with a CDL license.

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