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Requirements for a Class 8 Truck Driver

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Truck driving is a career that can offer lucrative opportunities. Class 8 operators, who drive semi-trucks, must fulfill a number of different requirements that depend on state regulations as well as the expectations of individual employers. In addition to obtaining a commercial driver's license, prospective Class 8 operators will encounter various requirements regarding health, driving records, age and other professional obligations.

Education and Record

To become a Class 8 driver, you typically should have a high school diploma or GED. Potential employers will also look at your driving record and perhaps criminal record as well. Any bad driving history will potentially harm your chances of being hired, especially if those instances involve driving under the influence or while intoxicated.

States and Age

State laws require certain age limits upon their drivers. You can begin driving a semi-truck at the age of 18, but younger drivers are limited to driving within the state that granted them their license.You must be 21 to be legally permitted to cross state borders.

The CDL

You have to obtain a commercial driver's license to drive a Class 8 truck. You can try doing this on your own, but in many cases a new employer may help you through the process, even to the extent of possibly shouldering some of the financial burden. All states have numerous schools that offer the related courses and training, so you should be able to locate one within a reasonable proximity to either your place of employment or residence.

Other Requirements

Driving these trucks takes endurance and long shifts on the road. In this sense, your employer will probably check out your health, especially things like eyesight or hearing, to make sure you can safely manage the task. If you may be transporting or hauling hazardous materials, you may need undergo further training and certification. Also, you may be required to take consistent drug testing depending on your state's or employer's policies.