I've Got My CDL - Now What?
by Women In Trucking Staff, on Jun 8, 2022 4:19:42 PM
We often hear, “I’ve just obtained my CDL, but I don’t know where to start.” It can feel overwhelming starting the next phase of your trucking journey, such as finding the right employer. Our experts from the Women In Trucking Image Team have been in your shoes and are here to offer some valuable insight and advice.
How soon should you apply for a truck driving job?
What struggles did you face during your search for a career in truck driving and how did you overcome them?
- Struggling to find carriers that implement and enforce gender bias and harassment policies
- Inability to find other women to connect with and learn from
- Being “different” and standing out in a male-populated industry
In your opinion, what are the most important questions you should ask trucking company recruiters?
- What does the onboarding training entail (length of training period, pay during training, gender protocols, etc.)?
- What is the standard equipment in the tractor you will drive?
- What are the company’s core values?
- What is the company’s harassment policy?
- What is the professional development track for drivers?
- Is home time a priority for drivers?
- What is the driver turn-over rate at the company?
- What percentage of the drivers are female?
What are the biggest mistakes an individual can make when applying for truck driving jobs?
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career in truck driving?
What advice would you give to someone who is pursuing a career as a professional driver?
My advice for someone seeking a career in the transportation industry is to not job hop. Do thorough research, find a good company that fits your needs and stay there.” – Jodi Edwards, Professional Driver, J.B. Hunt Transport
Get as involved in the industry as you can. There are organizations that need help, and there’s nothing better than giving back. Speak up about changes you would like to see, and don’t be complacent and grumble. Stand up and do something!” – Deb LaBree, Independent Owner-Operator, Castle Transport, LLC, Leased to Landstar
Become the best professional driver you can be without changing or compromising your integrity” – Jeana Hysell, Sr. Safety Consultant, J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
Make a professional development plan for yourself, look towards the future and decide where you want to go, then figure out what you need to do to get there. Network, network, network and be an informed participant in your career and this industry. Be a professional every day and take this job seriously! The weight of your CDL card is extremely light, but the weight of the responsibility that comes with it is heavy.” – Kellylynn McLaughlin, Professional Driver and Training Engineer, Schneider
Use the schooling and training you get and add to it, knowing that every day is a challenge. Don’t give up or get frustrated. Be patient with yourself, and NEVER let failure be an option. Remember that there are always people out there willing to help you.” – Allyson Hay, Professional Driver, Walmart Private Fleet
About the Image Team
The Women In Trucking Image Team is comprised of individuals who best represent the mission of the association. They're knowledgeable, passionate, and positive women who are subject matter experts in the trucking industry.
Image Team members participate in ride-along events for legislators, regulators, and industry leaders to provide a deeper understanding of the obstacles they face on the road. They also speak to the media and other industry professionals at public events and industry trade shows.
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