Tag Archives: trucking

The Open Road: the Life of a Trucker

FRAN: You should go back to school. You should see how many credits—
ANTHONY: Nah, I’m thinking the open road. Me behind the wheel, on the open road. You can train to haul one of those big rigs in like no time, see the whole country right? That’s it, that’s what I’m gonna do.

Trucker Training:

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In order to receive a Commercial Driver’s License, the state of Massachusetts requires that you be at least 21 years of age and have not had your driver’s license or right to operate taken away by the Registrar.

From the MA DMV about Commercial Driver Education:

If you want a Commercial Driver’s License, you’re going to have to pass some tough federal and state requirements. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) requires you to take and pass a 50-question exam, with a minimum of 40 correct answers to pass.

And that’s just to get the learner’s permit. Obtaining a Class A or Class B CDL requires you to pass a road test that will encompass a vehicle inspection and driving in a closed course and on the road.

Many CDL applicants take classes at private truck driving schools. These classes offer both classroom and hands-on instruction and are designed to help you pass the written and road exams. The schools even provide trucks and licensed instructors to help you pass the exam.

The good news: You can learn everything you need to know in 10 days to two weeks and classes are offered regularly. The bad news: These schools can be expensive. Expect to pay $5,000 and more to attend one of these sessions.

CDL Career Now lists CDL training facilities in and around Boston.

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On the Road:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) specifies that truckers are limited to 11 cumulative hours driving in a 14-hour period, following a rest period of no less than 10 consecutive hours. Drivers employed by carriers in “daily operation” may not work more than 70 hours within any period of 8 consecutive days. These stipulations are put in place to make sure that drivers’ abilities are not impaired by exhaustion.

Some drivers are paid by the hour, and some by the mile.

For information about life on the road, check out www.lifeasatrucker.com

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