Tips for Training to Become a CDL Driver At Age 50+
Tips for Training to Become a Truck Driver at Age 50+
If you’re thinking about training to become a truck driver at 50+, chances are that you’re not alone. It may be intimidating to think about a big change, but this could be a whole new chapter in life.
The trucking industry doesn’t have an age maximum, but it does have a minimum age of 18 (or 21 to drive interstate), so think of your age as experience.
Benefits of Training to Become a Truck Driver at Age 50+
The reasons why younger people think about trucking can be the same reasons drivers over the age of 50 do. Seeing new parts of the country, feeling the freedom of the open road, and having an “office” with an ever changing scenery.
Many truckers can opt for long haul routes, which allow them to travel nationwide and experience the country. Truck drivers often work with a dispatcher, which means that they are connected to their company on the radio, rather than having a boss over their shoulders.
Plus, couples could drive trucks together as a team! This means a whole different world for married couples or close friends to work and travel together. Driving a truck may also provide variety because days could be different depending on routes, shipments and road conditions.
Training to become a driver in your 50s, 60s, or later, can be possible with the help of a few tips.
Tip One for Training to Become a Truck Driver at Age 50+: Refine Your Driving Qualities
There are a lot of qualities that may make for a good truck driver, regardless of age including:
- Good hand-eye coordination.Drivers should be able to react quickly to conditions on the road, using their legs, hands, and eyes all at once.
- Physical health.Drivers should be in good health when operating their tractor-trailers. Individuals with certain medical conditions may likely need to have the proper medication or treatments in place in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
- Proper visual ability.The ability to judge surroundings can be reliant on proper visual abilities. Drivers are required to maintain 20/40 vision with a 70-degree field of vision in both eyes. Using corrective lenses to achieve this is fine.
It is important to think about your physical abilities to make sure you’re able to train to become a trucker. If you are unsure, perhaps think about scheduling an appointment with your doctor to check up on your health.
Tip Two for Training to Become a Truck Driver at Age 50+: Seek Out Appropriate Training
Starting in the industry may require some additional training, like completing Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)training and passing the state licensing exam. Think about finding a program that fits your schedule and has what you are looking for in a trucking school.
New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) offers different CDL (commercial driver’s license) programsto help you prepare for an entry-level truck driving position.
The Class A CDL Trainingfocuses on safe driving and may prepare students for the Class A CDL licensing exam with hands-on training and basic knowledge. The Class A CDLcan allow drivers to operate a tractor-trailer, semi-truck, big-rig or 18-wheeler.
At NETTTS, Class B CDL Trainingmay prepare students to drive the second heaviest weight of commercial vehicles, typically a single vehicle with non-detachable trailer. The Class B CDL can allow drivers to operate construction, shipping and public transit vehicles.
Tip Three for Training to Become a Truck Driver at Age 50: Pass Your CDL Exam
Once you feel that you are ready, it’s time to register to take your CDL exam at your local DMV. If you are training with a CDL school, this is what you have been working towards. If you are training with NETTTS, we would act as the sponsor for your test which means that you use our trucks and our courses (if your state allows) to take your CDL test. The exam may include the following topics:
- Written test (including General knowledge, Combination vehicles, and Air brakes)
- Pre-trip inspection
- Backing and parking maneuvers
- Road test
Once you’ve successfully passed your CDL exam and have obtained your CDL you can decide which type of routes you’d like to drive, like local or longer distance.
The first step towards training to become a truck driver, no matter your age, is finding out more. At NETTTS, students can study Class Aand Class BCDL programs. Contact NETTTSto learn how to enroll.
Mike Demars is a 28-year trucking veteran, as well as a graduate of New England Tractor Trailer Training School with well over a million miles logged on the road. Prior to being the Regional Director of Safety & Training for our Connecticut locations, Mike spent over a decade on the road as an owner/operator of a long haul transportation company and previously managed drivers as a Driver Manager and Safety Director. He has achieved the level of Master Instructor and holds his certificate in Collision Avoidance, and is often sought as an industry expert to discuss practices within the field and to testify in transportation and trucking matters.