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February 12, 2020

Tips for training to become a CDL driver at age 50+

If you’re thinking about truck driver training at age 50+, chances are that you’re not alone.  It may be intimidating to think about a big change at this stage but this could be a whole new chapter in life.

The trucking industry doesn’t have an age maximum.  It does have a minimum age of 18 (or 21 to drive interstate) so think of your age as experience.

Benefits of Truck Driver Training 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.

Some truckers consider opting for long haul routes that may allow them to travel nationwide and experience the country. These types of truck drivers often work with a dispatcher. This means that they are connected to their company on the radio rather than having a boss over their shoulders.

Couples who both have a CDL 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 some drivers with the sense of variety. Each day could feel different depending on routes, shipments, and road conditions.

Training for a Commercial Driver’s License in your 50s, 60s, or later can be possible with the help of a few tips.

Tip One for Truck Driver Training at Age 50+: Refine Your Driving Qualities

There are a lot of qualities that may make for a good CDL trainee, 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 for a Class-A CDL. If you are unsure, perhaps think about scheduling an appointment with your doctor to check up on your health.

Tip Two for Truck Driver Training at Age 50+: Seek Out Appropriate Training

Starting in the industry may require some additional training, like completing entry-level driver training for your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) from an approved school or institution. It also means 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 that fits these ELDT requirements that were put in place February 2022.

New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) is an approved school on the FMCSA training provider registry and offers different CDL (commercial driver’s license) programs.

The Class A CDL Training focuses on safe driving and aims to prepare students for the Class A CDL licensing exam. It includes hands-on training and basic knowledge. The Class A CDL can allow drivers to operate a tractor-trailer, semi-truck, big-rig or 18-wheeler.

At NETTTS, Class B CDL Training are designed to help prepare students to drive the second heaviest weight of commercial vehicles This is typically a single vehicle with non-detachable trailer. The Class B CDL can allow drivers to operate vehicles often used for construction, shipping, and public transit.

Tip Three for Truck Driver Training at Age 50: Pass Your CDL Exam

Once you feel that you are prepared with CDL driving skills 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. This 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