Ways to Gain Experience in the First Few Years After Truck Driving School

Ways to Gain Experience in the First Few Years After Truck Driving School

For aspiring truck drivers, the journey from completing driving school to securing their first job can have challenges, such as the high cost of insurance for employers. In the early stages of their careers, Canadian truck drivers can face exorbitant insurance premiums, a financial hurdle that can limit their employment opportunities. Because new truck drivers have higher insurance premiums than more experienced truck drivers, they are less likely to be hired in certain driving sectors. Let’s explore actionable strategies to navigate this obstacle and gain experience.

Secure an Entry-Level Position

The easiest way to gain experience as a new truck driver is to get an entry-level position. While these jobs do not always pay as much as others, they are a good starting point to get experience and, eventually, a higher-paying job. Here are some of the most common entry-level positions available for new truck drivers:

Local Delivery Driver

Local delivery drivers are tasked with transporting goods, packages, or cargo within a specific geographic area, such as a city, town, or region. Responsibilities may include loading and unloading cargo, navigating local roads and streets, and adhering to delivery schedules and routes. Local delivery drivers often interact directly with customers, receiving and confirming orders, obtaining signatures for deliveries, and providing excellent customer service.
Local delivery driving offers an ideal entry point for new drivers to gain practical experience and familiarize themselves with the intricacies of operating commercial vehicles. These positions typically require less driving experience compared to long-haul or interstate routes, making them accessible to individuals who have recently completed truck driving school. Local delivery drivers work in diverse environments, from urban centers and suburban neighbourhoods to rural communities and industrial zones.
While local delivery driving is typically an entry-level position, it can also be a launching pad for career advancement within the transportation industry. Experienced local delivery drivers may have opportunities to transition to roles with greater responsibilities, such as route supervision, fleet management, or specialized delivery services.

Courier Services

Courier drivers deliver goods, documents, and parcels to customers and businesses within designated routes and timeframes. This role provides invaluable hands-on experience, allowing new drivers to familiarize themselves with commercial vehicles, develop their driving skills, and hone their customer service abilities.
Many courier companies are willing to hire individuals with limited driving experience, making it an attractive option for those who have recently completed truck driving school. Additionally, courier routes often involve shorter distances and frequent stops, providing new drivers ample opportunities to practice their maneuvering skills, navigate urban and suburban environments, and build confidence behind the wheel.
Experienced courier drivers may have opportunities to take on supervisory roles, specialize in certain types of deliveries (e.g., medical supplies or perishable goods), or transition to other industry sectors, such as freight brokerage or logistics management.

Shuttle Driver

Shuttle drivers transport passengers or cargo between designated locations, such as airports, hotels, corporate facilities, or event venues. This role provides new drivers valuable hands-on experience, exposure to diverse environments, and opportunities to develop essential skills.
Shuttle routes typically follow predetermined schedules and routes, allowing new drivers to familiarize themselves with specific routes and locations. This predictability provides comfort and stability for new drivers as they navigate urban and suburban environments, interact with passengers, and ensure on-time arrivals and departures.
Additionally, shuttle driving offers opportunities for direct interaction with passengers, allowing new drivers to hone their customer service and interpersonal skills. Whether transporting passengers to and from airports, hotels, or corporate events, shuttle drivers play a crucial role in creating positive experiences for passengers and ensuring their safety and comfort throughout the journey.
Shuttle driving positions often offer flexibility in terms of scheduling and work hours. Many shuttle services operate around the clock, providing new drivers options for full-time, part-time, or flexible work arrangements. This flexibility allows individuals to balance work commitments with personal responsibilities and pursue additional training or education opportunities.

Farm Driving

Farm driving offers a distinctive entry-level position that provides a blend of agricultural and transportation experiences. Farm driving entails operating vehicles and equipment on agricultural properties, assisting with various farming activities, and facilitating the transportation of goods within and between farms.

Farm driving provides hands-on experience in both agricultural operations and commercial driving. Farm drivers may operate tractors, combine harvesters, or other specialized machinery for planting, harvesting, or transporting crops. This role allows new drivers to gain practical experience operating commercial vehicles and equipment while supporting essential agricultural activities.
Farm driving positions often offer opportunities for continuous learning and skill development. As new drivers gain experience in farm operations and transportation tasks, they can expand their knowledge and expertise in crop management, equipment maintenance, or livestock handling. This multifaceted experience enhances their versatility and adaptability in agriculture and transportation.

Explore Additional Training Opportunities

Acquiring specialized certifications and endorsements is a valuable way for new drivers to open doors to a wider range of career opportunities. These certifications and endorsements demonstrate proficiency in specific areas of trucking and may be required for certain types of cargo or specialized driving roles. The most common endorsements include:
Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Endorsement – The Hazmat endorsement allows drivers to transport hazardous materials, such as chemicals, gases, or flammable liquids. Due to the Specialized nature of this work, drivers can access a broader range of job opportunities and may qualify for higher-paying positions.
Tanker Endorsement – The Tanker endorsement is required for drivers operating vehicles transporting liquids or gases in bulk containers. Tanker endorsements are commonly sought after in industries such as fuel delivery, chemical transportation, and food-grade liquid hauling.
Passenger Endorsement – The Passenger endorsement, or Class F, is necessary for drivers operating vehicles designed to transport passengers, such as buses, shuttles, or school buses. Obtaining a Passenger endorsement opens up opportunities for drivers to work in passenger transportation services, including public transit, charter companies, and tour operators.
Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement – The Double/Triple Trailer endorsement permits drivers to operate vehicles pulling multiple trailers, such as double or triple trailers. Drivers with this endorsement may qualify for specialized roles in long-haul trucking, freight transportation, or logistics operations involving multiple trailers.
School Bus Endorsement – The School Bus endorsement, or Class B, is required for drivers operating school buses transporting students to and from school or extracurricular activities. School bus drivers play a critical role in ensuring the safety and well-being of students, making this endorsement essential for individuals seeking employment in the school transportation sector.

Are you ready to realize your job aspirations? Contact Toronto Truck Driving School now to learn more about our training programs and take the first step towards a fulfilling career on the road.

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