Despite the growth (or lack thereof) of the American economy, truck driving is one of the fastest growing and most demanding industries in the country. Professional truck drivers are needed daily to transport virtually everything sold and consumed in the United States. If you've received your CDL and are ready to get out on the open road, here are a few tips, suggestions, and advice to ensure your career behind-the-wheel is a success.

  • Given the high demand for trucking services, carriers that would not have accepted new drivers are now doing so - and offering some very advantageous incentives in order to attract them. There are also a number of local, regional, and dedicated truck driving jobs available. The job you want is out there, so keep looking until you find the one that fits all your career needs and goals.

  • Turnover in the truck driving industry is high, so make sure you do your homework before signing up with a particular company. Speak to several recruiters about various opportunities and inquire about home time, pay, equipment, and schedules. Conducting good job research will ensure you find a company that's a good match for you.

  • If you signup with a company that provides training for new drivers, make sure they offer both classroom and behind-the-wheel training. Getting adequate hands-on training is critical in becoming a safe and successful driver.

  • Become familiar with the equipment you will be operating - how the truck handles in various weather conditions (especially poor), night driving versus day driving, the control panel, etc.

  • If you're looking for career independence, becoming an independent contractor may be the career path for you. Independent contractors essentially run their own business - they typically lease a tractor trailer from a trucking company, then contract with companies that need their services. In order to become an independent contractor, you first need to gain at least a few years experience on the road.