The Complete Guide to Getting Hired as a Truck Driver With No Experience

October 25, 2021

Have you been frustrated looking for truck driving jobs? But you heard there’s a truck driver shortage, and you thought getting a truck driver job would be easy. You have your CDL and every other license that might increase your chances of securing a truck driving job. But no trucking company wants to hire you because you have less than 2 years of experience. So, you need a truck driving job to get experience, but you can’t get a job because you have no experience. What is the way out? 

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t fret. There’s a way out. In this article, we describe a complete guide on how to get a truck driving job with no experience. And the best place to start is to explain why truck drivers don’t hire inexperienced drivers:

Why Trucking Companies don’t Hire Inexperienced Drivers

What is it about you, an inexperienced truck driver, that makes trucking companies not want to hire you? Do they have something against you? 

No. They don’t. Trucking companies don’t hire inexperienced drivers for business reasons, and here are some of them:

1. Insurance Costs

Even if some companies wanted to hire you, they couldn't. Their insurance company wouldn’t allow them to. Many times, insurance companies have a policy that prevents trucking companies from hiring truck drivers with less than 2 years of experience. This is because of the business risks involved (more on the risks below).

But if a trucking company hires you regardless, the company’s insurance does not cover you. There’s a higher chance of finding a needle in a haystack than finding such a company. And any damage you incur as a result of your inexperience would completely fall to your employer.

2. Business Risks

Inexperienced truck drivers attract high levels of risk. Some of these business risks include:

  •  High collision

Driving a car is one thing. But driving big trucks with long trailers is on another level entirely. In the hands of an inexperienced truck driver, collisions are almost unavoidable. Accidents that involve trucks aren’t always pretty, and there’s no better recipe for accidents than a mixture of an inexperienced truck driver and a truck.

  • Violations

Apart from collisions, inexperienced drivers never seem to be able to escape violations. When you drive into a weigh station, there’s a high chance that you’re coming out with at least one violation. And settling violations is the last thing trucking companies want.

  • Damages

High damage rates are another major issue trucking companies would have to put up with if they hired inexperienced truck drivers. And these damages aren’t limited to those done to the body of the truck. They include the damages done to the freight being transported and other people or properties involved in the accident.

3. High training costs

Another reason truck driving companies aren’t eager to hire is how expensive it is to train inexperienced truck drivers. And this is the same reason only mega trucking companies have truck driver training programs. They are the only ones who can afford it, but with that said you might be wondering how much does truck driver training cost?.

The average truck driver training costs between $3000 and $7000.

This varies from program to program and companies that do offer on the job training will typically require drivers to commit to 1-5 years of service after the program is completed.

So the next time a trucking company turns you down, it's nothing personal. They’re just watching their own backs too. But now that you know the things going against you, how do you brave the odds and still secure a truck driver job without much experience?

How to Get a Truck Driving Job Without Experience

How do you approach the truck driving job hunt with little or no experience? 

1. Build your network

The beautiful thing about building a network is that knowing the right person could help you skip the following steps and still get a truck driving job. You only need the right referral to get the job.

This is why, as much as possible, you should talk to people. Be friends with them. You don’t know who’s relative or friend works for the trucking company of your dreams. Have people around you that you can share information with, get feedback from, and even encourage you to do more.

Another good thing about building your network is that it costs you almost nothing. You only gotta have a conversation with someone and chip it in somewhere that you’re in search of a truck driving job. 

You can also join trucking groups on Facebook, Reddit, or any other internet community. A lot of useful bits of information are bounced around there.

2. Look for team truck driving companies

Of all the truck driving companies you could apply to as an inexperienced truck driver, your best bet is with those that have team driving options. These companies can easily pair you up with a more experienced truck driver who would show you the ropes on the job. 

You will not only learn firsthand how to drive the truck, but also how to handle other things like filling out the bill of lading, and loading/unloading the trucks. The company would also have their risk reduced because their truck is not completely in the hands of a novice. 

Another reason team truck driving companies are your best bet is because of the nature of team truck driving. Team truck driving is often reserved for long-haul trips, often across states, regions, and even countries. As a result, team drivers spend more of their time on highways, where they mostly drive in straight lines. This isn’t the case for local drivers (who are often solo) who have to stop at every traffic light and sometimes get caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic. So, as an inexperienced driver, you can master your truck driving on easier terrains with minimal exposure to damage and collision risks.

3. Companies with training programs

You can also avail yourself of opportunities in companies that offer training programs. These programs are mostly designed by mega carriers for inexperienced drivers like you. Such companies offer to train you for a period before finally absorbing you into their system as their employee. And during your training program, you’ll learn everything you need to become a competent truck driver able to handle trips on your own with no errors.

The average cost to train a truck driver is between $3000 to $7000.

Companies must be willing to absorb this so some will require you to drive under their authority for a specific period of time after training is complete.

4. Companies with driver trainers

Another company category you should apply to is the category of companies that have driver trainers. These companies may not have extensive training programs that mega carriers do, but they often have a handful of driver trainers who are paid to show you the ropes. So, you can ask around to know if the company has driver trainers available to teach while you gather your experience.

Also, it isn’t enough that you just get companies with driver trainers. The trainers should be very experienced. This way, the experienced truck driver trainer not only teaches you the textbook theories and fundamentals, but they also teach you things they’ve learned over their time driving.

What to Expect After Getting a Truck Driving Job

When you finally manage to get a truck driving job, things get a little more interesting. These are some things you should expect from your new trucking job.

1. Be content with not getting your dream job on your first employment

Your inexperience might prevent you from having your dream truck driving job, so be content to take whatever you’re offered until you have enough experience to do what you want to do. 

For instance, the chances that a company would allow an inexperienced truck driver to handle hazardous material transport is very low. And if that is your dream, there’s no way you can achieve that with your current level of experience. Your best bet is to go for the experience first and then apply to be a hazardous materials truck driver. 

2. Expect to be on the road for long if you’re on a team

Very often, inexperienced truck drivers have to start with OTR driving because driving locally within cities is much more complicated. So, expect to spend a lot of time away from home. The sleeper cab in the truck is very small, and you’ll be sitting on your buttocks for hours. These are things to expect, and they’re very normal. 

3. Learning can take as long as 12 months

Be patient. There’s a lot to learn about truck driving, and this goes beyond sitting in the driver’s seat and steering the wheel. It is going to take months or even a year to learn everything you need to know. And since you need two years of experience before you can easily secure good truck driving jobs, you have no other choice but to be patient.

4. Maintain a clean CVOR

Your Commercial Vehicle Operator Summary tells the recruiter about you. It tells them if you’re very likely to get into accidents or damage the truck or the goods from your truck driving history. And this is why you should try to maintain a clean CVOR. 

Avoid violations like a plague. Always do the right thing as regards your truck because you could get a violation otherwise. 


Here’s the part where we address the questions you may have in your mind on how to get a truck driving job with no experience:

Can I get a truck driving job without experience?

You can get a truck driving job without experience, and the process is quite easy. Applying for jobs in trucking companies that offer team driving is one way to go about it. This allows the trucking company to partner you with a more experienced truck driver who can show you the ropes. 

Seeking out companies with training programs for inexperienced truck drivers is another way to go about it. You should also join online trucking forums so that the latest trucking job updates don’t pass you by. 

Can I get a local truck driving job without experience?

It is possible to get a local truck driving job without experience, but the chances are very low. As a local truck driver, you would be driving more within cities than on the highway. But driving in cities is way more complicated than driving on highways. So, trucking companies would rather have an experienced truck driver do their local runs and leave the OTR trips to inexperienced drivers. 

Is it hard to get a local truck driving job?

Getting a local truck driving position is very competitive for all truck drivers. And if you’re an inexperienced driver, it reduces your chances of getting such a position, as many other truck drivers with more experience want to fill the same position.


We hope that by now, you aren’t confused or frustrated anymore regarding getting a truck driving job without experience. With those tips we’ve given you, you should now know where to cast your net and what to expect when you eventually get a truck driving job.

Now, it’s your turn. Get out there and land that truck driving job.

Good luck.

About the author

I’m Luis Uribe, author of this website. I am the owner and head publisher for Trucker Daily and a freight brokerage Total Connection Logistics. I have been in and around the trucking industry for over 15 years. It is my mission with Trucker daily to equip truck drivers, with the latest in industry updates, news, and helpful tips to help further your trucking career and life. Whether you are a truck driving veteran, or beginner, you will find information on this site to save you a lot of time in your driving journey.

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