If you want to become a truck driver, you must complete a three-year training course. It is a classic dual training course in which you spend part of your time in vocational school and another part in the company in which you are learning – this could be a haulier or a transport company. You can find out here what the training is like and why it is never completely over when it comes to learning.
Professional driver – training for the road
By training as a professional driver, you can later transport goods or people. Bus drivers are also professional drivers. However, this text focuses on those who want to drive trucks. You do not necessarily need a class B driving licence if you want to start training, but some training companies insist on this. Therefore, enquire about this in advance to avoid disappointment.
When training to be a professional driver you need to learn a lot of theory. You will learn how a vehicle works, get to know the engine and chassis, and carefully examine all electronic and mechanical parts. Lessons about vehicle physics provide you with the background knowledge you need for the practical part of the training. You will learn the safety guidelines according to which truck drivers load and unload their vehicles correctly and secure their cargo. It is particularly important that the check before and after every journey becomes second nature to you. National and international road traffic regulations are also on the timetable.
The theoretical part of the training as a truck driver also includes lessons that are not immediately obvious when you think of this training. You will learn to how to prepare your accounts correctly, to document your services carefully and completely and to plan your journeys in advance.
Driving training does not begin until the second year of training. Depending on what kind of company you are learning in, it can take place in many different trucks, including tanker trucks, side loaders or roll-off tippers. In this case, you will learn the specifics. Night driving of course is part of the training, as is securing accident sites and carrying out minor repairs independently.
In addition to the theoretical test, you will complete your training in a truck. You perform a test drive in which you are tested in every aspect. This means that you not only load the truck yourself and secure the load, but also carry out the pre-departure check, operate the tachograph correctly, successfully complete the journey yourself and deliver the goods properly.
The health check-up is important for prospective truck drivers
Before you can become a truck driver, you must have a health check-up. This shows whether you are physically capable of driving the vehicle safely without the work endangering your health and thus the safety of all other road users. One part of the examination is an eye test, which determines whether you need glasses. In addition, your body will be examined and your ability to concentrate and your reactions will be tested thoroughly. Since you have to renew your truck driving licence every five years, the tests are also due every five years. The medical certificates that you are still fit to drive have to be handed in at the same time.
Professional driver qualification – learning never stops
The days when you could once train to be a truck driver and then drive on the roads forever are gone. We now have the Professional Driver Qualification Act. It states that every truck driver must complete a 35 hour training course every five years. This is intended to increase both driving economy and road safety. The further training for professional drivers includes modules of varying nature, namely environment/energy-saving driving style, digital speedometer/social regulations, behaviour in emergencies/safety technology, driver as an image carrier and the public face of the company as well as load securing. The training is not only meant to keep you up to date with the latest developments, but to also ensure that carelessness and mistakes do not creep in over time.
The salary you can get as a truck driver
While training to become a truck driver, the salary is naturally low. How high it is depends, among other things, on the federal state in which you are learning and on the respective training company. In the first year of training, you can expect about 600 to 750 euros, in the second about 700 to 800 euros and in the third about 750 to 850 euros. Deviations are also always possible. The starting salary for the profession itself after training can ultimately be around 1,700 to 1,900 euros gross. However, after you have gained experience and completed the required further training, your salary can rise to between 2,000 and 2,300 euros.
Summary: A truck driver never stops learning
During your training as a truck driver, you will theoretically learn everything about the vehicle you will be driving, road traffic regulations, safety regulations and safeguards in the event of an accident. Dealing with the necessary paperwork for documentation and accounting is part of the training. In practice, you will learn how to load and unload correctly, how to secure the load and how to drive the truck in many different situations. Every prospective truck driver must also undergo a health check-up in order to prove their physical fitness to drive. And over a period of five years, they must complete 35 hours of further training in order to continue driving. The salary can rise to 2,300 euros with experience and further training.