With mountains, valleys, raging rapids and more, there are many perks to considering truck driving careers in Tennessee. Once you obtain your CDL, you will have no problem finding work in this southern state.Salary & Career Information
The Bureau of Labor Statistics
has approximated salaries for truck driving careers in Tennessee to be $37,680. This salary is almost equal to the national average. Should you wish to earn more, you have the power to do so by exploring different industries, obtaining more license endorsements and other things.
Some of the industries that you will find throughout the state include government, waste management, general trucking and agriculture. These industries will vary in terms of salary, benefits, hours you are expected to work each week and even what they require of you.
In terms of job stability, it will be hard to find a more stable career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics even estimates that there is likely going to be a 21 percent increase in jobs over the next 10 years, offering more careers for you to choose from.
Many employers also require additional certifications, such as Hazardous Material certification to allow their drivers to transport a wider variety of materials and goods. It's worth the time to talk to other truck drivers and ask questions about what special certifications are typically needed in the field.Starting a Truck Driving Career
One of the main advantages to a trucking career is the quick time to get started. Once you attend a CDL training course, you can test for your CDL and begin working within almost any industry. You can achieve high rates of pay without getting a formal higher education.
Tennessee has a number of beautiful cities and a low cost of living. You can enjoy one of the lower property tax states and be able to pocket more of your earnings from week to week. There is also a relatively low sales tax, which is just another advantage to living in Tennessee to become a trucker.
You have various career paths to take. You can choose to drive for a company and use one of the trucks in their fleet or you can buy your own truck and become an owner/operator. It all depends on your desire to work for yourself or not.Laws & Regulations to be Aware Of
The laws that surround getting your CDL may be of the most importance. You will need to be at least 18, have a valid TN driver’s license and pass a vision exam. Once you have your CDL, you can test for additional endorsements. It’s also critical to note that you cannot be an interstate driver until your 21st birthday.
Points can be added to your license for the simplest traffic violations. Such things include speeding, changing lanes without signaling and failure to use headlights in various conditions. You need to be cautious about the number of points on your license at any one time as it can hurt your odds of being employed by the top companies and you could have your CDL suspended.Links and Resources
Choose a CDL School in Tennessee!
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Roadmaster Drivers School offers quality, comprehensive truck driver training that lets you begin your rewarding career as a professional truck driver in as little as three weeks or eight weekends.
Location: West Memphis, Arkansas
Roadmaster Drivers School strives to offer quality, comprehensive truck driver training that can help you begin a new career as a professional truck driver in as little as three weeks or eight weekends.
Tennessee CDL Requirements
A commercial driver’s license, or CDL, is the designated license class required to operate large or complex vehicles in the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) manages the standards by which CDL license classes are categorized. Class A commercial driver’s licenses enable the operator to operate a combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001lb or more. In Tennessee, issuance of commercial driver’s licenses is managed by the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles. General Information
The Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles complies with all federal requirements regarding required documentation and knowledge assessments for CDL issuance. CDL applicants are required to present documentation to affirm their United States citizenship or lawful permanent residency, residency status in Tennessee, and medical fitness to perform CDL vehicle operations. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires CDL applicants to take a series of knowledge and skills assessment depending on the nature of the vehicle they will be operating. Tennessee CDLs are issued for terms based on Tennessee’s “Drive for Five” method of issuance. The license term varies from 4 to 7 years and is determined by the applicant’s next birthday that is evenly divisible by 5.
Individuals applying for a CDL in Tennessee will need to present the following documentation at a full-service driver’s license testing center:
Written Testing Requirements
- Valid Department of Transportation Medical Card
- Proof of Citizenship – Acceptable documents include social security card, birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization.
- Proof of Domicile – Applicants must submit two separate documents indicating their current residential address in Tennessee. Acceptable documents include utility bills that reflect the applicant’s current address, current vehicle registration documentation, voter registration card, or a tax return from the most recent tax year. The Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles does not accept other forms or mailings such as bank statements or junk mail as proof of domicile.
- Driver’s License or other state-issued identification
Applicants wishing to certify for a Class A CDL will be required to take the following exams:
- General Knowledge Exam – The general knowledge exam must be successfully completed by all applicants and covers the basics of commercial vehicle operation.
- Air Brakes Exam – The air brakes exam is required for all applicants operating a vehicle equipped with air brakes.
- Combination Vehicle Exam – This exam is required for all applicants that will be operating a combination vehicle
In addition to passing a knowledge exam, individuals must also pass a driving test and a physical exam. The medical report contains that each driver should pass the following:
Skills Testing Requirements
- Hearing test
- Vision test
- Chemical/drug test
- Blood pressure and pulse rate
The State of Tennessee requires CDL applicants to pass a series of skills tests in order to demonstrate basic knowledge and safe operation of the vehicle they will be operating on Tennessee roadways. This testing includes aspects of pre-trip vehicle inspection and basic vehicle control. Applicants are required to provide their own vehicle and it must be of the same class as the vehicle for which they are attempting to obtain a CDL to operate.
The following operators are exempt from obtaining a CDL:
- Military personnel
- Recreational vehicle operators
- Emergency vehicle operators
- Farmers and nurserymen who drive only within 150 miles of the farm or nursery
- Those who operate vehicles only to transport personal property
6201 Epps Mills Rd.
Christiana, TN 37037 CDI
776 Poplar Bluff Rd. E
Auburntown, TN Chattanooga Votech Truck Driver Training
901 Pineville, Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37405 CCD Professional Driver Training
134 Joe McCrary Rd.
Fall Branch, TN 37656 Drive Train
53 El Morgan Dr #C
Jackson, TN 38305 Knoxville Votech
1100 Liberty St.
Knoxville, TN 37919 Learn 2 Drive
19381 Hwy 28
Whitewell, TN 37397 M. S. Carriers Professional Driving Academy
1940 E. Brooks Rd.
Memphis, TN 38116 Nashville Votech Truck Driver Training
7204 cockrill Bend Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37209 Smokey Mountain Truck Driving School
3173 Newport Hwy.
Sevierville, TN 37876 Southwest Tennessee Community College
5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134 Southwest Tennessee Community College
737 Union Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103 State Votech Truck Driver Training
P. O. Box 89
Crump, TN 38327 State Tech Center Truck Driver Training
550 Alabama Ave.
Memphis, TN 38105 State Tech Truck Driver Training
Phippe Bend Industrial Park
Surgoinsville, TN 37815 TDI Truck Driver Institute
6201 Epps Mill Rd.
Christiana, TN 37037 Tennessee Tech Center-Crup
P. O. Box 89
Crump, TN 38327 Tennessee Tech Center-Knoxville
1100 Liberty St.
Knoxville, TN 37919 Tennessee Tech Center-Memphis
550 Alabama Ave.
Memphis, TN 38105 Tennessee Tech Center-Morristown
21 West Louise Ave.
Morristown, TN 37813 Tennessee Tech Center-Nashville
100 White Bridge Rd.
Nashville, TN 37209 Tennessee Tech Center-Shelbyville
1405 Madison St.
Shelbyville, TN 37160 Tennessee Technology Center-Dickson
740 Highway 46
Dickson, TN 37055 Tennessee Technology Center-Ripley
127 Industrial Dr.
Ripley, TN 38063 Transport Training
901 E. Baddour Pky
Lebanon, TN 37087 Transport Training
P. O. Box 990
White Pine, TN 37890 United Truck Driving School
1606 East Highway 25 #70
Dandridge, TN 37725 United Truck Driving School
1901 North Eastman Rd.
Kingsport, TN 37660 United Truck Driving School
1606 East Highway 25 #70
Dandridge, TN 37725
Tennessee Schools by City