Am I Too Old to Become a Truck Driver?

A smiling man standing with his arms crossed on front of a truck.

The right truck driving job can open a whole new world for you. More and more companies are hiring commercial drivers, and the trucking industry is only expanding as our country becomes more and more connected.

Are you thinking about hitting the open road? Unfortunately, only some see themselves as qualified job applicants in the trucking industry. Even though there are many great opportunities for truck driving jobs and CDL training in NJ, PA, DE, MD, and many other states, some potential applicants fear their age will hold them back from being hired. However, this actually couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re an older person thinking about starting a trucking career, here’s what you need to know!

There’s No Maximum Age Requirement

While you do need to be at least 18 years old to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and 21 years old to cross state lines, there is no maximum age limit for obtaining a CDL. If you can pass the CDL exam, a physical exam by the Department of Transportation, and relevant drug testing by your trucking company of choice, you can drive a truck. In addition to these requirements, you also need to have (and maintain) a clean driving record, and most companies will require you to disclose any criminal history (learn more here about what felonies disqualify you from getting a CDL).

The Details on the DOT Physical 

Many worry about the phrase “physical exam,” imagining the kinds of fitness tests given to military service members. However, this exam doesn’t involve pull-ups, push-ups, or a timed mile. Instead, before your DOT physical, you’ll fill out paperwork about any existing health conditions and medications. Then, a qualified medical examiner will check over the standard things touched on during a physical, such as your height, weight, blood pressure, and general health. Next, they’ll perform tests on your vision and hearing (both are especially important since you’re going to be behind the wheel) and your urine (to ensure you don’t have undiagnosed diabetes or other issues).

There are no age restrictions that can disqualify you from passing the physical. However, there are some health conditions that might require further investigation, explanation, or medical clearance. Be sure to take any relevant diagnosis paperwork, a list of your medications, and a family health history to your DOT appointment. 

It’s Not Too Late

Have you recently finished your 49th trip around the sun? Even though 50 isn’t what most people would call “old age,” it’s definitely a later time in life to be starting a new career. However, you definitely won’t feel out of place at most trucking companies! The average median age of truckers in the US is around 49, so you’ll have plenty of coworkers who are your age and even older. Many drivers started driving trucks as a second or third career, meaning there’s plenty of life experience to go around. 

Get On the Road!

Are you ready to begin a whole new career? American Driver Training Academy can help you train for your CDL each step of the way and even match you up with top trucking companies — no matter your age. Contact us today to get started or sign up for classes online. In just a few short months, you could be rolling along the open road!