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If you’re looking to land yourself a truck driver job in Portland, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to get there. First, you’ll need to earn your civilian’s driver’s license, hold a commercial learner’s permit, and pass both written and skills tests. Although you’ll pick up plenty of knowledge along the way, it helps to get a head start on the terminology that truckers use in the field. Terms like CDL, dispatcher, and pre-trip inspection will come up a lot, so it’s nice to be familiar with them well ahead of time. Read on for a quick look at some trucker lingo that every beginner should know.


CDL stands for commercial driver’s license, and it’s your key to getting a truck driver job. You need to fulfill a number of requirements in order to earn your CDL, but once you do, you’ll be one step closer to what could be your ideal career. In addition to having a standard driver’s license, you’ll need to spend at least 2 weeks with a commercial learner’s permit and pass the necessary tests to earn your new commercial license. Many people find it helpful to enroll in a truck driving school to hone their skills and ensure that they’re ready to earn their CDLs.


You won’t be the head of the whole operation when you start out as a truck driver. Even if you do become an owner-operator in the future, you’ll have to rely on a team. A dispatcher may handle a plethora of different responsibilities, depending on the company you work for. Dispatchers might handle appointment times, assign freight, and serve as a middleman between the driver and the manager. They communicate between different parties to keep everything organized.

Pre-Trip Inspection

When you get your first truck driver job, you’ll quickly learn that you’ll never take the truck out for the day before a pre-trip inspection. Both federal and state laws require that you inspect your truck before you get on the road, and doing so can help prevent serious accidents.