Everything Necessary to Become a Vacuum Truck Driver!

This article may be interesting for anyone who has seen used commercial vehicle ads online but is unsure if employment using this truck would be prolific or stimulating. Vacuum truck driving could be a great job for anyone who loves operating commercial trucks.

Drivers of these vehicles pick up, transfer and discharge various materials. These materials come in a variety of forms such as fresh and brine water, crude oil, wastewater and toxic chemicals. Considering the types of materials that are involved, these operators should undergo various kinds of training, several certification programs and must abide by the hiring company’s operating procedures to perform the job productively and safely. An applicant for a job with these types of vehicles should know the requirements necessary to operate them if they are interested in pursuing this in-demand field.

Educational Prerequisite

Even though there are no specific educational requirements, some companies will only accept those who are high school graduates or those who have received a General Education Diploma (GED). Additionally, the applicant must have a clean driving record. Experience working in a repair shop may also be an advantage.

Driving Experience

Requirements for hiring based on experience can vary from one company to another. For this type of vehicle operation, the applicant is usually required to have two to five years of commercial truck experience.

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) explains that “driving experience” means the vehicle handler was previously employed by a company that required the operation of commercial trucks, such as vacuum trucks. Subsequently, the applicant needs to have passed a hands-on skills test given by a certified licensing and testing office recognized by each state. Most importantly, after the testing and during the applicant’s employment at their previous company, they must have actually operated commercial vehicles for at least two years.


A vacuum truck operator must hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and be certified by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) by having completed any requirements set forth by them.

The following are requirements one must complete to be qualified to receive a commercial driver’s license. They must:

  • Be at least 21 years old or above and physically fit. Some states accept 18 year olds, but they are limited to working within that state. Being 21 years old allows one to do interstate driving.
  • Pass a medical exam every two years. The physical exam includes a:

1. Hearing and visual test
2. Blood pressure test
3. Drug test
4. Alcohol test

  • Have normal upper and lower extremities
  • Pass a written exam regarding certain rules and regulations
  • Prove that they can operate the vehicle
  • Have a good driving record. According to the DOT, a “good driving record” means that they may not hold another license or have a revoked license and may not have any serious traffic violations.


Training for a vacuum truck operator is done informally. New hires must attend a one to two-day training seminar in which they learn: general rules; company policies and safety operations; and complete any necessary paperwork. Some states offer a “hands-on” type of seminar to enhance the knowledge of the operator in handling the vehicle. Certification is given after one passes the training seminar.

Finding a vacuum truck for sale is not that difficult; however, becoming a vacuum truck operator can require more effort. One must undergo several training and skills tests to become certified. The government requires vehicle operators to have a commercial driver’s license. On top of this, the applicant should have medical exams to ensure that they are physically fit to operate the vehicle. The company usually provides safety training regarding operation of the vehicle.

Hopefully the above information will prove useful to those individuals interested in pursuing employment in the field of vacuum truck driver and operator. The best of luck in finding that desired job!