What Draws People To A Trucking Career?

A trucking career is truly unique and is more of a lifestyle than a job. Becoming a trucker is very different from a standard 9-to-5 office job. People are drawn to this industry for a variety of different reasons.

Here are a few:

1. Freedom Of The Open Road

Over-the-road trucking takes drivers all over the country across our nation’s highways. Each day is different and truckers are responsible for their own day-to-day choices, without a boss looking over their shoulder. This sense of freedom and the opportunity to travel while getting paid is a major reason people choose to pursue trucking. The trucking lifestyle may not be for everyone, but it appeals to many who can’t imagine any other sort of career being as satisfying.

2. Stable Demand

Job stability is an important consideration and trucking is a great choice if you’re looking for stable employment. Semi-trucks move 72.2% of our nation’s freight according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and there is a shortage of drivers, meaning there is a strong and consistent demand for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

3. Competitive Pay & Benefits

Because trucking is so essential and because demand is so high, motor carriers often compete to attract new drivers. A trucking career gives you the opportunity to earn high pay and take advantage of excellent benefits. Top drivers can earn more than $72,000 a year!*

4. Sense Of Service

Without truckers, grocery store shelves wouldn’t be stocked, gas stations would run out of fuel, and hospitals wouldn’t have medication. Drivers are truly essential to keep our society running. In addition to the other benefits, many individuals are drawn to trucking because they appreciate the sense of service and contribution that it provides.

5. Accelerated Education/h3>
Many careers that offer benefits comparable to trucking require years of education. With trucking, you can earn your CDL and hit the road in as little as four weeks. This makes it easy to get started on the road to a rewarding career.

Trucker Training

Phoenix Truck Driving School has campuses in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. We can help you earn your CDL and learn the skills you need to succeed as a trucker. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and are drawn to trucking for a variety of reasons, and we provide all of them with high-quality training. Many of our students have job offers even before they graduate and we offer job placement assistance at all of our schools.

To learn more about our CDL training programs, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $48,310 (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm). The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $72,730 per year according to 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Trucking Student Mistakes To Avoid

Truck driving school is an opportunity to begin the road to a rewarding career. During your training, you’ll learn about the industry and will earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). To get the most out of your time as a trucking student, it’s helpful to know some possible mistakes and how to avoid them.

Here are some mistakes to avoid as a trucking student:

1. Not Researching Beforehand

It’s true that CDL school is a time to learn more about how trucking works, but it shouldn’t be your first exposure to information about the industry.

Before you decide to earn your license, you should understand what the day-to-day life of a trucker is like and whether this type of lifestyle is something you’re interested in. The freedom of the open road is appealing to many, but this doesn’t mean that trucking is necessarily the right fit for everyone. You should understand the benefits and challenges of becoming a driving career before you get started.

You should also research trucking schools to help ensure you are well-prepared for your career once you graduate. Make sure the program you attend meets entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements. Ask what resources the school offers and know how long the program takes to complete.

2. Having A Poor Attitude

Your mindset plays a big role in your success (or lack thereof) in the trucking industry, and this starts as soon as you enter CDL school. If you have a positive attitude and work hard to improve each day, you’ll likely fare better than if you have a negative mindset.

A poor attitude can also include feeling like you already know everything you need to. Remember that you are just getting started as a truck driver and stay open to feedback from your instructors.

3. Giving Up

Learning any new skill is hard work. With trucking, there’s also a massive vehicle involved and a responsibility to operate this vehicle safely. It’s normal to feel like trucking school is difficult, but it’s important to stay motivated even when things are challenging. Resilience will continue to be important throughout your trucking career, so it’s best to stay cultivating it early.

If you start to feel frustrated, try to remember your reasons for wanting to become a trucker. Focus on your goals and remind yourself that everyone was a rookie once, too.

4. Assuming You’re Done Learning When You Graduate

A high-quality CDL training program gives you a strong foundation as you enter your career, but it’s not the end of your growth as a trucker. You’ll continue to learn more as you hit the road with a driver trainer and eventually go solo (or head out with a driving partner). The first year as a rookie driver is often when you’ll learn the most lessons, but even after this, there’s still room for growth. Truckers who treat every day as an opportunity to improve are most likely to be successful in the industry long-term.

Accelerated Trucker Training

If you’re ready to hit the road, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help. We offer CDL training in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Our experienced instructors can teach you valuable skills that will continue to benefit you throughout your career.

To learn more about how to earn your CDL, contact us today.

Personal Protection for Truckers

Trucking is a unique lifestyle that often takes drivers across the country to deliver goods and materials. While this can be an exciting and rewarding career path, there are also some considerations you’ll need to keep in mind while on the road. One of these is personal safety, especially while parking during the night. There are many ways truckers can stay safe on the road and protect themselves and their cargo.

Here are some tips for personal safety and protection as a trucker:

1. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Awareness goes a long way when it comes to personal safety. When you are walking from your truck to the truck stop or vice versa, avoid using your phone or having other distractions. If you notice anything or anyone that seems “off,” try to avoid those areas. Trust your gut and, if necessary, return to your truck and choose another stop.

2. Trip Plan With Safety In Mind

Trip planning is an essential skill for truckers to develop. It not only helps you stay compliant with hours of service (HOS) regulations and get to your destination on time but can also help you stay safe. Look up any truck stops along your route to see if they are in a safe area. Reading reviews and checking out trucker forums can be helpful in determining which stops are safest. Additionally, trip planning helps you ensure you have extra time to leave a stop and find a new place to park if you have a gut feeling once you are there.

3. Don’t Talk About Your Cargo Or Route

Even if it seems like someone is just making innocent conversation, don’t share details about what you are hauling or where you are going. This is especially important for high-value or otherwise sensitive cargo, but this is not the only time you should exercise caution. Even household items that don’t seem particularly valuable can become a target for thieves, and sharing too much information can increase your risk.

What About Weapons?

In conversations about personal safety, firearms often come up, along with other types of weapons or personal protection tools like pepper spray. It’s important to understand that while whether or not to carry a gun is a personal choice, truckers have various factors they need to be aware of. Most motor carriers prohibit firearms on their trucks, and many shippers and receivers do not allow guns on their property.

Additionally, even if you have a concealed carry license, there are various state and local laws you’ll need to be aware of and follow. It’s difficult to keep up with all of these, which makes going over-the-road (OTR) with a firearm very difficult even in the best of circumstances. Regional routes may be more feasible, although this will still be affected by your company’s policy.

Other personal protection products may or may not be restricted. In general, it’s best to consult an expert and read your company’s employee manual before taking anything you are unsure about on your truck. Other methods, like keeping heavy tools nearby, using seat belts and bungee cords to secure doors, having a dog on board, and taking self-defense classes are more feasible.

Learn About Trucking

If you’re interested in a career in trucking, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help you get started. We offer commercial driver’s license (CDL) training in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. With our programs, you can get on the road and start earning in as little as four weeks.

Contact us today to learn more about our CDL schools.

How To Become A Trucker

Trucking is an essential and rewarding career path. Drivers keep our nation’s economy moving and due to high demand for qualified individuals, many jobs offer competitive pay and benefits.

If you’re interested in becoming a trucker, here’s how to get started:

1. Determine If Trucking Is Right For You

Before you get started on your journey to start trucking, it’s helpful to determine why you are interested in this career. Our article “Signs You Should Become A Truck Driver” lists some traits that are common in potential truck drivers. Many different types of individuals are drawn to trucking. If you’re a self-starter, interested in high earning potential, and enjoy the freedom of the open road, you may enjoy a trucking career.

2. Find A Truck Driving School

While some are able to earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL) without attending a trucking school, a program that meets entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements is typically the ideal way to get your license. This is because you have additional support and learning opportunities. Additionally, many companies prefer to hire drivers that have graduated from trucking school programs.

3. Take Your CDL Permit Test

There are two exams you’ll need to pass to earn your CDL. The first is a written test and after passing this, you’ll earn your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The written CDL test is a multiple-choice exam that covers general information related to semi-truck safety and operation. You may also take endorsement tests at the same time, such as those for hazardous materials (hazmat), tanker, and doubles/triples.

4. Take Your CDL Skills Test

After you pass your written CDL exam, the next step is the skills test. This is a practical exam that includes pre-trip inspections, tests for specific driving skills, and an on-the-road portion. Once you pass, you’ll earn your license.

5. Find a Trucking Job

Now that you have your CDL, the next step is finding a truck driving job. In most cases, you’ll start with an over-the-road (OTR) position. This is because these jobs are the most widely available and allow you to gain wide exposure to different driving conditions over time. Many truck driving schools, including Phoenix Truck Driving School, offer job placement assistance to help you find positions that meet your needs and desires.

6. Ongoing Training and Development

After you get a job, most companies have some type of company training. This often involves going on the road with a driver trainer and trucking under their supervision for a period of time. After this, you’ll be able to go solo, or drive with another trucker if this is your preference.

Even after your official training is complete, you’ll still have opportunities to continue to learn and grow. The best truckers are constantly honing their skills and working to improve their safety and efficiency on the road.

Earn Your CDL With Us

Phoenix Truck Driving School offers high-quality CDL training in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. We can help you earn your license and hit the road in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about how to become a trucker with our programs, contact us today.

Types of Truck Driving Pay

Pay is one of the key elements that a truck driver looks for in a new job after earning their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Truckers can make more than $72,000 a year*, but the pay structure varies. What a professional driver gets paid is determined by the trucking company they work for and the work they are hired to do. There are also several factors for earning potentials, such as experience level, location, number of miles driven, endorsements, type of haul, and haul range. 

Here are some of the most common types of truck driving pay:

Base Pay

Base pay makes up the majority of what a truck driver earns. It is calculated based on the type of trucking you do.

There are four main types of base pay:

1. Pay Per Mile

Pay per mile is one of the most common types across the trucking industry. Often called cents per mile (CPM), this structure pays drivers for the miles they drive and is typical for long-haul truckers. There are several ways to calculate pay per mile, including practical mileage (number of miles in the most efficient route), household goods miles (zip code to zip code), and hub or actual miles (mileage change on the odometer). 

2. Hourly

While hourly pay is familiar to many drivers because it’s common in other careers, it is less typical in the trucking industry. This pay structure is often used by delivery companies with small driving ranges. Drivers paid by the hour can expect to work with frequent stops, loading and unloading, and regular customer interaction. 

3. Salary

Salaried jobs offer truck drivers consistent pay on a weekly or biweekly basis, regardless of the miles they drive. This pay structure is typically only available for local and regional positions.

4. Pay Per Load

Pay per load is the least common type of base pay for truckers. With this structure, drivers earn a flat rate for each load they deliver regardless of hours worked or miles driven. Most jobs that offer pay per load are in the agriculture or oil and gas industries, or are available for owner-operators only. 

Additional Truck Driving Pay

In addition to base pay, there are other types of compensation a truck driver can earn depending on a specific situation.

These situations include:

Per Diem

Per diem is a daily allowance given to a driver for any place they stay overnight, meals, and other expenses. Per diem is a form of reimbursement and is not considered taxable income. While a higher per diem wage doesn’t affect your annual income, it does mean you will pay less come tax season.

Detention, Layovers, and Breakdowns

Some companies offer compensation when drivers are stopped for long periods. Detention pay occurs when you are held up at a shipper or receiver, layover pay is given when you have to wait between loads, and breakdowns refer to any issues with a semi-truck that require you to stop and wait for repairs. Compensation for these circumstances varies between companies.

Stop Pay

Stop pay is typically offered to drivers who make multiple stops throughout their run, not including the initial or final destination. This type of pay helps over-the-road truckers make up the difference when they have to make multiple deliveries in fewer miles.

Bonuses and Incentives

While base pay makes up the majority of a driver’s income, many companies offer additional compensation through bonuses and incentives. The most common bonuses are for fuel, safety, and inspections, as well as performance and on-time deliveries. Companies also often offer hiring or referral bonuses to incentivize new drivers.

Earn Your CDL in as Little as Four Weeks

If you are interested in a career where you can see the country and earn competitive pay, truck driving may be the right choice for you. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we can help you earn your CDL and start making money on the road in as little as four weeks. We also offer job placement assistance. 

To earn your CDL and hit the road, contact us today. 

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $48,310 (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm). The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $72,730 per year according to 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tips for City Driving in a Semi-Truck

Driving in a major city can be stressful in a passenger car, let alone in a semi-truck. Urban driving presents many hazards like congested traffic, narrow streets, sharp turns, and pedestrians. These challenges mean truckers must be extra cautious to avoid accidents and delivery delays. 

Here are five tips for city driving in a semi-truck to help you stay safe:

1. Practice Effective Trip Planning

Effective trip planning is one of the best ways to safely navigate city driving in a big rig. Cities often have roads that are impassable by semi-trucks, which is crucial to know ahead of time. Planning your route before you leave and using a truck-specific GPS while driving will help you get in and out of the city without incident. It is also helpful to check the weather report before you leave for your destination so you can prepare yourself and your vehicle for the conditions. 

2. Keep a Safe Following Distance

Keeping a safe following distance is another precaution to take on city roads. Since there are a lot of vehicles on the road, traffic tends to slow down and stop frequently, and you need to be ready for it. Semi-trucks need more time and space to stop than four-wheelers, so focus on the vehicle ahead and watch for brake lights to avoid rear-ending someone. 

3. Be Alert at Intersections

Intersections can be dangerous for all vehicles, especially semi-trucks, so it is essential to stay alert when you approach one in a large city. If you see a red light ahead, slow down early and carefully. When you arrive at a yellow light, it might be tempting to try to zoom through it, but it’s a better plan to avoid causing an accident or getting a ticket. Truck drivers should also be cautious when the light turns green. City drivers may run the red, and a stray pedestrian could still be crossing the street, so you will need to accelerate slowly and be on the lookout.

4. Change Lanes Safely

Visibility is important each time you get behind the wheel of your truck but becomes even more critical when navigating city streets. You must always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you plan to change lanes. Before you do so, check your side and rearview mirrors often, make sure you have enough space, and signal your intention early. Trying to zip over into the other lane or jump in front of another vehicle could cause an accident. 

5. Stay Calm

Driving in a big city can aggravate even the most patient drivers. However, it’s best to try to stay calm no matter how frustrated you may get. Driving angry will only increase your chances of getting into an accident. Just remember your training and that you are capable of navigating any situation that the road throws at you. 

The First Step To Your Truck Driving Career

The first step to your trucking career is earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a reputable organization like Phoenix Truck Driving School. We have schools in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and our programs prepare students for the CDL test with a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience. 

Contact us today to learn more about earning your CDL with Phoenix Truck Driving School.

Managing Cargo in a Refrigerated Truck

Refrigerated trucking companies haul temperature-sensitive freight such as groceries, fresh produce, and medical supplies. When transporting this perishable cargo, it is crucial that the goods don’t spoil before they arrive at their destination. Although temperature control is the primary concern when driving a refrigerated truck, there are several other ways to ensure safe and efficient delivery. 

 

Follow these six tips to keep your cargo fresh in a refrigerated truck:

1. Plan Your Routes

One way to prevent cargo from spoiling in a reefer truck is to plan your trips thoroughly before hitting the road. Planning for fuel and rest stops, sleep, and potential delays ensure you will make it to your destination on time and not go off route. Longer routes lead to a higher chance of freight spoiling, so preparing for these trips is especially important.

2. Monitor Your Trailer’s Temperature

Companies that ship temperature-sensitive freight must maintain specific temperature conditions if their goods are for public consumption. Each item has a different requirement. For example, berries and greens need to be refrigerated at 32-36 degrees, while citrus fruits and bananas can maintain higher temperatures of 45-50 degrees. Drivers should make it a priority to examine their trailer temperature every couple of hours. Start a habit of checking your cargo every time you take a break or get out of your truck.

3. Be Aware of Changing Weather Conditions

Although refrigerated trucks are designed to maintain the internal temperature of their trailer, outside weather conditions can still impact them. If it is hot outside, drivers should consider lowering the temperature to compensate for the exterior heat. Similarly, you may need to increase the temperature if you drive in cold or below zero conditions.

4. Maintain Proper Airflow

How you pack your trailer can also affect the temperature of the goods. Leaving enough space on either side of the freight ensures that air can travel between the products and distribute evenly throughout the space. Without proper airflow, your trailer temperature will not stay consistent. Check your refrigerated truck’s maximum height and weight limits before loading to make sure you stack cargo and pallets with proper spacing.

5. Clean Your Trailer After Each Delivery

Some deliveries include products like meat that can leave behind dangerous bacteria. After each delivery, sweep and clean the interior and exterior of the trailer with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved products. A good cleaning will help avoid contaminating your next load.

6. Fill Up Your Tank Before Loading Your Trailer

Reefer trailers must stay running to maintain a constant temperature. Each stop you make on the way to your destination will impact the temperature of your trailer and the freight inside it. One way to avoid fluctuating temperatures is to fuel up before you pick up your load, ensuring that you will not run out of gas along your route.

Earn Your CDL Today

A refrigerated truck is just one of the types of tractor trailers you can drive as a trucker. Our commercial driver’s license (CDL) training at Phoenix Truck Driving School prepares students for different trucking jobs. With our accelerated program, you can get on the road in as little as four weeks.

Contact us today to learn more about our CDL training programs.

Avoiding Overweight Truck Fines

One of the objectives of commercial trucking companies is to maximize loads and profits. However, one of the biggest worries every truck owner or operator faces is ensuring that their vehicle is not overloaded. Overweight trucks can incur hefty fines that will impact your driving record and negatively reflect on your company. As a truck driver, you’ll need to be careful to avoid overweight truck fines.

 

Six tips to help prevent overweight truck fines are:

1. Plan Your Routes

One of the most effective ways to avoid overweight truck fines is to plan each trip in detail. If you know what route you are taking, you can map out all the fuel stations along the way to keep your fuel level at a minimum. You can also plan to stop at weighing stations to check the weight of your semi-truck frequently. Trip planning helps reduce stress on the road, resulting in a smoother driving experience.

2. Verify Your Truck’s Weight

Even if the shipper says your truck’s load is a certain weight, remember that you will ultimately be responsible if the load comes in as overweight at a weigh station. Be sure to stop and weigh your truck as soon as possible after being loaded. If the shipper doesn’t have a scale on site, many trucking trip planning apps will show you the nearest scales. 

3. Secure Your Loads

Before you head out on the road, double-check that your cargo is secured and evenly distributed. If your load is close to its weight limit, it can damage your vehicle’s axles if it shifts while you’re driving. You can also face fines for being over the axle weight limit, even if the overall weight of the truck is within regulations. Use tarps, ties, and containers to help prevent items from coming loose and causing hazards.

4. Factor in Fuel Weight

Drivers must account for how much fuel they consume between stops and the weight of fuel added along the route. It is better to take a few more refueling stops to stay under your weight limit than to carry excess fuel that could earn you a fine.

5. Maintain Your Equipment

There are several reasons to maintain your equipment, and avoiding overweight truck fines is one of them. You should conduct routine safety and maintenance checks on your rig and have your weighing equipment professionally calibrated. This practice will ensure your truck meets all the current safety, size, and weight regulations.

Earn Your Commercial Driver’s License Today

Phoenix Truck Driving School is committed to helping you prepare for your truck driving career. Each of our campuses provides high-quality education, and our experienced instructors dedicate themselves to helping our students succeed. Our accelerated training can get you on the road in as little as four weeks.

Contact us today for more information on our CDL training.

What to Know About Local Trucking

After earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are a variety of different career options available to you. Although over-the-road (OTR) trucking is the most common job for new graduates, this isn’t the only choice you have once you’ve gained some experience. Local trucking is one option that keeps you close to home.

Here’s what you should know about local truck driving:

What Makes Local Trucking Different?

Local trucking is different from OTR and regional jobs because drivers are working in a smaller geographical area. As a result, these truckers will typically return every day or night, and they usually report to the same location at the start of each day.

How to Get a Local Truck Driving Job

Since local driving jobs include daily home time, there is often more competition for these jobs compared to other options within the trucking industry. Additionally, they involve more city driving and frequently require backing into loading docks or customers’ parking lots several times a day. As a result, positions typically require previous driving experience.

If you are interested in a local trucking job, you should expect to spend some time driving OTR and building a safe driving record first. This may not always be necessary, but it is better to be prepared for this prior to getting your license.

Types of Local Trucking

There are various types of local trucking jobs, including:

Pickup & Delivery (P&D)

Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight is a system for hauling freight that does not fill an entire semi-truck. This system has multiple terminals and works using a “hub and spoke” model. Truckers who move freight between terminals are called linehaul drivers, and these jobs are regional. Local drivers are needed for pickup & delivery (P&D), which is the process of picking up freight from customers and bringing it to the nearest terminal as well as delivering freight from the terminal to customers.

Some Delivery Trucks

While P&D driving is one type of delivery, the typical “delivery truck” that people picture brings even smaller shipments to businesses and residences. Some delivery trucks do not require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate, whereas others do. CDL delivery driving jobs are a type of local trucking.

Specialized Transportation

Some specialized types of freight require local transport. Waste transportation is one example, and other industries may also have local trucking jobs associated with them. Depending on the type of material being transported, you may need additional certifications, such as the hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement.

Earn Your CDL

No matter what type of trucking job you are most interested in, the first step is earning your CDL. Our programs can help you do this in as little as four weeks and all of our schools offer job placement assistance to help you explore your employment options. Many of our students have offers lined up before they graduate.

To learn more about our CDL training programs, contact us today.

Hours of Services Basics for Truckers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry and sets a variety of requirements that truckers and motor carriers must follow. These include limits on hours of service, also known as HOS. It’s essential for drivers to know these requirements and to stay in compliance with them.

What is the Purpose of HOS Regulations?

The FMCSA sets a cap on driving hours and on-duty hours in order to prevent truck driver fatigue. Driving while tired is dangerous and not only puts yourself at risk but also others on the road. The limits on hours of service are based on research from the FMCSA and are intended to give truck drivers enough time to rest during their hauls.

Hours of Service Limits

The limits on hours of service are as follows for property-carrying drivers:

  • After 10 consecutive hours off duty, truckers may drive for a maximum of 11 hours.
  • After the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, property-carrying drivers must stop driving until they take 10 consecutive hours off duty. Any off-duty time taken during the 14 hours does not extend this window.
  • After driving eight cumulative hours without a 30-minute break, drivers must take such a break. Any non-driving period satisfies the requirements, even if it is on duty.
  • Within 7/8 consecutive days, drivers may drive a maximum of 60/70 hours. This limit only restarts after taking 34 consecutive hours off duty.

The limits on hours of service are as follows for passenger-carrying drivers:

  • After eight consecutive hours off duty, drivers can drive for a maximum of 10 hours.
  • Drivers must stop driving after a maximum of 15 consecutive hours on duty. As is the case with property-carrying drivers, off-duty time does not extend this window.
  • In a period of 7/8 consecutive days, passenger-carrying drivers may drive a maximum of 60/70 hours.

Exemptions and Special Cases

Within these HOS rules, there are some exemptions and special cases to be aware of.

Some of these include:

Short-Haul Drivers

Drivers who operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where they normally report to work and who do not exceed a maximum duty period of 14 hours are exempt from HOS rules.

Sleeper Berth

The required off-duty period (10 hours for property-carrying drivers and eight for passenger-carrying drivers) can be split in certain circumstances.

Property-carrying drivers can split their off-duty period into one period of at least two hours and a separate period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth. Any pairing must add up to at least ten hours, and when used together, neither break counts against the 14-hour driving window.

Passenger-carrying drivers who use a sleeper berth can split their time into two separate periods as long as neither is less than two hours and they add up to at least 10 hours.

Adverse Driving Conditions

Both passenger-carrying and property-carrying drivers can extend their driving limit and driving window by up to two hours if there are adverse driving conditions that make it unsafe to stop.

Learn Valuable Trucking Skills

If you are interested in becoming a truck driver, Phoenix Truck Driving School’s programs can help you get started. You can earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) in as little as four weeks and our instructors will go over a variety of topics, including hours of service regulations.

To learn more about our CDL training in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, contact us today.

Trucking Statistics to Know

Are you looking for a new career? You should consider earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and entering the trucking industry. Demand for truckers is high and you can earn more than $69,480 per year.* If you’d like to learn more about trucking, this article includes some interesting statistics about the industry.

The Importance of Truckers

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) collects economics and industry data related to trucking. These numbers show just how essential truckers are to our nation’s economy. All of the information below comes from data collected in 2020 unless otherwise noted.

Here are some key trucking statistics from the ATA:

  • By weight, semi-trucks transport 72.5% of domestic freight in the United States. This adds up to 10.23 billion tons. Imagine how much of an impact it would have if truckers didn’t transport these shipments!
  • Semi-trucks transport 80.4% of the nation’s freight by value, a total of $732.3 billion in gross freight revenues for primary shipments only.
  • In addition to domestic trade, semi-trucks are involved in trade with Canada and Mexico. Trucks transport 70.9% of freight value between the United States and Canada and 83.8% of freight value between the United States and Mexico.
  • There are 37.9 million registered commercial trucks, excluding those used by farms or the government. This represents 23.9% of all trucks registered. This statistic comes from 2019 data.
  • In 2019, commercial trucks traveled 300.05 billion miles. Combination trucks (including semi-trucks) traveled 175.3 billion miles.

Truck Driver Shortage

The statistics above clearly show why truckers are so important and there aren’t enough drivers to meet growing demand. There are many reasons for this shortage and one of the effects is that motor carriers often compete to offer the best pay and benefits to attract new drivers.

Here are some statistics about the truck driver shortage from the ATA:

  • In 2021, the ATA estimated that the shortage was hitting an all-time high at just over 80,000 drivers, compared to a shortage of 60,800 drivers in 2018. This was in part due to a reduction in the number of drivers who were able to train during the pandemic.
  • In the next decade, the industry will need to hire approximately 110,000 new drivers each year for a total of 1.1 million new drivers.
  • Replacing retiring truckers will continue to be a priority, and this is expected to account for 54% of new hires.
  • Industry growth is expected to lead to approximately 25% of new hires in the trucking industry.

Start Your Trucking Career

If you enjoy the freedom of the open road and are looking for a rewarding new career, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help you earn your CDL in as little as four weeks. We have programs in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a truck driver.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $47,130 . The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $69,480 per year according to 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Health Tips for Truck Drivers

Staying healthy can be a challenge. However, making the effort to develop healthier habits can have a significant positive impact on your life. Truck drivers face unique concerns, but with some effort, it’s definitely possible for truckers to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some health tips for life on the road as a trucker:

1. Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

If you have a mini-fridge in your semi-truck, try preparing healthy meals to take with you. You can make nutritious options at home instead of worrying about whether you’ll be able to find something that fits your diet goals at a truck stop. Plus, you’ll save money in the process.

2. Choose Healthier Options When You Eat Out

Even if you are able to prepare some meals before you hit the road, there will definitely be times when it’s easier to just grab something at a truck stop. Luckily, more and more truck stops have healthy options available.

Keep in mind that making a healthier choice doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods. For example, being mindful of your portion sizes can reduce the calories you consume without feeling too restrictive. This is also more sustainable than changing your whole diet overnight.

3. Drink More Water

Staying hydrated is essential for your health, and it can also help you feel more alert while driving. Keep water with you in your cab and sip on it throughout the day. You should also choose water instead of sugary drinks or coffee as often as you are able to. While other drinks are fine in moderation, they can be high in calories and may also lead to an energy crash later.

4. Find Time for Exercise

Truckers spend most of their time behind the wheel. Even though you’re technically moving all day, it’s a sedentary job for the most part. To help stay active, schedule 15 minutes every day for exercise. This can be as simple as a brisk walk around a truck stop (with your pet, if you have one) or some push-ups in your cab. When you can, try to exercise for a longer amount of time at once. Some truck stops even have gyms that you can use to make this easier.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for health and for truckers, it’s also essential for your safety. Fatigue can increase your chances of getting into an accident. To avoid this, make an effort to get a full eight hours of sleep every night (or every day, if you are driving at night). Having a routine you follow before bed can make this easier. You can also take naps during shorter breaks to help you stay well-rested.

6. Manage Your Stress

People often forget that health goes beyond just your physical state. Your mental wellbeing can have a profound impact on your life. In addition to focusing on making healthy physical choices, be sure to manage your stress levels. Find methods of relaxation that work for you and use these when you feel overwhelmed.

Earn Your CDL

If you are interested in a trucking career, the first step is earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Phoenix Truck Driving School can help you get started and you can complete our accelerated program in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about becoming a trucker, contact us today.