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.

Defensive Driving Tips for Truckers

One of the keys to staying safe on the road is to always drive defensively. This is especially true for drivers in the trucking industry. Truckers spend long hours on the road and face a wide variety of dangerous road conditions. You never know what is around the corner, so learning to drive defensively is an essential skill to keep you and the drivers around you safe.

 

What is Defensive Driving?

As defined by the National Safety Council and the American Society of Safety Engineers, defensive driving is “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” Defensive driving goes beyond basic skills, helping you anticipate and mitigate potentially hazardous situations. 

 

Tips for Defensive Driving 

Learning the basics of defensive driving can increase your chances of staying safe despite what other drivers around you are doing. 

 

Follow these five defensive driving tips to remain safe on the road:

 

1. Maintain a Safe Following Distance 

Creating and maintaining a safe following distance is one of the foundations of defensive driving. As recommended by the US Department of Transportation, commercial trucks traveling up to 40 mph should maintain at least four seconds behind the vehicle in front of them. The DOT also recommends adding one second for every additional 10 mph of speed. 

 

2. Adjust Your Speed to the Conditions 

Many factors besides posted speed limits play a role in how fast a trucker should be driving. Construction zones, rush hour traffic, and potential snow or rain all require a speed reduction and more caution. Anticipating these changing conditions and adjusting your speed accordingly will help you prevent a motor vehicle accident. 

 

3. Eliminate Any Distractions 

Lack of focus is one of the top causes of distracted driving-related crashes. Eliminating any distractions in your vehicle will maximize your reaction time and help you concentrate on the road. You can do this by never using your phone while driving, turning off the radio in heavy traffic and poor weather conditions, and setting your GPS before you start your engine. 

 

4. Make Sure You Are Seen

While it may seem impossible for someone to miss a semi-truck, extreme weather conditions can decrease visibility and make it difficult for others to notice your vehicle until it’s too late. In addition, drivers that are tired, drunk, upset, or young may not be attentive enough. Make yourself seen by others on the road by turning your lights on, braking slowly, and taking wide turns. 

 

5. Stay Alert

It only takes a second for an accident to occur, so you must stay alert when driving long distances. To keep yourself focused on driving, it is helpful to look around at other drivers. Trying to recognize their driving patterns and seeing if you can predict their next move is a good practice in defensive driving. 

 

Learn Defensive Driving at our Commercial Drivers License Training School

Defensive driving is one of the many skills you will practice at Phoenix Truck Driving School, along with pre and post-trip inspections, cab familiarization, and other basic road skills. Our instructors are drivers with real-world experience and will share their knowledge and expertise with you. We are committed to helping prepare you for your truck driving career.

 

To take the first step toward a rewarding career and contact us today.

Top CDL School Challenges and How to Face Them

If you want to become a truck driver, the first step is earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Most trucking companies prefer to hire drivers who have attended truck driving school, so this is the preferred route for most individuals entering the industry. Although completing your training at CDL school can come with its challenges, you can overcome these and set yourself up for success by focusing on your mindset.

 

Here are some of the top challenges trucking school students often face and how to overcome them:

 

1. Backing

While many challenges related to becoming a trucker are related to mindset, there are also practical skills that can be difficult to learn. After all, driving a large semi-truck is different from operating a standard passenger vehicle and can be intimidating at first. In this vein, semi-truck backing is often one of the skills that students are most nervous about.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

One way to overcome the challenge of learning how to back up in the semi-truck is to remember that it takes time and practice to get better. Even if it makes you nervous at first, getting out and practicing your backing will help you improve over time. Asking your instructor or other experienced truckers for tips can also help the fundamentals of backing “click” for many students.

 

2. Written Test

Test-taking is a challenge for many people and the written portion of the CDL exam often causes some anxiety. It’s normal to be a bit nervous, but you should also feel confident that you have the support you need to succeed.

 

Find the Study Method That Works Best for You

In order to prepare for your written test and ease some of your stress, experiment with different study methods to find what works best for you. Some students prefer flashcards, whereas others prefer to review the information verbally with another student. You can also ask your instructors for help with any material you’re struggling with.

 

3. Positive Mindset

Trucking has the potential to be a very rewarding career. However, no path is perfect, and if you focus too much on the negative, it can make it difficult to work toward your ideal circumstances.

 

Remind Yourself of Your Goals

Everyone has a different reason for pursuing a career in trucking. Whether this is the freedom of the open road, a desire to provide for your family, or another goal, keep your motivations in mind when you start to doubt yourself. This allows you to overcome challenges more easily and continue to improve as a trucker, in school and beyond.

 

Earn Your CDL

At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we can help you earn your CDL and are here to support you during your truck driver training. We have programs in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico.

 

Contact us today to learn more about our CDL schools.

Why Trucking is a Great Career for Veterans

For many veterans, the transition from military service to civilian life is challenging. Civilian companies don’t always know how to take advantage of their unique values and skill set. If you are nervous about making the switch from active duty, consider a career in trucking. Not only are drivers in high demand, but this is also a great career for veterans because the two industries share a few characteristics. 

 

A few of the many benefits of truck driving as a career for veterans are:

 

Provides Job Security

Job security is one of the many benefits of the trucking industry. When veterans join a career in trucking, they will not have to worry about going through the job application process over and over again. Once a company hires you, there are many opportunities to advance and a high possibility that you will stay with them for a long period of time. The industry is growing and companies are always hiring, so if you choose to pursue a career in trucking, there will always be a job available for you.

 

Continued Service 

Veterans understand the value of service. As a member of the armed forces, they took pride in serving their country and may be looking for a job that will allow them to continue contributing. Like Americans depend on the military for security and protection, we also depend on truck drivers to keep the economy running. A career in trucking can offer veterans a similar feeling of serving their country as their time in the military did. 

 

Easy to Adapt

Military service often allows you to travel and see the world. Similarly, truck driving lets you continue to see the beauty of the United States from the convenience of your vehicle. The transition between the military and trucking is smooth because they are both jobs that typically take place outside of an office. When you come from a military background, truck driver training also feels easy to complete. 

 

Affordable 

Working as a truck driver will give veterans the pay they deserve. Truck drivers can earn more than $72,000 a year.* Trucking companies also often give signing bonuses to new employees. In addition, military veterans have access to funding opportunities to make their new career more affordable. Qualified veterans can receive tuition assistance from the G.I. Bill®** to put toward earning their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

 

Transferable Skills 

A successful career in the military requires veterans to develop a certain skill set that sets them up to excel in other job paths as well. Some of the traits that carry over from the military to trucking are dependability, situational awareness, leadership, organization, and self-discipline. The minimal supervision and ability to do your own thing as a trucker may differ from service in the military, but many veterans find that aspect of the trucking industry to be refreshing. 

 

Truck Driver Education for Veterans 

If you are ready to transition into a career in trucking, Phoenix Truck Driving School is a great place to start. Our program offers benefits for veterans, as well as national guard and reserve members. Additionally, our Fort Bliss campus specifically serves active-duty military members, veterans, and their families. Veterans can earn their CDL in as little as four weeks.

 

To learn more about our benefits for veterans, contact us today.

 

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $48,310. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $72,730 per year according to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

**GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Tips for Better Sleep as an OTR Trucker

One of the many challenges an over-the-road truck driver faces is getting quality sleep while they are on the road. As an OTR trucker, sleeping in your semi-truck is something you will have to get used to. If getting sufficient sleep is an issue for you, try out some of our tips to help you sleep better while on the road.

 

Tip #1 – Find a Safe Spot to Park

The first step in getting a good night’s sleep as an OTR trucker is finding a safe place to park. Before you leave on a trip, plan your stops for the night ahead of time, and pre-pay for parking if necessary. Well-lit truck stops or rest areas are the safest places for truckers to sleep. Parking on the side of the road or on a ramp is a safety hazard and could result in a ticket.

 

Tip #2 – Eliminate Any Distractions 

Light and noise coming into your truck from outside can make it very difficult to fall asleep. To keep light out, try using a visor shade to cover up your windshield and curtains for the windows. If the light is still bothering you, wear a face mask. Eliminating sound is best done by parking away from other trucks, especially those with reefer motors or live animal loads. You can also invest in a white noise machine. Wearing earplugs should be a last resort because it is important to still be aware of your surroundings if you’re parked in an unfamiliar area.

 

Tip #3 – Invest In A Good Mattress 

Having a comfortable mattress is a crucial component of good sleep, especially when you are sleeping in your vehicle. While high-quality mattresses can be expensive, they are an investment in yourself and your well-being. They will pay for themselves after just a few nights of quality sleep. You can also add a mattress topper for extra comfort. Along with your mattress, pillows, sheets, and comforters can also make a big difference in getting restful sleep.

 

Tip #4 – Cut Back On Your Caffeine Intake 

Caffeinated beverages like coffee, energy drinks, and soda are popular among long-haul truckers. However, drinking too much caffeine during the day can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Try to avoid caffeine within five hours of when you want to go to sleep. This will also cut down the number of trips you take to the bathroom throughout the night.

 

Tip #5 – Create a Sleep Routine 

Despite the varying schedule of an OTR trucker, you can still benefit from having a routine to complete every time before you go to bed. A bedtime routine can help your body understand it is time to fall asleep even if your schedule changes. Pre-bed rituals can be as simple as brushing your teeth or meditating. Replacing screen time with a different activity, such as reading a book or listening to music, will also help prepare your body for sleep.

 

Earn Your CDL Today

If you want to be a truck driver and join an essential part of our nation’s economy, consider attending Phoenix Truck Driving School. Once you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) with us, you can choose which career path you want to pursue, whether it’s OTR, local, or regional. 

 

Contact us today to get started on your career as a truck driver.