Why the US Economy Relies on Truckers

When you decide to enter truck driving school, you aren’t just entering a career that supports your family—you’re also working within the backbone of the entire US economy. As a truck driver, you will be responsible for getting goods to every corner of the country, and businesses and communities would crumble in days without your contribution. Why do truckers drive the country’s economy? You may be surprised what would happen in a world without truck drivers.

What would happen if every truck stopped driving?

If all of the truck drivers in the US simultaneously stayed off the road, it wouldn’t take long for chaos to ensue. Some of the effects of no trucks on the road would be:

  • ATMs would be out of cash within a two or three days
  • Hospitals would be out of food in 24 hours
  • Communities would have perishable food shortages within three days
  • There would be no drinking water within two to four weeks

These impacts don’t include the costs to businesses. Almost every industry relies on truckers to bring them the materials they need to make their goods, to distribute their goods, or to bring the items they need to do business. None of these things would happen, driving virtually every company out of business.

Will the demand for truck drivers decrease?

Although many industries have seen declines as technology has changed the way people do business, the need for truckers seems to be only increasing. Even lower cost shipping options like rail do not serve the needs of businesses adequately. By 2026, the tonnage of goods being shipped via trucks is expected to increase by 28%. No other form of shipping and transportation so effectively manages the supply needs of business and communities.

Start a career that makes an impact with the help of HDS Truck Driving Institute. Our school is nationally accredited, and you can start driving in as little as four weeks. For more information about our truck driving school in Tucson, call (877) 205-2141.  

How Much Do Truck Drivers Really Make?

If you are considering a career as a truck driver, it’s natural to wonder what your earning potential could be. Many different factors impact how much a truck driver makes, and your earnings will be influenced by things like the kind of runs you make, how long you’re away from home, and where you drive. Here is what you need to know about your ability to make a living as a truck driver.

Median Income

In 2014, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for truckers driving heavy trucks and tractor-trailers was $39,520. This salary is a pay rate of $19 per hour. Keep in mind that a wide range of factors can influence this median figure. Some states have higher median incomes than others, and of course, the median income can vary drastically between different segments of the trucking industry.

Additional Earnings

In addition to their base incomes, truckers often receive other benefits. Because there is a worsening shortage of drivers nationwide, many companies offer sign-on bonuses that can be substantial. Most trucking companies also offer annual salary increases and many offer performance bonuses. Truckers also frequently have very generous health and dental insurance benefits for themselves and their families, which can also make a compensation package more attractive.

Increasing Earnings

There are a number of different things that drivers can do to increase their earning potential. This includes things like specializing a certain kind of driving, such as driving oversized loads, and taking long-haul jobs. Having a CDL is essential for increasing your income. There are pros and cons to becoming an owner-operator, but many drivers find that they can significantly increase their income that way.

 

The road to making the living you want as a truck driver starts with HDS Truck Driving Institute. Our trucking school in Tucson can have you behind the wheel and earning in as little as four weeks. Find out more about our trucking programs by calling (877) 205-2141.

Meet the Truckers Who Helped Save a Life

In their roles traveling across the country, truck drivers are on the front lines of things many Americans never encounter. Law enforcement relies on them heavily to spot signs of drug trafficking, human trafficking, and prostitution, and they are the eyes and ears on the road during Amber Alerts. Truckers showed their importance to society once again when a group of drivers came together to prevent a man from committing suicide. Here is a look at the incident and how the drivers worked together to save a life.

I-696 Overpass in Detroit

In April 2018, a man contemplating suicide climbed onto an overpass on I-696 in Detroit, Michigan, near the Coolidge exit. He intended to jump onto the highway. People noticed the man on the overpass and called the police, who closed the highway in order to try to talk the man down. While they negotiated with the suicidal man, they called on truckers in the area for a hand.

Wall of Trucks

Police asked the truck drivers to line up their vehicles under the overpass. With the trucks in place, if the man jumped, the vehicles would break his fall, and he would likely survive. Thirteen truck drivers who were in the area heeded the call and parked their vehicles underneath the man. They waited there for two hours while the police talked to the man. Eventually, the police were able to convince the man not to jump and to seek help instead.

All in a Day’s Work

Photos of the trucks parked under the overpass went viral when trucker Chris Harrison, and the drivers were lauded as heroes. However, the public was surprised to learn that the police officers in the Detroit area had been relying on truckers in this capacity for over 20 years. They simply had never received any attention before.

 

With a career as a truck driver, you earn a good living while seeing the country and making a difference. Let HDS Truck Driving School help you earn your CDL in Tucson and start your new career. For more information, call (877) 205-2141.

How the Current Trucker Shortage Is Affecting the Price and Availability of Consumer Goods

If you are considering a career as a truck driver, you can expect to be in high demand. There is a significant shortage of truckers on the road, and the dearth of drivers is only expected to get worse in the years to come. Not only is this shortage impacting businesses, but consumers are seeing higher prices on the store shelves as well. Here is a look at the link between truck drivers and consumer pricing.

Low numbers of drivers means high prices on the shelves.

Truck drivers play a critical role in the economy that few people realize. They are responsible for delivering every item that is bought or sold to its retail location. Without truckers, manufacturers can’t ship their products and stores can’t get them out on the shelves. This situation creates product shortages, and shortages lead to higher prices. A lack of drivers also leads to production delays, since manufacturers can’t get the raw materials that they need. As production grinds to a halt, supply falls even further behind demand, and prices increase even more.

Truck driver shortages are projected to intensify.

The shortage of drivers is only expected to get worse in the coming years. By 2022, the American Trucking Association projects a shortage of 106,245 truckers, which could have a significant impact on the pricing and availability of consumer goods. The decrease in truck drivers is linked to several factors, including mass retirements of Baby Boomer drivers, a decrease in the number of young drivers entering the industry, and new requirements for electronic monitoring equipment in trucks that are making drivers leave the business.

The trucking industry has never been more primed for new drivers. Take advantage of the demand for truckers and launch your new career as a driver with training from HDS Truck Driving Institute. Learn more about becoming a driver by calling our truck driving school in Tucson at (877) 205-2141.

What New Truckers Need to Know About Severe Weather Driving

CDL programs are like boot camps for future truck drivers. At truck driving school, you’ll learn everything you need to know about safely maneuvering huge big rigs. Pay particular attention when your instructors discuss driving in severe weather. As a truck driver, you may encounter weather conditions you’re unaccustomed to. This is especially important if you’ve lived in a southern state your whole life and you plan to become an LTR trucker who ventures north into snowbound states.

Weather Updates

Although it’s important to drive distraction-free, you’ll need to monitor the latest weather reports on your radio. You should also pay attention to your CB radio. Other truckers may alert listeners to bad weather conditions on the road ahead. Additionally, remember to check the latest weather forecast before getting back on the road after taking a break.

Snow and Ice

Never become overly confident about your ability to drive in snowy and icy conditions, no matter how much experience you have. Always reduce your speed more than you think you’ll need to. Don’t engage your Jake brake if the road is icy. Do leave extra space between your truck and every other vehicle on the road, and don’t be afraid to find a safe place to pull over if conditions become too dangerous.

Strong Winds

High winds are more dangerous for big rigs than they are for passenger cars because of the surface area of the trailer. Reduce your speed. If you’re hauling an empty trailer, know that the wind will be more dangerous for you. It’s smart to simply pull over and wait out the wind storm.

Lightning

CDL drivers often underestimate the potential danger of lightning. Remember that it’s quite likely you’ll be driving the tallest metal object in your area. This makes your truck a de facto lightning rod. Pull over at a rest stop to wait out the storm but stay away from the fuel pumps.

HDS Truck Driving Institute prides itself on our world-class instructors and comprehensive curriculum. Call (877) 205-2141 to ask about enrolling in our CDL training program. We welcome military families!

Understanding Your Truck Driving Career Options

Earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) will open up a whole world of career possibilities. Even before you graduate from truck driving school, you can dive right in and explore your career options. Truck driving careers can be categorized based on how far the trucker is traveling, what type of freight he or she is hauling, and whether he or she is driving solo or as part of a team.

Local

Just as the name suggests, local driving gigs will let you stick close to home. Most of the time, you can expect to be back at home each night, though there are exceptions. This is a great opportunity for people who want to earn their CDL, but are concerned about being away from their family for long periods of time.

Regional

Regional truck drivers haul freight over a broader area than local routes, but they still tend to stay within a few hundred miles of home. The specific amount of time spent on the road will vary, depending on the trucking company. Some regional drivers are home every two to three days, but it’s also possible to be out on the road for two to three weeks at a time.

Over-the-Road

Over-the-road (OTR) truckers, also known as long-haul truckers, go anywhere within the contiguous states, and they may also venture into Alaska and Canada. OTR drivers may be out on the road for two to five weeks at a time. OTR jobs aren’t as popular with drivers who have families, but they’re a great option for people who genuinely love to drive big rigs.

Solo or Team

OTR driving is also ideal for team drivers. There are lots of spouses and partners who decide to earn their CDLs together and start team driving. The other option is solo driving.

 

HDS Truck Driving Institute in Tucson, Arizona features a world-class job placement and career planning program. We strongly encourage every student and graduate to take advantage of our job placement services. Interested in earning your CDL? Call (877) 205-2141 today!

What to Expect When You Interview for a Truck Driving Job

After you complete your truck driver training in CDL school, the next step in starting your career is landing an interview for a job. Many new drivers are unsure what to expect during a trucking job interview, since so much of the work is done independently. Here is a look at some common questions asked during these interviews, so you can be prepared to impress the company and close the deal on your first job.

Why did you decide to become a truck driver?
This question is an important one for many companies, because they want to be sure that you’re ready for life on the road. If you decided to become a driver simply for a paycheck, then you may burn out quickly when you’re faced with being away from your family or driving for long stretches. Talking about your love of driving, enthusiasm for the industry, and excitement about seeing the country will show the company that you chose truck driver training carefully.

How would you handle a breakdown or other unexpected difficulty?
Even with the most careful planning, life out on the road can be unpredictable. The company wants to know if you have strategies and coping skills for adapting when things don’t go as expected. It could be helpful to talk about the way you’ve dealt with issues that have arisen on past jobs or talk about some of the training or planning you’ve done to handle unexpected problems on the road.

What are your career goals?
With this question, the company is trying to gauge the kind of role you want to have in the trucking industry. Your answer will tell them what motivates you and how ambitious you are about building your career and moving beyond entry-level positions.

HDS Truck Driving Institute is here to help you achieve your goals in your trucking career. Contact our CDL truck driving school in Tucson today for more information about our programs by calling (877) 205-2141.

Is Team Driving Right for You?

If the idea of long stretches of time alone out on the road doesn’t sound great to you, then team driving could be a good fit. Team truck drivers work together, splitting the driving duties so that they can carry more loads without constantly working alone. Although some people go to truck driving school with the intention of being part of a driving team, others hate the idea of being a team driver. Which is the right fit for you? Team trucking could be the best choice for you in these circumstances.

You don’t want to work alone.
Truck driving can be a solitary pursuit, and the alone time is trying for some people. If you are someone who craves company and can’t imagine working independently for days at a time, being part of a trucking teams means that you’ll never be alone on the road. Your fellow driver will always be in the cab with you to share stories, help you navigate, and simply be present when you’re out on long hauls.

You want to work with your spouse.
Many trucking teams consist of spouses who decide they want to travel and work together. Working with your spouse alleviates the part of the trucking that requires drivers to be away from their significant others for extended periods, and gives couples the chance to explore the country together. Since spouses can pool income and expenses, they can also potentially make more than other drivers.

You want to make faster deliveries.
Being able to deliver products faster can sometimes help you get jobs over other drivers. When you drive as a team, you double the number of hours you can drive per day by having one driver sleep while the other drives. This lets you cover ground much faster and get deliveries to where they need to be quickly.

Whether you envision a career as a solo driver or part of a team, HDS Truck Driving Institute will get your ready for life on the road. Our truck driving school in Tucson is accredited and gives drivers an insight on the real-world experience of trucking for a living. Find out more about our program by calling (877) 205-2141.

What Are Your Options for Financing Your CDL Training?

If you want to become a commercial truck driver, you’ll have to earn your commercial driver’s license first. The best way to do this is to start off by going to a CDL school, but CDL training isn’t free. Fortunately, you can finance your CDL training and find yourself a job in the industry that pays well. If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a truck driver, read ahead and learn about your options for financing your CDL training.

CDL Grants
Getting your commercial driver’s license and a job as a commercial truck driver can set you on the path to financial success, but as they say, you have to spend money to make money. Going to a CDL school gives you the best chance of passing your CDL tests on the first try, which puts you one step closer to earning your license and getting the job you’re looking for. The Pima County ONESTOP Center, which is now called ARIZONA@WORK, is one agency that can help you with grants through HDS Truck Driving Institute. You can also look to the Department of Economic Security or the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to see what kind of options you have when paying for your CDL training.

Tuition Reimbursement
If you can’t get the money for your CDL training in advance and you don’t have a way to front it, you can look into tuition reimbursement. Certain CDL schools will help you find a job after you graduate, and certain jobs will reimburse you for your tuition costs once you’re hired.

Being a commercial truck driver can be fulfilling, and you shouldn’t be closed out of a life changing opportunity because you’re not currently able to pay up front. Call the HDS Truck Driving Institute at (877) 205-2141 to discuss your CDL training financing options, or look at our website for more information.

Tips for Managing Sleep for New Truck Drivers

Before you can become a commercial truck driver, there’s a lot you need to learn. Passing your CDL test is one thing but preparing to live your life on the road is another. One of the most important elements that new drivers might not think about is sleep. Here are a few tips for managing sleep for new truck drivers.

Get Your Energy Out
Being on the road can be an exciting experience, especially if you’re a new truck driver. If you have too much energy in your system from the excitement, you might not be able to get the rest you need to keep yourself going. Try to exercise during your downtime when you’re on the road. This keeps you healthy and helps you sleep better, which makes you better at your job and more comfortable and confident behind the wheel during the day.

Limit Caffeine
Every truck driver has his or her own routine when going on a long haul. Those who use caffeine to get their energy boosts need to know when to cut themselves off, so they can get to sleep at night. Try not to drink any coffee, soda, or energy drinks when you’re done driving for the day, or you might have trouble falling asleep.

Set Up a Mobile Bed
It’s dangerous to drive when you’re too tired, as your reaction time will slow down and your alertness will fade as well as you get more and more fatigued. Some drivers set up a mobile bed in their trucks, so they can catch some sleep whenever they need to. This is helpful for new drivers who don’t have their routines down to a science quite yet.

You might need some help transitioning into the commercial driving industry, but HDS Truck Driving Institute has your back. We are an Arizona truck driving school, and we’ll help you get started on the right foot. Give us a call at (877) 205-2141 or visit our website.

How Long Does CDL Training Remain Valid?

CDL training helps you prepare to take your tests and earn your full license, but time is a factor. Your permit will expire eventually, so be sure to get your license before it does. Then you need to work on maintaining your license and renewing it when necessary. Read ahead if you’re wondering how far your training can take you.

Permit
The best way to start your path towards a truck driving career is at a truck driving school. You’ll learn everything you need to know and get hands on experience that can propel you through a fulfilling career that could last your entire life. Earning your CDL permit gives you the opportunity to practice your craft and spend time behind the wheel before you graduate to a full license. Keep in mind that a CDL permit is only valid for six months, and after that, you’ll have to retake the exam and pay the fee again to renew it.

License
A commercial driver’s license is valid for five years before you have to renew it, but you also need to maintain it, so you can keep your job. Getting regular physicals is key, as they prove that you’re in good enough health to drive.

Renewal
The way to go about renewing your commercial driver’s license varies by state, so you need to know how to renew your license in yours. In Arizona, you must renew your CDL every five years, which is common across all states. When you show up to renew your license, bring your current license, a completed Medical Examiner Certificate, and documents that prove you live and work in the United States.

Choose the right truck driving school in Tucson so you can get your foot in the door and start your career as a commercial driver. Call HDS Truck Driving Institute at (877) 205-2141 or look at our website to learn about our programs.

Explore the History of America’s Interstates

Can you imagine a world without interstate highways? The Interstate Highway System was only in the planning stages about a hundred years ago, and it took decades for it to resemble the roadway system we use today. Keep reading and explore the history of America’s interstates.

Preparation
The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 attempted to dedicate money to the road system, but World War I got in the way. After this law expired, the Phipps Act, or the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921 was put into place, which also aimed to put funds towards highways. There was a greater need for a highway system as more and more people started driving motor vehicles, so many parkways and highways were developed throughout the 1920s and 1930s. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a big proponent of roadway construction, especially because of the positive effect it would have on the military.

Construction
It wasn’t until 1956 that the Interstate Highway System as we know it began to take form. Interestingly enough, three states—Missouri, Kansas, and Pennsylvania—all claim to be the originators of the first interstate highway. In late 1992 the Interstate Highway System was “complete” thanks to I-70 in Colorado, which featured numerous bridges and tunnels, but there were still other parts of the system that weren’t contiguous.

Expansion
Certain parts of the Interstate Highway System ended up being abandoned, but there have also been plenty of expansions. Some individual highways were added onto, and some brand new roads have been built into the system. The Interstate Highway System is ever evolving, and there are always plans for further expansion.

When you earn your CDL in Tucson, you’ll get to know America’s Interstates firsthand. HDS Truck Driving Institute helps students find jobs in the trucking industry by preparing them for their CDL tests. Give our office a call at (877) 205-2141 today.