Funding Your Commercial Driver’s License

Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders can earn more than $64,000 a year* as truck drivers. In order to begin your career driving a commercial motor vehicle, you can either earn your CDL through independent study or by attending classes at a CDL training school. While truck driving school does require you to pay tuition fees, it can be a valuable advantage when you start looking for jobs with trucking companies. It is also possible to take advantage of different forms of financial aid to fund your education.

Here are just a few of the ways you can fund your commercial driver’s license: 

Student Loans

Many students are not able to pay the full cost of tuition for CDL school upfront. Student loans are one way that you can fund your education. A loan allows you to attend commercial driver’s license training now and pay off the loan later once you start earning money as a truck driver. Our financial advisors at HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) can help you determine which loans you may qualify for and how to apply.

In order to apply for federal loans (also called Title IV funding), you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These funds come from the government and are offered based on financial need, the type of program you are attending, and other factors. Some loans are subsidized and do not begin charging interest until you complete the program, whereas others are unsubsidized and begin charging interest as soon as you accept the loan. In addition to loans from the government, you can also take out loans with private banking institutions. Eligibility for all types of loans is based on the student meeting the requirements set by the funding agencies.

Tuition Reimbursement

Once you find a job with a trucking company after graduation, you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement. This is the process where your employer will pay for some or all of the cost of obtaining your commercial driver’s license. This is usually paid as a monthly amount added to your check. Requirements and specific payment amounts will vary depending on the company. At HDS truck driving school, we offer job placement assistance and may be able to help you find a job that includes tuition reimbursement.

Truck Driving School Grants

Grants are another option that can make it financially possible for you to complete truck driving school. Unlike loans, you do not need to pay back the money you receive from a grant. These benefits can come from the government for those who qualify or may be privately funded. Either way, you will need to meet specific requirements in order to apply for individual grants.

HDS has close relationships with many agencies in Arizona that offer grants to help you earn your commercial driver’s license. These include: Arizona@Work (statewide workforce development), MyCAA (My Career Advancement Account for military spouses), and the Arizona Department of Economic Security Rehabilitation Services. If you choose to complete CDL training with us, we will help you determine if you are eligible for any grants and will help you begin the application process.

VA Benefits/GI Bill®

VA (Veterans Affairs) benefits include specific funds that many of our students have been able to take advantage of. The most common of these is the GI Bill®, which provides benefits for those who served over 90 days of active duty following September 11, 2001. The amount you qualify for will depend on your length of service and character. HDS will work with you and the VA to ensure that you are able to take advantage of any Veterans benefits that you are eligible to receive.

Earn Your Commercial Driver’s License with HDS

HDS truck driving school will help you earn your CDL and prepare you for a rewarding career as a truck driver. We offer financial aid for those who qualify and can help you explore options to fund your education.

Contact us today to apply for one of our commercial driver’s license training programs.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $44,500. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $64,000 per year according to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does Accelerated CDL Training Cover?

The trucking industry continues to grow each year. More and more trucking companies are hiring CDL (commercial driver’s license) graduates for high-paying truck driving jobs. If you want to earn more than $64,000 a year*, you might want to consider a career as a truck driver. One of the best ways to get a head start is by completing CDL training at an accredited truck driving school. This helps you earn your CDL license and learn valuable skills that will help you grow your career. If you are anxious to get on the
road, you can also take accelerated classes at HDS Truck Driving Institute that can have you on the road in as little as four weeks.

Some topics covered during the accelerated CDL training program:

Passing the CDL Written Test

Starting a career as a truck driver requires you to earn a CDL. At HDS, our program gives you the knowledge you need to earn a Class A and Class B CDL. For the first week of  our training, you will get classroom instruction to help you pass the CDL permit test. This covers basic tractor-trailer safety and operation. The information you learn at HDS also includes training for three different CDL endorsements. This includes Tanker, Doubles/Triples, and Hazardous Materials. The safety information included in these endorsements makes you a more attractive candidate for trucking companies after graduation.

Hands-On Truck Driving Experience

Just because you opt for an accelerated CDL training program does not mean you have to give up on hands-on experience. Even in our accelerated program, our team of instructors will make sure you get time on the road. We will supervise your driving and will help you improve your skills. After you pass the permit portion of your CDL test, you start hands-on truck driver training at our facility. Our skilled instructors will help you get the experience you need to operate a tractor-trailer. We go over basic road skills such as backing, turning, and parking. This is useful both for when you take your CDL skills test and when you are on the job.

Job Placement Assistance

Even in our accelerated program, we want to help you succeed. When you attend CDL training at HDS, we have a team of job coordinators that can help you find a job after graduation. We take your qualifications and desires into account to find a truck driving job that is right for you. If you want a career where you can earn more, then truck driving may be a great option.
Completing accelerated CDL training makes it easier for you to get on the road faster. Call HDS today to learn more about our accelerated truck driver training program.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $44,500
(https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm). The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $64,000
per year according to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Trucking Companies Look for in New Drivers

With growing wages and an increasing need for drivers, the trucking industry is a more attractive career than ever. If you are just starting to consider truck driving, you may be wondering how you can get a well-paying job with one of many trucking companies hiring new drivers. You probably know that you need a commercial driver’s license (CDL), but simply having the license to operate a commercial vehicle is not enough to ensure you will get hired for a truck driving job. What can you do to stand out from the many other candidates?

Although you can study and earn your CDL on your own, many trucking companies specifically look for truck drivers that have graduated from accredited programs. HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) is an accredited school where you will learn from some of the best drivers in the industry. We give our students the skills and certifications needed to obtain a job. Most of our students receive employment offers before they even graduate

Attending a CDL school helps you stand out when applying to trucking companies.

Experience

When you apply for a trucking job, recruiters will look for truck driving experience. If you earn your CDL by self-teaching, you likely won’t have spent much time, if any, driving an actual truck/trailer. This is one reason why trucking companies prefer new drivers who have graduated from a truck driving school. They know that graduates of accredited CDL schools have actual hands-on experience beyond simply passing the CDL skills test.

At HDS truck driving school, we make sure that our students have on-the-road experience driving tractor trailers. You will train with seasoned drivers who will help you gain the experience you need to stand out from other candidates. We also work hands-on with trucking companies so you will get real life experience. This will help you understand exactly how to succeed post-graduation.

Safety

Another reason trucking companies prefer graduates of accredited trucking programs is for safety reasons. Transportation companies have to insure new drivers and they need to make sure that these truck drivers meet safety requirements. Without verification that a candidate graduated from a CDL school, many trucking companies are hesitant to hire because it can be more difficult to get insurance.

Truck driving school graduates also get hands-on and classroom experience that covers important safety topics. At HDS truck driving school, we make sure to provide you with the safety information you will need to know as a truck driver. Our accredited program teaches students how to meet and exceed trucking safety standards.

Job Placement Assistance

Finding your first job with a trucking company after getting your CDL can be difficult. At HDS truck driving school, we offer job placement assistance. This means that you have
people on your side to help you find a trucking job that matches your lifestyle and requirements.

When you graduate from HDS, we do our best to set you up for success. Our students have gone on to work for some of the top trucking companies in the nation. You could be one of our successful graduates! Contact us today for more information and start on the road to your new career.

Preparing Yourself for Your First Long-Haul Trucking Job

Your first long-haul trucking job may be exciting and anxiety provoking at the same time. Despite careful training and education, it’s natural to have some nervousness about going out on the road for extended periods, hauling large loads and navigating tight loading docks. Preparation is key to having the best possible experience on your first long-haul trucking job. These suggestions will help.

Talk to Your Loved Ones

One easy mistake for new truckers to make is to forget to talk to their loved ones about what it will be like when they are out on the road. Because long-haul truckers can sometimes be away for weeks at a time, the distance is something that can have an impact on relationships, particularly if you are married or have kids. Making a plan for how you will keep in touch and making sure the lines of communication stay open are both critical to settling into a routine that works for you and your family.

Save Time for Staying Healthy

When you’re a trucker, your job is to sit down all day, which can easily take a toll on your health. From the start of your career, make time in your schedule for exercising every day, so you get an adequate amount of physical activity to stay fit and reduce back pain and joint stiffness. You will get sick of eating fast food quickly, so fill your cab with healthy food in a well-stocked cooler to get you through the day.

Be Ready to Make Mistakes

The first long-haul trucking job is hard on every driver. You will make mistakes, as all of the other drivers have before you. Embrace it as both a job and learning experience, and your skill will continue to grow with every trip.

HDL Truck Driving Institute gives you the tools you need to be confident and successful as you build your career as a truck driver. Call our truck driving school in Tucson today at (877) 205-2141 to learn more about enrollment and our training programs.

3 Benefits of Truck Driving School

Why Truck Driving School?

Truck Driving School can seem daunting when looking for a new career, but you can find it to be very liberating and rewarding. You want to make sure you are making the right decision because work takes up a good portion of all of our lives. Here at HDS Truck Driving Institute (School), we provide a variety of programs that give you options on which license you want to acquire. We also offer financial aid for those who are qualified and help you with job placement during and after your CDL training. When trying to figure your future truck driving occupation, you should be looking into the benefits of the job role and the industry. If you are the type of person that loves to travel to new places, earn a large paycheck, and have the flexibility to drive on your time, then being a truck driver is for you.

Now is the time to decide on being a truck driver and discover the many exciting opportunities with great pay. The biggest factor is acquiring your CDL and have the qualifications required to get hired by top trucking organizations. HDS provides the training needed to get started in the industry.

Here are three of the benefits of getting your CDL:

Great Job Security

There is currently a shortage of truck drivers; this increases the demand for individuals to earn their CDL through a truck driving school. With the economy continually fluctuating, finding jobs becomes more and more difficult. It is tough out there, however, finding a role in the trucking industry is currently much easier than in other job sectors. The current economic climate enhances job security in the trucking industry. Take the steps to become your own boss and enroll in HDS Truck Driving School.

Accelerated Education

Many people don’t go back to school because of the time commitment. Life is short and the concept of spending at least 5 more years in school, especially in your youth, can appear daunting and not worth it. Our truck driving school offers accelerated courses that allow our students to earn their CDL in as little as four weeks. Most workers that make what you could be earning annually driving spend at least 2-4 additional years in school. Time will fly by in school, and soon you’ll be flying by on Interstate 10, heading up north.

See the Country

Traveling is on everyone’s mind, a fleeting dream that might happen “one day”. The thing that often stops people from adventuring throughout the world is work. This is because many workplaces only offer a certain amount of paid vacation days throughout one fiscal year. Choosing a high paying career that gives you the opportunity to see the country is one of the most attractive attributes of the trucking industry. It could be just you, your favorite tunes or podcasts, and the open road. You could be traveling across the Brooklyn Bridge, on the rural roads of Tennessee, or through the rocky mountains of Colorado all in the same week. If traveling is in your mind – the world is waiting for you.

These are just a few of the many advantages of going through your CDL Training. Being a truck driver comes with flexible hours, independence, freedom, and a chance to explore places you have never been to. Earn up to $64,000* traveling the country while simultaneously seeing the country. It’s a win-win.

Contact us today and start your career as a truck driver.

Increase Your Earning Potential with a Career in Trucking

With a high demand for truck drivers and an ever-dwindling number of qualified drivers available, new truckers have boundless career opportunities. The pay is what attracts many drivers to the industry, and new drivers can quickly see their salaries increase as the demand for drivers far outpaces the supply. Even in this marketplace that is so beneficial to drivers, there are still things that you can do to increase your earning potential over the course of your career. Here are some of the strategies you can use to boost your salary and grow you income even more.

Build Up CDL Certifications

After you pass your CDL exam, you can quickly get on the path to adding additional certifications. There are nine different CDL classes, and each one allows you to carry a different kind of hazardous material, from explosives to flammable liquids, radioactive materials, and poisons. Drivers who haul these materials make more for these loads, so adding these endorsements will help you earn more. You can also add certifications for driving double and triple trailers, air brake vehicles and tanker vehicles, which all allow you to do higher paying work.

Boost Your IT Skills

With electronic logbooks and other requirements for drivers, trucking is becoming increasingly reliant on technology. Many drivers only know the basics about how to use tech in their trucks, but companies are looking for drivers with a higher degree of tech savvy. Being well versed in IT knowledge can make you a more in-demand driver, which will allow you to command higher pay.

Stay the Course

One of the best ways to earn more money as a trucker is to stay committed through your first two years of driving, when you are still considered a rookie. Don’t get distracted or cut your hours short because you’re frustrated at the starting pay rates. After two years, your earning power will increase dramatically, both in terms of salaries plus pay per mile and bonuses.

HDS Truck Driving Institute will give you all of the tools you need to succeed in your new career in trucking service. Find out how you can start training today by calling our CDL school in Tucson by calling (877) 205-2141.

Bringing Your Canine Companion on the Road

Who says being a truck driver means leaving your four-legged friends behind? Many truck drivers enjoy hitting the road with a canine for company. Both drivers and their pups can have fun on the adventure, and you’ll love having the companionship on long journeys away from home. Bringing your dog on the road may even help you become more fit, as you incorporate more walks into your stops. Could your dog join you on the open road? Keep this advice as your make your pup your co-pilot.

Check with Your Trucking Company

Most truck driving companies let drivers bring their dogs on the road, but it’s always a good idea to check the policies before you load up your pet for the trip. Some companies may have restrictions on the kinds or ages of dogs that are allowed on the road, while other may require drivers to have a certain amount of experience before driving with a pet companion. If you plan to drive with your pet as new driver, ask about company policies during your interview, so you can sign on with a team that will approve your plans.

Prepare Your Truck for Your Canine Companion

Just like you need to be comfortable in your cab, so does your dog. Have a designated space for your dog to relax that is comfortable and safe in both the front with you and in your sleeping quarters. Make sure anything that could be dangerous to your pup, such as medications, are out of reach. Teach your dog which parts of the truck are no-go areas, such as your clutch and brake.

Double-Check Your Packing List

Make sure to bring everything on the road your canine companion will need, including food, treats, and bowls for food and water. Bring toys that will help to keep boredom at bay as well as his or her leash for walks. It’s a good idea to have blankets to keep your dog comfortable, as well as everything you will need to clean up after him or her. Travel with your dog’s vaccination records and a travel crate to use as needed during deliveries.

Are you ready to launch your new career as a truck driver? HDS Truck Driving Institute can get you on the road in and earning in just a few weeks. Call our Tucson truck driving school at (877) 205-2141 to learn more.

Winter Trucking: What You Need to Prepare For

If you are planning to become a commercial truck driver, one of the major challenges you’re likely to face is learning to drive under difficult road conditions. In particular, you need to get ready for winter driving. This is an essential skill to learn, as you’ll need to adjust the way you drive in order to protect yourself and your vehicle from harm. If you’ve never tried to drive a truck during the cold weather season, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Reduce your speed

The single most important thing you can do when driving in winter weather is to slow down. Many wintertime accidents are caused by drivers who don’t adjust their speed to compensate for slick, icy roads. Keep a safe distance from other drivers, and don’t follow anyone too closely. Make sure to leave as early as possible on delivery trips so that you won’t have to hurry to meet your schedule.

Keep your truck ice-free

When you stop your truck, make sure that your trailer and tractor lights are free of ice and snow. If these lights become iced over or otherwise covered up, it means that other drivers will have difficulty seeing you—which means that you’re at higher risk of an accident. If your lights aren’t visible on the road, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can resolve the issue.

When in doubt, don’t drive

A good truck driver eventually develops a knack for telling when it is simply not safe to drive. If the weather becomes so bad that you can’t see the road, or if the roads are so slick that you can’t safely drive on them, then it’s time to find a safe place to stop. If possible, look at the weather report and try to avoid roads that are experiencing particularly bad conditions.

Are you thinking of getting your CDL and becoming a professional truck driver? HDS Truck Driving Institute offers the path to an exciting new career. We are Tucson’s leading accredited school for commercial truck drivers, and we can help you find the perfect job. For more information about our truck driving training programs, call (877) 205-2141 today.

A Look at Modern Transportation Trends

A Look at Modern Transportation Trends that Are Influencing the Need for Truckers

The trucking industry has changed considerably over the last several decades, and still more changes are on the way. If you’re planning to become a commercial truck driver, you should be aware of how these changes may affect your career. These are some of the major trends in transportation that are affecting the demand for professional truckers.

The adoption of electronic logging devices

In 2018, a mandate requiring all truckers to use electronic logging devices (ELD) to record their time spent driving went into effect. By effectively limiting the amount of time that truckers can spend on the road, the mandate has made it harder for trucking companies to squeeze as much work out of their existing truckers as they once did. As a result, demand for new truckers remains high.

The rise of e-commerce

With more and more people choosing to make purchases over the internet, the way that products are delivered to customers is changing. Products that would once have been delivered by trucks are now being delivered via less-than-truckload (LTL) freight, which means that there is now a higher demand for qualified LTL truck drivers.

The obstacles to self-driving trucks

Despite all the talk about self-driving technology, resistance to use of self-driving trucks remains high both inside and outside the industry. Self-driving technology is not yet advanced enough to allow for safe highway driving by autonomous trucks, and it is not clear who would be liable for damages in the event of an accident. Thus, self-driving technology has yet to have a notable impact on the trucking industry.

If you are interested in learning more about truck driving and whether it’s the right job for you, it’s time to get in touch with HDS Truck Driving Institute. Our programs will provide you with everything you need to launch your new career as a professional truck driver. If you’re ready to start working toward obtaining your CDL in Tucson, call us today at (877) 205-2141.

Tips for Staying Alert During Long-Haul Trips

Long stretches of open road and unstable sleep schedules can often combine to make truck drivers feel sleepy behind the wheel. However, driving a truck requires your full attention, for your own safety and the safety of everyone on the road. How can you avoid being lulled into a state of drowsiness when the road is long and monotonous? These tips will help you stay alert.

Make Sleep a Priority

With the pressure of delivery deadlines, it can be easy to compromise on sleep. However, missing even a few hours of sleep can significantly impair your concentration. Several nights in a row of lost sleep can add up to a major sleep deficit that can make it dangerous for you to drive. Being well rested is the most powerful weapon you have in the fight against long-haul driving boredom and distractions. If you are having a difficult time getting the sleep you need, discuss your schedule with your dispatch and make adjustments that allow you to rest as needed.

Change Up Your Music

Listening to the same music on rotation will compound the monotony of highway driving. Keep things interesting by changing up your listening habits. Dabble in a new genre, check out a book on tape, or listen to a podcast. Some truck drivers use the time on the road to learn a new language with language tapes. Giving yourself something new to listen to will keep your brain engaged so you stay more alert.

Take a Break

If you feel yourself becoming too tired or distracted, pull over. Sometimes, a quick walk around a rest area or a catnap in the cab is all you need to feel refreshed. Recognize when it’s time to stop fighting the pull of fatigue and give in to the need for a break.

Get tips on succeeding as a trucker as well as the training you need to launch your new career at HDS Truck Driving Institute. We offer multiple beginner and refresher courses as well as assistance with job placement. Find out how to get your CDL in Tucson by calling (877) 205-2141.

Answering New Drivers’ Questions about Staying Healthy on the Road

Many new truck drivers plan meticulously for things like routing, keeping in touch with loved ones, and managing their paychecks, but they overlook another important part of trucking life: Staying healthy on the road. When you’re on the go and eating out of truck stops and fast-food restaurants, your health can quickly head south if you don’t make it a priority. The answers to these common questions from new truckers about staying healthy while working will help you make smart lifestyle choices on the road.

Is it really possible to eat healthy from truck stops?

Many truck stops have significantly expanded their selection of healthy items. Check the refrigerated section for cheese sticks, boiled eggs, bags of veggies, and pre-washed fruit. You can also likely find fruit near the counter, including apples and bananas, that are easy to grab and go. If you’re eating at the truck stop restaurant, opt for salads and grilled meats rather than burgers and fries. Drink plenty of water. Consider getting a small refrigerator for your truck and keep it stocked with healthy items for snacking while driving.

What should I do if I get sick on the road?

The first thing you should do if you get sick is pull over someplace safe. If you think you’re experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911. If not, call your dispatch and let them know what is going on. Take the time you need to rest, even if it means rescheduling some of your deliveries. Your dispatch can help you make the necessary arrangements.

Are there any places to exercise on the road?

Truck drivers can benefit from taking advantage of portable exercise options, such as weights and folding bikes. Many truckers only need a pair of running shoes to get some exercise. Bike or jog around the truck stop or rest area. Some rest areas have trails that are perfect for getting some activity. Make sure you do something daily to counteract the effects of sitting for such long stretches of time.

At HDS Truck Driving Institute, you’ll get all of the tools you need to succeed on the road in our CDL training program. Find out how you could start your new career as a driver in as little as four weeks at our truck driving school in Tucson by calling (877) 205-2141.

Signs that Trucking Is the Right Career Choice for You

The trucking industry is growing, and it is expected to keep expanding in the coming years, with demands for new drivers steadily rising. If you’re looking for a new career, driving a truck offers plenty of job security and opportunity for advancement, but life on the road is not right for everyone. Should you consider launching a career as a truck driver? These are some of the signs that trucking is the right fit for you.

You hate sitting behind a desk.

Does the idea of spending your days sitting behind a desk send you into a panic? Do you hate the thought of staring at the same four walls every day? If so, then trucking could be the perfect career for you. As a truck driver, you’ll spend your days crossing the country, seeing new people and places with every mile. If you want to make sure your career comes with plenty of adventure, then trucking could be the answer.

You prefer to work independently.

Although some truckers operate as a team, many drive independently. Although you will have backup from the dispatch team, when you’re a truck driver, you get to be your own boss most of the time. This facet of the industry works well for people who prefer to work independently.

You have discussed the idea with your family.

Trucking is a family commitment, since it means long periods of time apart. It’s best for families to make the decision together and discuss how to manage the separation. Some couples choose to drive together if there are not kids at home.

Find out more about whether truck driving is right for you by contacting HDS Truck Driving Institute. We offer a variety of programs designed to help you launch a new career in the trucking industry. Learn more about getting your CDL in Tucson by calling (877) 205-2141.