Spotlight on Federal Distracted Driving Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have specific rules prohibiting interstate truckers and bus drivers from texting or using hand-held phones while driving. These joint rules are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to end distracted driving. As a result, violations of these rules can result in fines and driver disqualification.

Texting while driving

Commercial motor vehicle drivers aren’t allowed to text while driving their vehicles. This means, truckers are prohibited from manually entering alphanumeric text into or reading text from their electronic devices. This includes sending short messages, e-mailing, instant messaging, and accessing web pages. Drivers are also not allowed to press more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using their mobile phones.

Conducting voice communication

As a result of these regulations, CMV drivers may not reach for or hold a mobile phone to conduct a voice communication or dial by pressing more than a single button on their phones. Additionally, CMV drivers who use mobile phones while operating their vehicles may only operate a hands-free device located in close proximity. Combined, these rules mean a driver is prohibited from unsafely reaching for a device, holding a mobile phone, or pressing multiple buttons while behind the wheel.

Understanding the risks

Besides facing CDL disqualification, violating these rules may result in substantial penalties. Additionally, recent research illustrates that failure to abide by these rules increases a driver’s chances of suffering a safety-critical event, such as a crash, near crash, or unintentional lane deviation. According to the FMCSA, CMV drivers who dial a phone while driving increase their odds of being involved in an accident six times. Texting drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which equates to traveling the length of a football field.

For more information about obtaining your CDL license in Tucson, contact HDS Truck Driving Institute. We offer nationally recognized truck driver training with available refresher courses and road testing. You can learn more by calling us at (877) 205-2141.

A Truck Driver’s Guide to Commercial Licensing

Since April 1, 1992, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has required drivers to have commercial driver’s licenses in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Consequently, the FMCSA has developed and issued standards that states must follow to issue CDLs to drivers. Restrictions are placed on CDLs when a driver’s vehicle lacks critical equipment on certain CMVs, so drivers need to take the Skills Test in the same type of vehicle for which they are seeking CDLs to operate.

Classes of licenses

According to Federal standards, States issue CDLs and CLPs to drivers according to three license classifications. Class A encompasses any combination of vehicles that have a gross combination weight rating of 11,794 kilograms or more. Any single vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,794 or more kilograms or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross weight rating below 4,536 kilograms is Class B. A Class C vehicle is any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not qualify as a Class A or B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers.


Drivers who operate certain CMVs must pass other tests to obtain endorsements on their commercial driver’s licenses. For example, a double or triple trailer driver only needs to pass the knowledge test only to obtain an endorsement. For a passenger vehicle, the driver needs to pass the knowledge and skills tests. Additionally, a school bus driver needs to pass the knowledge and skills tests.


If a CDL driver fails to pass the Air Brakes Knowledge Test, doesn’t correctly identify the air brake system components, or does not properly conduct an air brake systems check, he or she will carry an “L” no full air brake restriction on the license.

Call (877) 205-2141 to learn more about obtaining a commercial driver’s license with HDS Truck Driving Institute. We have proudly served Southern Arizona since 1991. As a fully accredited educational institution, we have trained thousands of students to pass their CDL tests and to become the kind of professional drivers that companies want to hire.

A Look at Dry Van and Refrigerated Trucks

After obtaining your commercial driver’s license, the most important career decision you will make is how to surround yourself with the right people at work. You also need to understand the factors affecting the freight you receive, as well as the steps to take to put yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Factors to consider when choosing your freight type include your personality, lifestyle, and desire to be far from home for long periods of time.

Dry van carrier

The most common trailer on the roads is dry vans, which are big, empty boxes. As a result, they don’t require any temperature control mechanisms. As there are more dry van companies than any other type of company, you will discover the broadest range of opportunities in this trucking area. Additionally, there are a large variety of companies pulling these types of trailers, so they are difficult to define in a general way. As a result, there are a broad range of jobs and lifestyles within this trucking category.

Dry van jobs

Especially with bigger companies, dry van jobs tend to offer the greatest range of opportunities for truckers who prefer regional, dedicated, and local runs. In many of the larger companies, it’s easy for truckers to switch over into a regional job, which gets them home on the weekends, or possibly every night. While these jobs may require some manual labor, this usually depends on the individual companies themselves.

Refrigerated carriers

A refrigerated company can haul either temperature sensitive freight or drive freight. From time to time, the company will get some of each. Consequently, it’s good for a company to be capable of hauling both types of goods, as it gives the company more versatility with its freight.

HDS Truck Driving Institute trains truckers to become the kind of professional drivers that companies seek. Over the past 20 years, our graduates have secured jobs with many of the nation’s top over-the-road carriers, as well as regional and local companies. Call (877) 205-2141 to learn more about enrolling in truck driving school in Tucson.

What to Expect from Life on the Road

Graduating from truck-driving school helps you learn all of the skills that you need to know to safely operate a commercial truck. Once you obtain your CDL and get behind the wheel of a truck, you can start living your life on the road. Use this guide to learn more about what to expect from life as a driver:

Inspections Before You Drive

You should always walk around to inspect your truck before you get onto the road. Look at all of the tires, the mirrors, and the doors to make sure everything looks solid. You should also look at the area around the truck so you can see any potential hazards that might affect the way you back up or drive out of the parking lot. Even if you just stop at a truck stop for a quick meal, you should always do a quick walk around to make sure the truck looks good.

Long Hours on the Road

Whether you drive long haul shifts or local routes, you can expect to spend a lot of time behind the wheel. You might not make it home every night, but you will get the chance to see a lot of the country from wide-open highways. Make sure you take the time to rest to ensure that you are completely refreshed when you get back behind the wheel of your commercial truck.

Visits to Lots of Truck Stops

During the long stretches of driving, you will probably spend a lot of time at various truck stops around the country. Try to make an effort to eat healthy food options whenever you can to keep your mind and your body ready for your next session behind the wheel.

If you think the life of a trucker is appealing for you, sign up from the program at HDS Truck Driving Institute. Our Tucson program offers you the chance to learn the skills you need to earn your CDL and get on the road. For more information, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.

A Look at the Importance of Commercial Driver’s Licensing

You have to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before you can legally work as a truck driver. Keep reading to find out why it is important to hold a CDL before you get behind the wheel of a truck:

A Driver Has All of the Necessary Knowledge

If a driver successfully obtains a CDL, it is proof that he or she has fully mastered the necessary knowledge to safely and efficiently operate a commercial vehicle. Drivers have made it through truck-driving school and have proven that they learned everything they need to safely get behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.

A Driver Has All of the Necessary Skills

Earning a CDL also shows that a driver has the skills he or she needs to safely drive a truck. The skills portion of the CDL exam shows the Department of Transportation that the test taker has mastered the required skills to get behind the wheel of a commercial truck.

A Driver Meets All of the Health Requirements

Commercial truck drivers have to pass a serious of physical requirements in order to obtain their CDL. These physical requirements show that a driver is healthy enough to operate a large vehicle like a commercial vehicle. Drivers must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye with or without correctable lenses. Diabetics who require insulin shots cannot get a CDL, but those that can control the disease with diet and oral medication can. A driver’s blood pressure must not be higher than 140/90. Drivers must have blood sugar beneath 200 and must not have any cardiovascular disease.

With the help of HDS Truck Driving Institute, you can learn everything you need to know to successfully earn your CDL. Our programs are designed to give you the help you need to start out in a new career. To learn more about our program and admission requirements, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.

Tips and Guidelines for New Truckers

Once you finish your time in truck-driving school, you will be immersed in the real world of commercial driving. Use this guide for some help finding your footing as you begin to work as a professional truck driver:

Pay Attention to Blind Spots

If you are unaware of what is happening in your blind spots, it can make it very dangerous to drive or to maneuver around parking lots. Your blind spots will fall to the side in front of the cab, directly behind the side mirrors, or behind the truck. Pay attention to who is on the road around you so your blinds spots are not as dangerous.

Follow the Speed Limits

A commercial truck is an extremely heavy vehicle, which means it takes longer than smaller vehicles like cars to stop. You should always follow the speed limits on the highways and side streets. Driving the speed limit helps you maintain control of your vehicle at all times.

Maintain Your Truck

It is important to maintain your vehicle to be sure it always ready to drive. Get the oil changed regularly and check the tire pressure. Have some professionals check on the fluid levels, the horn, and the mirrors. This helps you feel confident that your truck is in the best condition.

Check the Weather

You should always check the weather before you get on the road to see if there are any potential hazards that might make the route more dangerous. If the weather is going to be really bad on a certain route, you might want to consider taking another one.
Come to HDS Truck Driving Institute to learn everything you need to know to earn your CDL and enter the world of commercial truck driving. Our programs help you hone your skills so you can begin a new and fulfilling career. To learn more about our program and how you can apply, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.

Consider Taking Your Marriage On the Road…

Has your life has plunged into a predictable pit of monotony?  There’s the mundane work commute, repetitive household chores, daily errands and other routine tasks.  You can’t help but wonder about trying something new, different, exciting, challenging – anything more than the ordinary day to day life that you’ve come to know. Then you consider truck driving.

Initially, the thought seemed outrageous. But, once you realize that jobs are plentiful, that you won’t have a boss constantly standing over your shoulder and that you can still make good money, the idea starts to grow on you.  Best of all, it’s easy to transition into a truck driving career. You can earn your CDL and receive paid training from an experienced driver in as little as 8 weeks!

In the past, the industry has been reliant on men working solo.  But today, U.S. trucking companies are looking for men, women and couples of almost every age.  Truck driving is ideal for husband and wife teams that want to see more of the country while spending time together and securing their financial future.

To find out more about a career in truck driving, attend our upcoming Open House:

HDS Truck Driving Institute

Saturday, May 23th 10 AM
6251 S Wilmot Rd • Tucson, AZ 85756 – RSVP: 1-877-205-2141 – See more at

How to Tell If Truck Driving Is the Career for You

Driving a truck is a career unlike any other. Its unique job requirements make it the perfect career for a variety of personalities. If you are considering changing your career, keep reading to find out if truck driving is the right option for you:

You Like to Experience New Things

A lot of people like the stability of a job that takes them to the same office every day. If that lifestyle is not for you, you might prefer the freedom of driving a truck. When you drive a truck, you can constantly see different scenery and enjoy something new every day. Driving a truck is a great way to keep some variety in your daily life.

You Want to See the Country

Commercial truck driving is a career that allows you to see the most beautiful parts of the country as part of your job description. As you travel on various highways across the country, you can experience parts of the country that no one else gets to see. Enroll in truck-driving school to start on the path toward a career that helps you achieve your goal of seeing the country.

You Like Answering to Only Yourself

If you are not a fan of having a boss look over your shoulder every day, you might want to consider a career as a commercial truck driver. If you work a truck driver, you get to enjoy long stretches of driving on the road on your own. You do not have to answer directly to a boss. As long as you stick to your schedule and make your deliveries on time, you can find success in your career.

Come to HDS Truck Driving Institute to take control of your life and start working as a professional truck driver. Our program is designed to teach you the information you need to earn your CDL. To learn more about the program and our financial aid opportunities, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.

Should You Go to College or Truck Driving School?

Truck 1Should I go to college or earn money truck driving? Why choose between the two, when you can do both? Maybe you’re still saving for college.  Or, you’ve completed school, but aren’t ready to give up your freedom for a 9 to 5 cubicle job. Either way, you don’t have to resist the call of the road.

As a truck driver, you will gain valuable life experience while getting paid to travel the country.  With ever changing scenery and the ability to see new places daily, you’ll never run out of places or things to talk about with family and friends.  And, today’s technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch by mobile phone, video chat, FaceBook and more.

Truck driving school is also inexpensive when compared to a 4-year university and you can be fully trained in as little as 8 weeks.  Best of all, the pay can be lucrative.  Experienced drivers can average $40,000 to $60,000 per year or more.  So, it’s not a bad way to get a head start on your financial future, save for college, a home, a business or whatever you desire. And should you decide on a long-term career in trucking, you’ll enjoy continued job security and financial reward.

If you are ready to take advantage of the trucking industry’s success by becoming a CDL trucker, stop by an open house event to find out more about our CDL training and testing programs, discuss financial aid, admissions and more.

HDS Truck Driving Institute

Saturday, May 9th 10 AM
6251 S Wilmot Rd • Tucson, AZ 85756 – RSVP: 1-877-205-2141 – See more at

Phoenix Truck Driving Institute

Saturday, May 16th at 12p
2621 S 51st Ave • Phoenix, AZ 85043 – RSVP: 1-877-205-5372 – See more at

Deciding Whether Truck Driving is the Right Trade for You

If you are at a crossroads in your life and want to find a new career path, you might consider attending truck-driving school. Keep reading to learn more about the world of truck driving to find out if it is the right option for you:

You Like Variety

Driving a truck is the perfect career for a person that likes to experience variety in their daily life. If you hate the idea of going to the same office every day, driving a truck for a living could be the right career for you. With routes that take you to a huge range of destinations, this career helps you enjoy new experiences on a daily basis. Driving a truck is a great way to travel and see amazing sights as you work.

You Want to Enter a Secure Field

Working as a truck driver provides job security that other industries cannot offer. In the last 10 years alone, there were 320,000 new trucking jobs than there were in years past. Since most companies rely on trucks to transport their goods, the industry will likely continue to grow.

You Want to Earn a Good Living

Driving a truck is a great way to earn a salary that helps you support your family and your lifestyle. When you enter this field, there is a potential to start at $37,770 if you drive between different states. With so much demand for qualified truck drivers, now is the time to enroll in school and start on the path toward your new career.

HDS Truck Driving Institute is here to help you achieve your dream of driving commercial trucks. Our programs are designed to give you all of the information that you need to earn your CDL and start working in the field. To learn more about our programs or our admissions process, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.