The trucking industry is evolving with the development of new technology. Therefore, many companies are facing an issue they never have before: driver shortages. Perhaps you know about all the benefits companies are offering their drivers now. In order to maintain competitive, companies are offering paid time off, 401k’s, benefits, and dedicated home time. If all of these things sound good and you are ready to get a new start, here’s what you need to know about CDL training.
CDL Training: What to Know
In order for you to begin your CDL training, you will need a few different things. For starters, you will need a reasonably clean driving and criminal record, a clean drug/alcohol history, a clean bill of health, and a recent & verifiable work history.
Before you begin your CDL training, make sure you’ll be able to continue. Moving violations, along with tickets regarding insurance and registration, all add up to be big red flags for trucking companies. If you know about tickets on your record, make sure you be upfront about them.
Your employment history is important for future employers. This record is an indication of the type of employee you are. Especially if you are pursuing a paid CDL training program, employers will want to make sure the investment is worth it.
You might have had problems with drugs and alcohol recently. Therefore, a CDL training program might not be the best idea for you right now. When driving is involved, drugs and alcohol can become major safety concerns.
Past criminal offenses should be taken into consideration before beginning CDL training. Someone who has an assault charge might have a short fuse and get irrationally angry. Others might have a theft charge, making them unlikely to be trustworthy with company equipment. It’s important that if you do have minor charges on your record that you are transparent during the application process.
If you feel like you have a clean history and have an interest in starting a career in trucking, that’s great! Before you begin a CDL training program, you should ask yourself if the trucking lifestyle is one you are willing to lead. It isn’t easy, and there’s a lot of time spent on the road.
When traveling long distance, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Because of the ease of fast food and pre-packaged food, eating healthy seems to become a chore. Perhaps you are looking to make a lifestyle change on the road. Or maybe you’re starting your trucking career and have a concern about staying healthy on the road.
Staying Healthy: Tips for Long Hauls
If you eat out of habit, make sure the foods you are putting into your body are doing more good than they are bad. Snacks like nuts, trail mix, and granola are great and easy to keep in reach. Staying healthy, for you, could mean snacking in moderation, or changing your go-to road snack!
Try to eat three meals within the day. This adds to your goal of staying healthy because it prevents you from over-eating after missing a meal. If you eat regular meals throughout the day, the weight will be easier to keep off.
Not Just Eating
Exercise! Try taking a small walk during a stop. Staying healthy will be easier for you if you’re doing more than just eating better. You can start small and gradually add to your walks/runs. Your body will begin to notice the difference, and this small boost of activity will increase your energy, as well! Your walk can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as you would like!
After your outdoor activities, you can work out on the road, too! You can do things like shoulder shrugs (bringing your shoulders to your ears and holding for a few seconds). This will release tension in your neck and shoulders. Staying healthy isn’t difficult, you just need to consciously make the choice! Also, you can try abdominal crunches. Squeezing your abs and holding it for a period of time (think, 2 minutes or the length of a song).
If you can, start a journal of what you’re eating and when. In addition, log what kind of exercise you did for the day. By nothing this, you’ll be able to see your progress and potentially be able to spot problem areas if you’re not seeing results.
If there’s one thing every driver wants to avoid, it’s frequent stops at the gas station. These days, better fuel efficiency is becoming standard in new cars, but what about those who have some older models? As it turns out, there are a few thing you can do to help save just a bit more on gas…
Fuel Efficiency: Saving Money & Gas
Keep a constant speed
The first thing to do in order to improve fuel efficiency is to watch your speed. Sudden changes in speed can really impact your gas mileage. That means you’ll want to avoid sudden acceleration and breaking as much as you possibly can.
Instead, try to maintain a constant speed as best you can. A useful tool for this is cruise control. Not only can that help keep your speed consistent, it’ll also make your drive a bit easier too. However, make sure not to use that as an excuse to get distracted behind the wheel!
Drivers hate traffic for plenty of reasons. It slows things down, can make you late for important appointment, and also can impact your fuel efficiency. This is because of not just the constant stop-and-go nature of it, but also the effect idling has on your fuel economy. Idling not only wastes gas (about one mile for every 2 minutes idling), but also can harm your engine in the long run.
As a result, it’s a good idea to try and skip the traffic as best you can. You can make use of navigation apps like Google Maps to help with this. These apps will help you not only find the fastest route from point A to point B, but also give you real-time updates on the traffic. Again, just make sure you use them properly and safely!
Practice proper maintenance
For many people, car maintenance only comes to mind when something breaks or isn’t working right anymore. However, proactive maintenance is key for improving fuel efficiency. Being on top of your car’s needs goes a long way in helping you save on gas.
For example, properly inflated tires can save you about $.11 per gallon. A tuned-up engine can save you about $.15 per gallon, and good oil can save you up to $.08 per gallon. These might seem like small amounts at first. However, over the course of your car’s life, these can add up into thousands of dollars of savings on gas!
A truck driver has a number of important responsibilities they must take on. One of those includes watching their weight limits. Not only do overloads hurt a company’s reputation, it also can bring on hefty overweight fines. However, there are some steps you can take to make sure you avoid these fines…
Overweight Fines: Ways To Avoid Them
Double-check your load
One way you can avoid overweight fines is by double-checking your loads. Remember that truck scales check more than just if your truck and trailer is over it’s acceptable weight limit. They also check how that weight is distributed. If a weight station finds that your truck isn’t carrying the weight properly, you can still be hit with an overweight fine.
Therefore, it’s important to double-check what you’re carrying if you can. Make sure that the load you’re carrying is secure and well-balanced too. If you need to, use things like ties or other restraints to ensure your load is secure and balanced enough to meet the weight requirements.
Consider your fuel
At first, you might not think that fuel adds that much weight to your truck. However, having a full tank can add a considerable amount to your weight. That weight could be enough to put you over the weight limits, and result in overweight fines.
Therefore, you’ll want to do your best to balance out your fuel levels across your trip. It might be more beneficial in the long-run to make more stops for fuel than load up during one stop. That way, you can avoid a overweight fine due to having too much fuel. Plus, these stops will give you a chance to stretch and rest during your trip.
Plan out your route
Planning out a good route can really help you avoid overweight fines. A good, efficient route can help you save both time and money. While there are many things you’ll want to plan your route around, some of the important ones are truck scales, truck stops, and gas stations.
Some people might try and plan their routes around permanent weight stations. However, many officials carry portable scales with them as well. Therefore, it’s best to make sure you meet the weight requirements at all times just in case.
Marriage and relationships can be difficult as is. However, when you add a career into the mix which takes one partner away for extended periods of time? Times can be even more trying. There are many different career paths that might lead to these types of relationships. Maybe your spouse is in the military, you’re taking a job in a different city, or maybe you’re in the truck-driving industry… While each for these fields are inherently different, they have one thing in common: long-distance relationships. Today, we want to focus in on truck driving difficulties in terms of relationships. Furthermore, we want to help you learn how to manage them, and maybe even grow a bit within the process…
Truck Driving Difficulties: Managing Intimate Relationships
Give yourselves something to look forward to during the week
Let’s face it, depending on your spouse’s schedule, you might only see each other for a few hours a week. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to make the most of that time. Whether you dedicate two hours of that time towards having a lunch out together, or maybe just taking two hours behind closed doors… every couple is different. Furthermore, the ways in which you connect will vary too.
When facing truck driving difficulties from either side of the relationship, you might take to online forums that will remind you that you’re not alone. However, when looking for advice on how to cope and spend your time, remember to customize your experience. We all have our own means of bonding and connecting, don’t rule that out because of what works for DriversWife123.
We encourage having activities to explore with each other on those long-awaited days off. However, we also encourage managing your expectations in terms of what that time off looks like for your partner. You miss them and they absolutely miss you. But, at the same time, their job is exhausting. Both mentally and physically, your partner needs to relax and decompress in preparation of their next journey.
Arguably one of the largest truck driving difficulties for the stay-at-home partner, is to not hit the ground running when their partner gets home. Give them a bit of time to rest up, relax, and enjoy the comfort of their own home. As we’ve mentioned, you miss them and they miss you. However, they also miss the comfort of their own home.
Don’t belittle each other’s roles
As your partner gets started out on the road, there will be a few growing pains. You see it all the time in couples who are figuring this thing out: that issue of managing expectations. As a driver, you have a lot of time on the road to yourself. This can lead to some resentments in terms of how hard you’re working, and how difficult the job can be. However, on the flip side, your spouse is taking care of everything at home.
From school drop offs, practices, lunches, tending to the home, and also making sure everything is squared away for when you get home. Therefore, on both sides, there might be some feelings of ill-will in terms of how hard you’re working. Truck driving difficulties come in many different forms, and are not limited to the driver. Your chosen career path is not for the faint of heart, and we commend you for that. We also encourage you to follow these steps, and create your own, for avoiding common issues that arise for trucking industry families.