Top Scenic Routes for Truck Drivers

Travelling the country is one of the many perks of life on the open road, and there are plenty of scenic routes for long haulers—if you know where to look. For Tucson drivers, there are plenty of sights to see beyond Mt. Lemmon and the Sonoran Desert. Below is a brief look at some of the most popular truck routes in the Southwest.

To the East Coast…And Back Again

The I-10 isn’t just the main vein between Tucson and in Phoenix. It actually starts in Los Angeles, CA and winds throughout the southern U.S. all the way into Jacksonville, FL. Aside from plenty of open spaces, it has the distinct advantage of being the only highway free of snow all year round. If your travels take you through the Midwest or upper East Coast, the I-40 through Flagstaff can take you through the Appalachian, Ozark, and Rocky mountains—just watch out for traffic jams near Oklahoma City and snow during midwinter months. For ventures further up North, merging with the I-80 will take you straight to New York City.

Places to Avoid

If your travels venture north, drivers suggest avoiding the congestion in areas surrounding Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; and Brooklyn, NY. Strong winds, dust storms, and the occasional monsoon are among some of the most common highway hazards that Arizona truckers have to face, but steep grades and snowy roads can be deadly for desert drivers. Either avoid them entirely or brush up on your CDL training. And as always, check ahead for reports of severe weather or traffic closures. When in doubt, contact your dispatcher and follow recommended routes.

From training to job placement, the HDL Truck Driving Institute is committed to providing students with resources and experience to pursue a successful career as a professional truck driver. To receive more information about our CDL programs in Tucson, AZ, contact us online or call (877) 205-2141 today.

Truck Scale Accuracy—A Weighty Issue

When driving on the interstate, you’ve likely seen trucks stopped at weigh stations, waiting to be weighed. These stations are essential for maintaining traffic safety. Once you attend a Tucson driving school, obtain your CDL, and begin driving semi trucks, your rig’s weight must be in the back of your mind at all times. Here’s a brief look at the importance of truck scale accuracy.

Weighing Goods

As you begin your trucking career, you’ll learn that some goods are measured by weight. After your truck is loaded with a particular product, you’ll likely weigh your truck before hitting the road. Once you subtract the weight of your truck form the number on the scale, you’ll know the total weight of your cargo and determine how much to charge for your transportation services. An accurate scale is essential for ensuring that you get paid a fair price.

Obeying the Law

The federal government imposes strict weight limits on large vehicles traveling on interstates. Single axle trucks cannot weigh more than 20,000 lbs., tandem axle trucks cannot weigh more than 34,000 lbs., and the gross vehicle weight of any truck cannot exceed 80,000 lbs. If your truck violates any of the federal weight standards, you will be fined. That’s why it’s important to weigh your truck on an accurate truck scale before driving on the highways.

Staying Safe

Federal weight limits exist to prevent trucks from suffering damage or causing damage to roads and bridges. If your truck is carrying too much, you risk an axle overload, which could lead to a breakdown or accident. For the sake of your own safety and the safety of everyone on the road, it’s important for your transportation firm to have an accurate truck scale.

HDS Truck Driving Institute can teach you everything you need to know about federal and state weight standards. Call our Tucson driving school at (520) 622-0419 or our Phoenix driving school at (602) 484-7901 to find out how you can get started on a great career in the transportation industry.

Arizona Trucker Salary Report

If you’ve grown tired of your current career, you might consider going back to school and learning a new trade. Before you devote valuable time and energy to beginning a new career, however, you want to make sure that the industry you’re switching into will provide you and your family with a good living. Fortunately, the Arizona trucking industry is very prosperous, and you can expect to make a good salary as a truck driver in Arizona.

Employment Prospects

Before you spend time and money on trucking school in Phoenix or Tucson, you should have a good idea your employment prospects in the trucking industry. You’ll be glad to know that the Phoenix, Mesa, and Glendale metropolitan area has one of the highest truck driver employment rates in the country. As Baby Boomers retire, more and more trucking jobs will be available all over the country; according to one estimate, U.S. trucking companies will hire over 100,000 drivers every year through 2016.

Average Trucker Salary

You can earn a great living as a truck driver based in Arizona. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona pays truck drivers more than most other states. The average salary range for Arizona truck drivers is between $41,000 and 52,000 a year. Compare that with the national mean annual wage, which is just over $40,000.

Cost of Living in Arizona

An Arizona truck driver salary can provide you and your family with more than enough to live a comfortable life—especially since the cost of living and fuel prices in Arizona are so reasonable. Phoenix and Tucson have consumer price indexes of 50.34 and 56.92. To put those numbers into perspective, New York City has a consumer price index of 100.

If you have any questions about beginning a career as a truck driver, contact HDS Truck Driving School. You can reach our Tucson driving school at (520) 622-0419 or our Phoenix driving school at (602) 484-7901 to discover how to earn your CDL and land a lucrative job in the trucking industry.


Semi Trucks: By the Numbers

The trucking industry is a major part of the U.S. economy. Billions of units of product are shipped to the U.S. every year, and semi trucks are largely responsible for distributing those products throughout the country. If you’re thinking of becoming an Arizona truck driver, you might be interested in learning a few key facts and statistics.

Semi Trucks on the Road

Semi trucks get their name from semi trailers, which do not have front wheels and rely on tractors for transportation. There are nearly 2 million semi trucks in operation in the U.S., and around 5.6 million semi trailers. Semi trucks and semi trailers are also known as tractors and tractor trailers, respectively.

Semi Truck Size and Weight

Most semi trailers are 53 feet long, though some semi trucks pull multiple trailers at once. Some semi truck engines weigh as much as 3,000 lbs., and can tow tens of thousands of pounds. Federal regulations state that semi trucks and trailers cannot weigh more than 80,000 lbs.—anything heavier could potentially damage roads and bridges.

Number of Miles Driven

Truck drivers drive an estimated 140 billion miles every year, and a single semi drives about 45,000 miles a year on average. According to the Federal Highway Administration, long-distance trucks travel upwards of 100,000 miles a year. 42% of all miles driven by commercial vehicles are driven by semi trucks.

Impact on the Economy

Semi trucks provide essential transportation services for the U.S. economy. Though trains provide efficient transportation, semi trucks are better at taking smaller loads to specific places. 68% of all goods are transported via semi truck. That works out to an astonishing 60,000 lbs. per American per year.

The truck driving instructors at HDS Truck Driving Institute can teach you anything else you’d like to know about the trucking industry. To find out which steps you need to take to earn your CDL, call our Tucson location at (520) 622-0419 or our Phoenix location at (602) 484-7901. With our help, you can earn your CDL and be well on your way to a promising new career.