Getting Pre-Hired as a Commercial Truck Driver

Trucking is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. Pre-hiring is a process by which you are notified that a trucking company finds you desirable for a job once you graduate from CDL training. Although a letter of pre-hire is not a guarantee of a job, it is a valuable advantage that will greatly increase your chances of being hired as a truck driver upon graduation.

Seeking CDL Training

The first step in pursuing a career as a truck driver is to enroll in a CDL training school. This is the best way to successfully pass the CDL test and obtain your Commercial Driver’s License. Trucking companies often look to CDL schools to find their newest employees; thus, receiving an education at a notable CDL school is a great way to get pre-hired as a commercial truck driver.


Networking helps you to build a social structure that will serve you well as a truck driver, particularly as you are starting out. Talking to your CDL trainers, local truck drivers, and trucking recruiters are all avenues you should pursue to increase your chances of being pre-hired. Letting potential employers know who you are and that you are interested in working for them will increase your visibility while also showing that you have self-initiative that makes you valuable as an employee.

Doing Research

Showing that you are familiar with a potential employer before you speak with them is another excellent way to show initiative and interest. Take the time to do some research and find out which trucking companies you feel might suit you best. In addition, many trucking companies offer online questionnaires for pre-hires that provide them with the information they need to determine whether they would like to pre-hire you based upon your answers.

At HDS Truck Driving Institute, you’ll receive not only a top-notch trucking education, but lifetime job placement assistance and access to experienced truckers and trainers in Tucson. Visit our website to explore our programs or call (877) 205-2141 for more information on classes, enrollment, and military benefits.

Why Trucking Is a Lifestyle

Trucking is a unique and exciting career that offers the opportunity to travel the country as an integral part of a thriving industry. While you may pursue trucking as a career, you will quickly learn that many truckers consider truck driving to be a lifestyle. Learning to enjoy this lifestyle is a key part of getting the most from your career and the places it will take you.

Life on the Road

One of the major factors that differentiates trucking from other careers is the time you spend away from home. Most truckers spend an average of five to seven days away from home at a time, followed by one or two days at home before the next haul. During this time, your truck becomes your home. Adapting your lifestyle to this constant travel is part of pursuing a career as a truck driver. In fact, many truckers enjoy this type of on-the-go lifestyle and the opportunities it provides. You will be able to see cities, landmarks, and more as you cross the country that you may not have been able to visit on your own.

Driving Safely

Life as a trucker is also a commitment to driving safely. You must learn to maintain constant vigilance and care while behind the wheel, recognizing that many drivers around you will not take the same care. Maintaining a positive attitude and avoiding road rage are important skills for any trucker. Finding ways to keep yourself engaged without taking your concentration off the road is also a key element of the trucking lifestyle. Many drivers explore new music tastes, listen to radio shows, or simply take in the scenery around them as they travel the open road.

You can learn more about the trucking lifestyle and what it takes to become a truck driver when you stop by one of HDS Truck Driving Institute’s open house events in Tucson. We also encourage you to visit our website or contact us by calling (877) 205-2141 to find out more about obtaining your CDL.

Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License in Arizona

Before you can work for a company as a truck driver, you must obtain your Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL. This license allows you to operate any vehicle weighing more than 10,001 lbs for commercial purposes, as well as transport properly labeled hazardous materials. The best way to obtain your CDL in Arizona is to attend a CDL training school to learn the skills and information you will need to pass the CDL exam.

Basic Requirements

Prior to pursuing CDL training to take the CDL exam, there are a few basic requirements all CDL applicants must meet in the state of Arizona. To obtain a CDL in Arizona, you must be able to prove that Arizona is your state of domicile. You must be at least 21 years old to apply for a CDL; if you are between the ages of 18 and 21, you can apply for an intrastate license valid only in Arizona until you turn 21. Furthermore, truck drivers under the age of 21 may not transport hazardous materials. All CDL applicants must also pass a US DOT medical exam. The results of this exam are required upon application for your CDL.

Obtaining Your CDL

Before you can operate a truck—even for training—you must obtain a valid Arizona CDL Instruction/Learner Permit. To obtain this permit, you will need the results from your DOT medical exam, a valid social security card, and a valid driver’s license. You must wait at least 14 days after obtaining your CDL Instruction/Learner Permit to take the CDL skills test for your Commercial Driver’s License. Once you are ready to obtain your CDL, you must take and pass a standard CDL exam that includes both a written and a skills exam.

HDS Truck Driving Institute is a fully accredited CDL school that has graduated thousands of truck drivers over the past two decades. We are proud to offer CDL training, refresher courses, and road testing in Tucson. You can get more information about our programs, admissions, and financial aid on the web or when you call us at (877) 205-2141.

Skid Control and Recovery Tips

During your CDL training, you will learn not only how to operate your truck safely under nominal conditions, but also how to control it under poor conditions. Skidding occurs when your wheels lose their grip on the road; this may happen for many reasons, including road conditions and poor handling of your truck. Learning how to control and recover from a skid is an essential skill for any truck driver—keep reading to review some helpful skid control and recovery tips to keep in mind while on the road.

If Your Back Wheels Skid

Back wheel skids occur most often when the truck accelerates or decelerates too quickly, either due to driver mistakes or slippery conditions. The biggest danger involved in a back wheel skid is a jackknife situation. You can stop a back wheel skid by taking your foot off the pedal. Don’t break—keep your wheels rolling, but reduce your forward speed until you regain control of the truck.

If Your Front Wheels Skid

The majority of front wheel skids occur when driving too fast for conditions; front wheel skids may also be caused by worn tires or uneven cargo loading. The best way to recover from a front wheel skid is to stop the truck as quickly as possible; however, avoid braking very hard, which could worsen the skid.

If Your Drive Wheels Skid

During a drive wheel skid, avoid braking to let the rear wheels regain traction. If you are on ice, push the clutch in. As your truck slows, turn quickly—your truck will start to turn sideways, at which point you should turn the wheel in the direction you want to go. Once your truck straightens, countersteer quickly to avoid skidding in the other direction.

Learning and reviewing how to handle your truck in any conditions will keep you safe on the road during your career as a truck driver. HDS Truck Driving Institute offers CDL training, refresher courses, and road testing in Tucson. You can contact us online or by calling (877) 205-2141.

Beginning Your Job Search as a New Truck Driver

Once you have completed your CDL training and passed the CDL exam, it’s time to begin your job search as a new truck driver. The time has never been better to pursue a career in trucking—each month, new jobs are added throughout the industry. As a new driver, there are numerous possibilities just waiting to be explored; take a look at the tips below to get started.

Applying for Jobs

The best time to begin applying for jobs as a truck driver is as soon as you know the completion date of your CDL training. Apply for as many jobs as possible, keeping in mind that you can always turn down offers if you have too many. Having multiple options allows you to choose the job that best suits you, rather than settling for the only employer that makes you an offer.

Types of Trucking

Most new truck drivers begin their careers as OTR, or over the road truckers. OTR trucking involves longer routes and many days spent on the road at a time. Even if you want to try other types of trucking, OTR provides you with the experience you’ll need to seek more specialized job options later on. As an OTR trucker, you can haul various types of freight for additional experience, such as flatbed trailers and refrigerated trailers.

Talking to Recruiters

One of the best ways to get the trucking job you want is to learn how to talk to recruiters. Keep in mind that recruiters have many different approaches, but being honest and maintaining a positive attitude will help you get the perfect job. Additionally, make sure to ask important questions about pay, benefits, and time spent away from home—this information can help you find the job that meets your wants and needs.

HDS Truck Driving Institute of Tucson offers lifetime job placement assistance once you graduate. Contact us today by calling (877) 205-2141, visiting our website, or stopping by an open house event to find out how we can prepare you for a successful career in trucking.

What On-the-Job Training Is Like for Truck Drivers

Even after you have received standard CDL training, you will still receive on-the-job training once you begin work. This training may last for weeks or months, during which you will work with your trainer to hone the specific skills necessary for your job. Knowing what to expect from your on-the-job training can help you make the most of this valuable experience.

What You Will Learn

The purpose of on-the-job training is not only to practice your trucking skills, but also to ensure you learn all regulations and procedures required by your employer. Every trucking company has a unique set of driver requirements and protocols in place, which depend upon the company and your position. These requirements may include safety procedures and specialized policies on damaged goods or package returns. During your on-the-job-training, you’ll also become familiarized with the types of trailers you’ll be handling to ensure you can control your truck safely and effectively once you are on your own.

Why On-The-Job Training Is Valuable

One of the best ways to get the most from your on-the-job training is to recognize why it is valuable. During your on-the-job training, you’ll be working constantly with a more experienced trucker who can offer you advice, tips, and guidance. Taking advantage of your trainer’s experience can give you valuable insight that will help you avoid making beginner mistakes. It’s also important to recognize that the best way to hone your trucking skills is to practice them in the real world on roads in all types of conditions. Your training will allow you to do this while still retaining an experienced trucker at your side to help when you need it.

Are you ready to pursue a career in truck driving? HDS Truck Driving Institute is here to help—we offer comprehensive CDL training, refresher courses, and job placement services for all our graduates. Check out our blog for additional trucking advice and information, or give us a call at (877) 205-2141 to discuss admissions today.