Avoid Drowsy Driving with These Tips

Driving long hours and sleeping in new places are regular aspects of working as a truck driver. If you are planning to start working in this industry, use the following tips to ensure that you avoid drowsy driving incidents that could lead to big accidents.

Take Frequent Breaks

You should take a 20-minute break every few hours during your shift. Pull over and get out of your vehicle so you can walk around. This gives you the opportunity to take a bathroom break, to replenish your snacks, and to get some beverages if you need them. Truck drivers are actually required to take at least one 30-minute break after driving for eight hours. You should also pull over any time your eyes start to feel heavy.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The foods you eat have a big impact on how well you feel during the day. You should make an effort to stay hydrated, especially on the days when you drive. Try to eat a diet with plenty of lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates so your body has the energy it needs. If possible, you should avoid fatty, processed foods that might actually make you feel more tired as you drive.

Use Caution Between Midnight and 6 A.M.

Most drowsy driving incidents tend to occur between midnight and 6 a.m. You should pay special attention to your body and its needs during these hours to avoid an unnecessary incident. If you feel tired and a 20-minute break does not help, you should pull over for a longer period of time.

If you are interested in getting your CDL in Tucson, sign up with HDS Truck Driving Institute. Our programs offer nationally-recognized truck driver training, refresher courses, road testing, and third-party Commercial Driver License testing to give you the tools you need to succeed in your career. To learn more about our programs or our admission process, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.

Top Causes of Trucking Accidents

When you enroll in truck driving school, you learn how to safely operate larger vehicles. Knowing about the top causes of trucking accidents can help you avoid them even before you start your program.

Disobeying the Rules of the Road

Driving rules are put into place for a reason. One of the most frequent causes of trucking accidents is when a driver neglects certain rules. It is extremely important to pay close attention to the information you learn in your driving school classes so you know exactly how to follow these rules and drive safely.

Not Servicing Vehicles Regularly

Another common cause of accidents is problems with the vehicle. If you drive a truck with under-inflated tires, bad bakes, tires with worn tread, or other maintenance issues, you have a higher risk of getting into an accident. Make sure you get your truck serviced regularly so you can be sure it is safe for the road.

Driving Tired

Drowsy driving is responsible for far too many trucking accidents each year. You should take a 20-minute break every few hours to avoid fatigue while on the road. If you feel like you are getting tired, you should pull over, get out of the vehicle, and spend some time walking around.


When you drive a truck, you are carrying heavy loads. If you speed or accelerate in an unsafe manner, it puts you and the drivers around you at a higher risk for an accident.  You should use caution when accelerating and when braking to ensure that you drive safely at all times. Check and double-check your blind spots before you change lanes.

HDS Truck Driving Institute offers some of the best truck driver training in Arizona. If you are interested in getting your CDL in Tucson, we are here to teach you all of the skills you need to know to get ahead in your career. To learn more about our programs, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.

Tips for Driving through Mountainous Terrain

When you enroll in truck driving school to earn your CDL, you will learn the fundamentals that you need to know when you operate a larger vehicle. This guide helps you gain some preliminary knowledge about how to safely maneuver mountain roads in a truck.

Do Some Research

There is plenty of information available about mountain roads. If you know the route that you plan to take, you can look up information about the mountains to learn about the steepness of the trail, how many lanes you can expect throughout the trip, and whether or not there are any escape lanes along the way. Depending on the weight of your load, you can determine if you need to plan for an alternate route.

Get Your Truck Serviced Before You Go

If you know that you will be driving through the mountains, you should make some time to get your truck serviced before you leave. It is important that your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater, and exhaust systems are all in working order. You should also check on the brake and transmission fluids and the tread of the tires. When your vehicle is in top condition, it will be much easier and safer to navigate the mountain roads.

Do Not Hug the Line

Some drivers have the tendency to stay too close to the center line when traveling on mountain roads. These roads tend to be narrower than regular highways, which makes some drivers nervous. Driving along the center line can be more dangerous, however, especially if drivers on the other side of the road are doing the same.

Learn everything you need to know about driving a truck at HDS Truck Driving Institute. Our instructors are here to ensure that you learn the information and the skills you need to obtain your CDL. With our programs, you can take control over your future and start working in an exciting industry. For more information on our programs or how to apply, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.

Staying Healthy While on the Road

Driving a truck gives you the opportunity to see large portions of the country as a part of your job. Spending long hours in a vehicle makes it more difficult to abide by healthy, habits, though. Use these tips to help ensure that you can be healthy on the road.

Fixing A Growing Problem

A 2014 study found that as many as 60 percent of long-haul truck drivers are obese. 17 percent of these obese drivers are morbidly obese. This weight statistics mean that a lot of truck drivers are at a higher risk for serious health issues like heart attack, diabetes, and stroke. With the proper attitude and the right habits, though, you can stay healthy while on the road.

Finding Ways to Exercise on the Road

It is important to find at least 15 minutes for exercise every single day. You do not have to go to a gym to increase your heart rate and to get your blood pumping. If you are only working out for a short amount of time, you should aim for high-energy workouts during which you maintain a maximum heart rate of 75-85 percent. You can do this by working multiple muscle groups simultaneously. You might want to bring some free weights into the truck with you so you can do a short workout at a truck stop.

Make an Effort to Eat Healthy

You should make an effort to eat after you exercise to help your body build muscle so it burns more fat. Eat breakfast every day and try to eat every three hours. Truckers have notoriously slow metabolism and maintaining a regular eating schedule can help you speed it up. Since it is hard to find healthy food at truck stops, you might want to pack snacks such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, and protein shakes. Try to avoid fatty, processed foods.

HDS Truck Driving Institute can teach you the skills you need to start working as a truck driver. Sign up today to start on the path toward a fulfilling career. To learn more, call (877) 205-2141.

Trucker Slang for Starters

Before you even enroll in truck driving school, you can familiarize yourself with some common trucking terms that you will probably encounter regularly on the road. Use this guide to prepare for your new career.


One of the most important elements of driving a truck safely is spotting any potential hazards on the road. An “alligator” is a term that refers to a piece of tire lying in the road. If possible, you should avoid these hazards so you do not get “bitten.” Although a truck is much bigger than a piece of a blown tire, it could cause damage to your hoses, belts, or other parts of the tractor. The force from your truck might also send it onto another vehicle and cause damage or an accident.

Backed Out of It

With all the weight of a truck, it might be hard to continue traveling at the same speed when the road inclines. If you can no longer maintain your speed on a hill and have to downshift, you refer to it as “backing out of it.” When this happens, you should move over to the right lane to let the faster drivers behind you pass.


The Federal Communication Commission encourages people who talk over CB radios to use handles. These nicknames make it easier to identify the speaker without having to announce your actual name over the radio waves. Drivers tend to pick their own CB handles and often choose a name that they feel reflects their personality.

Too Many Eggs in the Basket

You might use the term “too many eggs in the basket” if you are carrying too much weight in your truck. If you feel like your load is overweight, you should definitely mention something before you hit the road.

At HDS Truck Driving Institute, we give you the tools you need to earn your CDL and start working in the trucking industry. If you are ready to take control of your own career, we are here for you. To learn more about our programs or admissions, call (877) 205-2141.

Types of Trucking Jobs

When you make the decision to attend truck-driving school, you open yourself up to a whole new set of career possibilities. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of trucking jobs for which you can apply when you get your CDL.

Pulling a Dry Van

New drivers tend to start out by pulling a dry van. This type of truck uses a 53-foot trailer to haul dry goods. These jobs are easy and do not require a higher level of skill, which means they usually fall at the bottom of the pay scale.

Pulling or Hauling Refrigerated Freight

It is considered more difficult to haul trailers with perishable items that must be refrigerated. Not only must a trucker haul these goods, but he or she must also ensure that the freight stays at a certain temperature. Jobs that entail hauling refrigerated freight tend to pay more.

Hauling Flat Bed Loads

When freight does not fit easily into a trailer, it is often transported on a flat bed. Drivers handling flat bed loads are often responsible for driving airplanes, scaffolding, and other large loads that must be securely tied to the bed. Drivers who handle flat bed loads often have more work and more pay than they get with other kinds of jobs.

Driving Tankers

Although most people think tankers are primarily used for gasoline, they can hail any kind of liquid. When you drive a tanker, you are responsible for transporting liquids like milk, chemicals, and gases. Because some loads might be dangerous, truckers must receive special training before they can drive tankers.

No matter what kind of truck you want to drive, start your career at HDS Truck Driving Institute. Since 1991, we have served as one of the top truck driving schools in Arizona and give you the training you need to succeed in your future career. To learn more about our programs, visit us online or call (877) 205-2141.