The trucking industry has remained one of the most successful industries in the U.S. for decades. Thanks to positive changes in the economy, the need for qualified CDL drivers has continued to rise. Today, truck driving is one of the nation’s most common jobs—keep reading to learn more about what makes this career choice such a popular and desirable path to follow.
The Prevalence of Trucking Jobs
According to a recent study performed by NPR, full-time truck, delivery, and tractor drivers who work 35 hours per week or more are the most common workers in many states. This group includes not only traditional OTR truck drivers, but long- and short-range delivery truck drivers and employees as well. The results of this study show that while secretarial and farming jobs were once some of the most commonplace positions in the U.S., there has been a major shift over the past three decades toward the trucking industry.
The Reasons for Increasing Trucking Jobs
There are many reasons for the observed increase in popularity and availability of trucking jobs. The trucking industry has remained largely immune to changes in the way business is conducted—where once many office and factory workers were needed for daily operations, increased automation has caused a decline in such positions. However, such automation has not affected truck drivers. Additionally, increases in general commerce and e-commerce have both led to a corresponding increase in the need for truck drivers to deliver both raw materials and consumer goods. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics and Labor predicts that between 2014 and 2022, the demand for truck drivers will double, increasing from 1.4 million jobs to 2.76 million jobs.
Are you ready to take advantage of the trucking industry’s success by becoming a CDL trucker in Tucson? Visit HDS Truck Driving Institute on the web or stop by one of our open house events to find out more about our Class A and B CDL training and testing programs. You can also reach us by calling (877) 205-2141 to discuss financial aid, admissions, and more.
Throughout your trucking career, one of your most important goals while on the job should be traversing the road safely. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., leading to hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Learning the dangers of distracted driving and how you can avoid driving distracted will protect not only you, but the drivers you encounter while on the road as well.
The Basics of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving refers to any type of driving while your full attention is not on the road. Distractions may be large or small, ranging from phone conversations and texting behind the wheel to checking a map, changing the radio station, or eating. Any activity that takes your attention away from the road is considered distracted driving and increases your chances of an accident.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a danger because distractions reduce your ability to react quickly and properly to changes in road conditions. However, it’s also important to note that even if you are driving without distractions, the vehicles around your truck may be controlled by distracted drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at any given time, 660,000 car and truck drivers are using handheld phones or electronic devices while behind the wheel. Taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds to dial a phone, read a text, or type a word can result in distracted driving over the length of a football field if your truck is moving just 55 mph. The results of distracted driving are just as widespread—more than 3,000 deaths and 400,000 injuries were reported in 2012 as a result of distracted driving.
Taking steps to reduce distractions in the cab can keep you and those around your truck safer while on the road. You can learn more about safe truck driving techniques when you visit HDS Truck Driving Institute on the web to check out our informative blog, or by calling (877) 205-2141 for details about our CDL school in Tucson.
Truck driving as a service and a career has existed since shortly after the use of vehicles became widespread around the end of World War I. Since this time, trucking has grown to become one of the predominant industries in the United States. Today, truck driving is responsible for the delivery of more than half of the raw materials and consumer goods shipped in the U.S., contributing to both the growing job market and the improving economy.
The Birth of Truck Driving
Prior to WWI, most goods were transported across the U.S. via train or horse-drawn carriage. Starting in the 1930s, the use of trucks to transport goods began to increase as the establishment of paved roads became more widespread. In 1933, the American Highway Freight Association and the Federation Trucking Associations of America merged to form American Trucking Associations, which remains the trucking industry’s largest national trade association.
The Establishment of Trucking Regulations
As the trucking industry continued to grow, the need for trucking regulations arose out of public safety concerns for both truckers and other drivers. In 1965, the first hours of service rule was enacted; since then, the hours of service rule has been updated several times. The deregulation of the trucking industry occurred in 1980 with the passage of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, allowing carriers the right to establish their own rates and reducing the overall cost of consumer goods. In response to growing safety concerns, the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to develop and implement strategies for improved safety while on the road.
The trucking industry continues to make history today as a major workforce in the U.S. You can earn your CDL in Arizona to become an important part of this industry by attending HDS Truck Driving Institute of Tucson. Check us out online to find out more about admissions and CDL classes, or feel free to call us at (877) 205-2141 for the answers to your questions about CDL school and truck driving.
Truck drivers rely on the quality of their truck for safety and efficiency while on the road. Whether you are part of a large or small trucking fleet, maintenance is the key to greater performance across every mile. By including truck drivers as part of a fleet maintenance program, employers can improve results, lower operating costs, and take steps toward a healthier environment.
Outline Maintenance Needs
The first step in creating a preventive fleet maintenance plan is to outline every vehicle’s maintenance needs. If a fleet is comprised of similar vehicles, this step may be simple—however, it’s still important to take into account the age and mileage of each truck. Fleets that include many different trucks may require more organization at first, as different vehicles often require different maintenance tasks at varying mileage. Keeping a record of each vehicle, its past maintenance, and the schedule on which it should be maintained will help employers and truck drivers stay on top of regular maintenance for improved performance.
Note Every Change
As a truck driver, you are on the front lines when it comes to noticing changes in your vehicle’s performance. Rather than waiting until a component has completely failed, note any changes in your truck’s performance, large or small, as soon as you notice them. CDL drivers learn how to perform pre- and post-trip inspections on their vehicle; taking the time to follow inspection protocols carefully and thoroughly will help you spot issues that require maintenance or repair. Addressing problems when they are minor will cut costs and reduce the chances of a breakdown that could result in significant lost time, widespread damage to other parts of the vehicle, and even risk your safety while on the road.
HDS Truck Driving Institute is dedicated to teaching you how to become a successful trucker in Arizona. Our CDL school will provide you with the skills and know-how to excel—please call (877) 205-2141 or take a look through our website to find out more.
Once you have earned your CDL, it’s time to begin searching for the perfect trucking job. There are many options available, including becoming an independent owner/operator truck driver. As an owner/operator, you can choose to purchase your own truck, or lease a truck from a carrier when you begin work.
Learning the Ropes
One of the major advantages of leasing a truck early in your trucking career is the opportunity to observe a successful business in action. Beginning your career by working for a carrier allows you to experience what it is like to be a truck driver and get to know the nuances of the business without putting your personal finances at risk. Working independently means you must handle every aspect of your business, which can be confusing and frustrating if you are new to the trucking industry. Easing your way into the industry and observing how your employer makes decisions is a good way to familiarize yourself with the system and concentrate on expanding your experience as a driver before you strike out on your own.
Steady Work and Pay
As an owner/operator, you are responsible for finding work. Depending on your preferences and abilities, maintaining regular work can be difficult. By choosing to lease a truck from a carrier and work under a larger employer, you will have greater job and financial security. Working for a carrier means you will receive regular routes and miles, regular pay, and often company benefits that can save you money as well. Furthermore, you will not be responsible for the cost of upkeep of your truck or its licensing. Letting your employer handle these aspects will also save you time and money, while ensuring you and your truck are always qualified to work.
Whether you want to own or lease a truck, the first step in a successful trucking career is attending an Arizona CDL school for training. HDS Truck Driving Institute offers new and refresher CDL courses for truckers of all experience levels. You can reach us by phone at (877) 205-2141, or by filling out our web contact form.
Due to their size and length, trucks have numerous blind spots that cannot be seen directly from the cab. These blind spots pose a safety hazard to both truck drivers and the vehicles around them. Your mirrors provide the valuable information you need about traffic and other conditions around your truck to help you remain safe on the road.
Visualize Your Surroundings
The main value of your truck’s mirrors is their ability to help you visualize your surroundings. Your mirrors are mounted in a way to compensate for many of your truck’s blind spots, giving you a clearer picture of the cars, pedestrians, and structures around you as you drive. Checking your mirrors constantly allows you to spot potential hazards, such as vehicles or pedestrians next to your truck, preventing accidental collisions during lane changes and turns. However, it’s important to remember that even with your mirrors, your truck still has large blind spots and you should always handle changes in course with care.
Keep Up with Road Conditions
In addition to providing the location of the cars around you, your truck’s mirrors also provide information about where these cars are going and how fast they are moving. As you drive, you can use your mirrors to ensure you are keeping up with traffic and to note changes in the flow of traffic around you. You can also use your mirrors to visualize the movement of cars and make predictions about how they will move in the future to ensure you are moving at a safe speed and have sufficient time and space to react to sudden changes in road conditions or unexpected moves made by aggressive drivers.
At HDS Truck Driving Institute, you’ll learn how to handle a truck safely during your CDL training in Tucson. You can find out more about our nationally recognized truck driver training and how to enroll in our program by calling (877) 205-2141 or clicking through our website.