Managing Truck Driving Stress

Between heavy traffic, tight deadlines, and long hours behind the wheel, truck driving can be a stressful career. If not properly managed, that stress can lead to health problems that affect your body physically and mentally. Learning how to cope with the stress that comes with trucking can help you improve your daily life and wellbeing. 

Follow these five tips to manage truck driving stress:

1. Listen to Music, Audiobooks, or Podcasts

A great way to take your mind off stressors, both driving-related and not, is listening to something while you drive. Whether it’s music, audiobooks, or podcasts, having audio to focus on rather than ruminating on your thoughts helps clear your mind. You should always stay focused on the road, but having something stimulating to listen to will keep your mind from wandering. 

2. Get Out and Stretch

With all trucking jobs, you will spend most of your day in the driver’s seat, so it is a good idea to step outside and move when possible. Each time you stop at a gas station, rest area, or truck stop, stretch for three to five minutes. Moving your body for short intervals during the day will work wonders to clear your mind. Not only will it relax any muscles that might be tense, but it will also prepare you for the remainder of your route.

3. Practice Meditation and Breathing Techniques 

Mindfulness techniques like meditation and breathing exercises are another way to help you remain calm when stressful situations arise while driving. Before you start your engine, take a moment to be mindful to start your day with a clear head. Practicing these techniques during breaks from driving or after your shift ends will also relax your muscles and alleviate any tension you’re holding in your body. 

4. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

When you feel good, you can better manage stress levels. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle starts with what you put into your body. Although fast-food restaurants are convenient while you’re on the road, they are not the best choice for your health or wellbeing. Make modifications to your eating habits like packing healthy meals and storing them in a mini-fridge or a cooler in your truck, and if you decide to stop to eat, make nutritious choices.

Exercise is another crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Many truck stops and rest areas have walking paths to get in a mile walk on your lunch break. Cardio gets your heart working and blood pumping, putting you in the right mindset to deal with the stressors of being on the road.

5. Plan Your Trips

Another way to reduce stress is to prepare for each trip you take. Worrying about whether or not you will make it to your next stop on time may cause you to rush, skip safety checks, or drive irresponsibly. Planning your trips can help you feel better prepared for when you encounter stressful situations. Before you hit the road, take the time to look over your route, pack meals, and inspect your truck.

A Trucking Driving School That Cares

When you attend Yuma Truck Driving School, we prepare drivers for a rewarding career where health comes first. We pride ourselves on graduating drivers that are thoroughly prepared to excel at life on the road. We also help ease the stressful transition from training to driving with our job placement program with local and national carriers. 

Get in touch with us to start training for your CDL today.

Why Most Truckers Start With OTR

Once you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are many different types of trucking jobs you can pursue. However, most drivers start their career with an over-the-road (OTR) position, even if they switch later on. Experienced drivers typically advise rookies to take this path, and you’ll also notice that the majority of entry-level CDL jobs are OTR.

Here are some of the reasons for this:

1. Exposure to New Situations

OTR truckers are exposed to a variety of different situations and driving conditions as they drive across the country. For example, long-haul drivers often get experience with icy roads, traffic jams, mountain driving, sudden changes in weather, and more, just during the course of their first year. Whether you plan to transition into a different type of trucking job or continue with OTR, this first year is a great opportunity to build your driving skills as you overcome these types of challenges.

2. Space Out Challenges

Although OTR does expose you to a variety of challenging driving conditions, these times are spaced out over various hauls, and much of your time will be spent on the highway. You’ll be able to focus on learning new skills and although this isn’t without its challenges, it’s less stressful than constantly doing the most difficult tasks every day.

By contrast, local jobs (and many regional jobs) often involve backing into loading docks several times a day and driving on crowded city streets. OTR still exposes you to these challenges, but you don’t have to do them all day every working day.

3. Better Pay

It’s worth noting that your specific rate of pay will vary depending on the company you work for, and will change as you gain experience. That being said, OTR typically offers the highest-paying job options for new trucking school graduates due to the high demand for these types of drivers. In addition, many motor carriers offer tuition reimbursement to help you pay off the cost of trucking school.

4. Insurance Purposes

The above reasons are related to why OTR is typically the best job to start with from the point of view of drivers. In addition to this, it’s helpful to also realize why there are fewer entry-level local or regional jobs from the point of view of trucking companies. Insurance is one of the major reasons for this.

Insurance is a significant expense for motor carriers, and new CDL holders cost more to insure than those with experience. Additionally, since local and regional jobs have more challenging conditions on a daily basis, there are additional risks associated with insuring new drivers in those positions. This is why most local or regional routes require six months to a year of previous trucking experience. Conversely, since OTR drivers are more in-demand, entry-level positions driving long haul are more accessible for new graduates.

Earn Your CDL and Start Driving

At Yuma Truck Driving School, you can earn your CDL in as little as four weeks and our job placement assistance team will help you find entry-level positions that match your needs, goals, and desires.

To learn more about our trucking school in Yuma, AZ, contact us today.

How to Get The Most Out Of Your CDL Training

The first step toward a rewarding career in truck driving is earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL). The best way to receive quality training is through a professional truck driving school. To get the most out of the experience, you should adopt the right mindset that will help you excel. 

Five tips to help you succeed during CDL training are:

1. Be Willing To Learn

Being coachable is one of the most important factors that lead to success during CDL training. Thinking you already have the material mastered will not only hinder your own progress but disrupt the learning of your fellow students as well. Remaining open to instruction is the key. After all, your instructors are drivers with real-world experience and they are a valuable asset to you during training.

2. Stay Optimistic

Throughout your CDL driver training, a lot of new information and skills will be thrown your way, and it is easy to get frustrated when you don’t pick up on some topics as easily as others. Staying optimistic and reminding yourself of the goals you are working toward will help you have the best experience possible. It is also important to try not to compare your progress to those around you. Everyone learns at their own pace.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Despite what students often think, asking questions does not make you look incompetent. If you have a question about the material, chances are that other students are wondering the same thing. You are in charge of your own learning and if you don’t understand something, it is up to you to get it clarified. Asking your instructors about their personal driving experiences is another way to get the most out of your CDL training. Showing them you care about your training will help you go further than if you are just going through the motions.

4. Be Observant

A good portion of your time in driving school will be spent on hands-on training, which includes observing other students’ driving. Instead of checking out, pay attention to your classmates while they practice. Make mental notes of their mistakes and learn from their techniques if they are doing especially well. This way, you can make the most of your time even when you aren’t driving.

5. Study, Study, Study

What you get out of the CDL training program depends on how much effort you put in. Paying attention and asking questions during class is a good start, but to retain the information, you also have to study. While the skills on the driving portion of the test require instructor supervision, you can practice pre-trip inspection and study for the written portion of the test on your own time. Getting together with your classmates for a study group is a great way to review the material you learned in class.

The Road to a New Trucking Career

While the above five tips can help you improve your experience, the quality of your CDL training also depends on the program you attend. At Yuma Truck Driving School, our instructors teach students about both technical knowledge and personal skills that are vital to employment in the truck driving industry. We also offer financial assistance, job placement after graduation, and paid externships for those who qualify.

Contact Yuma Truck Driving School to start earning your CDL today.

What to Know About the Tanker Endorsement

To become a certified truck driver, the first step is to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Then, you can take additional endorsement tests that demonstrate your knowledge and broaden your truck driving expertise. One of the available endorsements is for tanker vehicles. 


More information about what a tanker endorsement is, what vehicles require it, and how to earn one for yourself:

What is a Tanker Endorsement?

A tanker endorsement, also known as an N endorsement, is a type of certification that is used in combination with a trucker’s CDL. It signifies that they are qualified to transport liquid and gas in bulk. This widens the range of job opportunities available to truckers earning their licenses.

Many jobs require an X endorsement instead of just a tanker endorsement alone. The X endorsement combines the tanker and hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsements to allow drivers to haul hazardous materials such as gasoline. 

Vehicles That Require a Tanker Endorsement

Truck drivers need a tanker endorsement to operate a tank vehicle.


To determine if your load will require a tanker endorsement, check to see if these three facts apply:


  • Your cargo includes individual containers of liquid or gas with a capacity of over 119 gallons.
  • The containers are loaded on your vehicle and not empty.
  • The combined volume of all of the liquid and gaseous materials in the load exceeds 1,000 gallons.


If all three apply to your load, then you will need a tanker endorsement to haul it. These guidelines are outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in section 383.119 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

How to Earn a Tanker Endorsement

In order to earn your tanker endorsement, you will have to pass the tanker endorsement knowledge test. This written test contains around 25 multiple-choice questions and allows up to five mistakes. Once you have paid for and passed the test, you have the N endorsement on your CDL.

Obtaining an X endorsement is a bit more complicated. In addition to paying for and passing your tanker endorsement knowledge test, you must also pass a hazmat knowledge test and Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) background check. This process can take up to six weeks to complete.

Important information to familiarize yourself with before taking the endorsement exam includes how liquids and gasses move compared to other types of freight and how to prepare for a surge. There are also additional requirements that need to be met in order to pass your tanker endorsement exam. 


A few additional requirements are:


  • You must be 18 years of age or older.
  • You must have a valid United States passport.
  • You must pass an eye exam.

Earn Your Tanker Endorsement at Yuma Truck Driving School

At Yuma Truck Driving School, you have the opportunity to take the first step toward becoming a certified trucker by enrolling in our CDL program. We have helped hundreds of students not only pass their exams but become the type of professional drivers that companies rely on. Our program includes three endorsements: hazmat, tanker, and doubles/triples.

Contact Yuma Truck Driving School today for more information.