Launching a Second Career as a Truck Driver

These days, few people work for just one company for 40 years before retiring. If you’re starting to think about transforming your life and launching your second career, consider whether hitting the open road as a professional truck driver might be right for you. There’s considerable appeal in taking up the trucking trade later in life. It all starts with a visit to a truck driving school, which can offer accelerated programs to get you on the road faster.

The Appeal of the Open Road

Most people who gravitate toward a career in an 18-wheeler are struck by a sense of wanderlust. They’re weary of working in a cubicle, staring at a computer for eight hours a day. As a professional truck driver, your mobile “office” will give you plenty of sunshine and fresh air. You’ll meet new people every day, and you’ll see new sights virtually every minute of your shift. Becoming a truck driver is the perfect opportunity to get better acquainted with the many natural and man-made wonders of North America.

The Perks of Being an Older Truck Driver

Another fantastic reason for choosing truck driving as a second career is that, at this point in your life, your family is probably a bit more flexible. If your kids are already grown and out of the house, then it’s easier to pick up OTR work—those long, multi-day trips around the country. This is likely one reason why more women are choosing truck driving as a second career later in life.

The Skills that Transfer to the Trucking Industry

It’s hard to beat truck driving as a second career, since so many skills readily transfer to the industry. This is especially true of military veterans, who understand how to think on their feet, make quick decisions, and take directions. Even if you’ve been in an office for much of your working life, your organizational skills will come in handy when completing the required compliance paperwork.

Whatever your background is, you can begin your second career as a professional truck driver at Yuma Truck Driving School in Arizona. We’re proud to accept GI Bill educational benefits, and we have a long history of working with military veterans and their families. Call us today at (888) 647-3239.

How Truckers Can Fight Fatigue

It’s often thought that drunk driving is the most hazardous thing you can do behind the wheel. But actually, driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous, which is why CDL holders are subjected to rigorous hour regulations. Always remember that you can and should pull over if you find yourself getting drowsy, even if you aren’t due up for a break yet.

Following Good Sleep Hygiene

Your sleep hygiene consists of all the practices you use to get a good night’s sleep. From your choice of pillow to the air temperature, every factor can make a big difference for the amount and quality of sleep you get. First, try to settle in for the evening and wake up at the same times each day. Turn on a source of white noise or put in earplugs to reduce outside noises. If light is problematic, try wearing an eye mask. And don’t forget to turn off your electronic devices at least an hour before hitting the hay!

Taking Regular Breaks

Getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night is the most important way to fight fatigued driving. However, you can also take regular breaks to prevent daytime fatigue. About every two hours, pull over at a rest station. Take a brisk walk around the area, stretch your major muscle groups, and get some fresh air.

Staying Well-Hydrated

Did you know that dehydration can make you feel drowsy? Stay hydrated with good old-fashioned water, and perhaps the occasional coffee. Aim to drink enough water to keep your urine colorless or very lightly colored. If your urine is dark, you’re already dehydrated.

Fueling Up with Healthy Foods

It can be tempting to grab fast food, but this tends to be full of simple carbohydrates that will leave you feeling tired quickly. Instead, look for healthier options on the menu. Or, bring along some simple kitchen supplies and ingredients so that you can prepare your own healthy meals and snacks.

Yuma Truck Driving School graduates conscientious, fully prepared truckers who are ready to pursue a lucrative career as a CDL holder. Call (888) 647-3239 today to find out about enrolling in our upcoming truck driving training programs!


Healthiest Fast Food Choices for Life on the Road

Since they spend much of their time on the road, truckers become well-acquainted with the menus of fast food chain restaurants. Of course, a couple of small appliances are all that’s necessary to transform your cab into a mini-kitchen, and there are plenty of healthy meals you can make yourself. But if you’re in a rush, consider the following healthier fast food selections.


It’s hard to drive for any length of time without seeing the Golden Arches somewhere nearby. If you’re at McDonald’s for breakfast or a snack, try the fruit and maple oatmeal. You’ll need to specifically request that they not add brown sugar or cream if you want to keep it on the healthier side. If you’re at McDonald’s for lunch or dinner, order a regular hamburger without all the extras. Request water instead of soda—a good rule of thumb no matter which fast food restaurant you’re at.


Subway has a reputation for being a healthier option, and it certainly can be. Just avoid the cookies and order from their Fresh Fit menu. It features six-inch subs that are all 400 calories or fewer. If you’re concerned about your sodium intake, choose a chicken or vegetarian option instead of roast beef or ham.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell can be a nutritional disaster, given all the cheese and beef in many of their options. But there are some choices that are less unhealthy. One bean burrito has fewer than 400 calories, but it’ll cost you over 1,000 milligrams of sodium. A gordita supreme with chicken has even fewer calories and roughly half the sodium. Other reasonably healthy choices are a fresco chicken soft taco and a chicken cool ranch DLT. The trick is limiting yourself to just one or two.


You can get ready for your rewarding career on the road with the flexible programs available at Yuma Truck Driving School. Call (888) 647-3239 to find out about CDL training options in Yuma, AZ.

Fitness Tips for Life on the Road

77739405As a truck driver, much of your daily work is done behind the wheel of your truck. However, long hours spent sitting can also be associated with certain health concerns, including back pain, heart disease, and even sleep disorders. The best way to avoid the risks of sitting too much is to maintain your fitness while on the road—keep reading for a few simple tips you can use to enjoy better health, flexibility, and alertness throughout your trucking career.

Go for Walks

Studies have shown that the best way to negate hours of sitting is to break up that time with periodic activity. Take a five-minute walk as often as possible, such as when you stop for food or gas. You don’t need a destination—simply stroll around the parking lot or take a moment to inspect your truck and trailer before getting back on the road. Getting up to take several short walks throughout the day is the best way to restore blood flow and improve muscle and brain activity after sitting, which offers benefits during the current day as you drive, and well into the future.

Tone Your Muscles

Even if you’ll be spending multiple days on the road, you can take some time to tone your muscles every night when you stop to sleep. There are a variety of simple exercises you can perform to improve muscular strength, either inside the cab of your truck or just outside the door. Taking a few minutes out of your day to complete pushups, lunges, jumping jacks, and chest presses will not only help to tone your muscles, it will improve bone density and circulation, and even help to promote deeper, more restful sleep each night.
Are you ready to enjoy a healthy and successful trucking career in Arizona? At Yuma Truck Driving School, our CDL training programs will help you prepare to enter the workforce as a competent and confident trucker. You can find out more about us when you visit our website, or by calling (888) 647-3239.

An Intro to CB Radio for Truckers

A Truck Driver Looking Out of Window From His Semi Truck
A Truck Driver Looking Out of Window From His Semi Truck

CB radio, also called Citizens Band radio, originated as an FCC-regulated personal radio service in 1945. Today, CB radios remain in use by truckers across the country for short-range communications and updates. Learning to use the CB radio effectively and communicate with fellow truckers can help you stay up to date on road conditions and more while behind the wheel of your truck.

CB Radio Use

Truckers mainly use CB radios for informal communication over a short distance—most mobile CB radios can reach distances of up to 15 miles, depending on the unit and the terrain, while base stations typically achieve distances of ten miles between the station and a mobile unit. CB radio signals aren’t far-reaching, but they can be used to update other truckers of changing road conditions, upcoming weather, and even speed traps or open weigh stations and checkpoints ahead. Additionally, truckers may use CB radios to ask for help and advice, such as assistance with a blown tire or recommendations for a good restaurant in the next town. Furthermore, many trucking industry officials also use CB radios for communications, including weigh station and truck stop personnel.

CB Radio Channels

CB radios use a set of 40 discrete channels in the 27 MHz band for communication. However, most truckers typically use only two of these 40 channels, although usage may depend on your location in the United States. Channels 17 and 19 are the two channels most commonly used by truckers; in some areas, those on north- and southbound roads use channel 19, while those on east- and westbound roads communicate on channel 17.

At Yuma truck Driving School, we offer Class A and B CDL training in Arizona to help you achieve your goals as a truck driver. We invite you to contact us online for more information about our admissions and financial assistance options, or give us a call at (888) 647-3239 to discuss enrollment in one of our nationally-recognized truck driver training programs.

What Does it Take to Become an Owner Operator?

ThinkstockPhotos-459271399Many professional truck drivers strive to become owner operators. It is important to remember, however, that this job is not for everyone; you must be committed, responsible, and willing to communicate. Continue on to find out if you have what it takes to become an owner operator.

Persistence and Dedication

While owner operators might enjoy fulfilling and rewarding jobs, they are not taking the easy route by any means. It is important to remember that what you get out of this position depends entirely on what you put into it. If you are committed to truck driving, you enjoy the lifestyle, and you are ready to put in the hours and earn your paycheck, then becoming an owner operator might be a wise decision for you.

Financial Responsibility

Some people tend to be somewhat lackadaisical with their money, and this can be a major fault in an aspiring owner operator. Owner operators enjoy their job security, but they do not necessarily have a consistent amount of work all year long. This is why it is particularly important to have an accurate idea of your finances and your expected income. Budgeting skills can help you get through a slow period comfortably.

Communication Skills

Having connections and a strong dynamic with other individuals is advantageous in virtually every industry. As an owner operator, you will have to be sure to network with the right people in order to be successful. Once you have developed these relationships, you can enjoy predictable business from these familiar faces.

If you have set your sights on becoming an owner operator, you can start by studying for your CDL at Yuma Truck Driving School. Our driving school is dedicated to helping students earn their commercial driver’s licenses and break into the professional driving industry. Feel free to visit our website or call us at (888) 647-3247 to learn more about our services.

The Best Truck Stops in the Country

499464937Driving a truck professionally might not sound so exciting to some people, but the outlook changes when you consider the sights and scenery you will come across. There are many interesting truck stops that professional truckers stop at during their travels. Keep reading for a look at some of the best truck stops in the country.

South of the Border
In addition to being one of the best truck stops in the country, South of the Border is also one of the more interesting places you might come across. This truck stop is always ready to offer food, lodging, and even entertainment in South Carolina. Next time you are passing through, stop at one of their six restaurants for a bite and then catch some sleep at their campground or inn.

Sapp Bros. Travel Center
Some of the best truck stops in the country are chains, like Sapp Bros. Travel Centers. This truck stop chain is convenient because they offer roadside assistance at all hours. Many of them also feature delicious and affordable food through their Apple Barrel restaurants. There are sixteen Sapp Bros. locations in the United States.

Little America
If you do not have any extra lodging space when your family or friends come to visit you in Arizona, point them in the direction of Little America. This beautiful truck stop has everything you might need on the road, from gas and groceries to a golf course and fitness center. Once you have gotten a taste of Little America, you will be excited to come back and visit again on your next expedition.

Would you like to experience the best truck stops in the country in person? Call Yuma Truck Driving School at (888) 647-3247 and start your journey into the world of truck driving. We are dedicated to training students to pass their CDL exams and enter the industry. You can learn much more about our services by visiting our website today.

The Predominance of Trucking Jobs in the USA

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.

A Look at the Dangers of Distracted Driving

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.



A Glimpse Back at the History of Truck Driving

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.

Creating a Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your Fleet

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.



The Advantages of Leasing a Truck

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.