4 Questions to Ask a Trucking Recruiter - Mar 27, 2020

Once you pass the CDL exam, you’ll be ready to sign with a company and start a new chapter in your career. However, not every company is the same. While each company provides standard benefits, they’ll also offer different incentives for truck drivers to work with them. 

Questions You Should Ask Before Signing With a Trucking Company 

1. What’s the Company’s Safety Record? 

You’ll want to find a company that’s both safe and protects its truckers. Find out how many of their semis are modern. Ask how many miles they have on them. 

Companies with modern rigs have updated technology and improved comfort. They have live GPS tracking and internet-connected dash cams. These additions help truck drivers make their deliveries on schedule and provide them with a defense if an accident occurs. 

2. How Are the Salary & Benefits?

Ask about the company’s salary and pay periods so that you can manage your money between checks. Electronic payment options also streamline the process, but programs come with fees. 

Trucking companies offer medical benefits and 401k programs, but there are questions to be asked about them. 

Find out which the company offers medical plans and what the premiums are. If you have a family, ask how much it will cost to add them to your plan.

Most companies offer 401ks, which will help you as you move into retirement. However, different companies will have different policies. Ask if the company matches your contributions and how long it will take for you to become fully vested. 

3. What Are the Best Routes? 

Most new drivers start as long-distance drivers. It provides you with experience and the opportunity to see more of this beautiful country. However, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) notes that some companies have changed that policy. Some offer better routes that leave you closer to home to entice new drivers and stop the trucking shortage, as reported on by Bloomberg.com. 

Ask about what routes the company travels along. Some routes will net you more money, while others allow you to be home more often. 

4. Does the Company Offer Opportunities for Advancement? 

The recruiter you’re interviewing was probably a driver themselves before taking on this new role. If you’re ready to move beyond the steering wheel and the road ahead, a good company will have options. Many of those in management positions, including fleet managers, were drivers before they were supervisors. 

Being a truck driver provides you with insights on the industry that can help you if you desire to climb up the chain. 

Before embarking on an exciting new career as a truck driver, you need to pass the CDL exam. Our accredited program will give you the classroom and on-the-road experience you’ll need to ace it. Reach out to us at (330) 239-2229.

OH Reg. #2057

ODPS License #1439-2369

Understand the CDL Exam & How to Ace It - Mar 10, 2020

With your program coming to an end, you’ll soon take the CDL exam that your classes have prepared you for. The test is broken up into two sections—a written and road portion—to ensure that you’re prepared for life on the road and that you’re a safe driver. Knowing what to expect will let you go into the exam with confidence.

What Does the CDL Test Include?

The Written Section

Ohio BMV’s CDL has revealed that their test is broken into two parts: a written and a skills section. The written test contains 50 multiple-choice questions, according to driving-test.com. It’s also broken up into several sections, covering multiple topics.

The first section focuses on general knowledge and regulations regarding the safe transportation of goods. 

The exam will also cover different endorsements you can apply for, such as hazardous materials, tankers, oversized loads, combination tanker/HAZMAT, and passenger vehicles.

Finally, the test will contain an air brakes test. The air brakes ensure that large vehicles safely stop by using compressed air. Passing this section of the test will allow you to operate semi-trucks that use air brakes, opening you up to further opportunities. 

The Skills Section

When you pass the written section, you’ll move on to the skills section. An examiner will watch as you pre-inspect your vehicle before using it, ensuring it’s safe to use on the road. This shows your understanding of the rig’s mechanics and your dedication to safe driving. 

For the next part, you’ll get behind the wheel with your examiner. They’ll ask you to do basic maneuvers you learned while in your CDL program. You’ll turn, park, and move forward and in reverse. 

In the final part of the skills test, you’ll drive on the streets and highway, proving your capability as a truck driver in a day-to-day scenario. 

What Are Some Tips to Help You Ace the CDL Test?

The foundation of success is in the preparation. One of your best resources is the yearly-updated Ohio CDL handbook. The manual is available online, though your driving school probably has hard copies, as well. Your instructors will help you understand the contents and how they factor into the exam. 

Take detailed notes during your CDL classes and ask questions whenever you’re unsure of the material. 

Practice tests are available online for you to study from, along with your notes and the manual. By testing yourself repeatedly, you’ll understand what sections need further study. 

In the days leading up to the exam, make sure you’re getting restful sleep. You’ll be more alert on the day of the test and you’ll be ready to ace it. 

Our accredited program will give you the tools you need to pass the CDL exam and move on to a lucrative career as a truck driver. For our 2020 class schedule, reach out to us at (330) 239-2229.

  • OH Reg. #2057
  • ODPS License #1439-2369

The Reasons Behind the Truck Driver Shortage & How It Can Benefit You - Feb 21, 2020

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported that in 2018, there was a record high shortage of over 60,000 truck drivers. The reasons range from a growing economy and increasing demand to aging drivers retiring from their positions. To entice a younger generation to become truckers, companies are offering incentives that can benefit you throughout your new career. 

What’s the Cause of the Truck Driver Shortage?

Driver Shortage

One of the primary factors causing the truck driver shortage is their aging workforce. The current generation of truckers is retiring faster, partially because of the new technologies being introduced into the vehicles. They make the trucks safer and more energy-efficient, according to fleetowner.com.

However, the aging truckers aren’t as accustomed to technology as younger people are, making them retire earlier. As a result, there are more drivers retiring than there are to replace them. 

Improving Economic Conditions

The economy is improving, with The Balance reporting a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.9%. More businesses are increasing their production, which also means an increased need for distribution. 

Trucking is experiencing a boom period, but it doesn’t have the drivers to meet the high demand.

How Does It Benefit Potential Truck Drivers?

With high demand and fewer drivers, job security for truckers is also high. The ATA reports that over the next 10 years, trucking companies will need to hire approximately 898,000 new truckers. To fill this growing need, potential truck drivers are being offered incentives to join the industry. 

Among the incentives you can receive is a signing bonus. Depending on the company, a solo driver could receive $15,000 upfront, while team drivers can be offered 50,000, according to simplemost.com. 

The higher demand has increased revenue, allowing companies to also offer more money and better benefits to their drivers. The ATA reports that between 2017 and 2018, driver wages increased by 10%.

On average, a truck driver will have an average salary of $59,431, according to indeed.com. The

pay increases with the more endorsements drivers obtain during their career

Potential truck drivers take their first steps toward their new careers with our accredited CDL program. For our 2020 schedule of day and night classes, reach out to us at (330) 239-2229. 

OH Reg. #2057

ODPS License #1439-2369

4 Tips on How to Survive Trucking School - Jan 29, 2020

To become a truck driver, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) by going to an accredited driving school and passing a written and on-the-road test. These classes are the foundation for your success and the key to beginning a new and lucrative career. By following these tips, you’ll get the most out of your experience and be better prepared for life as a trucker.

What Should You Do During Your CDL Classes?

1. Maintain a Study Schedule

Success relies on preparation. Take detailed notes while you’re in class and go over them whenever you have free time. You can even prepare before classes begin. Study the Ohio CDL manual and take notes to prepare for your exam. The checklist of items you’ll need before you get on the road is extensive, as is the guide on how to handle your rig. Keep a list of tips and tricks to help you until it becomes second nature.

2. Prioritize the Classes

Trucking school isn’t an ordinary school. It’s a short-term commitment—usually lasting only four to eight weeks in Ohio, according to AllTrucking.com. If you miss a class, you’ll lose vital information. Instructors move quickly to get drivers on the road faster.

Everything your instructor teaches you is important for your new career. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. The instructors are there to help, and they’re happy to answer questions.

3. Preserve Your Health

Sugary snacks and fast food are extremely convenient when you’re on the road, but they’re best left as a rare treat. Trucking is a sedentary job, meaning you’ll be spending up to 11 hours a day driving, as reported by The Balance.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires truckers to keep a healthy diet and fitness regimen ahead of time, so you can pass the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. Do workouts that focus on your core to stay trim and reduce the likelihood of back pain later on. When you’re on the road, trucker-specific fitness apps suggested by ATBS.com will help you maintain your health.

While you’re still in class and when you’re on the road later, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. You’re more alert, focused, and can concentrate easier when you’re rested and less likely to make simple mistakes.  

4. Remember Your End Goal

As a truck driver, the country is your office. You’ll always have the freedom of the open road laid out ahead of you. AllTrucking.com notes that even new drivers will be paid a lucrative salary with ample benefits and opportunities for growth. Reminding yourself of your goals while in driving school will give you the incentive you need to keep moving forward.

Our accredited CDL program provides the classes and the experience you’ll need to thrive as a truck driver. For more information on our 2020 day and night classes, reach out to us at (330) 239-2229.

OH Reg. #2057

ODPS License #1439-2369

What's the Difference Between Over the Road, Regional, and Local Trucking? - Jan 13, 2020

From CDL endorsements to comprehensive benefits, truck drivers have a wide variety of career options. When you have a career that spans the open road, you also have options with how you travel down it. Companies offer over-the-road (OTR), regional, and local trucking opportunities to choose from. By knowing what your options are ahead of time, you can come to a decision that best fits your lifestyle.

What Are the Different Types of Trucking Routes?

Over the Road

Also known as long haul drivers, these truckers journey the furthest from their main terminal. Their shipments will have them out on the road for sometimes weeks at a time. You’ll not only get to experience more of the sights the country has to offer but you’ll also make a good salary.

OTR trucking is one of the most lucrative trucking options. Without accounting for potential bonuses, benefits, and money made team driving, over-the-road drivers earn approximately $55,000 a year, according to Jobs.net.  

Since long haul truck drivers work so often, they receive extended time off. Many companies pay them during their off periods as further incentive.

There are also fringe benefits, such as extra freedom. Since you’re working for days and weeks at a time, you can drive whenever it suits you—during the day or at night—as long as your shipments arrive on time and you follow the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) 11-hour driving limit, as referenced in The Balance.

You also won’t have to load or unload your freight—companies will have their employees handle it, allowing you to relax in between jobs.  

Regional

A regional truck driver based might have a route that covers parts or all of the areas they’re based in. For example, a local trucker might cover the tri-state area of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

Regional drivers don’t travel as far, or for as long as over-the-road drivers and are home for the weekends. Like long haul drivers, regional truckers don’t do their own loading or unloading of freight.

Local

Local drivers usually work for a single company and stay near to their main terminal. The limited road time allows these truck drivers to work in the morning and return home at night, though there are the occasional overnight deliveries.

The set schedule means you’ll likely be home on weekends and travel the same route daily, fulfilling deliveries for the same clients.

How to Choose What’s Best for Your Lifestyle

Young and single truckers might be enticed by OTR driving, given its pay scale and the ability to travel across the nation.

As you age and you start a family, regional and local jobs provide a solid standard of living while still allowing you to remain near your loved ones.

Our accredited CDL classes provide students with the tools they need to become truck drivers. For more information on our financial aid or veteran’s services, contact us at (330) 239-2229.

  • OH Reg. #2057
  • ODPS License #1439-2369