3 Common Mistakes Students Make During CDL Training - Jun 24, 2020

Going to school to get your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is a big step. You’ll be starting a lucrative career that requires hard work and determination. While most students get through their training successfully, some make mistakes that prevent them from advancing in the field. Here are a few to avoid while you’re in truck driving school.

A Guide to Common CDL Training Mistakes

1. Not Preparing

Some students fail to maximize their training and don’t spend enough time preparing for truck driving school. However, studying beforehand will put you ahead of your peers and ensure that you’re ready when you take the CDL exams.

To prepare, go over the Ohio CDL manual and then take at least a few practice tests. This will help you determine which areas you need to work on and clue you into which skills and information are essential to master. As you tackle the questions, read each one over twice, and avoid second-guessing your answers. 

2. Panicking

Many students don’t realize that remaining calm during the driving test is crucial. Mistakes are common, such as hitting a cone while parking, but what matters is how you react. Points are awarded if you can get through a stressful situation with composure.

Get at least eight hours of sleep the night before to keep anxiety at bay and clear your head. Additionally, breathe deeply during the test, and wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement. Finally, spend extra time driving before the exam; the more exposure you have, the easier it’ll be to remain clam.

3. Keeping Old Habits

The longer you’ve been driving a car, the harder it’ll be to break old habits. Handling a truck requires developing new ones, which isn’t always easy. For example, avoid cutting corners on windy roads, which is commonly done when driving a sedan. Also, the blind spots will be larger, so keep them in mind and signal earlier than normal when turning or switching lanes.

Leave extra distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, as trucks are larger and can’t brake as quickly as cars. Finally, handling a tractor-trailer requires more skill and attention than a sedan, so be extra careful to drive when you’re well-rested and alert.

Our truck driving school will give you the tools you need to avoid CDL mistakes and succeed in your career. To learn more about our 2020 class schedule, reach out at (330) 239-2229.

OH Reg. #2057

ODPS License #1439-2369

  

A Trucker’s Guide to the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act - Jun 16, 2020

Trucking is a lucrative career and has helped many Americans prosper financially. Unfortunately, many people who are interested in the industry are unable to get training because they’ve been laid off or don’t have the time to commit, as they’re already working full-time jobs. Luckily, the U.S. government passed the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA), which went into effect in 2015 and is designed to help in these situations. If you’re considering a career as a truck driver, here’s what you need to know. 

What Is the WIOA?

The WIOA was passed in 2014 to help people looking for jobs to find training, educational, and employment opportunities. Additionally, it was created to assist employers with finding skilled workers who can manage the work that needs to get done. The Act has helped countless individuals cover tuition to become truck drivers.  

Who Is Eligible?

To qualify for WIOA funding, one must be at least 18 years old and eligible for employment in the U.S. Once you meet those criteria, there are two groups that the Act aims to assist:

  • Dislocated Workers: This category includes workers who have been laid off due to a permanent closure or significant downsizing. Additionally, people who have received notice that their company will shut down within 180 days are eligible. Finally, displaced homemakers, military spouses, and self-employed individuals who can’t work due to economic conditions can receive funding.
  • Young Adults: People who are 14-24 can apply for funding, if, for example, they’re homeless, pregnant, learning English, or physically or mentally impaired. However, to become a truck driver in Ohio, you’ll need to be at least 18.  

What Are Some Common Training Programs Funded by the WIOA?

You can be funded for skills training that’s intended for careers with salaries or hourly rates. Commission-based jobs, such as real estate, don’t fall under the Act. Common industries that do include truck driving, industrial maintenance, and HVAC. Keep in mind that the program you apply to needs to be on the Eligible Provider List for you to receive funding, so make sure to speak to a staff member before selecting a school.

We recently added a new morning class for CDL Class A, which is designed for those who work 2nd and 3rd shifts. The program is 12 weeks long, and individuals who want to become truck drivers can use WIOA funding. To learn more, call (330) 239-2229.

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

How to Improve Fuel Efficiency as a Truck Driver - Jun 3, 2020

No matter the price of diesel, fuel costs play a major role in turning a profit as a truck driver. In fact, it’s one of the biggest expenses truckers have to manage, making up 39% of operating costs, according to research by Truckers Report. Fortunately, by understanding what factors affect efficiency, as well as industry best practices, you can save money and increase your bottom line. Here’s what you need to know.   

What Factors Affect Fuel Efficiency?

Driving Style

Aggressive drivers consume far more fuel than the average trucker. Even if you increase efficiency by installing better tires and a more effective engine, going above the speed limit and constantly changing lanes will negate your gains. 

Environmental Factors

The topography in the area you’re driving can impact fuel consumption. For example, driving on hills or mountains will require more diesel than flat lands. Additionally, the quality of the roads can have an impact; potholes and cracks in the asphalt or concrete can cause trucks to speed up and slow down frequently, reducing efficiency. Finally, weather conditions, such as rain, can cool the transmission and tires, which perform worse in cold temperatures.

Load Weight

The heavier a truck is, the more resistance there will be, increasing diesel consumption. For every 1,000 pounds you add to a load, you’ll see a 0.5% drop in fuel efficiency. Thus, it’s essential to reduce truck weight, without taking away from your profits.

How Can You Save Fuel?

Cut Down on Weight

Often, by replacing certain truck parts, you can cut down on weight. For example, wide-base single tires weigh around 70 pounds less than low-profile standard radials. Additionally, if your fuel tank is larger than what’s required for your needs, you could save by replacing it with a smaller one; you may need to stop to fill up more often, but the extra money you’ll hold onto will be worthwhile.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Check your tires regularly, as low pressure can decrease fuel efficiency. If they look worn, don’t replace them unless they need to be. Roll resistance decreases as they wear down, reducing fuel consumption. Additionally, put in new fuel injectors if they’re damaged, look for charge air cooler leaks, and make sure the trailer and drive axle are aligned to prevent tires from dragging. 

Avoid Stopping & Starting

When you drive in traffic, you waste a lot of fuel each time you stop for a car in front of you; it’s more efficient to drive slowly. Pay close attention to other vehicles so you can avoid heavy braking. Finally, avoid driving during rush hour and use smart navigation tools to stay out of traffic.

When you’re ready to dive into a lucrative career as a truck driver, we’ll help you succeed. To learn more about our programs and the 2020 class schedule, call (330) 239-2229.

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

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