What Would Happen if Trucking Suddenly Stopped?

Have you ever counted the number of semi-trucks you pass on your way to work or on a vacation? Probably not. The reality is, most of us do not notice the impact the trucking industry has on the society we live in. Truck drivers deliver over 10 billion tons of product each year. This adds up to almost 671 billion dollars in products being moved by freight. So we have to ask, “What would happen if trucking just stopped?”.

There would be a lot of industries, businesses, and people affected. Most likely we would see the largest change in the food, healthcare, transportation, retail, manufacturing, waste removal, and banking industries. Here is a break down of what could happen if trucking stopped even for just a month.

  • Delivery of medical supplies would stop and life-saving materials would run out.
  • Service stations would begin to run out of fuel and fuel prices also begin to skyrocket.
  • Mail delivery services would no longer operate. US Mail and package delivery will cease.
  • Manufacturing plants will have to stop productions due to a lack of parts.

 

  • Food shortages would begin to rise. Grocery stores would quickly run out of staple food items.
  • Gas stations will have run out of fuel completely.
  • ATMs will have a shortage of cash. Banks will not be able to accept transactions through ATMs.
  • Garbage, recycling, and other wastes will begin to build up.
  • Other transport systems will begin to be affected. Trains and container ships will have to sit idle due to no products to transport.

 

  • Automotive transportation will be scarce due to the lack of fuel.
  • Oxygen supplies at hospitals will begin run out endangering the lives of patients.

 

  •  Clean water supplies will begin to run out in urban areas.

 

As you can see, the trucking industry plays an extremely important role in our economy. Companies are dependent on truckers to keep their businesses running and society flowing properly. We have shown how all of these industries above are intimately connected and one adjustment could potentially result in a snowball effect. We are grateful for the trucking companies and the drivers that give us more than we ever imagined!

If you’re interested in joining the industry that keeps America moving, let CDS Tractor Trailer Training help! CDS provides both Class A and Class B CDL training. Contact us today to learn more!

Can I Get a CDL with a Felony on my Record?

Getting back on your feet with a felony conviction can be particularly hard. Understandably, not all employers will trust you. One question you might have is whether you can get a Commercial Driver’s License. Getting a CDL can be a great way to get reliable employment. If you had a CDL before, then you may or may not be able to get it reinstated. In most cases, you actually have a good chance of being able to get a CDL.

Here are exceptions:

  • If your driver’s license is currently suspended.
  • If your parole terms specifically forbid it.
  • If there is an active warrant out for your arrest.
  • If the felony involved the use or operation of a CMV. This may include crimes committed while “on the clock” as a truck driver. In some states, such as Texas, this is a lifetime ban. In others, you may have a waiting period and other requirements before you can get a CDL. If your conviction is for vehicular manslaughter or distribution of controlled substances or weapons, you will be banned at the federal level.
  • If you were guilty of certain serious crimes such as arson, kidnapping, or assault with intent to murder.

The age of the felony may also have an effect. Some schools (and employers) will only take you if the felony is at least 5, 10, or 15 years old. The type of felony is also a consideration. In fact, a misdemeanor traffic violation can be more of a problem than a conviction for theft. Don’t stretch the truth, as you may have worse long term problems if a school or employer finds out you lied to them.

However, these are legal requirements, which may vary from state to state. Different driving schools will also set their own standards and may refuse students. Because of this, contact CDS Tractor Trailer Training to learn more about our standards.

But, We’ll Miss You While You’re Gone!

A trucking career has many benefits, but it may also require you to be away from family and loved ones for long periods of time. Many companies require you to work as an over-the-road (OTR) driver for at least a year before hiring you for local driving positions. While driving long distance gives you the chance to see the country and the peace and quiet of the open road, it also means you will be missing the ones you love back home. Here are a few tips to getting your family on board with your decision to begin a trucking career.

Focus on the Positive

When discussing your career options with your family, try focusing on all the benefits of a career in trucking. The average salary for a trucker is $48,000, much higher than the average entry-level job. Depending on what you are hauling and the company you work for, you could get paid up to $80,000. Most trucking companies also offer dental and medical insurance, paid time off, retirement options and tuition reimbursement. These benefits just might outweigh the negatives of time apart.

Staying in Touch

Thanks to technology there are so many ways to stay in touch with your family while you are out on the road. Create an Instagram account to share pictures of your travels and your family can share pictures of what they’ve been up to at home. Make time each day to video chat with your loved ones and they’ll feel like they’re right there with you. Don’t forget the old ways we used to stay in touch! Send postcards home from all the places you’ve been to with notes to your family.

 

When you sit down with your family to have a serious discussion about your career in trucking, remind them that there are many benefits to this career path. Reassure them that there are ways to keep in touch when you are on the road. For more information on trucking and on how you can make it work for you and your family contact CDS Tractor Trailer Training today.

5 Jobs with a Class A CDL

Most people think when you earn your Class A CDL you are automatically going to be an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver. However, there is a nice variety of jobs available to those who get complete their training and earn their Class A. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

Construction Equipment Operator

The construction field is booming and it always needs equipment operators. A CDL is a must when operating this type of equipment. Here are some of the machines that need drivers are

  • skid steers
  • knuckle boom loaders
  • dump trucks
  • track hoes
  • bush hogs
  • cranes
  • flatbeds
  • steamrollers

Terminal Manager

Terminal managers for transit companies typically begin their careers as truck drivers. Transit companies need managers to oversee the operation of their terminals. Experience as a driver is a real bonus in this field.

Tractor Trailer Technician

A CDL license is a huge benefit for anyone wanting to be a tractor-trailer technician. It’s not a requirement in all states, but many of them do. Understanding what the drivers deal with can help when repairing the vehicles.

Highway Maintenance Technician

While a CDL license is not always required depending on your job description it can help you advance in your career. Large trucks, such as paint trucks and skid steers, need drivers with their CDLs.

Tractor Trailer or Bus Inspector

A CDL is often required in this job. As part of the inspection, you may be required to drive the vehicle, which requires a Class A CDL. Having a good understanding of a semi-truck and/or bus is vital for this career.

*BONUS* CDL Instructor

Instructors for CDL training is needed across the country. As the demand for truck drivers grow, so does the demand for instructors to train this new generation. Typically, an instructor needs a few years of experience on the road before becoming an instructor. Being able to give real-world examples to trainees can only help them learn and grow.

CDS’ New School Director, Crystal Kennedy

CDS Tractor Trailer Training School is proud to announce Crystal Kennedy as their new School Director. Crystal has been with CDS since February 2013. She was previously the Regional Manager for our Roanoke Training Center. We are all very excited for not only Crystal, but for CDS and the future of our CDL training school. Keep reading to learn more about our new School Director!

Crystal Kennedy’s Trucking Background

As previously mentioned, Crystal began working at CDS as a Student Coordinator in 2013. A fact many might not know about Crystal is she was previously a CDL training student at CDS. She went through our full-time Class A CDL training program in October 2012, after leaving the insurance industry after 5-years. Crystal was approached by Chris Pender, CDS’ Vice President, the day she graduated and asked if she would be interested in a Coordinator position. After accepting the new position, Crystal knew she had found the industry and company she had always been looking for!

Views on the Trucking Industry

Its clear Crystal loves the trucking industry, especially since she went through CDL training before beginning her career at CDS. We wanted to look into more detail as to why she was so fond of trucking. Here is what Crystal had to say, “I love this industry because of the freedom it gives to those who join it. Freedom in many regards. Financial freedom and security to those who may have previously lived paycheck to paycheck. Freedom and opportunity to those who may have made a few mistakes in the past and deserve a second chance in society. Unfortunately, many industries aren’t set up to provide those individuals with an opportunity to succeed and break free from the restraints of their past. Trucking, however, provides a hand up to those individuals. Freedom to work in a steady, ever-growing occupation that allows you to have the best “office view” there is. Getting paid to see the sights of our beautiful country and the freedom to be the captain of your own ship, or truck as it may be, is a great career choice in my eyes.”

For those considering a career in trucking or earning their Commercial Driver’s License, Crystal would tell them, “If you’re thinking of getting your CDL…DO IT!  Don’t be afraid, don’t second guess the choice, just do it. Trucking isn’t going anywhere, and this industry provides so many opportunities within it. I certainly never thought when I climbed into the cab of a tractor for the first time that it would have ever lead me to this point!” Crystal is certainly correct, the opportunities in the trucking industry are endless!

The Future of CDS Tractor Trailer Training School

As for the future of CDS, Crystal is very excited! Here’s what she had to say, “The future is bright for CDS! CDS Tractor Trailer Training School has long stood by the saying that “if you put quality first, everything else will fall into place.” Sticking to that over the years and continuing to do so into the future will keep CDS as the leading CDL training provider in the state of Virginia. Big changes within the CDL industry, such as third-party testing and Entry-Level Driver Training regulations, will certainly have positive impacts on CDS.” We agree with Crystal and are excited to see what is in store for CDS in 2019 and beyond!

 

Again, everyone at CDS is very excited about this new promotion for Crystal and what it means for our school’s future. We are all looking forward to the coming months and new changes that will be occurring. If you’re interested in beginning your CDL training or maybe evening joining the CDS family as a staff member, contact us today! It’s a great time to join our team!

5 Tips for New Truck Drivers

You now have your Commercial Driver’s License, and you’re ready to hit the road. That’s great! Before you start logging those miles, there are a few tips that can help you approach your first year of truck driving with a veteran eye.

Good Things Take Time

Getting your CDL is just the start. Most veterans say it takes about a year to really get into the rhythm of the job. That’s why you probably won’t find your dream job out of the gate. It’s better to spend that first year mastering your skills and finding your comfort zone before you worry too much about expanding your career.

Minimize Job Hopping

Speaking of career expansion, job hopping can really hurt your long-term prospects in the trucking industry. It’s rough since most rookies want to maximize their driving hours, but the best gigs usually hire drivers they can hope to keep around for many years.

Safety First

You’ve heard it a million times and you’ll hear it a million more. There’s a reason for that. Beyond the obvious desire to not get in a wreck, getting through your first year with a clean record can really help you move into better jobs later.

Ask Questions

There’s no shortage of veterans amongst truck drivers. Everyone was a rookie at some point, and they all learned important lessons that they can share with you. Don’t be shy. Asking for advice is one of the most powerful tools in your first year.

People Skills Matter

It’s easy to feel like handling the truck is the most important part of the job, but your interactions with people will bear a heavy impact on your career. Fostering relationships with customers, managers and the myriad of people who become part of your job is important to help you move forward professionally. It also goes a long way to helping you maintain a positive mentality while you work.

 

That’s enough to get you started. Naturally, you’re going to come up against a flurry of specific questions once you’re working. For those and other issues that you may face, you can always contact us at CDS Tractor Trailer Training.

Preparing for the CDL Exam

Preparing for the CDL written exam can be daunting, but if you prepare correctly, you can earn your Commercial Driver’s License with confidence. The test will cover 50 general knowledge questions from a range of topics. Questions to expect have been listed below to give you a basic guide in preparing for the CDL test. The CDL manual is typically around 180 pages long, so reading it cover to cover is not always the ideal way to study. Here are some essential tips for studying, taking, and succeeding on your upcoming CDL written exam.

What to Expect

So, what can you expect to see on the exam? The exam will cover a range of topics you have been exposed to throughout your CDL training. Studying to be as knowledgable and well-rounded as possible will yield much better results than cramming in the day before your exam. Here are a few things you can expect to see when you sit down for your test:

Air Brakes

Be sure you have a good understanding of your brake systems before testing. Knowing the following ins and outs of your brakes will have you breezing through this portion of your test.

  • Parking, emergency, and service brake systems
  • Inspecting brake systems
  • Inspections while on the road

Combination Vehicles

Showing an understanding of tractor units with one or more trailers not only helps you score high on your exam but is imperative for your career on the road:

  • Identifying and preventing rollover risk
  • Effective braking and reversing with one or more trailers
  • Railroad protocols and other safety measures

General Knowledge

To avoid studying the entire CDL manual, these general knowledge topics will give you a great spot to get ahead studying:

  • Vehicle Inspection (Engine bay, pre-trip routine, on the road, etc.)
  • Communicating on the road
  • Safe maneuvering
  • Handling uncertain road conditions
  • Transporting hazardous material

Failing Your First Attempt

Studying these areas will give you a head start in studying and passing your CDL exam. However, failing your first test isn’t the end of the road for your trucking career. If you fail your first attempt, you will be able to take the test again after three days have passed.

If you fail the test 6 times in one year, you must wait until 12 months after your first test and may take it again on that day.

Using this as a guide, we have confidence you will be ready to ace your CDL exam. Please feel free to contact us for any further assistance. CDS Tractor Trailer Training wishes you luck and happy studying!

Job Placement Services Provided by CDS

Completing your CDL training is only the first step in starting your new career in trucking. Once you finish your training, you’re ready to start searching for trucking jobs! The good news is that there is a high demand for truck drivers. In fact, there are currently about 60,000+ job openings in the trucking industry. Discover how CDS Tractor Trailer Training can help you get hired in trucking!

Job Placement Assistance at CDS

Offering top-notch CDL training is not our only goal at CDS Tractor Trailer Training. We’re also here to help you get hired after earning your Commercial Driver’s License! With the job placement services at every CDS Training Center, graduates will receive help filling out applications, updating their resume, building their network and much more! As a good standing CDS student, our team is here to help you find a truck job that you’ll love.

Truck Driver Hiring Events

CDS maintains relationships with over 20 top trucking companies in the United States. Training Centers are regularly hosting hiring events with recruiters from these trucking carriers! Recruiters are visiting the CDS centers weekly looking to hire new truck drivers and to share what their company has to offer. This gives students opportunities to directly network with trucking companies and find what works best for them.

These events are also open to the public in addition to CDS students and graduates. There are various CDL job openings out there and a lot of trucking companies who are interested in hiring CDS graduates specifically. We invite you to join us for these recruiter events and get your questions answered!

Trucking Career Opportunities

The trucking industry has a lot to offer. Local, regional, and national companies are offering competitive pay and benefits to meet the high demand for drivers. This will vary between trucking companies, but a career in trucking typically comes along with the following benefits:

  • Hourly wage will run about $20 – 25
  • Average income of a $45,000 annual salary
  • 401(k) with additional company matches available
  • Complete healthcare benefits
  • Advancement opportunities into management or operator positions

These are just a few of the benefits that come along with working in the trucking industry. You can make a livable wage and have a career full of options to advance by finishing your CDL training. CDS Tractor Trailer Training has the training you need to exceed as a professional truck driver!

What to Expect After CDL Training

If you have recently completed your CDL training, congratulations! You’re fresh out of training and ready to start life as a truck driver, so what happens next? Here’s a rundown on what you can expect after completing your CDL training.

Choosing a Carrier

When you sign on to a carrier, you should know what they can offer you in benefits. Some carriers offer tuition assistance upon hire and can help you receive CDL training reimbursement. To receive the reimbursement, you will likely be required to work for the company a set period of time. Some CDL training programs even offer a pre-hire program for students, making it easier to get started trucking after training.

When you join a carrier, many will offer you:

  • Mentorships
  • Advanced Training
  • In-Seat Driver Trainers

Signing with a carrier providing these benefits will jump-start your new career on the road, as well as give you the necessary learning experiences right out of training.

Hitting The Road

Within your carrier, you can expect company training to start getting that valuable seat time. This may include a mentor, a driver instructor in the truck with you, or other external training. All this is going to be your ticket to hitting the road as quickly as possible, with the tools and safety to succeed at every job going forward in your trucking career.

Advanced Training Tips

When you begin training after earning your CDL, don’t be intimidated by your new company! The training offered in your carrier will help you learn the ropes alongside experienced instructors who know what they are talking about. Here are a few ways to maximize your time in training:

Any training on the road will give you the most valuable exposure to your new life as a trucker. Doing so will help relax you more each time so you can fully enjoy your time driving.

These are the basics of what you can expect after CDL training. CDS Tractor Training wishes you the best of luck and safe travels on your new truck driving journey! Please feel free to contact us at the CDS Tractor Trailer Training for further assistance.

Class A CDL vs Class B CDL

If you’re thinking about getting a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), it’s important to know the difference between a Class A Commercial Driver’s License and a Class B CDL. Essentially, the weight of the vehicle(s) determines whether you can or cannot drive with your new license. Below you’ll find information that explains the difference in general terms, which will help you choose the CDL that’s right for you.

Class A CDL

With a Class A CDL, you can operate hefty trucks and vehicle combinations such as:

  • Tractor trailers, also known as 18-wheelers or semi-trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Livestock carriers
  • Certain Class B vehicles

These are all vehicles or combinations of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. The Class A CDL also lets you tow vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or more.

Class B CDL

With the Class B CDL, you can also drive a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, but you can’t legally tow anything more than 9,999 pounds. Class B vehicles include:

  • Delivery trucks, such as straight trucks (which are similar to tractor trailers, but with lesser towing options) and box trucks
  • Segmented buses
  • Dump trucks

What License Works for You?

Although a Class B CDL is a good choice for those looking to drive for shorter periods of time, the salaries are much less attractive and the job prospects are more limited. A Class A CDL is definitely the option with more career possibilities and higher average salaries. Those with a Class A CDL can operate a greater diversity of vehicles, and jobs for Class A holders are in high demand. The outlook for the trucking industry for 2019, will continue to be an increase in demand for the transportation of goods and plenty of Class A trucking job vacancies. At CDS, the staff even assists you with the job placement process after training, further solidifying your career path. For more information about getting your Class A CDL, contact us today!

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