“I wanna quit!”

Yes it’s easy to say, not so easy to do sometime’s. Especially if it’s not in your drive, your culture, your future. I’ve heard it a few time’s in this business’ the CDL training business. It’s sad, but I get it. Big truck, hard to shift, hard to back and term’s you have never ever heard of before. What the heck is a glad-hand? someone that is happy to shake your hand? or a slack adjuster, what’s that? a Marine Drill Sergeant in boot-camp? lot’s of strange stuff involved with a CDL.
But quitting? it come’s up. The one thing is, these guy’s and gals don’t want to quit, they don’t want you to quit them either. We all have heard it all. “I’ll never get this, shifting is to hard I don’t understand it. I cant back up, Ill never get it.” Here they come, into your office, or into the practice yard with that look. What are you going to do? What are you going to say?
I listen, I tell them I get it. Then I tell them to get right back out there and do it again. I also tell them I’m not letting them quit and we walk right back out the door together and head right back to the truck. 99.9% time I’m right on. Yesterday, the gentlemen you see in this picture passed his CDL Skills test. I had that talk with him 2 weeks ago. Yesterday, he told me I saved his life, you see he live’s in Houston and left right after the Hurricane. He left with only his car and some clothe’s. He has a job lined up and should be in driver orientation for a big carrier on Monday. See I know I didn’t save his life, he did. I just didn’t let him quit his life. WE just need to listen.

Security and Safety in the Trucking Industry

Driving a truck carries a bit more responsibility than driving a car.

Cars are easier to control and handle and while cars and trucks can be dangerous, trucks can cause significantly more damage.

Accidents involving trucks generally are more severe and serious than those involving cars. Trucks have a higher chance of going out of control, causing significantly more damage to property and other drivers.

Trucks also make for ways to conceal and transport illegal and hazardous products. They can even transport people.

In the present day and age where terrorism and increased violence persist, more pressure is put on trucking companies to thoroughly vet their drivers.

What are the security rules and regulations drivers must abide by?

Truck Safety Inspections

Each truck is required to be checked every year by members of the Department of Transportation (DOT). These six levels that make up the inspection look at both the condition of the truck and the credentials of the truck driver.  The levels of the DOT inspection are as follows:

1) Level I: North American Standard Inspection

This part of the inspection includes looking at the operator’s driver license, medical certificate, waiver, and hours of driving. The truck’s seat belts, turn signals, tail lights, head lights, steering wheel, exhaust system, wheels and fuel system will also be examined.

2) Level II: Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

This second level includes the same procedure as the first level, but in addition, an inspector will inspect the bottom of the tuck.

3) Level III: Driver-Only Inspection

This third level only looks at the operator’s driving license, medical card and daily driving log.

4) Level IV: Special Inspection

This level of the DOT inspection is only conducted and needed when a particular problem with the truck has been reported.

5) Level V: Vehicle-Only Inspection

The fifth level looks at the same elements of the truck as in level one, with the only exception of the driver being absent.

6) Level VI: Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

This level of DOT inspections are only done on trucks carrying dangerous radioactive or flammable contents.

Driver Qualifications

As trucks are dangerous pieces of machinery, companies need to be sure they hire drivers who are responsible, reliable, and law-abiding. As the lives of other motorists are in their hands, drivers can’t have a record of drug or alcohol abuse and must be clean of both.

All drivers must first self-certify at their local DMV disclosing the specific nature of the trucking they do. Failure to self-certify and present a current medical card (if applicable) will result in a loss of his or her CDL.

All truck drivers need to have a current driver’s license and CDL in their possession at all times. Failure to do so may lead to suspension of their truck driving license.

In addition to a driver’s license and a CDL, some truck drivers engaged in interstate commerce will need to pass physical requirements set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Successful passing of the DOT physical test will result in the issuance of a medical card that also must be carried at all times. The medical card notifies DOT that the driver is physically able to operate a truck.

Failure to present a valid medical card will result in the denial of re-issuance of a driver’s CDL.

Each state has slightly different requirements in obtaining a class A commercial truck driver’s license. Aspiring truck drivers are encouraged to attend a certified truck driving school in the state in which they want to get their license in.

Each state, however, shares four general requirements in obtaining a CDL. These include: meeting the minimum CDL requirements such as age and physical requirements, passing necessary written exams to obtain a CDL permit, satisfy the requirements for specific endorsements (HazMat endorsements, for example require a driver background check), and pass a three-part hands-on driving exam to test skills and ultimately get a CDL license.

A certified commercial truck driving school is a great way to quickly get a start on your truck driving career. At Commercial Vehicle Training Center, our trained and experienced instructors will provide you with the skills and behind-the-wheel experience you need to quickly get your CDL.

Contact us today for more information.

Navigating the New Electronic Logbooks

Starting in October, the way you log your time will look and feel completely different. The days of manually writing down your time are coming to an end.

Last October, a major hurdle in the way of making electronic logging devices (ELDs) mandated on all commercial transportation trucks in the U.S. was cleared.

While the debate on mandating ELDs on every truck is not a done deal, it is predicted to be passed in congress over the next few months.

If you’re a driver or owner of a transportation trucking company, there are some things about the coming logging changes you need to know:

1. What is the deadline for having ELD installed on my truck?

According to the proposed plan, trucks drivers and truck owners will need to purchase an ELDs and install it on their truck by December 2017. Trucks already equipped with an automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) will be permitted to continuing to use the AOBRDs for two years after the December deadline.

2. What if I get a new truck after the December deadline?

If you’re simply replacing a truck that has an AOBRD, you can simply install the old AOBRD into the new truck. If the old truck didn’t have an AOBRD, a new one can be purchased and installed on the new truck before December 18, 2017. A new truck purchased after December 18,2017 will need to have the new electronic logging device bought and installed.

3. How hard is it to switch from AOBRD to ELD?

The transition will be easy and quick as it only requires a simple software upgrade.

4. What are some of the biggest changes to be aware of?

The new ELD system will bring some significant changes in how hours are logged. The most noticeable changes will include:

    • Drivers having more control of the hours by making drivers the ones to edit and approve hours
    • Hours when an unassigned vehicle moves such as moving a truck across the lot will need to be counted
    • The ELD system will be available to be synched with a smartphone and tablet

5.   How do you choose the right ELD provider?

There will be multiple companies jumping at the opportunity to manufacture and supply the new ELDs. It is important to make your decision wisely.

When looking for an ELD provider, look for these characteristics:

  • Stability
  • Are financially able to exists for years into the future
  • Has a record of making electronic logs
  • Ask how many devices from the manufacturer are being used in your business
  • Manufacture products that are in compliance
  • They are up-to-date on their devices and technology
  • The company understands any unusual operations your company has, such as odd business operations

6.     How do you choose the device that’s right for your fleet?

There are multiple ELDs out there, some of which may or may not be best suited for your specific fleet. When looking for an ELD to invest in, consider which specific features your fleet needs beyond the electronic logs, the operational thresholds of the ELD units, the operating system and other software components.

Also consider how the ELDs will integrate into both your trucks and back office, the units interface, and how the device will ultimately add value to your company.

7.   What is the best way to train drivers for the new system?

There is a large learning curve, especially for drivers used to the paper logbooks. There should be a short lag time between teaching drivers and having them use the system.

The training needs to include normal use, special use, requesting/making edits, common problems (and solutions), what to do if the device fails, and setting the device up for roadside inspection. The training should involve live training using an actual device.

8.   How will the new system be enforced on the road?

Drivers will need to transfer data from the ELD to the enforcement officials upon request. There will be two main ways to do this: use an email or wireless web service to transfer data from the ELD to the enforcement officials or transfer the data from ELD to the enforcement official via Bluetooth or USB.

In addition, the driver must either give a printout of the log on the ELD to the official or hand the officer the ELD display.

9.   What if the ELD system breaks?

The driver can resort to the manual written logging of hours if the ELD system breaks or malfunctions. The ELD needs to be repaired or replaced within 8 days.

10.  How will the new system affect productivity?

As with the roll-out of any major change, there will be initial productivity loss. Some carriers have noticed an increase in productivity.

Transitioning from the traditional paper hours logs to electronic logging can be a challenge for veteran drivers.

Those looking to start their truck driving careers will be taught how to operate the new ELD units during their schooling and licensing process.

If you want to be a part of the changing truck driving field, look no further than Commercial Vehicle Training Center.

Our seasoned, expert instructors give students some of the best hands-on instruction in the country. Contact us today to learn more about our reputable truck driving training program and how we can help you get started on your truck driving career.