Becoming a Long-Haul Truck Driver: What Does the Future Hold?

Contrary to popular belief, the demand for long-haul truck drivers has slowly grown over the years, even as the logistics and transportation companies are being digitized. Sure, drones are useful but they still cannot replace truck drivers any time soon.

If you’re thinking of becoming a long-term truck driver but aren’t sure about your future prospects, pay attention to the following:

Good Job Security

Many industries die within decades of being established as the market gets revolutionized but the transportation industry has a one single constant – they need good truck drivers. Good long-term truck drivers are in high demand and each year, more business opportunities are being created by transportation, shipping, and logistics companies.

Additionally, the industry creates millions of jobs on an annual basis and generates millions of dollars in revenue for the economy. Suffice it to say that this industry isn’t going to be cutting out the need for truck drivers anytime soon.

Amazing Income

As compared to other options, becoming a good truck driver can earn you a lot of money. Most entry-level drivers can expect to earn an income of $40,000 on an annual basis. As you gain more experience in this field, you can also earn more through bonuses.

Experienced long-term truck drivers can earn as much as $80,000 on an annual basis. In fact, it is said that most truck drivers earn more than the average college graduate. Plus, if you get certifications such as a CDL Class A or CDL Class B, your value in the market will go up.

A Flexible Work Schedule

Enjoying the perfect work-life balance with a 9 to 5 job can be difficult for some people, especially if they aren’t suited to the 9 to 5 life. If you’re looking for a job where you get to dictate your own terms, regarding your schedule, becoming a long-term truck driver is perfect for you.

You don’t have to spend days away from your family either. All you have to do is sign up for a short-term contract with flexible hours. The flexibility that this option allows you, ensures that you’re able to earn good money and maintain a healthy life with ease!

Great Opportunities to Travel

If you love to travel, becoming a long-haul truck driver will be very beneficial for you. You can easily explore new cities and states around the US. The best part about it is that you’re getting paid to travel and see the world around you. Traveling as a truck driver is going to be the best way for you to earn money and see different sights!

From meeting new people to exploring different areas, you will be able to see the world without any worries about money, plane tickets or any other expenditure.

Sign Up for a CDL Course Today!

If you’re interested in becoming a long-term truck driver, sign up for a CDL certification course today! With our help, you can get certified with the right authorities and enjoy your new career as a certified and licensed truck driver.

Truck Driving: The Reasons Why It’s Safer to Back into Parking Spaces

When you’re thinking about parking your car, it is normal to think about whether you should pull your car into the parking spot or back into the parking spot. However, it’s something that you should pay attention to all the time. On average, 1 in 7 accidents takes place in parking lots. Therefore, it is important to focus on reducing incidents of accidents in parking lots. That’s because the manner in which your employees park when they get to work affects their safety behavior for the entire workday.

It will also impact on how they respond to emergencies and go about their day in general. So, without further ado, let’s check out the reasons why it’s safe to back into parking spaces:

Account for Human Factors

When drivers are reversing their car, their field of vision is smaller which means they are likely to make more mistakes. Therefore, you should be at your sharpest when you put your car into reverse, irrespective of whether you are backing out of or going into a parking space. When you’re leaving work, you are more likely to be under the influence of several human factors like the urge to rush home, frustration, and fatigue.

When you encourage your employees to back into parking spaces when they come to work, it will reduce the number of people that are reversing their cars when they’re frustrated, tired, and not paying attention.

Get Them Thinking About Safety

Several businesses hold safety talks with their employees at the beginning of every shift. This ensures that everyone is thinking about safety when they start their work. Backing into parking spaces can have the same effect on employees since it will get them thinking about why it’s important. They will understand that it is safer to do this and will start following each other.

It’s a contagious and visual habit. When everyone notices the way their colleagues park their cars, they will start to back in as well. This will act as a motivating factor since it will remind everyone of the safety of backing into a parking space and will help build their habit.

Being Prepared for Emergencies

You’re rushing and in a panicked state when it comes to emergencies. This is the reason why fire evacuation plans place emphasis on keeping people as orderly and calm as possible. When you need to evacuate quickly, it is faster to drive straight out from the parking spot after getting into your vehicle. You don’t want to be stuck waiting for someone to back out from their parking spot when you’re already panicking about evacuating the building.

Backing in your car also helps in dealing with other types of problems like when your car doesn’t start. It will be easier to boost the car when you’re backed into the parking space since the engine will be easier to reach. There will also be less frustration in the parking lot or the parking garage when your shift ends especially if the workers are not going to be paying attention as they are tired.

The FMCSA Doesn’t Have Anyone with Trucking Experience

Truckers have been frustrated for a very long time by the laws that govern their industry as this affects how they are paid, how they work, and how employers can treat them. A news report recently revealed what many truckers had suspected for a very long time – no one in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has any experience of trucking. In fact, none of the top administrators at the FMCSA have even held a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

The news has only increased the frustrations of truckers who now know that those making the laws for their industry can’t relate with them on any level. The report stated that not even one of the top four administrators of the FMCSA had ever qualified for a CDL. This means that they haven’t even driven a semi-truck. They are the same individuals who get paid to modify and create the laws and regulations that all the 1.8 million professional truckers in American must follow.

Top Administrators Have No Trucking Experience

The report further states that Mr. Martinez doesn’t have any trucking experience, but the shocking thing was that no administrator in the entire history of the FMCSA has ever driven a truck professionally or ever held a CDL. This news is clearly disconcerting because there are a lot of different laws that harshly treat truckers and they want to be represented by people who know what they are doing.

The trucking industry is an unforgiving one. There are a lot of sacrifices that truckers must make on a regular basis. The long hours on the road and driving in all sorts of weather conditions tend to take its toll on truckers. It’s important that the laws governing their industry are in their favor. The news report highlighted the fact that this is something extremely strange because most federal agencies have leadership with experience in the field they are regulating.

For instance, it was pointed out that the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration had served in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve and had 16 years of experience working as a commercial airline pilot. A lot of truckers feel aggrieved that the top administrators in the FMCSA don’t have any kind of hands-on experience in the industry that they are responsible for regulating. Most of the truck drivers in the United States feel that the people making the rules don’t have any kind of deep understanding regarding the daily realities affecting truckers. Therefore, they are unable to make rules that are fair and effective and, most importantly, in the best interests of truckers.

The feeling that they are under-represented is one that has sparked several trucking groups to take action and start fighting for the seat at the top. There are numerous groups that have started acting, and one of the most famous ones is the ‘Black Smoke Matters.’ This group is fighting to give truckers a voice in the modification and creation of trucking laws.

Safety and Sustainability: Truckers Need to Take the Initiative to Become Better Drivers

When it comes to the trucking industry, there are three top challenges that need to be resolved as soon as possible for the betterment of not just the drivers but also the whole industry. These include the following:

  • Improving driver safety
  • Compliance with the company’s policies regarding eco-friendly driving services
  • Greater fuel efficiency

Here, it is pertinent to note that all of these challenges are essentially inter-related and can be resolved simultaneously, provided that the drivers and their fleet managers take the initiative.  

Changes Regarding Driver Behavior

Stubbornness is widely considered to be the biggest obstacle when it comes to overall fleet safety, fuel efficiency, and sustainability initiatives.

This unwillingness to change is not just restricted to drivers, but also their fleet managers who have been following the same procedure and do not want to evolve. However, training truck drivers to practice safe driving techniques can result in fewer accidents, decreased emissions, and also reduced fuel consumption.  Basically, any well conducted safe driving program allows a trucking company to leverage constrained resources and also reduce their liability exposure. This is made possible by lowering the actual incidence of highly preventable accidents.

A standard best practice involves merging both eco-driving and safe-driving methods into a single program. If the driver does not have a ‘heavy foot’’ it will decrease fuel conception and the probability of high speed crashes.  Slow and sure drivers will be more aware of their surroundings and require less fuel to get from point A to point B. Thus, simply by limiting fast acceleration and sudden braking, it is possible to increase the safety and sustainability of any trucking operation.

Apart from that, pre-planning trips carefully can also help to minimize ‘stop and go’ driving, thereby leading to reduced emissions. Always remember that higher volumes of emission tend to occur whenever a cold diesel engine is started.  If you were to combine multiple short trips into one, then the truck’s catalytic converter would already be heated enough to ensure optimal emission rates.

Curbing Driver Distractions

It has been estimated that driver distraction typically accounts for approximately 25 to 30 percent of all truck accidents. However eco-safe driving techniques can easily teach drivers to avoid distractions while remaining focused on their driving skills. Additionally, the department for Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) is now increasingly involved in fleet safety affairs. This is largely due to the fact that truck drivers are now considered to be amongst the largest sources of ‘Worker Compensation’ claims.

Conclusion

Safe driving habits, if practiced diligently enough, can contribute quite substantially to reduced emissions and fuel consumption. This is where a well-developed, eco-safe driving program can also allow a company to leverage its constrained resources to ensure sustainability, fuel efficiency as well as safety.

 

Uncover Expunged MVR Violations to Avoid Hidden Surprises

It’s important that you’re aware of ‘expunged’ motor vehicle records (MVRs) when hiring drivers. A lot of states allow drivers to hide violations from employers by allowing them to remove a portion of their driving record. However, these states don’t stop employers to ask about these expunged records from applicants. You can ask drivers to list their violations and you can decide if you want to hire them or not. You’ll manage to better defend yourself from negligent entrustment claims if drivers conceal their expunged records.

Expunged MVR violations like DUIs and speeding tickets are happening more frequently in some jurisdictions. Puerto Rico is one of them where employees have successfully expunged several moving violations from their MVRs.

What Is Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process for removing a violation for an individual on their driving record. Expunged records may be used by courts for future cases. They can also be used by government agencies and law enforcement for several reasons. This is something all fleet managers should be concerned about. The important question is whether the preceding MVR with the DUI or speeding violation would be discovered in case of a lawsuit. 

Expungement cases tend to happen more frequently for employees that need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Drivers that have infractions on their records hire lawyers to expunge their records from their MVR. A CDL driver can be successful in expunging their records but they will be violating regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The regulation of the FMCSA directs states to process all violations without any deferred judgment, diversion, masking or expunging of violations for CDL-licensed drivers. However, a lot of local courts don’t know about this regulation and still allow masking, diverting, deferring, and expunging.

All states record motor vehicle records for all drivers but how long they keep those records tend to be different for each state. Most states let convictions of ticketed moving violations to be kept on the driver’s history for a period of 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. In a lot of cases, the best way to have violations removed from records is by allowing time to pass. Every state has its own policy for allowing expungement of violations from driving records. The conditions and laws that dictate when records can be expunged or sealed are different for each case and for every state.

In several states, if you want to expunge your record, it should be a first-time offense. However, this isn’t always the case. In general, some time must pass before you can make a petition to the courts for an expungement. You must complete probation to qualify for dismissing a criminal conviction. If probation wasn’t given, then you must have paid all the fines. The process for expungement involves sending a petition to the court with a motion seeking relief and an affidavit that a judge will review.

The record will be hidden from an MVR after expungement. Each state has its own laws but, in general, an applicant doesn’t need to disclose expunged convictions on their job application. They can answer ‘no’ honestly on the application since legally a record doesn’t exist after it has been expunged.

Truck Rollover Prevention Tips

The truck driving industry has always been an industry focused around safety first, but are truck drivers truly educated on how to prevent one of the major hazards of truck driving: rollovers?

The Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 60 percent of rollover accidents are fatal. There are over 500 large truck rollover accidents, and over 1,300 tanker rollover accidents each year in the United States.

Historically, it was assumed that rollovers most likely occurred during turns and on ramps, but this has been unfounded. Statistically, the highest occurrences of rollover truck accidents are actually on dry straight roads and highways.

It’s also been shown that over 63 percent of these rollover accidents are with partial loads.

Common Causes for Truck Rollover Accidents

Most vehicle accidents come down to the driver, driving conditions, and condition of the vehicle.

Some of the factors behind truck rollovers are:

  • Gravity

Large trucks, particularly those hauling loads that are constantly shifting while the vehicle is moving, are more susceptible to gravity taking its toll. Once this happens, the stability of the truck can come under stress.

Also, partial loads can be more dangerous than full loads, simply because they’re more prone to shift while the vehicle is moving.

This can also happen with sudden stops and turns. The load that’s being transported can shift easily causing a rollover accident. This is why it’s important to recognize the power of gravity, and slow down when turning and maneuvering a commercial truck vehicle.

  • Speeding

This is where driver error comes in. Speeding and distracted driving are major no-nos on the road in any type of vehicle, but particularly large commercial trucks carrying loads. This is why large trucks are expected to drive lower speeds in order to be careful in varying driving conditions.

Close-call situations while on the road can happen at any time, so it’s important for truck drivers to pay attention to speed limit signs.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 78 percent of rollover accidents are due to driver error.

  • Bad Weather

Bad weather is an inevitable evil all drivers face. Yet when it comes to driving a large commercial truck, bad weather can be extremely dangerous in certain circumstances. This is why it’s important that drivers are properly trained.

For any kind of vehicle, icy roads, snow, fog, and high winds can result in a rollover accident. For a truck driver, it takes specialized training, common sense, and experience to know how to safely deal with inclement weather conditions.

Truck Rollover Prevention

Organizations such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have created training footage to equip cargo truck drivers with knowledge on how to prevent rollover accidents.

Some of the key things for drivers to remember are, firstly, always being alert of what’s going on with their vehicle. It’s important for truck drivers to be alert while driving and understanding the kind of load they’re transporting.

Another thing drivers should always do is make sure their truck is operating properly in general. This includes tires, brakes, and suspensions.

And lastly, remain educated! Understand how rollovers happen, and avoid circumstances where they could happen. Ultimately, an educated driver is a safe driver.

Colorado Job Opportunities for CDL Holders

Colorado is a state with a great number of opportunities for those looking to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for Colorado truck drivers in 2017 was $42,480 per year. This is higher than the national average of $39,500 per year, and is expected to increase.

As of 2016, there were 1,871,700 heavy, tractor-trailer, and light, delivery driver truck jobs. Though there is no work experience in a related occupation to become a truck driver, drivers are expected to have a high school diploma and graduate from a professional truck driving school.

In 2013, the state of Colorado alone provided 99,590 truck driver jobs. The wages that year was more than $4.8 billion, with the average salary at a high $48,114, or approximately $4,000 a month.

Job growth in Colorado is higher than the national average. A reported 25 percent increase in truck driving jobs in the state is expected by the year 2022. Colorado reportedly has over 12,660 trucking companies, many of which are small businesses.

With all this in mind, it’s understated that Colorado takes CDL training seriously. Because trucks are a major asset to moving goods around the state (according to the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, a reported 79 percent of Colorado communities depend on trucks for goods transportation), the state has invested in its schooling system to train would-be truck drivers.

Our CDL training school, Commercial Vehicle Training Center, not only prepare our students to begin truck driving immediately after completion of our CDL program, but also provide job assistance.

Truck Driving Job Opportunities in Colorado

There are many large companies offering opportunities to CDL holders. Many job listings can be found through association with Colorado trucking organizations, such as the Colorado Motor Carriers Association. Affiliation with an organization can provide valuable networking opportunities and early job search info.

Here are just a few of the top companies ready to hire Colorado CDL school graduates.

J.B. Hunt

J.B. Hunt is a household name for good reason: it’s one of the largest transportation companies in the US. Currently, the company has close to 125,000 employees, and are looking to add more. The average yearly gross pay for drivers is $70,000, and the company offers competitive benefits, matched 401K, and various driving opportunities for Colorado truck employees, from local to regional.

Beco Inc.

Beco Inc. is a highly-respected trucking company in Colorado, historically known for its decades of delivery service for the United States Postal Service. This family-owned trucking company gives drivers the option to be at home with their family as often as they like. On average, their drivers are home every three days. They offer a competitive benefits package, which includes dental, vision, 401K, and paid holidays and vacations.

Fleet Car Carriers

Based in Commerce, Colorado, Fleet Car Carriers’ fleet consists of 615 trucks and drivers. This company specializes in full truckload auto shipments, with local, regional, and national routes. FCC also boasts being the recipient of the 2017 General Motors Quality Carrier of the Year Award.

FCC is an owner-operated company, which also allows drivers to drive new vehicle models from the top automotive companies. Salaries for drivers vary, but worker reviews for the company are generally high.

CDL Training: A Career Move You Should Consider

Choosing to get a commercial driver’s license is one major decision, but deciding which one happens to
be another. There are several classes of CDL licenses you can choose from. We highly recommend that
whichever license you choose, that it fits your career goals and lifestyle. This takes planning.

What are the three CDL classifications?

There are three classes of CDLs: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Class A CDL:

A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle with a weight of 26,001 lbs. or more. This can include
flatbeds, tanker-trailers, livestock carriers, and the like.
Generally, those with a Class A license are allowed to drive vehicles in the other two classes, if they have
the right endorsements.

Class B CDL:

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a Class B CDL is required to operate “A single vehicle
with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or heavier and/or any vehicle as described above that is towing another
vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs.”
This can include school buses, delivery trucks, tour buses, city buses (such as garbage trucks), etc.

Class C CDL:

If your vehicle is meant to transport hazardous materials or doesn’t meet the criteria for a Class A or
Class B license, it more-than-likely falls into the classification of a Class C. Class C criteria is also meant
for vehicles transporting 16 or more people, including the driver.

Generally, Class C is normally required for smaller truck vehicles.

The benefits of obtaining a Class B CDL

Let’s face it, most people love the idea of traveling to unfamiliar places and checking out the unique
scenery during long road trips — but if you have a family you’d like to see on a regular basis, while still
having the benefits of operating a large vehicle, then training for a Class B CDL is right up your alley.
With a Class B license, you have the opportunity of becoming a well-paid truck driver, while still coming
home every night. There’s also one of the biggest draws of obtaining this type of license: options.

Class B drivers have the option of focusing on being a tow truck driver, school bus driver, garbage truck
driver, construction site driver, and more. This license allows you to explore whatever industry you’re
interested in. There’s almost always a regular need for good drivers in this class.

Also, it’s easier to train in driving a bus than it is an 18-wheeler.

What’re the requirements for obtaining a Class B CDL?

The main things you’ll need is to be 21 years and over, with a good driving record. That’s the foundation.
You’ll have to take the Department of Transportation’s physical and drug screening, and it’s important
to find a good training school. Our training center can help prepare you for your exams.
Our Class B course is over within a week, giving you ample time to learn what you need to successfully
pass your exam and take your career to another level. Our goal is to help you get on the road as safely
and soon as possible.

Ultimately, the flexibility of training for and having a Class B license is a win-win. We highly recommend
you consider it.

CDL Training: Defensive Driving

Are your driver’s really the best drivers on our roads? Most truckers would agree that’s true…until their first accident.

Mastery of the road requires a solid foundation in Defensive Driving. The ability to anticipate and prepare for dangerous situations in advance translates to fewer accidents and increased revenue. The Commercial Vehicle Training Center offers an intensive Defensive Driving Course that exceeds the basic mechanics of driving, giving your drivers the edge they need to assess threats, adverse conditions, and emergencies.

Schedule your Defensive Driving Course today.

Bus and Limo Driver’s

Bus Drivers must have a Commercial Driver License if they operate a vehicle designed to seat 16 or more persons, including the driver. The Commercial Vehicle Training Center trains Entry Level Bus Drivers and we offer specific training for your existing professional drivers.

As a licensed 3rd party testing facility for Colorado, CVTC can administer the Commercial Driver License Test for bus drivers and Limo driver’s..

Corporate Courses

OUR SAFETY TRAINING AND DRIVER EVALUATIONS COVER A VARIETY OF TOPICS

The Commercial vehicle Training Center provides safety courses to evaluate your driver’s abilities in every situation. We offer a proactive approach geared to boost your CSA  scores, and retrain drivers who have a repeated history of safety related problems and offenses.

Our safety training and evaluations cover a variety of topics, which can be purchased in segments depending on the specific needs of your drivers and company. CVTC offers group training and evaluations for several employees or one on one training for individuals seeking a safety skills evaluation. Making safety training as convenient as possible, we can schedule our instructional staff to come on site to your place of business or your employees are welcome to come to CVTC’s campus and receive their training.

“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.