CDL Training Resources & Truck Driver Career News

Helpful Information About CDL Training & Trucking Jobs

Check out this selection of news articles, training resources, and other helpful information about the trucking industry to learn more about your career choices and how to prepare for in-demand job opportunities in trucking. Then, when you’re ready to get started with your CDL Training, give us a call! 1-800-835-2540 or if you’re in the Twin Cities area, call 651-528-8994

  • truck driver sitting in semi holding dog

    Can My Pet Ride Along With Me?

    Professional truck driving is one of the most solitary professions out there, and a popular career choice for introverts. Nobody, no matter how introverted, is a completely solitary person. We all crave interaction and companionship to some extent. That companionship doesn't necessarily need to be human. Many truck drivers love to bring their dogs and cats along for the ride. Here are a few reasons why bringing a furry friend on the road with you is a great idea for truck drivers...

    Companionship

    Life on the road can be a lonely one. A pet can certainly provide much-needed companionship. Even though they can't speak back to hold a real conversation, their presence can be warm and comforting.

    Exercise

    After sitting for several hours, many truck drivers yearn for some form of exercise. A pet can help provide that. Pets, especially dogs, need to be walked. Cooped up for many hours at a time, dogs will grow anxious and restless. Taking your pet for a walk is a win-win situation. Not only will your canine companion enjoy it, but you will get some much-needed exercise, and a chance to stretch your legs.

    Focus

    The mind can easily play tricks on us. If a truck driver loses focus, tragic circumstances can happen. While some may view a pet as a distraction, they can help the driver maintain concentration after hours on the road. Something as simple as a bark or meow can jolt a tired driver back to reality. Thinking about your pet's needs can also help eliminate daydreaming.

    Fight Separation Anxiety

    Taking your pet on the road with you can help grow an even greater bond with them. This can be incredibly positive for a pet that suffers from separation anxiety.

    Finding a Trucking Company that Allows Pets

    Many of us would love to bring our pets to work. Truck driving is one of the few careers where this is possible. If bringing your pet along on the road is a top priority, make sure that you find a trucking company that allows it. Many companies that allow it have different policies. These companies typically require a deposit first. They also have weight limits on your pet. St. Bernard owners may be out of luck. Heavy Metal Truck Training can also help you find companies with pet policies in place. If you're looking to start or restart a trucking career, CDL training at Heavy Metal Truck Training is for you! They will get you on the road for a rewarding career.
  • People sitting in a CDL training room with dark blue overlay

    Which CDL Training Course is Right for Me?

    If you're considering getting back on the road with your CDL, now is the perfect time! The United States is short around 60,000 professional drivers in 2019, and this gap is only expected to grow. At HMTT we offer CDL refresher courses, but if it's been more than a year since you've been over-the-road (OTR), you'd benefit more from a full CDL program.

    Why Do I Need a Full CDL Course?

    There are so many new rules! So much has changed over the last few years, and OTR driving is completely different now. Here are just a few of the new regs:
    • Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) rules: You cannot run a paper log anymore, but you still need to know how to make them in case your device fails. The new ELD devices are designed to monitor your hours of service, miles traveled etc. It prevents drivers from "creative record-keeping". No more cheating on log books!
    • New Hours of Service (HOS) rules: Semi drivers must now take a 10 hour break between on-duty driving hours. They must also take a 30 minute rest in 8 hours of work, and cannot be driving for more than 11 consecutive hours.
    Our full CDL course will cover all the new FMCSA rules, but will also make sure your trucking skills are ready to hit the road again!

    Benefits of Our CDL Course

    • Job Placement Assistance: Once you've graduated from our CDL training and in good standing with HMTT, we are committed to helping you find employment in the trucking industry! We work with many freight companies, and we are proud to provide them with the best, most qualified CDL drivers out there!
    • Company Sponsored Training: Your employer knows the value of a CDL driver. We're ready to work with them to get you funded, through the course, and on the road!
    • Tuition Assistance: We understand funding can be what is standing between you and your CDL training. We offer state and federal government programs, grants, scholarship, tuition reimbursement, and personal financing options. Our Enrollment Specialists work with you to identify the best funding option for you!
    • Up-To-Date Courses: CDL licensing laws are changing as of February, 2020. All new drivers (or those getting their license again) will need to complete new federally approved courses, and pass a federally written test. You will no longer be able to go to your local DMV and get a CDL without completing the course and test.
    • Classes Built by Skill Level: New drivers won't be intimidated in a class of more seasoned drivers, and experienced drivers won't be bored studying the basics.
    At HMTT, your success is OUR success. If you're thinking about restarting a career in trucking contact us today!
  • Guidelines from the DOT

    As a driver new to the industry, or as someone considering getting a CDL, there are some important things to know about the time you can spend on the road driving. The Department of Transport determines the number of hours truck drivers may accumulate per day and week on the road. The rules are to ensure the safety of the truckers and other road users. There's a limit as to how long a driver may be on the road to ensure they get sufficient rest. The rules can sometimes be a little complicated and confusing. Breaking them down according to categories can help you understand them.

    Some of the hours-of-service rule guidelines

    • Your last legal reset is when your workweek begins. For example, if you started at 8 a.m. Tuesday, your 168-hour workweek ends on Tuesday at 8 a.m. the following week.
    • Every duty period starts after a 10-hour off.
    • Truck drivers may not work for more than 60 hours in seven days.
    • It is not possible to extend the 14-hour duty period using off duty time for fueling, meals, and breaks.
    • Following a 10-hour off duty period, the truck drivers can be on duty for up to 14 hours. But there's a limit of 11 hours driving time.
    • A 30-minute break is mandatory within 8 hours after coming on duty.

    Some of the penalties for violating hours-of-service rule guidelines

    • Depending on the severity of the violation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can levy fines of between $1,000 and $11,000.
    • The law enforcement officers can place you on shutdown by the roadside until you accumulate the recommended rest hours.
    At HMTT, our CDL training program will cover the Hours-of-service rules in more detail. You can ensure your safety, the safetly of others on the road, and avoid the hefty fines associated with violating the rules. Ignorance is no defense and our comprehensive training program can equip you with the knowledge and skills to abide by the rules.
    The right training makes all the difference for a long, successful career! Enroll today and learn all about HOS rules. Call 651-528-8994 or submit the form on this page!
  • Truck Drivers: The Rockstars of the Road

    Nobody deserves to be recognized more than professional truck drivers. All of us at Heavy Metal Truck Training applaud the men and women who just keep Truckin' (The Grateful Dead) through the Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix) because they are Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie) to deliver goods across the country. When it has been a Hard Day's Night (The Beatles) they head over to the Hotel California (The Eagles). By the Time (Pink Floyd) they arrive, Dazed And Confused (Led Zeppelin) but  Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd), they realize they Can't Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones.) After only briefly considering the question, Should I Stay Or Should I Go? (The Clash), with the energy of Rocket Man (Elton John) and the get up and go of Jumpin' Jack Flash (Rolling Stones) they head back Under The Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers) to Do It Again  (Steely Dan.) Sometimes it is a Slow Ride (Foghat), sometimes it is the Highway To Hell (AC/DC) and sometimes they are Running On Empty (Jackson Browne), but Don't Stop Believin' (Journey) When The Music's Over (Doors) we are always glad The Boys (and gals) Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy). [embed]https://youtu.be/hMJgHw13wlg[/embed]

    Honoring The 3.5 Million Truck Driving Professionals

    Fun and games aside, just as we look back with nostalgia at the memories conjured up by some of the classics the rock stars of music have given us over the years, so do we honor and appreciate those who deliver goods and supplies over our open roads. Without the trucking industry, our grocery store shelves would be bare, our automobiles would sit idle, and our healthcare system could grind to a halt. A week is not enough time to pay tribute to the truck driving professionals who keep the big wheels rolling (there we go again) to ensure our way of life. The next time the opportunity presents itself, shake a trucker's hand. Say thank you, pay for his or her meal--or better yet, invite them to sit with your family at a restaurant. Eating alone can be as lonely as driving cross country. Teach your kids to ask a driver to blow the air horn as a way to say thank you! Heavy Metal Truck Training is proud to participate in National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. If you are interested in pursuing your CDL and starting your career on the open road, contact us today.

  • Understanding the Hiring Process for your New Trucking Career

    There aren't many career choices that come with proof you're eligible for a job after spending valuable time and money on training. The truck driving industry is one of the few who offer exactly that. Pre-hire letters are a way to get your foot in the door with a carrier before you even start your first class. This blog will help you understand the pre-hiring process for truckers, and how to go about getting a pre-hire letter!

    Job Placement & Pre-Hire Program

    Through our Job Placement program, we make sure each student is eligible for CDL training and employment in the trucking industry. Eligible students and graduates are offered pre-hire opportunities from local, regional, and long-haul trucking companies. These pre-hires state that the student appears to meet the carriers basic hiring requirements, and would be eligible for employment after getting a CDL.

    Understanding Pre-Hire Letters

    Pre-hire letters are a way to gauge your chance of employment with a company before starting CDL training. There is no limit to receiving pre-hire letters; students often receive one or more before training even begins! Getting a pre-hire letter is not a job contract, and it's not a promise of employment. You will still have to complete training and earn your CDL. Once you decide on a company, you will need to meet the qualifications of employment and attend a driver orientation with the company.

    How To Get A Pre-Hire Letter

    The best way to learn more about different trucking companies and get a pre-hire letter is by attending a recruiter visit! At HMTT, we partner with many different companies who offer employment opportunities to our graduates. These companies visit our school regularly to discuss job vacancies and the benefits their company offers. Pre-hire letters don't guarantee a job, and some companies may require you to complete a job application. It is very important that you fill out your application correctly and honestly. Carriers will check enrollment verification and may run a background check, motor vehicle report (MVR), or even schedule drug testing.

    Trucking Companies That Pre-Hire

    Prospective drivers should apply for as many pre-hire letters as possible. Not only does it open options for you, but ensures you find the carrier that best fits your needs. Here are just a few of the companies that offer pre-hire letters to students at Heavy Metal Truck Training:
    • Bartels Truck Lines
    • Covenant Transport
    • Cross Country Freight
    • US Xpress
    • USF Holland
    • Reinhart
    • Schneider
    • Sysco
    • TransAm
    • US Foods
    • Werner
    • Western Express
    It’s a great time to get your Class A CDL so you can start earning a steady paycheck each week. Find out how you can get your pre-hire letter by contacting our Job Placement team today! For more information, contact us or call us today! 651-528-8994
  • Will You Make Good Money as a Trucker?

    Many people don't know this, but truck drivers are actually one of the better paying and steadily growing jobs out there. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a truck driver in 2018 was about $43,000. This is much more than the $38,000 average salary of any other job in America. But, it's important to know that the salary for a truck driver can vary a lot based on many factors.

    Education

    Truck drivers will need to get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) before they're allowed to haul anything. Attending a truck driving school is a great way to get a Class A or a Class B license. Many schools - HMTT included - partner with many different trucking companies for job opportunities after graduation. While this doesn't necessarily mean you will earn more, it comes with other benefits. Companies are eager to hire our graduates because of the hands-on, behind-the-wheel experience you get in class. While there will still be a lot to learn with your new company, attending trucking school will put you a step ahead of the competition. Not to mention the confidence that you can do the job! With programs like our company-sponsored training, you'll have an easier time affording school. As a graduate, you will have access to our Job Placement assistance program. This means that we can help find you a new driving job at any time in your career. In addition, most of our students begin their training with one or several pre-hires from various companies.

    Experience

    Like any other career, more experience often means higher pay. Going OTR (over-the-road) your first year can play a big part in your earning potential. Long-haul trucking gives drivers a greater opportunity to earn a higher income while gaining valuable trucking experience. This experience can lead to better opportunities down the road, whether that be higher pay with a different company or a dedicated local route closer to home. The pay for driving different routes, different vehicles, and hauling different loads will vary. In addition, various endorsements like Hazmat, tanker, or triples will give drivers more opportunities for employment- and potentially more money. The driver shortage means more companies are offering higher starting pay, or even sign-on or referral bonuses. Team drivers put in more miles, thus bring home more pay. Local drivers may have an opportunity for overtime pay during the busy season. As you can see, there are many factors that can affect how much money truck drivers will make. The best way to earn more is to start now!

    It's a great time to enroll in training to get your CDL. Contact us today and start earning a steady income in no time! Fill out the form, or call us for more information! 651-528-8994