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

  • Image of student drivers sitting in a CDL training room with dark blue overlay. Text overlay reads: "Returning to the Road: Which CDL course is right for me?"

    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!
  • Image of trucks driving on highway with an electric guitar and lightening bolts, Text overlay reads: "Truck Drivers: Rock stars of the road"

    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.

  • Image of a scenic highway with "new job" printed on the road. Text overlay reads: "What is a pre-hire letter? Understanding the Hiring Process"

    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
  • Image of blue CDL truck driving at night. Text overlay reads: "How Much Money do Truck Drivers make? Can I earn a good income as a trucker?"

    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

  • Image of workout equipment. Text overlay reads: "Keep Your Career in Gear: The Trucker's Guide to So Staying Fit"

    Simple ways to keep your career in gear longer

    The average American is seated for ten hours a day. Professionals in most sectors are faced with lifestyles that are increasingly sedentary. If you're sitting behind the wheel during a long haul, getting active and staying fit might seem like a difficult task. Staying healthy means a longer and more rewarding career. Truckers that are motivated utilize exercises and training techniques that are easily incorporated with the trucker lifestyle. In order to be a successful truck driver, staying fit is absolutely essential. That is why Heavy Metal Truck Training encourages you to use these exercise and health tips while on the road.

    TRX

    Developed by a Navy Seal in the nineties and adopted by the Marines as a "military training program" in 2007, TRX is one of the most effective suspension workout programs ever conceived. A true total body workout, all exercises target your core even if it's designed for the legs, chest, arms or back. There are no weights or machinery, just a simple bundle of straps that can easily be held in one hand. And that's the beauty of TRX, it is insanely mobile. Anchor it to the grab handle, sleeper cab, or any door in a hotel room, the TRX can travel with you anywhere. This makes it a great workout solution for truckers. The TRX app also contains a ton of challenging and in-depth workouts that help you stay fit and build muscle. Most workouts only take 15 - 25 minutes, easy to fit into any driving schedule.

    Yoga Mats

    Feeling cooped up after multiple hours of driving? A yoga mat can do wonders to help you stretch out or do a quick workout. Push-ups, crunches, and burpees are effective in burning a lot of calories in a short period of time. A consistent stretching regimen has also been proven to enhance a healthy lifestyle and increase longevity. It not only increases your range of motion, but it can relieve stress, as well as prevent and even heal back pain. Sitting for extended periods of time is not good for your posture or spine and stretching can help with both.

    Eating Habits

    Not only is eating while driving not conducive to staying fit, but it's dangerous. Snacking while on the road is like watching TV while you eat; your appetite isn't triggered by what you eat because your attention is on something besides what you're snacking on. Try bringing healthier options with you in a cooler and when you get hungry, pull over and enjoy a snack without being distracted by the road. The right kind of training means you'll be a safe driver, but staying healthy means a longer and more rewarding career. Embrace a healthy trucking lifestyle from the get-go, and keep your career in gear longer. Learn how HMTT can get you on the road in just a few weeks. Call us today to get started! 651-528-8994
  • Image of a "Minnesota Welcomes you" sign with text overlay that reads: "Getting your Minnesota Commercial Driver's License"

    Requirements for a Commercial Driver's License

    Interested in starting a career in the trucking industry? You'll need your Commercial Driver's License before you can hit the road. Minnesota CDL requirements are no different than any other state. Specific laws and federal regulations must be followed. Today we're going to discuss the requirements of getting your CDL in the State of Minnesota.

    Minnesota CDL Requirements

    The best way to obtain your Minnesota Class A CDL is by attending a professional truck driver training program. Finding a professional training program that offers the right balance of classroom and behind-the-wheel training means you are more likely to move on to a successful truck driving career.

    CDL Program Admission

    To get started in a CDL program at Heavy Metal Truck Training, you'll need to hold a valid driver's license and be at least 18 years of age. Applicants will be required to pass a Department of Transportation physical and drug screen. In addition, students must also meet the DOT qualifications for truck operators.  If necessary, HMTT Enrollment specialists will be able to cover any other program requirements in full detail.

    Minnesota CDL Permit

    Before your training can start, you'll need to test for your Minnesota CDL Learner's Permit. This permit is required for any behind-the-wheel training you do on public roadways. The test for your learner's permit consists of three parts: General Knowledge, Combination Vehicles, and Air Brakes. Sign up for our free CDL permit practice tests and you'll be better prepared to successfully pass the written test for your Minnesota CDL learner's permit. This is a quick way to get you on the road toward earning your Minnesota CDL!

    Earning your Minnesota CDL

    After successful completion of your chosen CDL program, you'll be able to find stable employment in a variety of trucking-related industries. For example, with a CDL, you can work in the mining industry transporting heavy equipment, or even in the construction industry delivering concrete or driving dump trucks. Getting your Minnesota CDL can be done in just a few weeks when you enroll at HMTT. Our complete CDL training will leave you with the knowledge and skills needed to pass your tests and begin a new career. Want to know if you meet the requirements of getting your Minnesota CDL? Give us a call today and we'll help you get on the road! 651-528-8994