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

  • See How You Can Use Military Benefits for Trucking School.

    Heavy Metal Truck Training is proud to take care of military veterans who have served our country. We proudly offer veterans, active duty, and their family members the opportunity to use VA benefits for our CDL training.

    What Benefits Can You Use for CDL Training

    There are a variety of different benefits that veterans may be eligible to use toward CDL training. For example, the Post 9/11 Bill, GI Bill®, and other training grants or programs may be available through the Veterans Administration. In addition, some carriers provide a tuition reimbursement program that pays tuition costs back with every paycheck. There may be other organizations that also help eligible veterans pay their FULL tuition towards getting their CDL license. Some truck companies partner with Heavy Metal Truck Training through the Labor Driver Apprenticeship Program. This allows veterans to earn up to $14,000 per year beyond their regular wages. In most cases, drivers must sign on to work for that carrier for a set period of time (usually a year). Check with your HMTT school representative for a full list of available options!

    Long-Term Employment

    Trucking provides long-term employment options to many Veterans who have completed their service to their country. These truck companies know that Veterans possess some of the top qualities that employers look for in a driver. The trucking industry provides secure, long-term employment in an in-demand field. With high-earning potential and comprehensive benefits packages, it's a great way to begin your civilian career.

    To see if you qualify for one of our financial assistance programs, or for help applying for your VA benefits, give HMTT a call! 651-528-8994


    GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill
  • Best Practices for Winter Trucking

    The trucking industry isn't one that slows down for the cold, snowy, and icy Minnesota winters. Goods still must be delivered and equipment must be moved, so that means truck drivers just keep on trucking. However, while doing so they must be aware of the additional safety precautions they will need to take to keep themselves - and those they share the road with - as safe as possible while doing their jobs. The following are 5 tips to help truck drivers keep their rigs in order throughout the snowy, wintery season.

    Pre-Trips Keep Your Truck in Running Order

    During your training at HMTT, you'll spend time learning pre-trip and physical examinations of the truck. Conducting a vehicle inspection before each trip ensures that your truck is in good running condition. As the weather changes, you'll need to stay on top of maintenance items like washer blades and fluid, and clear off any snow and ice, especially on doors, windows, and lights. Checking to make sure your tires have good tread on them can help save you from burning up extra, unneeded fuel and can help you get traction on the road when you need it most. Noticing that something is wrong at the truck stop can save you from breaking down in the middle of a freezing cold interstate in the middle of Minnesota.

    Know Snow Chain Requirements

    Consider your route. It's not something we normally consider in the Midwest, but some states require the use of snow chains in certain areas. If your route takes you out west, you may have to put snow chains on your truck if you are hauling exceptionally heavy loads or are traveling through mountainous roadways. Chains provide added traction in addition to what the tread on your normal tires provides. Know when you'll need them, and know how to use them. Follow the posted signs and carrier requirements, and use your radio to monitor traffic and road condition updates along your route.

    Slow Your Roll

    Roads that just look wet might actually be covered in black ice. Sudden starts, or hard braking on slick, icy roads can cause a loss of vehicle control. Starting off slowly, and leaving additional space between you and other drivers give you more time to see road hazards, and maneuver as necessary.

    Pack Basic Necessity Items

    Carrying a winter-weather kit is key. If you break down you'll want to have some basic items on hand. Extra clothes, a flashlight, batteries, blankets, a thermal sleeping bag, jumper cables, a small shovel (to get any snow off the truck), winter salt, extra bottles of water, and some snacks are good to keep on hand - especially if you will be waiting a few hours for help.

    Practice Basic Traveling Safety...Always

    Practice safe driving in all weather conditions! Take things slow, and give yourself extra space between cars or other trucks. Practicing courtesy to other drivers makes it safer for both you and others on the road to get where you are going more safely. These are 5 great tips to help keep you driving safely in inclement weather. Want more? Learn how to stay safe on the road by enrolling in one of our CDL programs! Register today for our next class! 651-528-8994
  • ...Not So Fast!

    It's no secret that there are self-driving cars being tested by companies like Google as we speak. The concept of the entire driving experience becoming a robotic one is still in the distant future. However, many new drivers want to know: Will autonomous trucks put me out of a job? Not so fast...

    Not Yet on the Market

    Next consider that self-driving cars, while being tested, are still not on the market for the mainstream consumer to purchase. As a matter of fact, the company Waymo is just beginning to prepare to launch their first fleet of self-driving cars to the public. However, self-driving cars are likely not to be taking off for quite some time. Currently, in polls done by Waymo, only 21% of people say they are willing to ride in a driverless car. A lot more trust has to be built for this to take off.

    What About Self-Driving Trucks?

    While Waymo has self-driving cars at its forefront, it is also working on self-driving semi-trucks and other vehicles. Those, however, are in the much more distant future and are not fully automatic. These trucks are nowhere near ready to be used at a state, much less a national level. They will still require human intervention in certain conditions such as rainy weather or icy roads. Humans will also have to assist or perform many challenging maneuvers such as backing up and doing 3-point turns. This means that, or the foreseeable future, humans will still have to be in the vehicle to handle the more challenging maneuvers. And anything else that may go wrong.

    The Automated Vehicle Race

    Other companies developing self-driving cars include 19 other companies such as Toyota, Google, Tesla, and many others. Most companies have not given formal deadlines for their projects but hope to have the technology ready to release by 2020 or 2021. However, these are only cars and SUV-type vehicles. Automated semi-trucks and long-hauling equipment are much further off in the future than that. Very few companies have even begun to think about or work on such technology for larger vehicles. Driverless trucks are not in our near future. For now, truck drivers will continue to do just that - drive. Trucking is an in-demand career that will continue to become more in-demand as consumer demand continues to rise. It's a great career to get into with plenty of benefits and job security for the foreseeable future. For more information on getting into the trucking industry by earning your CDL, call Heavy Metal Truck Training today! 651-528-8994
  • Cause for Concern, or Golden Career Opportunity?

    The shortage of truck drivers can be a cause of concern across several industries. However, it can also mean a golden career opportunity for those interested in driving a truck. Right now the United States is experiencing one of the most severe truck driver shortages in recent history. It's reported that there is currently about 50,000 truck driving jobs open throughout the US. That number is likely to increase in the coming years. So, why is that good for you?

    Job Security

    One major benefit to getting your CDL is job security in the industry. As the shortage of truck drivers increases, drivers become more valuable. Many carriers have increased their entry-level driver pay, or offer sign-on bonuses to new drivers. With our pre-hire and job placement assistance programs, we'll help you find the right company with the right benefits.

    Benefits Are Improving:

    Many carrier companies who are seeking new drivers are "sweetening the deal" by offering new drivers different kinds of driver incentives when they sign on with the company. Some of these incentives include: •  Higher starting pay for long-distance, over the road (OTR) driving positions •  Sign-on bonuses for new drivers •  Pay bonus incentives for current employees who refer someone who is hired by the company •  Full health benefits •  401k or other retirement funds •  Options for tuition reimbursement for those who sign a contract (usually 1 year) with the company •  These benefits are enticing many to consider truck driving as a long-term career option for them.

    Start Strong

    A strong start is the best way to get the most out of this booming industry. Enrolling in a Class A CDL program, like the one offered at HMTT, is a great start to a new career path. Going through CDL training gives students the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to pass the CDL exam and get started with a carrier.  Think trucking might be the right industry for you? To start on a new career path today, call us! 651-528-8994
  • Ask the important questions to make the best decision!

    Enrolling in a school for career training is a big step and commitment point in your life. You probably have a lot of questions and want some information before you make your final decision. But, what questions should you be asking your admissions representative? Here's a few examples of some questions you might have and some of the answers the admissions representative at Heavy Metal Truck Training would provide you:

    Q: How long does the program at Heavy Metal Truck Training last?

    A: The average program at Heavy Metal Truck Training will vary depending on your experience level and the kind of program you enroll in. Our programs generally run from 120 to 460 hours of instruction depending on the program you choose to enroll in. Most programs take 4 to 14 weeks to complete.  We also offer custom one-on-one training to help you meet your needs and reach your career goals.

    Q: How much does it cost to get my Class A License from Heavy Metal Truck Training?

    A: Tuition costs will vary, depending on which program you enroll in and if you qualify or use any sort of financial aidMost people can expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,000 to get their CDL Class A License. Keep in mind - some (or even all) of your training costs can be covered by different financial programs.

    Q: I want to become a truck driver, but I can't afford to pay that much. What can I do?

    A: Come in and talk to us! We will be happy to show you what financial aid we have available to help you. Some options include partnering with a carrier that you will commit to working for when you are out of school. Many offer $100-$300 reimbursements per month (up to 100% of your tuition costs) as long as you work with them for a full year. Veterans or military members may qualify for further federal grants or assistance. These are plenty of tuition assistance options for CDL training!

    Q: I have my CDL, now how do I get a job?

    A: As a graduate of Heavy Metal Truck Training, you'll be able to use our job placement assistance. We are proud to place 90-95% of the truck drivers who graduate our program into jobs in the field! We offer pre-hire and job placement programs that help you partner with a carrier, many times even before you finish school. That means you have a job once your CDL is complete and you are ready to head out on the road. Want more information? Come in! Let's talk training opportunities and financial assistance programs offered at HMTT. We're here to help! Start your application today, call 651-528-8994
  • How to get paid back for your CDL training

    Tuition reimbursement is a popular program that helps cover costs related to trucking school payments. But you might not understand what it is exactly, or how it works. This program is offered to Heavy Metal Truck Training students who choose to pay their CDL training costs up-front. Remember, there are other financial aid programs that you can use in addition to Tuition Reimbursement. Our financial aid staff will be able to give you details on each of these programs. But today, we'll provide an outline of how tuition reimbursement works.

    How Do I Get My Tuition Reimbursed?

    During training, students will be partnered with a trucking company that will pay back their training tuition costs once they graduate. In order to qualify for this program and receive these reimbursement benefits, students will be contracted for at least one full year of employment with that company. Students can receive up to 100% of the costs of tuition paid back to them during this year.

    Can I Get Reimbursed For Other Types of Financial Assistance I Used?

    Yes, absolutely! Your CDL training costs can be reimbursed even if you used other types of financial assistance to pay for your education. HMTT works with a variety of different assistance programs, including student loans, veterans benefits, grants, or other local benefits. Each of these options can be used along with tuition reimbursement.

    How Quickly Will I Get Paid Back?

    How quickly you receive tuition reimbursement will depend on the trucking carrier that you are working for. Most carriers will reimburse drivers between $100 and $300 each month, on top of your normal pay. This means you can effectively have 100% of your tuition reimbursed by working with a participating carrier for a year after you get your license. There are plenty of options you can use to pay for your CDL training at Heavy Metal Truck Training. Our staff can provide all the information you'll need to participate in the tuition reimbursement program. Set up an appointment today to learn more! 651-528-8994