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

  • Get on the Road in your Civilian Career.

    Veterans transitioning out of a career in the military might wonder what their next job will be. Luckily, the experience and skills that military service provides are easily transferable, needed, and appreciated in the trucking industry.

    Your Military Skills Crossover to Trucking

    Carriers are eager to hire veterans to fill their open driver positions. They know that veterans come ready to work, are reliable, trustworthy, and equipped with skills beneficial in the industry. From the physical demands of driving heavy-duty equipment to learning the value of being self-disciplined, your time in the service can shape your trucking career. In fact, many former military truckers say their years of service helped them transition to a truck driving career.

    Why Choose Trucking?

    It's a great time to become a truck driver. The trucking industry offers high pay, full benefits, and is a great choice for Veterans looking for long-term, stable employment. Moreover, carriers are also offering incentives like sign-on bonuses, 401k plans, and paid vacations. Many truck drivers start out making $40,000+ per year with the potential to much more in some positions. In addition, veterans with two or more years experience operating heavy-duty trucks and equipment may have the option to skip the road-test portion of the CDL exam.
    Get your start in this booming industry, and see what military benefits you can use for CDL training! Call HMTT today! 651-528-8994
  • Taking the OTR Path to Local Driving Jobs

    Many drivers who get into the trucking industry want to star with a local driving job that keeps them close to home. However, the road to getting a local trucking job with quality pay may be to begin your career as an OTR driver.

    Starting as an OTR Driver

    Over the Road (OTR) trucking jobs can have a driver on the road for up to several weeks at a time. Many drivers do not wish to be away from their families long-term and others will not like working quite so many days in a row. However, this is generally the first job that most truck drivers will get hired to do. While it may not be the position you want for the rest of your life, this experience can be invaluable when starting out in your career. Many larger carriers are the ones that do the OTR work. These carriers usually offer higher pay and better benefits - including paid vacation time, retirement benefits, and healthcare as well. Not to mention the valuable experience you need to get more local driving jobs.

    Transitioning to Local Trucking

    The best way to get the local driving positions is to have other experience in the trucking industry. For many drivers, this means gaining some experience in an OTR trucking position before considering something more local. Local drivers with previous experience are more likely to be hired for a local position than those with no previous experience.

    Consider It A Temporary Compromise

    A temporary compromise means that you are willing to do the OTR work for at least a couple of years to get some experience. Making that sacrifice of being on the road now means that you are setting yourself up for a local truck driving job in the coming years. Drivers with experience in OTR are more likely to get local jobs with a higher level of pay and a variety of other benefits including more vacation time, healthcare benefits, and retirement savings. Want more information on how OTR work can help you get to a more local trucking job? Call HMTT today and start working with our Job Placement team! 651-528-8994
  • 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. There 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