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

  • Photo of HMTT semi truck in the snow

    Get your Minnesota CDL at HMTT

    Choosing the right south St. Paul truck driving school is an important decision. As you're looking to find a CDL school in south St. Paul, you need to pick the place that will give you the best training and job prospects. Here's why that place is Heavy Metal Truck Training.

    Class A CDL Training Done The Right Way

    Some schools use a simulator to provide "behind-the-wheel" CDL training. Heavy Metal Truck Training doesn't. At our south St. Paul truck driving school, you receive all of your behind-the-wheel training in a truck. Our goal is to make our students safe, road-ready drivers. We teach our Class A CDL training according to the Professional Truck Driver Institute's (PTDI) curriculum standards.

    We Help You Find Work Before Training You

    Our south St. Paul truck driving school has a pre-hire service. Before you start training, we verify you qualify for training and job placement by taking a look at your driving record, health, and criminal background. Through our pre-hire service, we have partnerships with dozens of truck carriers. Heavy Metal Truck Training students know they have a job waiting for them.

    Attend a Free Pre-Hiring Event

    You're welcome to attend one of our free pre-hiring events. There's no obligation to you. While you're there, you'll have the opportunity to hear directly from one or more trucking company representatives. Also, we give you more information about the professional trucking industry.

    You May Qualify for Tuition Reimbursement

    Many of our carrier partners offer tuition reimbursement. Some students are able to cover all of their tuition this way. This is how it works. You pay for your training with HMTT. Once you start working, the carrier partner pays you $100 to $300 over your earnings each month up to $10,000.

    Company Sponsorships for Qualified Individuals

    Some carrier partners sponsor qualified individuals. These companies pay for part or all of your tuition at Heavy Metal Truck Training. Find out which companies we are partnered with, so you can start your career with them as soon as your training here is done! Register today, or get more information about our class A CDL training, pre-hire service, and tuition assistance programs! Simply call us at 651-528-8994 or fill out the form you see on this page!          
  • Graphic reading "HMTT's guide to trucking vlogs. Test-drive the trucking life without leaving home"

    Test-Drive the Trucking Life Without Leaving Home

    A career in trucking is an awesome way to get out and see this big beautiful country while making a living. Whether you've been trucking for years already, or if you're still considering a career in trucking, there are plenty of trucking vlogs out there to entertain and educate.

    Get a Taste of the Trucking Life

    Still debating whether a career driving trucks is right for you? Check out these vlogs to get a taste of what trucking life is really like:
    • Trucker Josh posts nearly daily vlogs about his life on the road trucking all across the USA and Canada
    • Lil Dawg vlogs about his career trucking around the city of Chicago
    • On the youtube channel Trucking with Selena, you can watch a husband and wife team adjusting to the life of a long haul trucker
    • KayBee Tha Trucker provides motivation, entertainment, and insight into the trucking world on his vlog

    Been There...

    There are plenty of trucking vlogs out there for the experienced driver as well, offering tips, tricks, and a good laugh. Enough content to shake your head at and think "I've been there!" Can't get enough trucking vlogs, or still haven't found one that speaks to you? Check out this list of 50 of the best.

    Truckers on Instagram

    • Need a good laugh? Check out twistedtruckers on Instagram for a little trucking humor.
    • For some amazing images that show the realities and beauty of life on the road check out truckersjourney.
    • Trying to stay healthy while out on the road? Easier said than done! The Healthy Trucker is full of tips on everything from exercises you can do in your cab, to healthy inexpensive snacks for the road.
    Inspired and ready to start a trucking adventure of your own? Give us a call today for more information on how to begin your trucking career! 651-528-8994    
  • Image of a truck driver and his 2 daughters in front of a semi. Text overlay reads: "5 ways to get your family on board with cdl school"

    Getting Your Family on Board

    Making the decision to start your CDL training can be exciting, but it can be equally important to have the support of your family before embarking upon a new life journey. The more information you arm yourself with when sitting down to discuss the decision with your support system, the better. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when opening up that conversation.

    1. Apply For Tuition Assistance

    Several carriers partner with Heavy Metal Trucking for tuition assistance, and the programs vary widely to fit different needs. From tuition reimbursement to paid training options, there's a vast array of resources available to prospective students who are ready to take the first step.

    2. Stay Connected

    With the advances in modern technology, it's easier than ever to remain connected with family over long distances through mechanisms such as video chat. But even if you're not an electronics whiz, there are still plenty of other ways to feel close to loved ones while you're away. Many drivers carry along precious keepsakes or photos to ease homesickness. You could also mail letters or postcards to and from family members at stops along the way.

    3. Think Long-Term

    If you are the parent of young children, over the road driving is most likely a concern for all involved. However, it's important to keep in mind that you will likely be eligible for other driving jobs that allow you to stay closer to home after your first year of behind the wheel.

    4. Choose The Right Training

    Whether you're just beginning to consider your CDL training or you're looking to expand your skillsets and obtain a higher level of certification, Heavy Metal Trucking has a program that is customized to fit your needs.

    5. Let Them Tag Along

    Companies vary widely on this policy, but you would typically be permitted to take a family member along with you as long as they are above a certain age and do not possess a CDL. There is usually a small fee involved for companies to cover extra insurance costs. If this is an option that interests you, be sure to mention it to your prospective employer in order to choose a company that best fits your family needs. For more tips and information on obtaining your CDL training, call us today! 651-528-8994  
  • Image of truck driver student in the cab of a semi. Text overlay reads "Do they make automatic semi trucks?"

    Manual Transmission Fears?

    Are you a prospective truck driver worried about learning to drive a stick shift? They do indeed make automatic semi trucks. However, you may want to think twice before you skip getting licensed to drive on manual transmissions. There are a few reasons we will examine. Companies will prefer you be able to drive manual transmissions. This is so that when you become certified there are no restrictions on your license. This is why it is so important to choose the proper CDL training program. These programs are designed to teach those who have very little knowledge of truck driving initially. So, don't fear if you've never driven a manual transmission before. You'll be among many other students in the very same boat. In fact, it's common to have little knowledge of operating manual transmissions when you begin training.

    It's Important You Learn to Drive on a Manual Transmission

    If you do test only on an automatic transmission there will be a restriction on your license preventing you from operating semi trucks with manual transmissions. This will seriously limit the number of jobs you are able to take. This is because the vast majority of semi-trucks require operating a manual transmission. There is also the very strong possibility that the truck you test on to complete your CDL training will use a manual transmission as well. If you are truly unable to get the hang of operating a manual transmission, you are able to test on an automatic transmission. However, it's highly unlikely you will need to! Following the training appropriately will prepare you to operate a manual transmission. Here's an overview for those worrying about learning to drive manual transmissions:
    • Most trucks use manual transmissions
    • You aren't alone in your lack of knowledge
    • You'll get many hours of training and supervision
    • You will open yourself to many more job opportunities!
    Hopefully this helps put your mind at ease. Want more information about getting certified to operate semi-trucks? Call us! We're here to help! 651-528-8994
  • Image of CDL truck driving on highway. Text overlay reads: "Will the drive safe act improve trucking?"

    Will the Drive Safe Act Improve Trucking?

    The Drive Safe Act is a piece of legislation that was introduced to Congress last year. It is supported by both the American Trucking Associations and the International Foodservice Distributors Association. If passed it will have a major impact on the current driver shortage.

    The Problem

    The American Trucking Associations estimates that the trucking industry is currently 50,000 drivers short, and that number could potentially reach as high as 175,000 drivers by 2026. This is a major problem for the foodservice distribution industry that relies on these trucks to deliver tens of thousands of products each day. Adding to the issue is the age restrictions currently placed on drivers. You can earn a CDL when you are 18, but drivers are not allowed to cross state lines until they are 21. This causes the industry to lose potential drivers who choose other career paths out of high school.

    The Drive Safe Act

    The Drive Safe Act will allow drivers to cross state lines at 18, as long as they complete a two part apprenticeship. The drivers will be required to complete 400 hours of on duty time and 240 hours of drive time with an experienced driver in the cab. Additionally, trucks used in the program will be required to have certain safety features such as, an active braking system, a forward facing camera and speed governed at 65 mph or less.

    The Effect on Trucking

    If the Drive Safe Act passes it will help reduce the driver shortage. It will allow people to obtain their CDL and begin their apprenticeship right out of high school. It will open up higher paying jobs to younger drivers, making a trucking career more appealing to them. It will also make the industry safer through it's new training requirements. To learn more about how this Act will impact your trucking career, contact us today.
  • Image of black and white semi trucks parked in parking lot. Text overlay reads: "Class A CDL & Class B CDL: What's the Difference?"

    Which one is More Beneficial to you?

    The differences between a Class A and a Class B CDL are the vehicles they let you operate different classes (and weights) of motor vehicles depending on what your job requirements happen to include. The federal government has even passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act to set minimum requirements for drivers of large vehicles and the training and CDL that they must hold to be allowed to drive certain vehicles. We train students for their Class A CDL because of the variety of job opportunities it allows for. However, it's important to know what each class allows so you can make the best decision for your career. In this blog post will take a look at the difference between the Class A & Class B CDL and what each one will allow you to do.

    Class A CDL:

    Your Class A CDL will allow you to operate a variety of different motor vehicles that a regular commercial driver's license wouldn't let you operate. Your Class A CDL will allow you to drive combination vehicles such as a semi-tractor and trailer or with combined gross weights of 26,001 or more. You will also be able to drive a trailer that weighs 10,000 pounds or more. You might need special endorsements to drive certain vehicles such as those carrying toxic waste or those with a certain number of passengers. The following are examples of some of the different types of vehicles you might drive on a Class A CDL:
    • Tractor trailers
    • Truck and trailer combinations
    • Tractor trailer buses
    • Tanker vehicles
    • Flatbed vehicles
    • Most Class B and Class C vehicles can get driven on a Class A CDL

    Class B CDL:

    Your Class B CDL will let you operate a variety of different motor vehicles that a regular commercial driver's license won't let you operate. Your Class B CDL will let you drive single vehicles that weigh 26,001 pounds or more in gross weight. It allows you to operate a trailer vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. The following types of vehicles can get driven on a Class B CDL:
    • Straight trucks
    • Large buses (i.e., large city or school buses)
    • Box trucks
    • Dump trucks
    • Some Class C vehicles with the correct endorsements

    Class A & B CDL, What's the Difference?

    A Class A CDL gives you more flexibility in driving different types of vehicles and lets you drive almost all of the vehicles that a Class B license allows you to drive. If you are looking for maximum flexibility in the vehicles you drive, the Class A CDL is probably the best fit for you.

    Endorsements for Class A CDL Drivers:

    Being able to haul hazardous loads, driving double trailers, or other variable requires special endorsements on your CDL. It is up to the driver to know and understand the laws requiring endorsements and to ensure that you obtain any endorsements required to drive the vehicles you do and to be in compliance with the law. Our jobs is to help you determine which endorsements will be beneficial to you in your career. The following list includes some of the most common endorsements, what the driver must do to get them, and the vehicles that they become required for if you wish to drive them as part of your job:
    • H Endorsement: required if you will be driving vehicles containing hazardous materials and includes a written knowledge test to receive the endorsement
    • N Endorsement: permits drivers to drive vehicles with tanks on them and also requires a written knowledge test to receive the endorsement
    • T Endorsement: permits drivers to drive a double or triple trailer and requires the driver to pass an additional knowledge test to receive this endorsement
    • X Endorsement: permits drivers to drive vehicles that transport HAZMAT materials or vehicles that are tankers and the driver must pass a knowledge test to receive this endorsement.
    Obtaining these endorsements before you begin driving the vehicles that require them is the appropriate way to go. It ensures that you comply with the laws in your area and ensures that you are not subject to disciplinary actions if you do not follow these laws. For more information on which endorsements you can get with your CDL, talk to your admissions officer or your CDL instructor. We will be happy to help you decide which ones are the best for your career goals. In most cases, getting your Class A CDL is more beneficial as it gives you far more options for which vehicles you are legally allowed to operate on the road. Endorsements can allow you to do even more driving work such as hauling passengers to different destinations, driving vehicles with hazardous cargo, or even driving double or triple trailers full of cargo. Getting your Class A CDL at HMTT can open up a whole new world of possibility to your driving career. You'll be able to look at more driver employment opportunities with local, regional, or national carriers. Start your truck driving career by getting your Class A CDL at HMTT! Call us today to enroll in class and get on the way to earning your CDL! 651-528-8994