Advice for Entry-Level Truck Drivers

If you just finished your CDL training and have your Class A CDL, you need to be prepared for when you go out on the road as a rookie. Being prepared while out on the road can save time, energy, and a headache if something happens unexpectedly. Below is some advice to help entry-level truck drivers successfully begin their trucking careers.

Stay in Touch with Loved Ones

Staying in contact with friends and family can help pass the time and give drivers the sense that they aren’t completely alone. It may not be in person but talking and video calling can improve morale for drivers. One fun thing you can do is to send pictures of any sights you see while driving. You can also collect postcards or magnets at different stops or states you’re in. Little acts like both of these can go a long way and give you something to look forward to.

Another person you should stay in constant contact with is your dispatcher. Always updating them on your location and status will lead to a better relationship with them. In case you run into a problem or delay, being in communication with them can also build a better relationship with your customers. They will appreciate being updated and alerted that you may be running early or late on your delivery and can prepare. Constant communication from you can lead to more loads in the future and a better reputation within your company.

Keep Expectations Real

As an entry-level truck driver, you won’t be making as much money as some of the veteran drivers. This is normal in any industry or job when you first begin. Keep your expectations in check while going through your first year will help keep morale higher and give you the motivation to continue getting better. Being patient and having a good attitude will keep you trucking and, on your way to earning more money.

Safety First

Every driver’s first priority should be safety, no matter how long they have been driving. Safety as an entry-level truck driver is especially important. Staying free of accidents can make you look like a good and reliable driver. Accidents happen of course, even if they aren’t your fault. Staying alert and being an active driver can help prevent some accidents, or help you avoid getting caught in them. Two of the biggest things that can help you are watching your speed and paying attention to the flow of traffic around you.

One of the biggest adjustments beginner drivers must get used to is driving a tractor-trailer in different weather conditions. Weather like wind, snow, ice, and rain is different than if you were driving in a car. Plan ahead and check the weather before you head out, so you know what is expected.

CDL Training

If you aren’t out on the road yet and are wanting to train to become a professional truck driver, consider National Tractor Trailer School in New York. NTTS has been training students since 1971 and has over four decades of experience. We have multiple campuses and programs students can choose from. Upon graduation, you will be road-ready for a career in the trucking industry.

Along with training, NTTS offers qualified students financial aid options to help pay for the cost of training. Job placement assistance is also offered to help qualified students and graduates find great careers that fit their wants and needs.

If you want to begin training at NTTS, contact us today at 844-922-0874 or by filling out the form on this page!

Trucking Industry Outlook for 2021

The coming 2021 year is currently predicted to be a rebound year for the trucking industry. Both the economy and truck driver demand are forecasted to rise from the negative year the pandemic brought on. If you are considering becoming a truck driver, 2021 may be the year for you!

Economic Rebound

The need for truck drivers is growing, and so is the amount of freight that needs to be hauled. The rise of online shopping and e-commerce has caused the amount of freight to go up and is only expected to rise in the future. America will need to meet this rise by hiring more truck drivers to haul the freight. According to FTR Transportation Intelligence, freight will increase by 6% in 2021. When looking at year-over-year comparisons, this is strong growth.

The trucking industry currently has a shortage of drivers and the shortage is growing more and more each year. If this downward trend continues, the industry could be short around 105,000 drivers by the 2023 year according to the American Trucking Association (ATA). This number may seem daunting but it is actually a good thing for new drivers. New drivers just getting into the industry will have plenty of options to choose from when finding a driving job.

Hauling Essentials

Since the pandemic has started, truck drivers have been important in hauling essential items to groceries, hospitals, and other businesses. With no clear end in sight currently for the COVID-19 virus, truck drivers will continue to be essential in hauling and delivering items to these stores and businesses for the future. The country will rely heavily on truck drivers to continue moving forward in 2021 and being an essential worker can be a big selling point for getting new drivers into the industry.

Fast Training

A good thing for individuals who want to become a truck driver is that CDL training does not take years of training before you are able to get on the road. At NTTS, students can get high-quality CDL training and be job-ready right out of school.

The trucking industry is constantly changing and shifting, so more insights may become available in the next month before 2021. If you want to obtain your CDL or learn more about the process, contact NTTS today!

COVID – 19 Impact on Trucking

The past months have been a trying time for everyone not only in our country but across the world. With various industries being affected greatly by the pandemic, the world has been in a scramble for answers. One of the most impacted industries was of course trucking, the lifeblood of transporting good across states. Unaware of how long the restrictions will be in place has left many people in trucking asking what is next.

Importance of Trucking

Keeping the transportation of goods flowing for an entire country has never been an easy task to accomplish. The trucking industry has always had a shortage of drivers and COVID has amplified that with the various levels of restrictions put in place. Putting a huge level of responsibility to CDL training schools, like NTTS, to produce quality drivers quickly. A huge burden had been placed on America’s drivers, with most citizens just beginning to realize how important the trucking industry is for a normal quality of life.

While many Americans have been given the luxury to work from home during the pandemic to avoid exposure, truckers took those challenges head-on. Putting themselves directly in the line of fire to keep our country up and running. It is a crucial part of people’s way of life and something that should not be overlooked

How America is Responding

As public health continues to be at risk, the lack of licensed and ready to work drivers increases as many state DMV and BMV facilities are on limited hours. Since it is impossible to operate a truck without the proper credentials (Class A CDL) this has posed a large problem.

The travel limitations have also impacted the way transportation companies are operating. As of July 14th, the FMSCA has extended the duration of the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration until August 14, 2020. The extended emergency continues to provide assistance only to drivers carrying goods related to COVID-19. and is limited to these items:

1. Livestock and livestock feed;
2. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19; and
3. Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants.

Trucking Industry Needs YOU

The trucking industry is in dire need of new drivers, now. It has never been a better time than to start a new career within trucking. If you are ready to begin your new chapter in trucking there is no better place to start than at National Tractor Trailer School. We offer high-quality training, industry-leading job placement services, and will have you ready for a new career in weeks.

CDL Training For Active-Duty Soldiers & Veterans

If you are an active-duty soldier or veteran, National Tractor Trailer School offers specialized training for you at Fort Drum.

CDL Training for Military Members at Fort Drum

We offer a part-time CDL training program at Fort Drum for active-duty soldiers and veterans. CDL training lasts 13 weeks and takes place at Clark Hall at Fort Drum. You can choose from two schedule options, depending on what works best for your schedule. Weekly training options are:

  • Wednesday 5:00 PM-9:00 PM, Thursday 5:00 PM-9:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 5:00 PM-9:00 PM, Friday 5:00 PM-9:00 PM, Sunday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

Training is done on a 10-speed manual transmission and will cover:

  • CDL Permit prep
  • General knowledge
  • Air breaks
  • Combination vehicle HAZMAT training
  • DOT rules and regulations
  • Logbooks
  • Map reading
  • Backing maneuvers
  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Shifting and double-clutching

Using Your Military Benefits at NTTS

There are many financial aid options available to help make CDL training affordable for veterans and active-duty military personnel. NTTS is proud to offer financial assistance options such as:

Several of NTTS’ company sponsors also offer VA-approved paid apprenticeship programs and tuition reimbursement to those who qualify.

Career Skills Program

NTTS is proud to participate in the Career Skills Program. This program is meant to prepare military service members to transition to civilian life. The Career Skills Program allows service members to participate in apprenticeships, internships and on-the-job training in the last 180 days of service before being discharged.

Job Placement

When done with training, students will have their Class A CDL. We realize many military members are stationed far from home and may want to move upon completing their time in the military.

Our job placement assistance program will help you find a job, even if you want to leave New York. We partner with a number of trucking companies with terminals all over the country. If you don’t want to stay in New York, we can still help place you in a job. Your CDL will transfer to any state and is good for 8 years.

Fort Drum Information 

Interested but not sure where to start? Stop by Clark Hall at Fort Drum for more information! Kimberly from NTTS will be at Clark Hall every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 AM-2:30 PM. She will be there to answer any questions you might have, and will help you fill out any paperwork necessary!

If you are ready to take the next step in your civilian commercial truck driving career, contact National Tractor Trailer School today to get enrolled in a CDL training program

Trucking Industry Seeking Women Drivers

With the growth of the trucking industry, companies are facing a professional driver shortage. The trucking industry is no longer a man’s world. This shortage is further opening the doors to women truck drivers, and companies seek out these women to increase gender diversity. Therefore, more women are entering the industry outside of the office setting.

Benefits to Truck Driving

There are many benefits to entering a truck driving career. According to the American Trucking Association, the average salary for truck drivers is $58,000 in 2019. Most companies offer medical and retirement benefits. Many companies haul dedicated freight from the warehouse to store; allowing for more home time, in most cases every day. NTTS offers full-time and part-time CDL training program options to fit obtaining a CDL into your life.

Companies Seeking Women Truck Drivers

Women in Trucking‘s official magazine, Redefining the Road, presented the “Top 50 Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation.” The companies made the list based on traits with women in mind. The characteristics evaluated are gender diversity, compensation, flexibility in hours and requirements, and development and advancement opportunities. A few companies on the list include DOT Foods, Werner Enterprises, and U.S. Xpress. For a complete list, check out the article Top 50 Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 6.7% of professional drivers are women. While the industry is facing a driver shortage, more women are expected to fill the need to transport goods. With this door opening to women drivers, the industry is moving toward gender neutrality.

Now is the perfect time to consider a career change. For information on enrolling in a CDL training course, contact National Tractor Trailer School.

Advantages to Earning a Commercial Drivers License

Earning your CDL gives you a variety of career options that you can choose from. It is no secret truck drivers are in huge demand throughout the US with that number likely to increase in the coming years. The job outlook for professional truck drivers is expected to grow 5%, meaning that the number of jobs that are currently available for drivers will only continue to increase. For anyone looking to earn their CDL, there are plenty of job options available for you once you complete your training.

What Are Some of My Job Options Once I Get My CDL?

Once you get your CDL you will be able to choose from a variety of jobs to find something that suits your lifestyle and needs. The following are some of the career paths you will have the opportunity to explore as you decide which path fits you the best:

  • Over-the-Road (OTR) Trucking
  • Regional Trucking
  • Local Trucking

What Are Companies Offering New Drivers?

As truck driving becomes a more in-demand industry, many carriers are “upping their game.” Companies are offering drivers different benefits packages in order to entice them into the industry with hopes they will work for their company. The following are many of the common benefits that companies are offering drivers in order to get them to work for their company and to motivate them to get out on the road:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Paid vacation (yearly)
  • Healthcare benefits
  • 401k and other benefits

Some carriers are offering additional perks such as signing bonuses for employees who choose to work for their company.

Other carriers are even willing to offer tuition reimbursement to drivers. This can help pay back some or all of the money they spent on schooling to get their CDL. This is usually a monthly payment and is made in addition to the person’s regular pay.

Trucking Allows You to Work to Your Schedule:

Once you have some experience as an over-the-road driver, you can choose a job based on your work schedule preferences. Those who love to drive long-distance can continue in the line of OTR work as it lets them see a large portion of the country and typically pays more than other types of trucking.

Others who prefer to have weekends off can work as a regional driver that provides Monday through Friday work and allows the driver to spend weekends at home with their family and friends.

Finally, those who have families they need to go home to every night can work as a local driver that works within a specific city or town.

For more information on starting that process to get your CDL, contact National Tractor Trailer School today!