Spring Driving Tips

As the seasons begin to change and the weather gets warmer, it’s essential to recognize that warm weather doesn’t always mean you’re in the free and clear. Each season comes with new opportunities for safety and preparation tactics. With the spring and summer months approaching, here are our spring driving tips.

General Maintenance

The winter months are the toughest, adding additional wear and tear to your vehicle. At the start of this new season, be sure to do thorough pre-trip checks. This includes checking tire pressure, fuel, and oil levels, replacing wiper blades, and more. Many of these things should be checked before each trip, but the changing of the seasons is a great time to do a more detailed evaluation of the status of your vehicle.

Watch The Weather

Paying attention to the forecast should be a regular occurrence for drivers, but it’s especially important in the spring since the weather can still vary from day to day and even hour to hour. Dress in layers in preparation for fluctuating temperatures. Spring is also a prominent time for showers; waterproof boots with non-slip soles should help during these conditions.

Monitor Road Conditions

Heading into the warmer months means one thing: construction. Whether it’s general road work or repairs from winter damage, workers like to use these warmer times to get things done. Keep an eye out for harsh roads with potholes, avoiding them until they’re fixed, as well as construction zones and signage marking these areas. Even if you’re driving the same route every day, detours may pop up from time to time.

Increased Outdoor Activity

More people are spending time outside as the days get nicer, going for walks, biking, and taking their pets for walks. Other animals may also be coming out of hibernation, looking for food, and entering mating season. Continue to be aware of your surroundings, as people and animals may not always be alert, making careless maneuvers.

Replenish & Update Emergency Supplies

Just as the changing of the seasons is a good time to inspect your vehicle, it’s also a good time to inspect your supplies. Keeping items on hand in case of emergencies is a good rule of thumb. For spring, add items to your truck for layering, like blankets and extra articles of clothing as well as medications for seasonal allergies or colds. While you’re at it, think about restocking anything else that may need to be replenished, such as hand sanitizer, tissues, emergency food, and water.

For many reasons, driving in the spring and summer months can be much safer, but these seasons can still come with their own unique set of challenges. Being prepared for anything is one of the most important things you can do as a trucker, so follow these tips and stay safe this season!

Looking for high-quality CDL training? Check out NTTS! Fill out a form to get started!

Is a Career as a CDL Instructor Right for You?

One of the most rewarding parts of any job is passing your knowledge down to the next generation. This especially applies to new drivers entering the trucking industry through our CDL training. Becoming a CDL instructor allows you to have advantages that other careers in the industry do not have. The trucking industry will need more drivers as the demand continues to grow.

What to Know Before Getting Started

As a CDL instructor at National Tractor Trailer School, you are responsible for teaching students the basics of becoming professional truck drivers. This includes both the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions. Each student may have a different learning style. Being able to acknowledge and adapt to them is crucial and can help grow the student’s confidence throughout training.

As an instructor, you will meet people with different backgrounds and career goals. Some students may have wanted to become truck drivers their entire lives, while others may be using this as a second career option. Knowing what each of your student’s mindsets is going into training may help adjust your training style to create a better learning environment.

What are the Qualifications for Becoming a CDL Instructor?

Like most jobs, CDL instructor position qualifications can vary depending on the company. At NTTS, our CDL Instructor qualifications are industry standard and listed below.

  • Must possess a valid Class A CDL
  • Two or more years of driving experience
  • Clean driving record
  • Must be able to pass a DOT physical and drug screen

Why Should I Become a CDL Instructor?

Becoming an instructor can be as rewarding of a job as any. You get to play a direct role in training the next generation of truck drivers. This position allows you to pass on knowledge and personal experiences that may not be in the training curriculum.

A CDL instructor position is rewarding, but it also provides a stable job for individuals. Life on the road can present obstacles that make it hard to plan for the future. As an instructor, you will be home every night and able to spend time with your friends and family more consistently. CDL Instructors will always be needed, so job security is very high.

CDL Instructor Benefits

One of the most common misconceptions about CDL instructors is that they do not have comparable benefits to professional drivers. Instructors at NTTS have competitive benefits for the industry that include:

  • Competitive wages
  • Paid time off
  • Flexible schedules
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance

These benefits are great for someone looking to slow down their life on the road and help other drivers entering the industry. The CDL instructor position is also great for retired drivers who still want to have a hand in the industry without getting out on the road. CDL instructors play a vital role in our transportation and freight industries.

If you are interested in becoming an instructor at NTTS or would like more information, please contact us today at [email protected]!

Tips for Safe Driving in the Winter

Winter can be intimidating for truck drivers especially if you are driving through multiple climate zones. Winter driving poses more hazards while driving than other seasons of the year. Thankfully, there are many strategies and tips you can utilize for a safer haul.

Slow Down and Take Your Time

Being a truck driver obviously means you will have deliveries that are on a timetable and making sure the load is delivered on time is important. During the winter, it is important to take your time and make sure you deliver the load safe and accident-free. Don’t rush and put yourself in the way of danger. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to deliver the load on time still, without having to rush.

Pack Supplies and Essentials

It is important to be prepared during the winter in case a breakdown does happen.  You should have items that could help you get up and running or keep you comfortable until help arrives. Some basics to keep in the cabin are extra blankets, gloves, extra clothes, and food/drinks. These can help keep you warm and bundled up until help arrives.

Other supplies you should consider include extra wiper blades, a tool kit, flashlights, extra antifreeze, among others. These supplies can be useful in simple problems, or even make just enough of a difference to get back on the road if you need to use them.

Check Your Tires

Tire traction is essential for driving in the snow and ice. You should always check the status of your tires before heading out on the road. This includes tread and pressure for each tire. If they do not pass inspection, have them changed before heading out on the road.

Check Weather Conditions

Keeping up with weather conditions can help you plan ahead for your driving route. While on the road, keeping up to date on the changing conditions is also important. Knowing what weather you are driving into can help you plan ahead and in some cases, find safer alternative routes.

These tips are just a few of many you can take advantage of while driving during the winter. It is better to be safe than sorry during these months and any time on the road. Being prepared can help you be safer and more experienced during the winter months.

If you are ready to take the next step in your commercial truck driving career, contact NTTS today to get enrolled in a CDL training program.

NTTS Student Receives Scholarship

National Tractor Trailer School is proudly pleased to announce that one of our students, Darcy Crofts, is the recipient of a scholarship from the Women in Trucking Foundation. Darcy is attending school now and training to become a professional tractor trailer driver. The scholarship will help cover the cost of tuition as Darcy gets her trucking career off to a great start!

Darcy, who had been working as a bus school driver, came to NTTS because she wanted to upgrade her skills and obtain her CDL-A to be a tractor trailer driver.  She mentioned that becoming a Class A truck driver will allow her to have more income to take care of her family. She knows that with more income, she will have less worry about financial stress. Darcy shared that she has overcome adversity before in her life, and faced it head on. She is doing this for her family and wants to make sure they have a good life.

When asked about her five-year plan, Darcy said she wanted to be with a company that knows her by name and not by a number. She wants to make her company proud and strives to be the best driver possible for whoever it may be. She is excited for the future and the opportunities it will bring her and her family!

The Women in Trucking Foundation is an organization that supports ambitious students, drivers, and professionals in the trucking industry who seek to grow their skills through classroom and vocational training. The Foundation is supported by the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) who’s mission is “to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry.” WIT offers more than scholarships, including many resources for women and anyone looking to get involved.

The entire Staff at NTTS, and especially Training Director Donald Frazer, is proud of Darcy’s accomplishments. We are honored to be helping her reach her goals.