The truck driver shortage is showing no signs of stopping any time soon. In order to fill the open jobs, the pool of drivers needs to find ways to grow. This is attracting many new job seekers to enter this hot job market. Women are entering training programs and getting their CDL endorsements. So, for women truck drivers seeking their first trucking job, what can they expect?

Training is Important

Women trucker drivers go through the same training and licensing requirements as men do. The difference might be that women might look for programs that have women included in their advertising, websites, and in their list of instructors or staff. Or even a program that has a course specifically geared towards women. This might differentiate a school that will offer a program that will be a better fit for a woman entering the industry vs. one that doesn’t feel welcoming or respectful of women in a trucking job.

Male-Dominated

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up about 6.6% of all truck drivers. And that number has been fairly steady (4.5% – 6%) over the past 15 years. Something women truckers can expect to find is that it is a still a HIGHLY male-dominated profession. Women truck drivers might frequently find that she’s the only female trucker at a truck stop. And she could be the only one in the lot waiting on loads where all the other drivers are men. Women trucker drivers also find that truck stop showers and parking lots might be places to use extra caution at night.

Physical Job

Life on the road is a physical job, and it’s important to stay healthy. Part of that is being prepared for the physical demands of the job as well as the mental aspects as well. Many of the today’s trucks have features and improvements that make them easier to drive and maintain.

But there are other aspects of the jobs that demand women truck drivers stay in good shape. Cleaning out trailers, moving loads around, covering and tacking down cargo, are all things a driver might have to do daily. And this job can be very stressful, so maintaining your mental health is important too. You can find a great ebook resource for staying healthy on the road here.

Whether it’s the lure of the freedom of driving a big rig along miles of open road after years at a desk job, or a change of pace once the kids have moved out, being a CDL truck driver can be a great career for a woman. If you’re looking for a perfect fit truck driving job for you, start here and complete a profile. You can list all your driving preferences and we can help match you with an opportunity tailored specifically to you.

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A truck driver is required to get a HAZMAT endorsement to haul loads that are considered hazardous materials. This takes some extra time, and money to complete the process. There are required TSA background checks, a written test, as well as a physical examination by a DOT doctor. And of course, you already need to possess a CDL truck driver’s license. Deciding to get a HAZMAT endorsement along with your CDL license can be very beneficial to a truck driver. Here are 3 key reasons CDL truck drivers get a HAZMAT endorsement.

1. More Opportunities

Companies that ship any type of flammable, explosive, corrosive or anything else the USDOT has determined to be a “hazardous material”, require drivers that have HAZMAT endorsements. By going through the process to get this endorsement, truckers automatically make their applications more attractive than drivers that don’t have it. It also shows that you’ve gone above and beyond to invest in your career.  This opens doors to jobs that require drivers to have this endorsement. And gives those truckers an advantage when someone is scanning through job applications.

2. More Money

Drivers with additional endorsements often find that they are paid more than drivers without additional endorsements. Drivers with HAZMAT endorsements typically get paid a few cents more per mile. Over time, those pennies can add up to thousands of dollars. The payoff of seeing those paychecks increase  certainly outweigh the up-front costs to pay for a HAZMAT endorsement.

3. Required for Additional Endorsements

Getting a tanker endorsement in some states requires the CDL truck driver also get a HAZMAT endorsement at the same time. This is an X endorsement. Having this X endorsement even further separates a driver from other applicants when filling out a job application. This allows a driver to haul large loads of any type of liquid or gas, many of these being classified as hazardous materials.

hazmat endorsement hazmat materials

Getting your HAZMAT license can be very beneficial to any CDL truck driver. Regardless of what stage you are in your career. With a HAZMAT endorsement the job pools is bigger, the pay is likely higher, and overall earning potential as a trucker increases.

If you’re looking for HAZMAT truck driving jobs, complete your driver profile here, and be sure to include that you have that endorsement. We can match you to a great new job that best fits your lifestyle and driving preferences!

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Nicer weather usually means that road construction season is about switch into high gear. Though driving safely is always a best practice, there are some additional things to be aware of when it comes to driving in a construction zone. A little bit of extra care and planning when trucking through construction zones will ensure that you AND the road workers make it home safely. Here are 3 work zone safety tips to focus on this time of year.

1. Always Be Alert

Expect the Unexpected. Be alert for work zone signage along the side of the road, and the overhead digital signage as well. Watch for workers or flaggers helping to direct traffic. Be prepared for the changes in speed limits and lane closures. Give yourself plenty of time to react and keep an eye out for those that aren’t reacting correctly.

Using your height advantage to see signage and changing traffic patterns ahead gives you an advantage when it comes to work zone safety.

And be sure to stay alert if you drive the same routes daily. A long-term construction project might have daily lane shifts or different road closures.

2. Exercise Defensive Driving Skills

Apply the best driver training and experience here. Quick stops from other drivers ahead often lead to rear-end collisions. Using good defensive driving practices allow truckers to avoid accidents and have plenty of time to stop safely.

In construction zones it’s recommended to use extra caution to prevent accidents that most commonly occur due to road work.

Give a little bit of extra braking room to allow for late mergers or someone reacting poorly to changes in the road.

3. Plan in Advance

An ounce of prevention applies here. Plan routes and timing according to what your GPS app or travel websites indicates are the best. Many times this will be to avoid road work if possible. These often will be a little bit longer but will keep you moving and not stuck in traffic jams due to construction work. And everyone arrives safely at the end of the day.

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, almost 30 percent of all work zone crashes involve large trucks.

The number of people killed in work zone crashes involving large trucks has been increasing. Over 1,000 fatalities and over 18,000 injuries have occurred during the last 5 years.

Work Zones might be temporary, and some might be multi-year projects in the same area. A one-day closure for minor repairs or lane painting and a 3-year interchange overhaul should demand the same amount of safety precautions from those using the roads. The construction team is out there working, sometimes around the clock, to keep the roads in good repair and improving for the future of all drivers. Be sure to continue to reference these work zone safety tips and “GIVE ‘EM A BRAKE” as the saying goes!

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cdl driving school

If you’ve decided to become a professional truck driver, finding the right CDL driving school is crucial. Enrolling in a training program is a big investment, and you want to make sure you select the right school for you. Pick a school that will set you up for acing the CDL exam the first time. Here are four factors to consider when choosing a CDL driving school.

1. How is it licensed?

The most important thing to consider is how the training program is licensed by the state’s Department of Education or Department of Motor Vehicles. Only pick a school which is licensed by state regulators so that your credentials will be accepted by all trucking companies. A licensed CDL is the requirement all truck companies look for when hiring new drivers. In addition to being licensed, some driving schools may be certified by third-party organizations. Consider it a bonus if your driving school is aligned with one of these associations. They help ensure that the school meets their additional training standards, which may be higher than those by the state. Three of the major professional driver organizations are the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools (NAPFTDS), and the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). Ideally, your driving school is certified by at least one of these.

Do some research into what types of licenses the driving school offers. Your license classification will depend on what kind of driving you want to do and the type of truck you want to drive.

Class A certification is the most common and popular, as it is for any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. With a Class A CDL you may be able to drive tractor trailers, truck and trailer combinations, tractor-trailer buses, tanker vehicles, flatbeds, and more. Class B is for a single vehicle with GCWR of 26.001 pounds or more, including straight trucks, most buses, box trucks, and dump trucks. Class C certification is less common and usually for small hazmat vehicles, passenger vans, and small trucks towing a trailer. In addition to the CDL, you might need special endorsements to operate special types of vehicles such as hazmat or tanker endorsement. Think about what kinds of trucks and jobs you want and match them with a CDL driving school which offers those endorsements.

2. How good is the training?

There’s no point investing time and money into a CDL driving school if the training isn’t exceptional. Fortunately, there are some indicators of good programs which you can investigate before enrolling.

One of the most important numbers is the student-to-instructor ratio. A ratio of 3 or 4 students to one instructor is ideal.

You want to be able to benefit from having a few other students in the program to learn along with. Don’t settle for anything beyond a 1-5 ratio. Do some research who the instructors are. Ideally, they are former drivers or current drivers who are teaching as a side gig. Great instructors are skilled drivers but also experts on industry trends, federal regulations, and can give you perspective of the job and lifestyle. There’s no substitute to being taught by someone who has years of hands-on experience in the industry.

Another important metric is the time behind-the-wheel (BTW) where you’re controlling a real truck and not a simulator. There’s no point enrolling in a program if you don’t get significant amount of actual drive time. The more drive time, the better. A solid program will offer at least 27 hours of BTW time for each student. Observation time is important as well- your learning can benefit from watching others drive also.

Don’t forget to consider the program length. Strong programs will be around 160-200 hours in length- that’s about 4 to 5 weeks.

You’ll see ads for schools offering a CDL in a week or two: avoid them! Learning to drive an 80,000 lb tractor-trailer takes time and can’t be rushed within two weeks. Finally, research to make sure the driving school has a high graduation rate. You can research all these things by checking online reviews, the school’s website, and talking to previous graduates and current drivers about the reputation of the driving school.

3. How practical is it?

Finding a great school won’t be any help if it is impractical to enroll. You’ll need to consider cost, location, and your schedule before investing the time and money into the program. You can expect to pay between $4,000 and $10,000 for CDL training. That’s a pretty penny, so you’ll want to make sure you’re in a strong financial position to be able to invest in the driving school. Signing with the lowest tuition can be really tempting, but make sure that the school fits all your criteria before doing that.

There are dozens of truck carriers willing to pay drivers to get their CDL and come work for them. Carriers may cover a portion of your tuition or offer tuition reimbursement after you graduate.

Look into different companies to find the details and don’t be afraid to ask around about financial aid options. There are also various federal and state funding programs, including for veterans, which can help cover the costs.

Try to be flexible about the location of the driving school. If there’s a better school 30 minutes further away, then consider driving the extra distance if you think it is worth it. Even if your preferred school is in the next state, consider if you want to live there temporarily for a few weeks while in the program. You’ll be driving and living all over the country, so this can be good practice to get in the habit. Make sure to confirm that your CDL will be transferable to your state of residency. On the other hand, you may have job or family commitments during the week and can’t take off a few weeks for driving school. In that case, look for a school that offers the training program during nights or weekends. There are many students with other commitments and schedule constraints, so schools will understand that students need flexibility in order to enroll.

4. How will it help me get the first job?

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is job placement.

Your purpose in getting CDL training is a to land a great first job to set you up for a career in trucking. Ask about the driving school’s job placement services.

Many schools will have relationships with different trucking carriers which can help you find the right job for you. Opportunities to connect with visiting recruiters from the carriers upon graduation will be a major advantage in securing the first job. You can even get ahead of the game by narrowing down which companies you’d like to work for and speaking to recruiters to ask about the driving schools you are considering. If they’ve never heard of that school, it’s a good sign you shouldn’t enroll there.

Company-sponsored training programs are an alternative to finding an independent CDL driving school. If you go the company route, you get free training and a job with the company when you graduate. However, you’ll have long training days away from home and have to agree to work for the company sponsoring your training, even if its not the best fit. Consider all your options before you decide on a company-sponsored program versus an independent driving school.

Investing your time and money to start a new career path is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Ensuring that you receive proper training and at a licensed CDL driving school is an unavoidable part of that decision. You’ll want to find the best deal for you that provides good training, is practical, and helps you land your first job, without breaking the bank. Remember these four factors when choosing a CDL driving school.

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efficient-truck-driver

A truck driver’s work and life can be full of inefficiencies. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re losing time and energy because you ended up doing things in the wrong order. Sometimes other people’s schedules don’t match yours. Inefficiency can be annoying, but it can also waste resources like time, money, and fuel. Improving truck driver efficiency means saving more time, money, and energy by doing things in more optimal ways. You’ll feel more productive and get the sense that you’ve hacked some mysterious way of the universe. Here are three simple ways to become a more efficient truck driver.

1. Attempt early pick-up and drop-off

Every time you get a new dispatcher, find out when the load picks up and delivers. This is important because sometimes they’ll ask you to drive a very short distance to pick up a load, but the pick-up time is five hours away. Let’s say you’re only 70 miles away from the pick-up and expect to be there by 1:00 PM. But dispatch says that pick-up time is 5:00 PM, which means you’ll have arrive four hours early and will have extra time to kill. Or you may find yourself arriving at the delivery location several hours early as well.

Yes, you can take a break during this time, but if you’re interested in efficiency you won’t like that option. Instead, always find out if you can load or deliver early.

Your documentation will usually have some notes on this sort of this, but it isn’t always 100% accurate. If you have the shipper/receiver’s contact info, call and ask whether it is an option to load or deliver early. You’d be surprised how often the shipper wants to send out the freight quicker and how often the customer wants to receive is sooner. If you don’t have their contact info, you can contact your dispatcher and ask them to make the same inquiry. Yes, your dispatcher may get annoyed if you do this repeatedly.  But remember that it’s part of their job to manage efficient fleets. A few instances of successfully changing to an early pickup/delivery time will remind your dispatcher that this is possible.

2. Keep everyone updated on available working hours

By now you’re aware that your ETA and PTA times are important to remember and communicate with others. But wait, what are these again?

ETA means estimated time of arrival and PTA stands for projected time of availability.

To make things more confusing, some people might use ETA for estimated time of availability. This is completely different and is more like PTA. What’s the difference? Your estimated time of arrival (ETA) at the receiver location may be 2:00 PM, however you won’t be available right after. It’ll take the customer an hour or two to unload, so your projected time of availability (PTA) is closer to 4:00 PM. But if either the customer or your dispatcher is using ETA to mean the other thing, then they’ll be confused and believe you are free at 2:00 PM instead of 4:00 PM. If you arrive at the customer location the previous night and don’t unload until the morning, there may be a twelve-hour difference between your ETA and PTA! Make sure your shipper, receiver, and dispatcher are all kept up to date on your ETA and PTA. More importantly, coordinate to see if they are all using those terms in the same way. Otherwise your schedule and route will become very confusing!

3. Plan your route and truck stops

You’ll find trucking to be easier once you have a tentative idea of where and when to stop instead of playing it by ear.

When you do close for the day, consider stopping at smaller or independent truck stops instead of the big chains (Pilot, Love’s etc). Parking fills up quicker at the nationwide chains and it can be difficult to find a spot.

The reason for this is that most trucking companies are getting fuel discounts from the big chains, so they become required fuel stops for drivers. While there is no requirement to park there for the night, most truckers will do so because they’re already there! Parking spaces at smaller truck stops won’t fill up as quickly—you could easily refuel at a chain and then go elsewhere to park for the night. That being said, if you’re looking for laundry, showers, or other amenities, then the chains are your best solutions. It all depends on your needs for the day. Some of the bigger stops have laundromats. If you run into these wash your dirty clothes even if you have plenty of clean clothes. These premium stops are few and far between, so it’s most efficient to utilize them whenever you find them.

How are you going to know your options for stopping, fueling, or parking? Sure the dispatcher has some information, and you have a handy GPS app, but are those enough? Every trucker knows that both dispatch and GPS will fail them sooner or later. Build redundancies by picking up some essential books. The National Truck Stop Directory is an essential guide to the truck stops you’ll hear about, and more importantly, all the ones you won’t hear about. Another gem is The Next Exit, which documents every exit on Interstates in the country. Finally, the Rand McNally Road Atlas is a fantastic guide to turn to when your GPS provides sketchy directions. Planning your route and schedule through these resources will help you locate where you should stop at the end of your day.

Takeaways

The trucking job and lifestyle usually has many competing demands to juggle. Trying to tackle them all without a method can lead to losing time, money, and other resources. Try out some of these methods to maximize your schedule and route efficiency. You may find that using route planning resources, communicating about available working hours, and trying for early pick-ups and drop-offs will make you a much more efficient truck driver.

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Landing Truck Driving Jobs with No Experience

Truck drivers are currently in high demand just about everywhere. But what if you’ve just gotten your CDL and you’re lacking in the actual required driving time? Though most driving schools offer help finding your first job, some don’t. Searching on your own, you could easily find yourself in the vicious circle of needing experience, but not being able to land a job because you don’t have enough experience. To try and help you better navigate this new driver pitfall, here are some helpful tips for landing truck driving jobs with no experience.

Be Open to Options

Consider driving trucks other than tractor-trailers at first. Your CDL gives you license to drive many other types of trucks. There are plenty of local jobs driving truck that could put you in a position to be home every night, earn a decent wage, and still gain that necessary experience you need. Delivery trucks, passenger transit vans, construction equipment, or other heavy commercial vehicles are all good truck driving jobs with no experience. It’s worthwhile to look into other options while you’re working on logging miles.

Apply Everywhere

It’s easy to set your sights on a “dream job” and not look anywhere else. But be cautious that you don’t get tunnel vision and limit yourself. Look into apprenticeship programs. Leverage the resources available from your training school. There might be carriers that have great opportunities for a new driver. Look for companies that offer finishing schools or ride-along programs. You can always plan to go back to focusing on that dream job once you’ve got years of driving time under your belt.

Read ALL of the Fine Print

Some companies might offer you a trucking job with no experience. But in exchange for that, they might require you to stay for a certain number of years. Or offer bonuses that only pay off after you’ve worked there for quite a while. Though these jobs are a great opportunity for a new driver to learn and rack up miles, it could impact your ability to seek other opportunities if things don’t work out, or if you need to move to another city. No matter the reason, be 100% sure you understand all the fine print associated with these jobs. You don’t want to feel that you’re stuck somewhere if that’s what you actually agreed to do. The details in the fine print might make all of the difference between a job and long-term career.

Keep Your Record Clean

Most importantly, it’s key to keep your record clean while you’re working on gaining experience. Those years of working something other than your dream job could be useless if you’re racking up safety or other violations along the way. Use all the resources at your disposal to learn and improve. Keep your eye on the prize while working truck driving jobs with no experience. You’ll be able to broaden your net and grab your dream job in no time.

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new truck driverIf you’re reading this, you’ve probably either gotten your CDL or are thinking of obtaining one to start a new career as a truck driver. Congratulations, and welcome to the industry. There are a few things you’ll need to know as a new truck driver before starting the job. Make no mistake, trucking is a challenging job and lifestyle. Your first year as a new truck driver will be the most difficult one, and you won’t be racking up the big bucks just yet. You’ll be getting used to the job, getting familiar with the trucks, and becoming accustomed to the lifestyle. With time and experience, and these helpful tips, you’ll become more comfortable with the job and happier with the lifestyle. Here are seven things to know as a new truck driver.

Seat time is the goal

Your main goal in the first year is to build up as much experience as possible. In the beginning, the wages will probably be lower than you hoped. Chances are that the senior drivers get the longer miles and the better runs which pay more. If there is a difficult or ugly run, the company may end up giving the job to the rookie.

You shouldn’t have high expectations right out the gate, but you should prepare and know that experience will make things better.

Since you probably won’t make great money the first few years, have a medium-term financial plan and be prepared for a thin living at first. Remember that the more miles you cover and the more seat time you accumulate, the better your standing becomes over time. The secret that everyone knows in this industry is that experience is everything. With more experience you’ll get better behind the wheel, you’ll make more money, and you’ll enjoy your job more.

Meals can be challenging

One of the biggest changes in the lifestyle for new truck drivers is meals. It can seem like the only option is to eat at restaurants and diners but avoid the temptation to eat out for every meal! It can end up breaking the bank and adding too many inches to the waistline. Many truckers have embraced making their own food, and some even say it’s essential. Find out what sorts of kitchen amenities are available in the cabins you’ll be working in. Even if you don’t have a full kitchen, investing in a crockpot or microwave is a great solution.

Crockpot cooking is perfect for truckers because it is simple, quick and healthy.

There are literally hundreds of crockpot recipes you can find, and you don’t have to be a master chef to do it.

Safety first

It’s not just experience you want to build, but safe driving also. Nothing will hurt your young driving career’s image more than an accident within the first few months. The goal for the first year should be no accidents. Take all the safety precautions required by your company and additional ones even if it takes extra time. It’s better to be late on a run than to have to explain why the truck is damaged. Companies will require you to complete a pre-trip inspection and that you fill out your logbooks. Don’t skimp on these! These tools and procedures will help you keep on top of things and prioritize safety and compliance.

Prioritize your health

Another big change to your lifestyle will be the sheer number of hours you’ll be spending behind the wheel. Doctors remind us that sitting still for long periods of time isn’t good for the body. While the trucking schedule doesn’t make it easy to maintain healthy habits, the good news is that it is still possible. New truck drivers should realize exercise won’t happen automatically and make the time to exercise regularly. Once you’ve committed to an exercise regimen, you’ll feel strange when you skip a day. You can do simple exercises or weights in the cabin itself or go for jogs and runs during mid-day breaks.

A trucking lifestyle can take a toll on mental health as well as physical health. You’ll be away from home for weeks or more at a time and it may be difficult for new truck drivers to get used to this. It is natural for loneliness and homesickness to creep in. While depression or anxiety is not uncommon among drivers, there are people and places to talk to for help. Regularly connecting with your family can make all the difference.

Have long-term career goals

Since you’re new to truck driving, it would be good to start thinking about career goals in general. How long do you want to drive for your current company? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? Many drivers consider whether they want to eventually be owner-operators or team drivers.

Get to know the organization you’re working for and check out any opportunities for professional development or networking.

More than anything, you’ll want to connect with other drivers and learn from them. Talking to experienced drivers will give you an idea of what to expect in the future. Better yet, find a mentor! Most likely this person will be a veteran driver with whom you can check-in periodically about how your career is progressing. Think beyond just the current job.

Professionalism

Just because you’re thinking about the long-term doesn’t mean you should forget the present. Bringing professionalism to your job everyday will make you feel good and help impress the right people as well. Make a good impression with your supervisors, fleet managers, dispatchers, and anyone else you work for. It has less to do with making them happy than it does with making sure they know you’re a reliable professional who can be counted on. Always be on time and don’t refuse a run on your first year. Refusing a run so early in your career gives a bad image to your work ethic.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and listen to advice from anyone willing to share it, but make up your own mind in the end.

New truck drivers should make sure they are being treated with respect and dignity, and professionalism goes a long way toward that.

It’s a mental game!

Adjusting to any new job and career can be difficult, but being a new truck driver is uniquely challenging. There’s the skill of navigating the road and the equipment, along with the social component of dealing with new people, and the lifestyle of being away from home. Of course, your first year will be the most difficult one, and there will be times you think it is becoming overwhelming. One of the biggest pieces of advice veteran drivers give is to hang in there. Things really do get better and easier with time. Experience will make the job easier and more enjoyable. Having the right attitude during the first year will make all the difference. Keep these important things in mind, focus on building experience, and know that it gets easier with time.

7 things to consider before becoming a cdl truck driver

7 Things to Consider Before Becoming a CDL Truck Driver 

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Truckers must always be aware of their surroundings and changing road and weather conditions. However, summer trucking days can take those changing conditions to the extreme. More people on the road, extremes in the weather, and large construction projects can add time to your routes and impact deliveries. Here are 4 summer trucking tips to make your travel easier.

1. Extra Traffic

Once the kids are out of school, many families pack up the cars, campers, trailers, and RVs to head out on annual family vacations. Driving cross-country with overly-packed vehicles, and hauling extra gear in tow adds to the congestion on the road.

Being prepared to deal with these extra drivers, and to potentially reroute yourself away from tourist hotspots is a good way to keep your summer trucking travel on track. Keep alert for under-experienced drivers that are hauling over-sized boat trailers or campers. They might be out for the first time this season, so give them a little extra room.

2. Extreme Weather

Summer is a season of extreme weather conditions. Extreme heat, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are just some of the types of weather that can impede your travel plans while summer trucking. Being prepared for these and the potential delays that might result, is an important part of summer trucking.

Make sure you’ve got a good weather app, and that notifications are setup when weather conditions are changing. If you do have to pull off for a while somewhere unexpectedly, be prepared. Have extra water and supplies in your truck just in case.

3. Construction

In some areas, summertime is also known as “major road construction” time. This is a great time to remember that double-checking routes for construction delays and planning alternates can save you both time and money. Prepare for road closures and traffic jams due to construction.

Be ready and aware of workers on the road. Keep an eye out for posted “Construction Zone” signs, and  watch your speed to avoid any unexpected fines. Do this and it will help keep you moving along and your deliveries on track.

4. Sun Protection

Though it’s a good practice to wear sunscreen daily, it’s a good reminder for summer trucking as well. The sun’s UV rays are coming through your windows all day, every day, even when it’s cloudy. Those UV rays are most potent during the summer months. Make it a habit to put on a good layer of SPF before you get in the driver’s seat for the day. Wear long sleeves, sunglasses, and a hat. Your skin will thank you later!

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truck driver hobbies podcasts

As a truck driver, you spend many hours each day alone in your truck. Looking for something new to do to help pass the time? Podcasts can be a great way to keep you company across those miles. Launching into a trucking podcast from is an easy way to change things up if your radio stations are feeling a little stale. Or just something new to listen to and mix things up a little bit.

If you’re new to podcasts, here’s some basic info to help get started.  Most podcasts are available for free and have very few advertisements. Podcast topics range from everything from current events, sports, self-help, true crime & mystery, comedy, and so many more. Some are fairly short and run only a few minutes. Some go more in-depth on a topic or a story for over an hour. Find some topics you like, pick a few episodes and build a playlist that can run while you’re driving.

Though there’s limitless options for podcasts out there, there are a lot of great options specifically geared towards you. Here are 3 trucking podcast recommendations for you to consider.

Trucker Dump

Todd McCann has been a truck driver since 1997. His podcasts are all from his perspective as a solo and as a team driver with his wife. He covers current hot topics in the trucking industry, as well as his humorous stories of life on the road. He does question and answer segments, driver spotlights, as well as sometimes guest starring in other trucking podcasts. From the Trucker Dump homepage: “Trucker Dump is a podcast/blog that hopes to raise awareness of the trucking industry and the issues that it faces. It focuses on making the industry a better place to work and how we truckers can be perceived in a more positive light by the public.”

Red Eye Radio

Hosted by Gary McNamara and Eric Harley, they have created a show for the trucking industry and created a great experience for their listeners. From the Red Eye Radio website: “For almost 50 years, Red Eye Radio Network has been a part of the fabric of the trucking industry by consistently providing professional drivers up-to-the-minute news, information, and entertainment. The show is motivated by one purpose — to deliver a positive, in-cab experience by helping trucker drivers/owner operators and fleet owners stay informed, engaged, and entertained on the road or wherever they are in their daily lives.”

The Lead Pedal

Bruce is a 30 year trucking industry veteran. He’s been a driver, owner-operator, and a fleet supervisor, and the podcasts all draw from those experiences. From the Lead Pedal’s website: “The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Tuesday and Thursday with bonus material on other days.”

Audiobooks are a great way to pass time on the road too. You can listen to an entire book over the course of a few days or weeks! We put together a great list of audiobooks for truck drivers here.

Hopefully, you’ll find something you like in these recommendations. If not, there’s a list of dozens of trucking podcasts to choose from here. Let us know what you think by dropping a link to your favorite trucking podcasts to our Facebook page.

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Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

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In an industry where drivers are in high demand, drivers can and will be laid off. Companies can still have financial problems and end up closing. Smaller carriers might be bought by larger outfits, and then ultimately downsized. Any number of things can happen, and unfortunately you might find yourself left out in the cold. So if this happens, do you know what do if you lose your trucking job?

Don’t panic and take the first job you find. This is a great opportunity to take stock about what you liked and possibly didn’t like about your job. Take the time to weigh out your options, because you’re in a great position to make a change for the better.

Consider the following if you lose you trucking job:

  • Do you want to spend more weeknights at home?
  • Do you want to spend as much time on the road to maximize your paycheck for the next year?
  • Do you want more shorter runs that make the day go by faster?
  • Do you want better overall benefits?
  • Do you want your dog to ride along with you?

No matter what your preferences might be, if you lose your trucking job, sign-up for an account with Drive My Way. With the ability to add 20+ personal driving preferences, it’s the best place to find that next perfect fit job for you! Take a look at what Lawrence Kilgore says about his experience using Drive My Way.

At Drive My Way, we’ve made it quick and easy to complete a profile. And we have a team of experts available to help you along the way. Best of all – it’s free!

So if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of losing your trucking job, please let us help. We can be a great resource to get you back on the road in your perfect fit trucking job.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Want to find a job you love?

Drive My Way matches drivers with jobs based on their qualifications and lifestyle preferences.

Find a Job Today