What to Know Before Taking CDL Classes

If you’re thinking about starting a career in trucking, one of your first steps should be looking into CDL classes. These classes will teach you the basics of being a truck driver so that you can test for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Here’s what prospective drivers should know before they enroll in CDL classes.  

What is a CDL?

A Commercial Driver’s License or CDL is what the Department of Transportation requires all drivers to obtain before they’re able to drive trucks professionally. There are three different types of CDL that we detail below.  

The 3 Types of CDL

There are three types of CDL which determine the commercial vehicles you’re able to drive, and the different trucking jobs you’re able to apply for.  


This is your standard CDL that lets you drive a semi-truck with a trailer in tow. Here’s the official definition from the FMCSA of what CDL A holders can drive,  

“Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater. “ 

This means that anyone with a CDL A can drive a truck with a GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds and a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. CDL A drivers can drive any CMV, including class B and C vehicles, provided they have the appropriate endorsements.   


A Class B CDL is a restricted license as you are not allowed to drive large tractors that tow 10,000 pounds or more. This eliminates the ability to drive your standard 53’ trailer. So, what can you drive with a CDL B? Think of dump trucks, delivery trucks, and city buses. Two huge benefits to CDL B jobs are that most positions will be local, and the age requirement is 18 since you won’t be moving freight between state lines.   


A Class C is the most unique type of CDL and for good reason. Besides being able to drive a shuttle bus or limo, there’s very little someone can do with a CDL C without the necessary endorsements. Even with those endorsements, most drivers consider it better to just go ahead and get your CDL B or A instead.    


Aside from completing entry-level driving training, there are a few other requirements to earn your CDL: 

  • Have a valid non-commercial driver’s license  
  • Be at least 18 years of age  
  • Pass a medical exam given by a licensed practitioner 
  • Pass the skills, knowledge, and road test that your state administers 

*Drivers can earn any class of CDL at age 18, but can’t cross state lines until they’re 21, which bars them from most CDL A jobs. For more information about what trucking jobs are good for 18–20-year-olds, you can visit our blog on the subject. 


There are a few different ways you can take CDL classes, including through truck driving schools, community colleges, and technical schools. CDL training usually lasts 2-4 weeks and includes classroom learning as well as behind-the-wheel training.  

During training, students are expected to gain familiarity with operating a commercial vehicle and the techniques behind being a successful driver. These techniques include backing up, pre-trip inspections, city driving, highway driving, road signs and rules, among others.  

Classes will also cover a range of other helpful topics such on the road safety and first aid, state and federal laws drivers are subject to, route planning, managing logbooks, and more.

Finding a CDL program

When you’re looking for a CDL program, there are three main factors that you should consider; the quality of the education, cost, and location. Do your research on CDL programs in your area. Find out how much each program costs and look up reviews from former students. Find out what exactly each program offers in terms of classroom learning, and behind-the-wheel experience. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which is right for you.  

While cost will probably be your deciding factor, remember that there are a lot of different ways that drivers can pay for them without breaking the bank. For information on how to pay for CDL costs, plus tips on how to save, you can visit our blog on the subject.  

Once you’ve completed CDL classes, you’re then able to take the CDL test and get on the road as a professional truck driver.  

Deciding which CDL program to enroll in is a big decision. But as long as you do your research and find the best school for you, you’ll have to problem passing, earning your CDL, and becoming a professional truck driver.  

CDL costs

Trucking can be a lucrative industry, but it’s also a highly regulated one. Before you can think about getting in a truck, you should consider the upfront CDL costs you’ll need to pay. Here’s a breakdown of those costs, plus some tips on how you can save money along the way.  

4 CDL Costs to Consider

1. CDL School 

CDL school will by far be your biggest expense when it comes to earning your CDL. The cost of these schools can range anywhere from $1,500 to up to $10,000 depending on the school you go to and the area of the country you live in.  

There was a time when you technically didn’t have to attend an accredited CDL school to get your CDL. That changed in February 2022 when the FMCSA’s Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations went into effect.  

Now, any person who wants to earn their CDL will need to go to the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry and select a training provider in their area. They then need to reach out to that provider and complete a training program for the CDL they want. 

Once that program is completed, it’ll be noted in the driver’s file, and they can then go to their state licensing bureau to take the written skills test and/or road test. Once that’s completed, they’ll be able to receive their CDL. 

Remember that not every CDL school is the same. While it might be tempting to go with the cheapest option in your area, it might cost you more in the long run if you’re getting a subpar education. Before signing on with any one school, make sure to look up reviews to see if they’re worth the money. 

2. DOT Physical 

Before you can earn your CDL, you’ll also need to have the standard DOT physical examination that must be conducted by a licensed medical examiner. To find one of these examiners, head to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and find an examiner in your area.  

Luckily, there are thousands of licensed practitioners across the country, so finding one shouldn’t be a problem. As for the cost, you can expect to pay anywhere from $75-150 for the physical, but it could run a little more or less depending on which doctor you plan on seeing. 

3. Licensing Costs 

Licensing costs are what you pay when you go to your local BMV/DMV to take your tests and get your CDL. Exact costs vary state by state, but plan to spend at least $150.  

Some states break up their fees by “x amount for the road test” and “x amount for the knowledge test”, but other states lump them all together. The fees you’ll pay vary greatly by the state you’re getting your CDL in. There are other factors that may affect the cost as well, including your age, and the kind of CDL you’ll get (A, B, or C). 

The best thing to do is to plan on spending at least $300 on licensing fees. This is on the higher end, but if it ends up costing less, then you’ve got some more money in your pocket. 

4. Optional Endorsement Costs 

CDL Endorsements allow drivers to operate specialty vehicles like tankers, school buses, and double/triple trailers. The cost for these endorsements will usually range between $10-60 depending on your state.  

These endorsements are optional and will cost you some extra money, but they also open a lot of new career opportunities for the drivers who have them. For more information on the different types of endorsements that are out there, you can visit our blog on the subject.  

3 Ways to Help Pay for Your CDL

1. Grants 

Before you look into other ways to pay for your CDL, you should research the state and federal grants that are available to you. Each state is different, so some will offer grants to students looking to earn their CDL and some won’t.  

But there are federal grants that everyone is eligible for; the most well-known of these is given through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which helps jobseekers pay for education and training costs. To get more information about a WIOA grant, you can use this link to find an American Job Center near you.  

If you’re a service veteran, you have an additional way to pay for you CDL costs as you’re able to use your GI Bill to pay for trucking school.  

2. Carrier-Paid Training 

Carrier-paid training is when a person earns their CDL by signing on with a private fleet. The fleet will partner with a CDL school in the area and pay for the driver’s CDL courses. Then after they’ve earned their license, the driver will be obligated to drive for the carrier for a certain amount of time, usually 6 months to a year. 

For people looking to get into the trucking industry, carrier-paid training is one of, if not the most cost-effective way to do it. You’ll have most, or all of your expenses covered, plus you’ll have a guaranteed job once you earn your CDL. 

The one downside to this is that if the driver leaves the carrier before that designated period is up, the driver will most likely have to reimburse the carrier for the money they spent on the driver’s schooling. 

3. Tuition Reimbursement 

Aside from carrier-paid training, tuition reimbursement is another great way to save money on CDL costs. The difference here is that instead of going through a carrier to get your CDL, the driver will have already earned their CDL on their own and work for a carrier who will pay the driver back the cost of it. 

The Bottom Line

While there are a lot of CDL costs, there’s also a lot of ways you can lower them. If you’re thinking about getting your CDL, call or visit your state’s DMV/BMV website to get a total of all the fees they’ll charge. Then do your research on federal and state grants, driving schools, and carriers that offer paid-training and tuition reimbursement programs in your area. Then you can make an informed decision on what’s the best route for you.  

Once you earn your CDL and are looking for your first trucking job, consider making a free profile with Drive My Way. We match CDL drivers with jobs that are a match for their experience, qualifications, and lifestyle preferences.

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St. Christopher Truckers Relief FundThe truck driver community is strong. There are a number of charitable organizations out there that will lend a helping hand when drivers need it. Probably the biggest of these organizations is the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund.  

We were able to talk with Shannon Currier, Director of Philanthropy with St. Christopher who gave us some insight on what their organization does.  

What is the overall mission of St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund?

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund is a 501c3 charity supporting over-the-road and regional truck drivers when an illness or injury takes them off the road, causing financial difficulty. 

We step in as a short-term safety net for qualifying drivers and pay necessity household expenses including rent or mortgage, utility bills, vehicle payments and insurance payments.  All payments are made directly to bill holders.  Money is never given to the driver.  We pay those necessity household expenses only and cannot pay medical bills or other expenses.  Our assistance keeps drivers in their homes, keeps utilities on, keeps a vehicle so they can get to and from appointments, and keeps them from losing their insurance. 

We also provide free health and wellness programs for over-the-road and regional truck drivers including free flu, pneumonia, and shingles vaccines, free smoking cessation program, and free CDC approved diabetes prevention program. All of our programs are free thanks to generous donations from our corporate sponsors. 

Can you tell me the history of SCF?

St. Christopher Fund was founded in 2007 by Dr. John McElligott (known in the industry as ‘Dr. John’), Dave Nemo (host of the Dave Nemo Show and owner of Radio Nemo, XM 146), and Dave’s business partner, Michael Burns (owner of Radio Nemo). 

These 3 gentlemen spent years talking with drivers on the radio and heard drivers in despair over losing everything because of injury or illness and they decided something needed to be done. They created the St. Christopher Fund to be a safety net for these drivers.  We helped our first driver in 2008 and, to date, have helped 3,602+ drivers with over $4.29 million in assistance paid directly to their bill holders. 


To qualify for assistance from St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, a driver must meet all of the following:

  • 1. Valid Class A CDL
  • 2. Over-the-road or regional semi-truck driver (500+ miles a day)
  • 3. A medical issue caused the driver to have to come out of the truck short or long term
  • 4. Medical issue has to have occurred within the last 12 months
  • 5. Medical problem caused the driver to be out of work and caused financial difficulty
  • *Exclusion to the medical issue would be if the driver were intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs

The St. Christopher Fund is blessed with amazing donors (both individual and corporate) and we would not be able to offer the assistance we offer without the generosity of every one of these people and companies.  Trucking is about people, and everything we do at SCF is to support the driver – with financial assistance, additional resources and helpful information, and to encourage healthier drivers.  We are honored to be the facilitators of these generous donations and to make a difference in the lives of drivers and their families.

If a driver is looking for financial help, how would they go about receiving it?

We have an online application that is the quickest way to apply for assistance.  But we can also fax or mail an application to anyone needing it. 

For drivers who are experiencing difficult times but don’t qualify to receive assistance from St. Christopher, you can take a look at Drive My Way’s collection of resources for displaced drivers.

This includes links to unemployment resources, information about continuing your health insurance, disability coverage and more. You can also create a free Drive My Way profile below to find a job that fits your qualifications and lifestyle needs.

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Pay is one of, if not the most important consideration to a driver when taking a new job. While Industry statistics show that average truck driver salaries are on the rise, most drivers are still understandably looking for more money based on the difficulty of the work they do. Let’s take a look at the different ways that drivers can make more money in trucking.

1. Gain More Experience

It’s not the quickest or most glamorous way, but a few years of experience can’t be overstated if you’re looking to make more money in truck driving.  

It’s understandable that carriers will pay more to experienced drivers than to new ones. Much like everything nowadays, insurance premiums for carriers are on the rise. Carriers can decrease these hefty premiums by hiring experienced drivers with a clean driving record.  

That’s why many carriers have years of experience requirements in their job postings. They’re willing to pay these drivers more since it will offset with the lower insurance premiums they’ll be paying.  

If you’re a brand-new driver and not making as much money as you want to right now, don’t let it get to you. While you can’t do anything immediately about the years of experience you don’t have, you can follow the next few tips to start earning more money quickly.  

2. Add Additional Endorsements

truck driving jobs

Once you’re an established CDL driver, you can seek to add additional endorsements that will give you access to a larger range of truck driving jobs.  

The double/triples endorsement allows drivers to haul two or three-times more freight, while driving the same amount of time as you would with a single trailer. A HAZMAT endorsement will open doors to new opportunities with companies that specialize in the transportation of flammable or otherwise dangerous materials. 

There are several of these endorsements that CDL drivers can earn if they’re looking to make more money. A full list of these endorsements (and their requirements) can be found here. 

3. Maximize Available Bonuses

driver payBonuses are a great way to make more money in trucking. Most carriers likely have their own bonus structure, and you should have a copy of the payout information available to you when you start working for them.  

Outside of a standard sign-on bonus, your carrier might offer various additional bonuses based on performance, safety or longevity.  

Planning well and using proper driving techniques could qualify you for a fuel efficiency bonus. Having a track record that shows you’re a safe driver who follows the rules could put you in line for a safety bonus. Being consistently prompt with your deliveries may qualify you for an on-time delivery bonus. Be sure you’re aware of all the available bonuses you carrier offers, and work to achieve them regularly. 

4. Keep Your Skills Sharp and Your Reputation Safe

Another tip is to keep up with the new systems and processes in the industry. Technology is always changing so make sure you’re doing your part to keep up with the necessary tools and systems that can benefit you in the future. Something that’s optional now might become mandatory to use in the future. Learn it now, and you’ll have an advantage later when you’re applying to higher-paying jobs.  

Keeping your skills sharp is important, but your reputation in the industry is just as important. Be sure to always keep things professional and respectful whenever you’re working. You never know when you’ll run into a former dispatcher or fleet manager down the road when applying for a new job. 

While the trend of rising truck driver pay doesn’t seem to be slowing, you can use these tips to add even more to your bank account. The amount of effort you put into it now will be rewarded with a bigger paycheck in the future. 

If you’re looking for a great trucking job that pays well and meets your needs, consider creating a free profile with Drive My Way. Our proprietary software matches drivers with a job based on their qualifications and unique lifestyle needs. 

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small trucking company

Small trucking company or large carrier? Every driver you ask will have their own opinion on which is better to work for. While there’s no one correct answer, there are pros and cons to each. Here’s what you need to know about small trucking companies vs large carriers, so you can make the best decision for you the next time you’re looking for a job.  

Working for a Small Trucking Company

cdl driving test


What drivers who work for a small trucking company probably like most about it is the fact that it’s, well, small. Drivers working for a small trucking company will often have more of a voice when it comes to operations, policies, and day to day management than they would if they worked for a large mega fleet.  

Another perk about working for a small trucking company is the ability to do some things outside your normal job description of truck driving. While this is understandably not what all drivers are looking for, small trucking companies are a great place to learn new skills that will help you later in your career. 

These skills could be anything from hauling different types of freight to learning the ins and outs of the financial side of the business. If you want to become an owner operator or even own your own fleet one day, this kind of experience is invaluable.    


One of the biggest issues with driving for a smaller trucking company is the heightened chance that the business won’t succeed, and the driver will be left without a job. If the trucking industry goes through a rough time, it’s much easier for a larger carrier to weather that storm than it is for a smaller, mom and pop company. 

Take for example what’s happened during the last few years. During and right after Covid, the number of small trucking companies and owner operators skyrocketed in response to the amount of freight that needed to be moved. 

Times were good for a while, but with diesel rising to never-before-seen prices and supply chain issues still prevalent, these small operations found it hard to survive and many shut their doors. Unfortunately, this left any drivers working for these carriers out in the cold.  

There’s also the chance that while working for a small company, they may begin to rely on you too much. While being part of a small team can be nice, you never want to feel like you’re being forced to take on too much because the boss doesn’t want to hire more drivers to help with the demand. 

Working for a Large Carrier


In general, larger carriers will have more robust healthcare and savings plans than smaller companies. These plans include medical, dental, vision, and most of the time even life insurance. This means that you and your family will be better set up in the case of a health emergency or if some other issue arises. This isn’t to say that all smaller trucking companies won’t offer these benefits, just that on average, the plans won’t be as good

Another benefit of working for a large carrier is their training and advancement programs. Generally, large carriers will have programs that help newer drivers, even those fresh out of CDL training, to get on the road by themselves safely and confidently.  

While this benefit is mostly geared towards new drivers, seasoned truckers should also look for training and advancement opportunities when researching a new company to work for. Some carriers have paid endorsement training, management training programs, and even have courses on how to become a driver liaison.  


Many drivers will cite feeling like “a number instead of a name” while working for a large carrier. This is because at a large carrier, you’re going to be one of a hundred, one of a thousand, or even ten thousand. You could work there for 10 years and still won’t get to know the owner of the company or have any say in the company’s direction. But if you’re just looking to drive and collect a paycheck, then this won’t be that big of a deal for you.  

Larger carriers are also known for having tighter safety regulations and eyes on their drivers. One particularly divisive way they could do this is by using driver-facing cameras inside the cab. While measures like this can lead to safer driving, more experienced drivers may feel like they’re having someone breathing down their neck when it’s not needed.  

It’s important for drivers who are looking for a new job to remember that every carrier is different and won’t always fit into one of these neat buckets just because they’re a small company or a large carrier. It’s important to do your homework while looking for a new job and ask the right questions when you’re speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager to see if you’ve found the right place for you.  

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Tips for Women Truck Drivers Driving provides women truckers with many of the same advantages as it does to men—independence, flexibility, and the opportunity to travel across the country.

But being a woman driver in the male-dominated trucking industry comes with a unique set of challenges. Women truck drivers have to think about the job, safety, and hygiene differently. While the industry is starting to change to become more friendly towards women, there’s still much work to be done. Until then, here are 6 tips for women truck drivers.

1. Work-life balance

While work-life balance should be important for all truckers, it’s sometimes not as important to men. Carriers may become used to offering insufficient home time and opportunities for balance simply because men aren’t as vocal about these concerns as women. Women truckers may find themselves on the short end of the stick simply because their male counterparts aren’t asking for more.

We spoke to Heather, a trucker with 2 years of experience. She said,

“I did OTR just long enough to get a little experience to find a local job. I have 3 boys so I wanted to be local as soon as possible. It was a vey long 7 months, and I learned everything in the winter months in the snow and ice.”

Communication with your fleet manager or leader is essential to ensuring that you get the work-life balance you deserve. In fact, women drivers shouldn’t be waiting that long to start discussions around home time. Communicating with recruiters that this is a priority for you will set you on the right path to achieving the kind of balanced lifestyle you’re looking for.

2. Safety at a truck stop

truck stop safety tips

Truck stops are notorious for being minefields for women truck drivers. Although many truck stops are taking measures to improve conditions and become more woman-friendly, they can’t control the behavior of the characters who lurk around.

We encourage women to know precautions to take to stay safe at truck stops. Heather said,

“When walking through the truck stop at night, have something handy in case you need to protect yourself.”

Women truckers should also take precautions to protect themselves when they’re in their cab for the night at a truck stop. We also spoke to Michele, a trucker with a few months of experience so far in the industry. She suggests that solo drivers keep their bunk curtains closed at all times.

“Let people think there’s someone sleeping in the back even if you’re driving alone.”

Michele also notes that placing a team driving sticker on your truck will also create the impression that you are not traveling alone, and she highly recommends this trick to other women drivers.

3. Behind the wheel

Some of the women we spoke to had specific advice while behind the wheel. Road conditions can become dangerous during nighttime or the winter season. Michele recommends that women truck drivers pre-plan and keep checking their routes, especially in the winter.

“Just because it was open 2 hours ago, doesn’t mean it’s open now.”

Heather listens to forensic files and chews gum to help keep her awake during night driving. She encourages women drivers to pull over if needed and states,

“If road conditions become too treacherous, just stop! Freight can wait.”

4. Hygiene

Women truck drivers will have specific concerns about hygiene that male drivers won’t. And unfortunately, sometimes male drivers, fleet managers, or truck stop employees may be unaware or unsympathetic to these issues.

Heather said that one of the biggest lessons she learned from her OTR driving days is to always have baby wipes handy. She also recommends to keeping an empty big gulp cup in your cab in case of a bathroom emergency.

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but with OTR driving, the stops can be few and far between, so it’s better to be prepared in the case of emergencies.

5. Reach out to other women truckers

women truck drivers

While it may seem easy to understand the concerns of women drivers, or imagine what the job will be like, there’s no way to know until someone has done it. We recommend completing some research about what to expect, but there’s no substitute for speaking with other women truck drivers who’ve been there themselves.

Reaching out to other women truck drivers will give you an inside look at what issues they’ve been facing and how they’ve handled them. As you speak to more women drivers, you’ll build a network of colleagues who have each others’ back and can work together. You may also want to connect with organizations like Women in Trucking, which focus on addressing these obstacles.

6. Find the right carrier

While women truckers can take certain measures themselves, they can’t do it all alone. It takes a community that values women’s issues and concerns in the trucking industry. Before signing with your next carrier, do some research and find out which carriers value their women drivers.

Some carriers will do more to promote career opportunities, improve conditions, and deliver resources needed to address women’s issues in trucking. A company’s culture can have a large impact on a woman truck driver’s sense of belonging, identity, and purpose. Finding a carrier that aligns with your own values will help you feel comfortable and secure in a male-dominated industry.

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truck driver gear

For many truck drivers, especially those running OTR and regional, their cab is their home. This means that they need to keep it stocked with everything they could possibly need while on the road. We were able to talk to a few CDL drivers who shared what truck driver gear they always bring with them.  

What are CDL Drivers Bringing With Them?

For CDL Driver, Brandon C., it’s better to have some things you might not need, than to find yourself without the thing you really need.  

“I always make sure to have anything and everything I might need in my truck. Non-perishable food, like canned or dry goods is a must (and a can opener). Spare clothing as well, as truck drivers are called upon to traverse varied and unpredictable climates.

Basic hand tools are a must. Ex. multi-tool hammer, screw drivers, electrical tape, flashlight & batteries. Anything can happen out there. A burned-out bulb, poor electrical connection, a frozen padlock; the list goes on.  

If you keep a decent set of even the most basic tools to address these random bouts of misfortune, I promise you will be rewarded with extra money and home time by avoiding long delays at the service counters.

Also, a good old fashioned Rand McNally atlas comes in handy when (not if) our digital devices let us down. It also has a wealth of info beyond the cardinal rose, like weight limits lengths & GVW data.” 

Another CDL Driver, who goes by e18hteenwheelin shared his thoughts on what gear is essential, 

“The big three for me are headset, GPS, and Raincoat. Never get in my truck without them.”

Truck Driver Gear Checklist

Here’s a list of items that it might be good to bring with you on the road, if you’re not bringing these already.  


Studies show that living in a clean environment can have great effects on your productivity, stress level, and overall mood. That holds true for truck drivers and their cabs as well. 

  • Disinfectant Wipes 
  • All-Purpose Spray
  • Paper towels Truckers spill things too. The last thing you want to do is spill your soda and have to clean it up with your last good shirt.  
  • Handheld Vacuum/Dirt Devil
  • Broom & Dustpan
  • Garbage bag – It can be tempting to toss wrappers and empty cups onto the passenger seat and say “I’ll get it later”, but having a small garbage bag next to you is a much better option to avoid clutter and keep your cab nice and clean.  


While you won’t be able to fix everything on your truck, having the right tools to tighten, straighten, or replace something in a pinch can be the difference between waiting hours for roadside assistance and getting back on the road in a matter of minutes.  

  • Work Gloves 
  • Flashlight 
  • Tool Kit – Extremely important. Make sure you have everything you need in case something small happens with your truck that you’re able to fix. Hammer, screwdrivers (both Phillips and flat), vice grips, duct tape, adjustable wrench, etc. 
  • Replacement Bulbs
  • Extra fluids – Windshield Wiper Fluid, Oil, Coolant, etc. 
  • WD-40 

Toiletries/Personal Items

The importance of taking care of yourself on the road can’t be overstated. While most of the items on this list seem like common sense, it’s never a bad idea to double check to make sure you’re not missing anything important.  

  • Electric/Disposable Razor 
  • Shaving Cream 
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Floss 
  • Kleenex 
  • Loofah/Washcloth 
  • Body wash 
  • Deodorant  
  • Shampoo 


Getting stuck on the side of the road during winter isn’t fun. Getting stuck on the side of the road during winter without the proper clothes is even less fun. As a truck driver, having the right clothes can make all the difference, especially when you’re driving in the northeast or pacific northwest.  

  • Jacket 
  • Underwear 
  • Socks 
  • Thermal long sleeve shirt 
  • Steel Toe Boots 
  • Rain jacket 
  • Sunglasses – Aside from looking good, wearing sunglasses when needed can provide protection from harmful UV light and reduce the risk of developing certain eye conditions. 


For most drivers, their smartphone is all they need for entertainment when stopped for the night. But if you’re looking to spend less time on your phone, there are a number of options for entertainment that don’t involve your smartphone.  

  • Books/Magazines 
  • iPod – It may seem a bit old school at this point but having all your music without having to rely on streaming services and Wi-Fi/data is a great feeling. 
  • Portable DVD Player 
  • Nintendo Switch/DS/GameBoy – This is for the truckers who double as gamers. And if you’re not one, with the handheld systems that are out right now, it might be time to consider. 
  • Word Search, Crossword or Sudoku

Misc. Gear

Here are some other things you might want to add to your list.

  • First Aid Kit 
  • Canned or non-perishable food 
  • GPS – If not using your phone
  • Atlas – For when your phone or GPS doesn’t work
  • Headset
  • Cellphone charger 
  • Written list of important phone numbers 


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can truck drivers use cbd oil

Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in the popularity of medicinal marijuana-related products, specifically CBD. Truck drivers may be thinking of turning to CBD oils and lotions for relief from aches and pains that come from the job, but they should know all the facts before they do.  

The issue is that the legal waters surrounding the use of CBD are a bit murky. This is especially true for truck drivers as they need to not only think about the legality of it, but about drug screenings from employers and the new clearinghouse regulations as well. 

So, you’re probably wondering, “can truck drivers use CBD?” The answer depends on if you think it’s worth the risk. But before you make your decision, here are 4 things you need to know first.

1. CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA yet

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. There are over 113 such compounds in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol).  

THC is the psychoactive agent in marijuana that is responsible for producing the sense of euphoria or high that people feel when using it. THC is also measured in drug tests and will lead to a positive result if detected. CBD on the other hand is a non-psychoactive compound—it won’t make you feel high, anxious, or bring redness to your eyes. 

CBD is being researched and used for a variety of different medical purposes, and is said to help relieve anxiety, muscle and joint pain, depression, migraines, and other ailments common to truck drivers.  

Despite these claims of health benefits, CBD products haven’t been regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As of right now, there is no consensus in the medical or regulatory community about the effects of CBD on the body, so it remains a gray area.

2. CBD may cause individuals to test positive on a drug screening

There are many CBD derived products that are available for use on the market. For example, CBD oil is made by extracting the compound from either hemp or marijuana plants. These products of course contain CBD, but other things as well, including trace amounts of THC. 

Most states require that commercial CBD-derived products contain less than 0.3% THC. That’s such a small amount that it’s not going to have any psychoactive effect on your body or get you high. The bad news is that even a trace amount like that could be detected on a drug test. 

Some CBD products claim to be “THC-free”, but it’s not clear whether this is actually the case since regulation on CBD products is so lax. In fact, many CBD products companies will state disclaimers like, “We cannot make any claims on whether or not any of our products will show up on a drug test. We are not legally able to make any recommendations or guarantees regarding drug tests on THC free or full spectrum products.” 

Basically, this means “buyer beware” if you have a job like trucking, where you’re regularly tested for THC.

3. State laws differ on CBD products

It’s important to remember that while marijuana and its derived products are becoming legalized in more and more states, it’s still illegal on the federal level. This means if you are drug tested using the federal drug testing panel and use CBD, it will be reported out as a positive drug test. The recent clearinghouse regulations mean that this test result data will be available to other employers in the trucking industry.  

4. Bottom line for truck drivers

So, what’s the bottom line for people wondering “can truck drivers use CBD?”  

While there’s a possibility that a truck driver could use CBD products for the rest of their trucking career and never have it show up on a drug test, it’s just not a risk worth taking. For whatever benefits CBD products are said to have, it’s not worth your career. 

CBD lotions may be a better option than CBD oil, but even these can’t guarantee no trace amounts of THC. For those truck drivers hoping for pain relief, they may want to look elsewhere. 

Of course, the situation surrounding CBD products is bound to change. Every year, more and more states choose to legalize marijuana (and CBD) outright, so it’s very possible that marijuana and marijuana products in all forms could be legalized federally within the next 10 years.  

But drivers should remember that it’s not just the legality they need to worry about. If you drive for a private carrier, they can still choose to test for it, regardless of if it’s legal or not. 

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This summer, Drive My Way client, NFI set out to celebrate their drivers who reached an amazing milestone. They inducted over 80 drivers into their One Million Miles club. But these aren’t just drivers who’ve driven one million miles, it’s drivers who have driven one million accident-free miles.  

NFI President, Bob Knowles had this to say,

“We are proud and honored to recognize these drivers as they join the elite Million Mile Accident Free Club. They represent the best of NFI and professional truck drivers throughout the industry. We truly appreciate everything they do for NFI and our customers on a daily basis.”

This is a huge accomplishment that not many drivers can say they’ve achieved. To commemorate the occasion, NFI held 6 events all across the country where these drivers and their families were honored. Here are their names. 

  • Arlington, TX – July 16th
  • Braden M.
  • Garry M.
  • Jerry T.
  • Kevin M.
  • Martin R.
  • Milton F.
  • Rickey H.
  • Sergio T.
  • Tim H.
  • Willie S.


  • Bethlehem, PA – July 22nd
  • Doron E.
  • Eric T.
  • Jesus S.
  • Joe E.
  • Joe W.
  • John C.
  • Johnny G.
  • Johnny H.
  • Kenneth N.
  • Mark S.
  • Melody S.
  • Paul O.
  • Robert K.
  • Sandra W.


  • Columbus, OH – July 29th
  • Ben W.
  • Bryan W.
  • Eric S.
  • Jerry B.
  • Loren G.
  • Mark W.
  • Randall Y.
  • Russell E.
  • Thomas L.
  • William G.


  • Cherokee, NC – August 6th
  • Anthony R.
  • Danny F.
  • Dearrell G.
  • Donald B.
  • George K.
  • Jeffrey D.
  • John L.
  • John R.
  • Johnnie S.
  • Joshua C.
  • Kimberly N.
  • Mark S.
  • Michael J.
  • Michael Jo.
  • Michael M.
  • Paul P.
  • Randall R.
  • Reginald E.
  • Richard J.
  • Shawn S.
  • Tommie B.
  • Tracy N.
  • William L.


  • New York, NY – August 12th
  • Albari N.
  • Anthony N.
  • Dean B.
  • Ernesto R.
  • Henry W.
  • James S.
  • Jeffrey H.
  • John G.
  • Jose G.
  • Jose P.
  • Mark L.
  • Phi T.
  • Tyler S.


  • Chicago, IL – August 20th
  • Cesar C.
  • Derrick R.
  • Greg D.
  • Jammie S.
  • John T.
  • Marlin F.
  • Mathew O.
  • Richard G.
  • Ron N.
  • Roodachus S.
  • Salvador S.
  • Wade C.

Congratulations to these drivers on this amazing accomplishment!


two men in a truck

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Diesel fuel prices are finally beginning to fall. For the first time since March 2022, the average price for a gallon of diesel slipped below $5 per gallon. While that is good news, prices still remain much higher than they were just a few years ago.  

Owner operators are taking the brunt of this diesel fuel hit, with many having to either sell their truck and sign on as company driver or get out of trucking altogether. For those owner operators who are sticking it out, they’re looking for any way they can save on the costs of owning a semi. Luckily, fuel cards are a convenient and easy way to ease some of the burden owner operators are feeling at the pump.

What is a Fuel Card?

A fuel card is a card that allows owner operators and fleet owners to purchase diesel fuel or related trucking services. Some fuel cards function as a credit card where you have a line of credit that you can buy fuel against, while others work as a debit card that you load money onto before filling up.  

What are the Benefits of Fuel Cards?


This is the biggest reason that drivers apply for fuel cards. The average discount for fuel card holders ranges from 8-25 cents per gallon. While that might not seem like a lot, when you add that up over the course of a year, fuel cards can save owner operators hundreds, if not thousands off their fuel costs.

Less risk of theft

Another big benefit to fuel cards is the reduced risk of theft they present. A fuel card that can only be used to purchase gasoline is much less appealing to a would-be thief than a wad of cash or a credit card.  

Better Fuel Cost Tracking

It’s much easier to see how much you’re spending on fuel when the money comes from one dedicated card, rather than some coming from your credit card, some from your debit card, and some paid in cash. Since diesel fuel is most often the biggest expense for owner operators, being able to track this easily makes understanding and controlling your costs much easier.  

Other Perks

Aside from discounts on fuel, certain fuel card providers offer other benefits to card holders. These benefits include discounts for preventative maintenance, oil changes, new tires, and other services for semi truck owners. 

What to Consider Before Getting a Fuel Card


With almost all fuel cards, there are associated fees. When making your decision on which fuel card to go with, look into if there are any start-up costs, monthly fees, or transaction fees. Providers might not always make these fees clear, so read the fine print and ask questions when you talk to a representative. 

Location Restrictions 

Some fuel cards have either geographic or brand restrictions for where you can use the card. While no fuel card allows you to purchase fuel from any station you’d like, some cards, especially the more prominent ones partner with more fuel stations. This is another thing to consider before signing up for a fuel card.  

What are the Biggest Fuel Card Providers?

There are hundreds of fuel card providers out there that each offer their own unique benefits. Some cards cater to carriers with hundreds of trucks in their fleet, while others are more specific to owner operators. Here are 10 of the best fuel cards for owner operators. 

  1. Axle (Pilot Flying J) Fuel Card
  2. Convoy Fuel Card 
  3. EFS Fleet Card 
  4. Fuelman Fleet Card 
  5. NASTC 
  6. OOIDA 
  7. P Fleet 
  8. Shell Fleet Navigator 
  9. TCS 
  10. Wex Fleet Card 

Just like when you’re signing up for a credit card, applying for a loan, or looking into any other financial obligation, it’s important to research and compare your options for fuel cards. With the number of different ones out there, you’re bound to find a fuel card that fits your needs as an owner operator.  

two men in a truck

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