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trucking jobs 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 trucking jobs with no experience. You’ll be able to broaden your net and grab your dream job in no time.

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truck driver cyclingTaavi Rutishauser has been a cyclist all his life. A driver and trainer for Quebec’s Canadian American Transportation (C.A.T.), Rutishauser takes his bike everywhere he goes. He rides with a folding bike that fits neatly between his seat and his dashboard.

In the winter, when his runs take him down to Laredo, Texas, he brings his mountain bike with him to ride with locals down there.

Rutishauser rides his bike in his downtime, whether he’s waiting on a restart or unwinding from the workday.

“I ride as often as I can,” he says.

A long history with cycling

As a teen, Rutishauser raced mountain bikes. From age 20 to 25, he worked as a bike messenger in Montreal, leaving the job to pursue a career in trucking.

“Trucking was a dream for me,” he says. “I like the traveling. I needed a job. And, I needed a change, so I jumped into trucking.”

Rutishauser has had a CDL trucking job for 16 years and has a million safe miles in the last 10 years. However, It didn’t take long for Rutishauser to gain weight after starting his CDL trucking job. After five years on the road, he was too soft around the middle for his own liking.

In 2007, Rutishauser started cycling again. Over time, Rutishauser has shed 80 pounds from cycling. Today, he’s more reinvigorated by the sport than ever, often riding between 50 and 100 miles a week.

Building a cycling community at his company

In 2015, Rutishauser approached C.A.T. about launching a cycling program for the 100 truck drivers who work out of the company’s main terminal. Managers loved the idea and set about implementing it.

Now the C.A.T. Health and Wellness Program, as it is called, allows C.A.T. truck drivers at the company’s main terminal to purchase folding bikes at Dumoulin Bicyclettes in Montreal at a discount. If a driver wants to finance the bike, C.A.T. finances up to $1,000 without interest. In addition, the company even pays for bike helmets for all drivers in the program.

And the initiative has been a huge success. Of the 100 drivers in the main terminal, 10 percent have bought bikes through the program.

Benefits of cycling

Since he got back into cycling in 2007, Rutishauser has dropped from 260 pounds to 190 pounds. But there are other upsides to the pastime than weight loss.

“Besides the fitness, cycling takes a lot of the stress out of my job,” Rutishauser says. “I can let all the steam out. I’m a lot calmer and more relaxed at the end of the day. It’s also a great way to see the country.”

In addition, Rutishauser has seen a lot of the country through cycling. From country roads and farmers markets to rocky trails and residential streets, Rutishauser has enjoyed every turn. For exampke, some of his favorite spots include trails near Nashville, Tenn., and Danville, Va.

“You can do a little bit of everything with a bike on your truck,” he says. “I buy groceries or go sightseeing, even if it’s an hour or two in the evening. It never gets old.”

Overall, sometimes you have to express yourself and see where it takes you. What other programs have you had a hand in creating at your employer, drivers? Join our community here and tell us about it.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

It is important to be happy and self-aware no matter what you’re doing, even as part of your CDL driver job. Writer Thai Nguyen of the Huffington Post writes that self-awareness is one of the key skills for success for truck drivers and other professionals. The way we respond in situations is based on our mental processes, Nguyen writes.

By being aware of our mental processes we are able to uncover any destructive thought pattern or poor habits. Nguyen gives us 12 exercises that help fuel our bodies for greater self awareness. Here are the top 5 highlights of the article:

Become a happy and self-aware CDL truck driver

1. The three Why’s

Before acting on a decision, ask yourself “Why?” Follow up your response with another “Why?” And then a third. If you can find three good reasons to pursue something, you’ll have clarity and be more confident in your actions. Being self-aware means knowing your motives and determining whether they’re reasonable.

2. Practice saying “No” to yourself

The ability to say “No” to yourself — to put off short-term gratification for the long-term gain — is an important life skill. And like a muscle, it is strengthened with exercise. The more you practice saying “No” to small daily challenges, the better you can withstand major temptations.

3. Monitor your self-talk

There is non-stop commentary in our heads, and it’s not always helpful. A little bit of negative self-talk can spiral into stress and depression.

4. Improve your body language awareness

Watching yourself on video can be a cringeworthy experience, but awareness of your body language, posture and mannerisms improves your confidence.

Slouching, or taking a “low-power-pose” increases cortisol and feeds low self-esteem, while standing tall or taking a “high-power-pose” stimulates testosterone and improves your performance. Using hand gestures helps with articulating your thoughts and affects how people respond to you.

5. Practice self-evaluation and reflection

Keep a journal and track your progress. How would you rate your current level of self-awareness out of ten? Think about how often you say regretful things; repeat bad habits; make absent-minded decisions; and have erratic thoughts.

Set regular goals, break big goals down into smaller milestones. Ask yourself at the end of each day, “What did I do well today?” And, “How can I improve on this tomorrow?”

Those with CDL driver jobs might have time to reflect on themselves during the day. Next time, try one or more of these techniques to see how self-aware you can become.

Find the best CDL trucking job for you. Register today. It’s free!

Featured image courtesy jill111 / Pixabay; lower image courtesy of Huffington Post

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Michael Grothaus of Fast Company wrote an article about the relationship of aerobic exercise to cognitive health. Grothaus put to the test a study that researched the impact of different exercises on the brain, and he found that running has some significant benefits for everyone, even those with CDL trucking jobs. Learn about why truck drivers should start running now for cognitive and physical health improvements.

Overall, the study examined three types of exercises on adult male rats—running, weight training, and high-intensity interval training. In addition, the study examined the effects of each exercise on the brain’s ability to develop new nerve cells. In biology, this process is known as neurogenesis. And, many believe the ability to increase the number of new nerve cells in specific areas of the brain can help with problem-solving skills, creativity, rehabilitation, and reducing stress.

The Finnish researchers found that the rats that ran or jogged experienced the highest level of neurogenesis. The rats that performed high-intensity interval training experienced some neurogenesis. However, it was nowhere near the amount of neurogenesis found in the rats that ran. Finally, as for the weight-training rats, they experienced no noticeable neurogenesis at all.

The health benefits of aerobic exercise are well documented. Check out the 5 benefits Grothaus mentions.

1. Aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise reverses brain shrinkage associated with aging and increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

2. Exercise serves as a potent remedy for both depression and anxiety. It lifts the mood by bumping up the brain’s feel-good chemical serotonin and dopamine levels.

3. Exercise helps improve our ability to think clearly and logically, as shown in studies examining its effects on cognitive function.

4. Exercise protects against other diseases that negatively affect the brain (such as high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes). So, by keeping the rest of the body healthy, exercise minimizes collateral damage to the brain.

5. Exercise increases the production of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor that acts like fertilizer on the brain. In addition, it affects the regions of the brain associated with memory. So, older people who exercise regularly tend to fare better in their golden years than those who remain physically inactive.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

One WomenAt age 73, Veronica Longwith has four grandchildren and a great-grandchild. And yet, at a time in life when others are winding down, she’s revving up—again.

Longwith already had held a CDL trucking job from 1987-1992, as she told The Chattanoongan website. Now she’s excited to return to driving all these years later.

“My first time around, I found a local company out of Chattanooga that offered training for truck drivers,” she said. “With me raising a young daughter at the time, I found it easiest to take their weekend classes all day Saturday and Sunday for three months.” On the last day of class, Ms. Longwith got her license and was ready to begin orientation with Reeves Transportation in Calhoun, Ga.

For five years, Longwith hauled carpet and flooring for Reeves—from Dalton, Ga., across the United States.

“I loved every minute of it,” she said. But, it was family that saw Ms. Longwith take her hiatus from a career she enjoyed and concentrate her efforts on caring for her only brother. “Gerard got very sick and I needed to stay closer to home and take care of him when he really needed some help,” she said.

Her brother passed away, and Longwith rejoined the workforce as a business owner.

But deep down, the open road called her back to a CDL trucking job.

She made the decision to return to commercial truck driving 24 years after her first stint as a big rig driver. Married once before, the now single senior had nothing but time and the open road ahead of her. So, this past winter, she enrolled in Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s ten-week Commercial Truck Driving program in Walker County, Ga.

When asked what her family thought of this decision to be a commercial truck driver one more time, it was her son who was first to find out. “I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it,” she said. “He happened to see me on the highway one morning and saw me pull into the main entrance for GNTC. That’s when I realized that I’d need to tell him. He wasn’t happy about my decision. But, I’m really happy about it.”

Longwith tells others striving for CDL trucking jobs that they need a passion for driving or they won’t last long in the business.

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fleetowner.comOn the hunt for a phone earpiece that will stand up to the demanding environment of trucking? One from ToughTested Safe Driving Mono Earbud is marketed toward people with CDL trucking jobs, so Fleet Owner gave it a closer look. How did it fare? Here’s what the magazine found:

This ToughTested earpiece comes with a notable five-year warranty

This indicates a vote of confidence well beyond typical clauses backing consumer electronics. It’s got Kevlar on the inside of the cord — which is coiled in two places to help prevent hanging wire from getting snagged and tangled — and polyurethane on the outside, and the maker says it has “reinforced stress-relief” to provide 10,000 uses.

It’s also certified protected from dust and splashes of water

In addition, it features a very significant outside noise reduction capability of up to 23 decibels. All that, and the thing retails for $39.99.

You start by choosing your earpiece end from two included “Flexfoam” and two “tree tips” — one large and one smaller of each — with the tree tips being the tiered, soft rubber variety often found on earbuds. Those offer what may be a more comfortable fit but less noise isolation. However, the Flexfoam ends resembles earplugs commonly used in shops. You pinch and roll with your fingers before inserting into your ear.

The product offers plenty of volume and noise isolation using a Flexfoam end to hear phone conversations.

In even the loudest noise —  that’d be some wind, road and water-spray noise coming at my left ear as well as vehicle noise at highway speed — the earpiece stayed in place and I could hear (and be heard), and the earpiece’s volume wasn’t even dialed up all the way.

Read the rest of the Fleet Owner review here to learn what its weakest points were.

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