• Efforts to Reduce the Driver Shortage Mean Lower OTR Age Requirements

    It's estimated that the trucking industry will be short 150,000 drivers by 2024. Experts are asking for a change now in order to combat the shortage. Trucking companies already offer higher pay per mile, sign-on bonuses, and health or retirement benefits to attract more drivers. Now, they're looking to hire from a younger pool of applicants.

    On Monday, the Colorado State House passed a bill that would lower the age requirements for truck drivers from 21 to 18. Current state law allows 18 year old CDL holders to drive within state lines only. Interstate drivers must be at least 21 years old. This bill would allow anyone 18 and older with a CDL to drive across state lines on longer routes.

    Fox21News Right Now talked with Mark Haefner, Director of Training for the USTDS Colorado Springs campus about this new bill, and the option for 18 year olds to drive these long haul routes. While he has his concerns, he thinks it would be great for these younger drivers to partner with a trucking veteran as continued learning.

    With this bill, we could start seeing a younger generation of drivers enrolling for CDL training at United States Truck Driving School. USTDS provides Class A CDL Training programs at two Colorado locations. Along with training, students can use financial aid and have job placement assistance once they complete the course.

    We hope to see more young adults enter into the trucking industry. If you’re ready to get started with your CDL training, contact United States Truck Driving School and get on the road towards a successful career!

  • Tips for Becoming a Talented, Knowledgeable, and Safe Driver.

    Paying attention in class isn't fun. It's just not. The allure of the open road or the desire to get out of an office or classroom was the reason for getting a CDL. But, you find yourself in a classroom. Listening to someone explain things that may seem too obvious or too complicated… And you start to tune out. This can feel natural. Maybe you already know this material and you don't need to hear it for the thousandth time. Or you got lost right off the bat and don't want the embarrassment of asking a question. But great drivers are the ones that are always learning.

    Here are some keys to help you come into class ready to take in as much as possible and leave as a talented, knowledgeable, and safe driver.

    Visualize

    If it is hard to understand or stay focused on what the instructor is talking about, visualize yourself in the situations they are addressing. Think about the wheel in your hands and how it feels. Think about the muscles you will use. Try to be as vivid as possible and see if it helps you remember the material better or learn something new.

    Ask Questions

    AIf you missed something, or got a little lost, it is better to ask a question in class than to have a question on the road. If you already know the information being taught, try to think of a question to ask. This may help less experienced drivers get more information, and you may learn something you didn't already know.

    Take Notes

    You forget most of what you don't write down. Taking notes is the best way to stay engaged, and you have something to look at if you ever have a question down the road.

    Take it Slow

    Maybe you've heard the stories of the student who sideswiped the light pole in the parking lot. It happens. Don't be that student. When you get behind the wheel breathe easy and remember your training. Confidence and quickness are not the same thing. Listen to your trainer; and visualize your success. It's what the pro athletes do, and it's the best way to learn.

    If you're interested in attending CDL school or have questions about getting a CDL, let's talk! Fill out the form, or call us today and let's see how you can get started! 303-848-8443

  • Overcoming one of the most common obstacles to career training education

    Finances should never keep you from getting the career you deserve. Luckily, they don't have to. United States Truck Driving School has many different opportunities available for financial assistance. These include allowances, reimbursements, loans, sponsorship, and others. Here are few ways you can qualify for financial aid when getting CDL training at USTDS.

    Financial Assistance for Veterans

    Several tuition assistance opportunities are available for service members, their spouses, and dependents. The United States Department of Veteran's Affairs has benefits available to cover tuition and gives you access to a highly in-demand job field. Below are just a few of the VA benefits available you can receive.

    • The Montgomery GI Bill: If you're a veteran with at least 2 years of active duty service, you can receive up to 36 months of benefits covered.
    • The Post 9/11 GI Bill®: You may be eligible for 36 months of benefits if you have 90 days of aggregate service after September 10th, 2001.
    • Special Vocational Training: If you have a disability rating from the VA and have an employment handicap, this program can get you the assistance you need.

    Reimbursement for Veterans and Others

    In addition to the programs available to assist veterans in getting the training they need, certain carriers will pay back up to $7,500 of the VA benefits used to cover CDL training costs. Even if you paid for training out of pocket, the carrier you find employment with will pay back your monthly tuition.

    Carrier Sponsorship for CDL Training

    The carriers that partner with USTDS recognize how important quality drivers are. In light of the high demand for drivers, certain carriers are willing to invest in your CDL training. You'll receive benefits towards your tuition, housing, and transportation while you're getting your CDL training. When you get finished, you'll pay them back through a weekly payroll deduction until it's paid off.

    ....And Much More

    United States Truck Driving School has programs help you overcome one of the most common obstacles to education, including:

    • Programs from Goodwill Industries
    • Vocational programs from the state of Colorado
    • In-House financing, loans, and deferred payment plans

    If you're interested in getting CDL training, contact us today to learn more about the financial aid opportunities open to you!

  • Being Humble and Teachable When Getting your CDL

    CDL training will come with a lot of information for prospective truck drivers, and all of it is important. If you're not careful, certain attitudes and actions may limit your growth in the transportation industry. They may even cause you to fail if you're not careful. Adopt these practices to make the most of your CDL training.

    Have the Right Attitude

    Going into CDL training with an out-of-check ego or a negative mindset will stop your learning before it begins. Always remain open to instruction. Experienced drivers agree that a student thinking he's already got it mastered will not only hinder their own progress, but will disrupt his fellow students' learning as well. Remain humble and be open to looking at things in a different way. You also need to remember to give yourself room to grow. Don't compare your progress to someone else's. Everyone learns at their own pace.

    Surround Yourself With Like-minded People

    Don't let yourself be distracted by people who aren't there to learn. This is as true in CDL training as it was in High School. If someone doesn't care about their own education, then they won't care too much about yours. Keep close to other students that are as focused on their studies as you are, and stay away from cliques of slackers.

    Remain Disciplined and Respect the Challenge

    CDL training is meant to be a challenge. Class A CDL training with the United States Truck Driving School will require 160 hours of instruction to prepare you for the rigors of truck driving. Make sure you're being serious about putting in the work, or you won't make the cut.

    Work With Your Instructor, Not Against Them

    Your instructor is the greatest asset you'll have available to you during your CDL training. Remain cooperative, and try to pick their brain a bit. Ask them about their driving experiences. Show them you're serious. When the instructor sees that you care about your training, they'll go a lot further than someone that's just going through the motions.

    Be Coachable

    Remaining disciplined, humble, and coachable is the best way to get the most out of your CDL training. If you're serious about receiving the best training, contact the United States Truck Driving School and find out more about the Class A and Class B CDL training programs available.

  • What Can We Expect in Trucking in the New Year?

    Many industries - including trucking - are looking forward to what the new year will hold for their industry. While changes do not suddenly happen just because of a new year, very few years are the same and trends come and go in any industry. The same goes for trucking. So, what can we expect in trucking in 2019?

    A Driver Shortage

    In 2019 the trucking industry will need more drivers. Currently there about 50,000 driver positions open throughout the country. By the end of 2019 that number could balloon to about 60,000. Truck driving continues to be high-demand as consumer demand grows and more goods need transported. This means there are many quality jobs to be had in the trucking field with average pay starting around $40,000+ and full benefits being included. This job security makes it a great time to get into the trucking industry as a career path.

    Truck Driver Salaries on the Rise

    Many companies are raising driver salaries and increasing some benefits. The average starting salary for an OTR driver is around $40,000+ annually. The upper-end of drivers can make $100,00+ each year, plus many carriers are adding in more complete benefits packages to go along with it. This is a great time to get into this career as salaries continue to rise along with the demand for drivers!

    Fuel Prices Continue To Rise

    Fuel prices have put some pressure on the industry.  Diesel is up to $2.88 per gallon (on average) throughout many parts of the US. These numbers are expected to experience a modest increase again in 2019. This raises the cost for companies, which ultimately is passed on to the consumer.

    Consumer Demand Slowly Grows

    2019 Forecast shows consumer demand continuing to grow at a rate of about 3.5%. This will raise the demand for the number of truck drivers.  The need to transport goods will continue to rise without driver to fill these jobs. This means that the people who get into the industry are in a secure position with quality pay and great benefits.

    Autonomous (self-driving) Trucks Are Still A LONG Way in the Future

    While some tests have been done on self-driving cars and trucks, full use of autonomous trucks is still a long way away. This means that truck driving is a solid bet of a career choice to get into. Most current drivers will be well past retired by the time the industry becomes fully automated, which is not coming any time in the near future. While changes are always happening in the trucking industry, these are just a few of the trends happening through 2019. Trucking remains to be a great job in a booming industry with quality pay and full benefits. For more information on starting a trucking career that can provide a high standard and quality of living for your family, fill out the form on this page, or call us today! 303-848-8443
  • Download Them All Before Hitting the Road

    As an Over the Road driver, your phone is your lifeline. Now more than ever, it is easy to control everyday tasks with your phone. Not only is it your top communication tool, but a lot of today's phone apps help truck drivers:
    • budget and stay on top of finances
    • stay on diet or exercise routines
    • have access to weather and traffic reports
    • stay entertained, and
    • keep connected to home!
    So, which apps are the best for new or experienced truckers? Here are a few of our favorites you might want to download before you hit the road.

    Entertainment

    Pandora - Pandora is an online streaming radio service. Whether you like country music or hard rock, there's a station for you.  Who doesn't love a great playlist of all your 80s-hair-banging favorites? Best of off, you can sing as loud as you want in your truck - no one will know. The basic service is free, and a commercial-free premium version is just $9.99 per month. Download the app at pandora.com Stitcher - Prefer podcasts? Stitcher is the easiest way to listen to podcasts on your iPhone or Android phone. Podcasts are a great way to pass the time on the road. You can find a new series based on your favorite topics and have new episodes to look forward to. Or, do what we all do and binge listen to the series that are already out there! The Trucking Podcast, TalkCDL or Trucker Dump are a few entertaining and insightful series. Download the app at stitcher.com Audible - Let's face it - reading in a truck is hard to do.* Audible is an online audiobook service provided by Amazon. Plans start at $14.95 per month after a free trial period. Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time and get through all the best-sellers on your list.  Whether you are interested in sci-fi or how-to books on being the best in the trucking industry, with over 400,000 titles available, you'll never run out of 'reading' material! *While we hope it goes without saying, don't actually try to read while driving. Save the actual books for breaks or home time. Download the app at audible.com

    Communication

    Skype -  Face-to-face connection is important while you're out on the road. If you don't have FaceTime through an iPhone, or Duo on Android, Skype is a great alternative for video calls. Video calls are free, and being able to see someone while catching up makes the miles between you seem shorter. Download the app at skype.com Whatsapp -  Looking for a messenger service that is a more secure alternative to Facebook Messenger? With this app, all calls and messages you share are unencrypted and secure. With Whatsapp, you can send video or audio messages, share your location, or set up a group chat, along with many other advantages. Avoid SMS fees and still have full messaging capabilities. Download the free app at whatsapp.com

    Work Life

    Waze - With Waze, you can get real-time traffic and road condition updates, as well as accident, or road hazard alerts. And because Waze maps are continually being updated by members of the community they're constantly improving routing for everyone -- no more dead ends! Download the free app at waze.com Gas Buddy - On the surface, Gas Buddy just shows you where the cheapest gas is. But it's an in-depth app that gives truckers access to fuel prices nationwide, as well as a price map, cost calculator, and price charts. Though company drivers won't have to pay for their own fuel, the app can provide cash back when you do fill up. It's free for both Apple and Android and has proven to be beneficial to truckers! Download the free app at gasbuddy.com Trucker Path - With Trucker Path, you can get real-time updates on information vital to truckers. It's especially helpful for new truckers who don't yet have a  Rolodex of information stored away. This app provides info on weigh stations, truck washes, fuel stations, and more. Download the free app at truckerpath.com

    Lifestyle

    Wunderlist - Stay on top of things and get stuff done back home with Wunderlist. With this app you can organize household lists, no matter how big or small they might be. You can set up reminders, or assign to-do tasks to other users. Download the app at wunderlist.com MyFitnessPal - Sticking to a diet or eating healthy can be tough on the road. My Fitness Pal allows you to track your meals and fitness through its app. The basic service is free or you can upgrade to the premium version for $9.99 per month. Available on Apple and Android. Download the free app at myfitnesspal.com Mint - Keep track of your bills, bank accounts, and credit score with Mint. The service allows you to link all your bills and bank accounts to your account, making it easier to keep track of your finances. Download the app at mint.com Smartphones have become increasingly more important over the past decade. With new apps being added, and existing apps being updated daily, it's easier than ever to stay healthy, connected, and organized as a truck driver. Have you used these apps in your trucking career? What others are your favorite to use? Join the conversation and share your favorite phone apps on our Facebook page!
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