• back of semi truck driving on the road

    What to expect after earning your CDL

    You've finished trucking school, and now you're feeling ready to head off on your first solo cross-country trip. Before you can strike out on your own, however, there are a few more steps you need to take after completing your CDL training.

    Pick a Carrier

    The employment opportunity you choose will depend on the type of CDL you have. With a Class A CDL, you'll be looking at trucking opportunities. A Class B CDL will allow you to drive buses. Research carriers and listen to testimonials from previous and current employees to find the best fit for you. Fortunately, this doesn't need to feel like a daunting step. Your driving school can help you find a job placement, making it easier to get your foot in the door.

    Pursue Endorsements 

    If you're interested in higher earning potential, or if you want to be more attractive to employers, consider pursuing additional training to receive endorsements on your license. Some endorsements you can pursue are:
    • Double and triple trailers. This endorsement allows you to drive a truck with two or three trailers in tow.
    • Tanker vehicles. With this endorsement, you can haul liquids and liquefied gases in bulk.
    • Passenger. This endorsement is required if you want to drive a vehicle with 16 or more passengers.
    • School bus. This endorsement allows you to drive a school bus.
    • Hazardous materials. Receiving this endorsement means you can transport hazardous material or hazardous waste.

    Receive On-the-Job Training

    Once you've found an employment opportunity, you'll be required to complete some on-the-job training. The length and nature of this training will vary by carrier, but will generally consist of:
    • Completing employment requirements such as physicals, drug screens, background checks, and paperwork.
    • Attending driver orientation and partnering with a driver-trainer
    • Practicing advanced driving techniques necessary for your specific job.

    Drive With a Trainer

    Before you can head out on your own, you will spend some time driving with a trainer. During this period, you will do the work you would normally do on your job, but with your trainer guiding you through the process. In addition to driving skills, you will learn other important skills associated with the unique aspects of life as a truck driver. Your trainer will teach you about receiving and making deliveries, living out on the road, finding your meals, and how to take breaks.

    Keep Your CDL Up-to-Date

    Throughout your career as a commercial driver, continue practicing safe driving to keep your license and stay on the road. You may even consider a taking CDL refresher course to brush up on your driving skills. Once you've completed these steps, you'll be driving solo in no time! At United States Truck Driving School, we offer high-quality CDL training programs. If you have questions about beginning a career as a truck driver,  contact us today so we can help you get started! 303-848-8443
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    What would happen if we were to lose our truck drivers?

    We've all heard that America relies on truckers. That truck drivers deliver the goods we all need to thrive and survive. It's also been said that without truckers, our country would soon come to a standstill.  Is that true? What would happen if we were to lose our truck drivers? Here are a few examples of what we could expect if the trucking industry came to a halt. 

    Our Economy Stalls

    Within a few days, gas stations would run out of fuel. Without gas for cars and buses, workers would soon find it difficult or impossible to get to work. Mail and package delivery would come to a halt. People cannot get out to spend money on necessities or entertainment. Goods would sit on ships and trains since there would be no trucks to deliver goods to their destinations. Retailers would have nothing to restock their shelves with. Many manufacturers depend upon regular truck deliveries rather than maintaining warehouses of parts. Their assembly lines would shut down and their employees would be out of work. 

    Necessities Run Out

    Grocery stores would sell out of food and bottled water. Hospitals would not be able to provide proper patient care because critical medical supplies would run out within hours. After a few weeks without truck drivers, pharmacies would run out of medicine. If we were without truckers for two to four weeks, we would lose our supply of clean water. Water treatment facilities need truck drivers to bring the chemicals they need to clean water. Without chemicals like chlorine, our tap water would not be safe to drink. All tap water would have to be boiled before we could drink it. Otherwise, we would become sick. 

    Keep on Truckin'

    So yes, America does rely on truckers! As more truckers are retiring, new truckers are in high demand to keep America moving forward. Without new drivers to fill these employment opportunities, the industry slows down, and our country suffers. You can have an exciting, new career in just a few weeks when you receive your CDL training at United States Truck Driving School. If you're ready to keep America moving forward, call us today to get started! 303-848-8443
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    Mastering this Challenging Maneuver

    Backing up is one of the most challenging maneuvers for a trailer driver. It is common to find drivers who can move forward competently but who have trouble when they are required to back up. The difficulty is compounded if the trailer has a sleeper bunk. The inability to back up a rig is a common cause of damage to trucks parked vehicles and to loading docks. Here are some tips for safe backing up:
    1. Get Out And Look (GOAL)

      The best way to learn how your vehicle is positioned is to get out and lay eyes on it. Walk around it and look at the spot you are backing in to — do this as often as necessary. The extra hassle is worth it if it keeps you from damaging property.
    2. Use a Spotter

      The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends that you use a spotter whenever possible. Spotters can help since they will be able to see parts of the vehicle that the driver cannot. This comes with an important caveat: your spotter has to know what he or she is doing. It is entirely possible for an inexperienced spotter to guide you right into an accident. A truck driver who knows what to look out for will make the best spotter. Make sure that whoever is spotting for you knows to watch the whole vehicle and not just the back bumper.
    3. Be Patient

      Giving yourself enough time and exercising patience are the most important things to do when learning any truck driving skill. Moving too quickly causes accidents. Backing up is difficult even for experienced truck drivers; it will take time to master it.
    Along with practice, you will need training. United States Truck Driving School can help you to acquire valuable skills in backing up and other areas of truck driving! Ready to toll? Call today to learn more! 303-848-8443  
  • truck driver on the road with hands on the wheel

    CDL Training on Your Schedule

    Obtaining a Commercial Driver's License can lead to a rewarding career, but a busy lifestyle can leave you with reservations about the time it takes for training. It's a great idea to think things through and plan ahead because CDL training does involve a commitment. The good news is that training is doable for most people on any schedule! Ready to get your CDL and start a truck driving career right away? Read on to see how long it takes to go through training to earn your CDL at United States Truck Driving School.

    Class A CDL Training at United States Truck Driving School 

    The Class A CDL program at US Truck Driving School offers students hands-on, personalized training that prepares them for a job in the commercial trucking industry. Our expert instructors teach our students how to safely maneuver the modern technology that's used by trucking companies today. During this 160-hour program, students receive in-depth classroom and behind-the-wheel training in as little as 3 weeks, though some schedules run as long as 6 weeks. Both daytime and night schedules are available to students. No matter the program length, we train our students to have a high level of skills and professional confidence in their abilities. Our students learn the qualifications that will help them land a job as an entry-level truck driver.  Learn the basics of CDL training in a course schedule that fits you! With both day and evening classes, at US Truck Driving School it's easy to train for your CDL while working and taking care of your family. Become a professional truck driver by training for your Class A CDL at US Truck Driving School! Call us today to get more detailed information about any of our CDL training programs! 303-848-8443  
  • Photo of USTDS truck. Words over image read "How to Avoid Failing Your CDL Permit Test"

    Getting your Commercial Learner's Permit

    If you're exploring the option of getting your CDL, you know that you'll first need your commercial learner's permit or CPL. This permit allows you to practice driving on public roadways alongside a licensed CDL instructor.  The thought of passing the CDL permit test so you can begin training can be a nerve-wracking experience for new drivers. Today we are sharing a few tips on how you can prepare for - and pass - your permit test so you can get on the road to earning your CDL!

    Know What to Expect

    To get your CDL learner's permit, you'll need to pass the permit test. This is a three-part, multiple-choice test. The three parts consist of Combination Vehicles (25 questions), Air Brakes (25 questions), and General Knowledge (50 questions). The tests are not timed and can be taken all together, or individually. 

    Get Prepared

    The best way to prepare for your permit test is by attending our free Saturday morning Permit Test Prep class. This class gives you an opportunity to be in a classroom setting with an experienced CDL instructor. We primarily cover the required material for obtaining a Class A CDL learner's permit. With study materials, videos, and a healthy Q&A session, you will know what to expect ahead of time and you'll be less nervous about taking the CDL permit test!

    Practice Practice Practice

    Attend this free Saturday morning class and get access to CDL practice test materials so you can get a sense of how questions are worded on the actual tests.  We'll help you apply the materials to actual real-world scenarios. Remember that the actual exam may have questions worded differently than on practice tests. Fully understanding the material means you won't get tripped up on those questions with alternate wording. 

    Attend the Permit Test Prep Class - it's Free!

    Going through our full CDL training program gives students the knowledge and confidence needed to obtain your CDL. But before you enroll, attend our free Saturday morning CDL Permit Test Prep class! This class, in combination with studying the CDL manual, will help you get where you need to be to obtain your CDL permit so you can be on your way to training for a successful new career! 

    Get started on the road to your new career! Request more information about our FREE Permit Test Prep class! Call 303-848-8443 or fill out the form and we'll be in touch soon!

    This blog was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2019.

  • semi truck going around cone. Text over image reads "How to avoid failing your cdl skills test"

    Follow These Tips on Passing

    Updated November 2019 Failing the CDL exam can be a trucker's worst nightmare. The driving portion of the exam is where a lot of driver's struggle the most. What if you forget the rules or focus on them so much that it leads to a mistake? The following guide focuses on how to avoid failing the CDL exam. 

    How To Improve Your Chances Of Passing The CDL Exam 

    Most importantly, be calm: the exam is not as bad as you think. Building up anxiety will only hurt your chances of doing well on the exam. Staying calm during the exam will help you avoid careless mistakes.  Remember: it's the examiner's job to test you and see if you can handle the pressure. Will you panic if you miss a shift or freeze up if someone critiques your driving skills? The lesson here is to remain as calm as possible. Focus on what you've learned in driving school and behind the wheel of the truck.  The most important tip in passing the CDL exam is avoiding mistakes that will result in an automatic fail. Safety hazard mistakes are the most important aspect of the CDL exam because they can lead to accidents on the road. Safety hazard mistakes include:
    • running a red light
    • failing to signal when changing lanes/making a turn
    • being involved in an accident.
    Remember to rely on your driving skills, don't put to much pressure on yourself!  For over five decades,  we have helped students successfully pass the CDL exam through expert instruction. We're ready when you are, just give us a call to get started with your CDL training! 303-848-8443 This blog was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2019.