• photo image of a male patient sitting with a blood pressure cuff on his arm, while a doctor takes a reading

    Everything You Need to Know About the Exam

    When you become a truck driver you are required to have a DOT physical. If you are going to be operating commercial motor vehicles a DOT physical exam is required. Drivers need to be able to safely operate their vehicle and a DOT physical ensures there are no health issues which would prevent that from happenings.

    What To Expect During a DOT Physical

    Your DOT physical is going to look at your current health status as well as your medical history to determine if you are physically fit to drive a commercial motor vehicle. The following tests are all part of the overall exam:
    • Vision and hearing tests
    • Blood test, to check for high blood pressure or other medical conditions
    • Urinalysis, as part of drug and alcohol testing
    These are all included in DOT exam as well as a current physical examination.

    What Should I Bring With Me?

    To make sure you have everything covered and your medical history is complete you will want to bring the following with you:
    • Medical history
    • List of prescriptions medications, and dosage, you currently take
    • Glasses or let them know if you wear contacts
    • Hearing Aids

    How Often Is A DOT Physical Required?

    CDL drivers must take the DOT physical every two years. If you have a condition that needs monitoring, such as high blood pressure, you may be required to get a physical more often. Once you have passed your DOT physical the doctor in charge will give you a certificate. If your employer needs a copy you directly from the physician you can sign and waiver and have them request that.

    Where Do I Go To Get A DOT Physical?

    To find a listing of medical offices offering DOT physicals, you visit the Colorado DMV website. If you have any questions about getting your DOT physical exam card we would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us today and you can be on your way to a successful trucking career! 303-848-8443 This blog was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for 2019 standards.
  • semi truck parked. Text over image reads "Drive Safe Act what it means for younger drivers"

    What it Means for Young Truck Drivers

    According to the American Trucking Association, the current shortage of CDL truck drivers is expected to increase over 175,000 by 2026. The ATA points out the largest factor contributing to this shortage is the average age of for-hire drivers is 49. The trucking industry hopes to bridge the older driver demographics and lack of qualified applicants with a new law called, the DRIVE-Safe Act.

    The DRIVE-Safe Act Targets Young CDL Drivers

    By law, you have to be at least 18 to have a commercial driver's license. Currently, in order to drive across state lines with a CDL, you have to be over 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act targets drivers between 18 and 20 who hold a CDL. As trade schools increase in popularity, the younger generation is steering away from attending traditional colleges to learn a skilled trade like truck driving.

    The DRIVE-Safe Act Addresses the Truck Driver Shortage

    The truck driving industry is changing. One of the biggest changes is job outlook as employers struggle to meet the demand for both quality and quantity of drivers. The ATA states the current trucking industry is short over 50,000 drivers. The DRIVE-Safe Act has the potential to decrease the shortage by attracting young talent. According to the ATA, nearly 90,000 drivers will need to be hired yearly over the next 10 years to meet the industry's growth. To attract new drivers companies--like Walmart--are increasing salaries and easing the recruitment process.  

    The DRIVE-Safe Act Reduces Age Restrictions Across State Lines

    Today, a 20-year-old truck driver can drive four hours to Denver, CO to Springfield, CO, but not the hour and a half drive to Cheyenne, WY.  If passed in Congress, the law will lower the intrastate CDL restriction age to 18 nationwide. This will allow for young qualified drivers to fill the gap of empty driver seats. The DRIVE-Safe Act would require drivers under 21 to participate in a two-part apprentice program. The first part of the program consisting of 120 hours of probationary training and the second half 280 hours. We love seeing young adults find a career path that fits their lifestyle and we enjoy helping them reach that goal. To learn about how you can start your journey as a certified commercial licensed driver and be a student at our Denver or Colorado campus, call today! 303-848-8443
  • truck driver with one hand on wheel

    Why a Teachable Attitude is Essential for Successful Truck Driving Career

    You've been researching online about getting your CDL at a trusted trucking school. You've read countless articles online, you have the support of your closest family and friends, and you have all the information you need....almost.

    One major idea many students overlook when making plans to attend trucking school is this: You must enter trucking school with a humble and teachable attitude. Whether you have thousands of miles under your belt or are entering the profession as a brand new driver, a teachable posture is crucial to your success.

    A Changing Industry

    If you've been in the industry long, you understand just how much the truck industry has changed over the years. Every year, the industry ebbs and flows as the economy shifts, fuel prices rise and lower, and companies face driver shortages.

    Heading to school is an excellent way to get a competitive edge over other drivers. It's also a smart decision to learn new skills or keep your skills up-to-date with new technologies, trends, and laws. 

    There's never a time, in any profession, when you're beyond learning.

    A Humble Attitude

    So if you've made the decision to enroll at a trucking school, congratulations! You're already way ahead of others who are still just thinking about it. 

    But remember, take a humble attitude with you.

    By definition, a student is "one who is a learner or one who attends a school". When you enroll at a trucking school, you become a student saying to your classmates and your teachers — I don't know it all. 

    Time spent in any school is a time of listening, asking questions, and growing as a person, and as an expert in your particular field — trucking school is no different. 

    If you approach trucking school with a posture of humility, your teachers will be more than willing to go the extra mile to make sure your learning experience is engaging, customized, and enjoyable. Once your program is complete, you'll hit the road thankful for the knowledge you received and the professional mentors you've gained.

    A New-Found Confidence

    While it may not be a requirement on the trucking school application, a humble and teachable attitude is a must. Not only will your teachers respond positively to your eagerness to learn, but you'll also get the most out of the program and be ready to hit the road with new-found confidence.

    If you're ready to take the next step towards your career, contact us today. We're eager to hear from you and ready to answer any questions you may have.

  • semi trucks parked at docks. text over image reads "Key questions every driver should ask their recruiter"

    20 Questions for your New Employer

    If you are looking to start a new career in truck driving, there are a few questions you need to ask any recruiter before you get started. Here is a list of some things you need to know from any new employer:

    Time on the Road

    • What is your policy regarding pay while on the road? Will I be compensated for layovers? Am I paid by the hour or by the mile?
    • Are most of your routes long hauls or shorter day trips? Can I choose my routes or will they be assigned?
    • Will I be required to load and unload the truck? If so, how will I be compensated for my time? By the package, weight, or hour?
    • Can I bring my pet with me? If so, are there weight restrictions?
    • What is your refueling policy? Will I be provided with a company card or will I get reimbursed?

    Benefits

    • What are the benefits associated with this position? Medical, Vision, Dental?
    • Are benefits available to me on the first day of employment or is there a waiting period?
    • Are there additional benefits available like continuing education opportunities for additional training?
    • Will the company help with my truck insurance payments?
    • Do you have a paid time off policy?

    Company Advancement

    • How often are performance reviews conducted?
    • What are you looking for when giving raises?
    • As I gain seniority, will new opportunities become available like preferred routes?
    • What is the pay structure as I become a seasoned driver?
    • Is there a possibility to become part of management further down the road?

    General Questions

    • Is there someone available in the home office 24/7 should I need assistance?
    • When I am on the road, what is your policy for expenses like tolls, meals, and overnight stays?
    • Are there bonuses for spotless driving records?
    • Does the company use an e-log?
    • How large is the company and is it growing?
    Asking the right questions can mean the difference between a job that you like and a job that you love. Contact us for more information about how you can get started in the truck driving industry! 303-848-8443  
  • box truck with student driver labeled on back

    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 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!

  • semi driving on highway. Text over image reads "4 ways to be a better student during cdl training"

    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

    If 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 things. 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

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