5 Tips for Semi-Truck Organization

Over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers need to bring a variety of different supplies with them on the road. These include personal items as well as important documentation for the freight that is being delivered. Staying organized is essential to maximize the space in your truck and to keep the area from getting too cluttered. It’s also important to make sure you can find anything you need quickly and easily.

Here are some tips for semi-truck organization:

1. Stick to the Essentials at First

After finishing school and completing company training, you’re likely eager to be able to customize your cab to fit your personality. You’d be surprised how much you can do with a small space. However, it’s a good idea to stick to only the most essential items for your first few solo trips. After you’ve gotten the hang of life on the open road, you can start to add more items if you’d like. This helps you stay organized because you’ll have less items to worry about at first and can avoid clutter.

2. Use Organization Supplies

Having many items all around your truck can get confusing and organization supplies can help you keep everything in its proper place. One of the most helpful is a folder or small file cabinet for important paperwork. You can also get plastic bins and other items to make organization easier. Keep in mind that you should only buy what you actually need. Otherwise, the bins and organizers may become clutter themselves.

3. Take Advantage of Wall Space

A semi-truck cab is small, so you may need to get creative to find space for organization. One great way to do this is to add hanging organizers to take advantage of wall space. You can get command strips to hang up organizers and small items without damaging the cab. Just make sure everything is secure before you start driving.

4. Store Items For Easy Access

When you decide where to put different items, think about how often you’ll need to get to them and plan for convenient access. For example, paperwork that you might need during a traffic stop or roadside inspection should be easy to get to from the driver’s seat. Shower supplies, on the other hand, can be under your bed or in another area in the back of the cab since you’ll only need to get them when you’re stopped.

5. Reevaluate Regularly

Every so often, you should think about how your cab is organized and identify what is and isn’t working for you. If there is an item that you always seem to lose, for example, you may want to change where you put it. If there is something you haven’t used at all since you got it, it may be helpful to get rid of this item to free up some space.

Start Your Trucking Career

Before you hit the road, you’ll need to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). At Phoenix Truck Driving School, our accelerated training can help you get started in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about our truck driving school in Albuquerque, contact us today.

Top 3 Benefits of Becoming a Husband-and-Wife Trucking Team

While many truckers spend most of their time in their truck alone, this isn’t always the case. For trucking teams, two individuals split up driving time. This means that if you and your spouse are both interested in the trucking industry, you can both earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and hit the road together. Husband-and-wife trucking teams are relatively common in the industry and there are many benefits.

Some of these include:

1. Earn More Together

Truckers must follow regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for driving and on-duty hours. Drivers must take regular breaks in order to ensure they are well-rested. For solo drivers, this means they will need to stop the truck. Team drivers, on the other hand, can switch off who is driving and keep the truck moving more consistently. As a result, motor carriers are typically willing to pay more for team drivers. If you and your spouse both have your CDL, you can earn more driving as a team than you would driving separately.

2. Drive With Someone You Know

The main reason some truckers prefer to stick to solo driving even when team trucking pays more is that driving with someone you don’t know can be challenging. You’re sharing a small space and will need to be able to communicate effectively and make decisions together. Husband-and-wife trucking teams are already at an advantage here because they (hopefully) learned how to communicate well over the course of their relationship and are more comfortable around each other.

3. Spend Time With Your Spouse

Trucking is a great career, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. One of the downsides is that you’ll spend more time away from home than you would with a traditional 9-5. Although the high pay and freedom of the open road make this worth it for many, it’s still a challenge to be away from family. If you bring your spouse on the road with you, you’ll be able to spend more time with them.

What to Consider

While husband-and-wife trucking is an excellent decision for many drivers, it’s not for everyone. Before you commit to this career path, you should be sure that both you and your spouse are equally interested in it. Trucking is as much a lifestyle as it is a career and some individuals will enjoy it more than others. 

If your spouse doesn’t think they will enjoy trucking, you can always pursue a CDL on your own. You can compare home time policies to find one that works with your preferences.

Earn Your CDL in Albuquerque

The first step to a trucking career, whether you are interested in team or solo driving, is earning your CDL. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we can help you get your license in as little as four weeks with our accelerated training. If you are interested in trucking with your spouse, our job placement assistance team can help you find companies that are hiring team drivers.

To learn more about our CDL training program, contact us today.


All About the New ELDT Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated its entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements as of February 7, 2022. These apply to drivers who are earning their Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the first time, as well as those who are upgrading from a Class B to a Class A or who are earning certain endorsements. 


In order to earn your CDL and become a trucker, you will need to do so in compliance with these regulations. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, our programs meet the new ELDT requirements and we can help you get on the road and earning in as little as four weeks. 

How Have the ELDT Requirements Changed?

Understanding how the recent changes to the ELDT requirements are different from the previous regulations is helpful for getting an idea of how these changes affect CDL instruction.

Here are some of the differences: 

  • Under the new requirements, only institutions on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) can provide entry-level CDL training. Before the updated regulations, institutions only had to meet state-level training requirements. 
  • The topics students need to learn in order to earn their CDL are now standardized. 
  • As of February 7, 2022, schools must administer the CDL written test and report students’ scores to the FMCSA. Previously, this was the responsibility of each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

CDL Theory Instruction Requirements


CDL instructors must cover a list of specific topics under the new ELDT requirements. In order to determine proficiency, instructors must use assessments and students need to earn an 80% or higher on these assessments. There are no minimum hours for theory instruction as long as students can demonstrate proficiency. 


There are five categories for theory instruction and each one includes various sub-topics. 


The theory instruction categories are:

    • Basic Operation: This topic includes subtopics such as pre-trip and post-trip inspections, coupling and uncoupling (for Class A CDLs only), and basic vehicle control. 
  • Safe Operating Procedures: To earn a CDL, students will need to understand topics including nighttime driving, handling extreme conditions, and the dangers of distracted driving. 
  • Advanced Operating Practices: CDL students must understand hazard perception, railroad-highway grade crossings, and skid control/recovery. 
  • Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions: Entry-level training must cover topics related to vehicle systems and malfunctions, including how to handle roadside inspections. 
  • Non-Driving Activities: Truck driver training must cover a variety of sub-topics related to non-driving activities, including post-crash procedures, trip planning, and environmental compliance issues.

Behind-the-Wheel Driving Requirements

CDL programs must also include behind-the-wheel training. There isn’t a minimum number of hours for this training, but instructors do need to document the total clock hours and ensure they cover all required topics. 


The ELDT regulations require programs to cover the following skills in a range setting:

  • Coupling and uncoupling
  • Blind side parallel parking
  • Sight side parallel parking
  • Alley dock backing (45 and 90 degrees)
  • Straight line backing
  • Off-set backing
  • Pre-trip, en route, and post-trip vehicle inspections

Additionally, the training must address these topics on a public road:

  • Regulations for hours of service (HOS)
  • Vehicle controls such as entry and exit onto highways, turning, and lane changes
  • Visual search
  • Speed management and space management
  • Safe driving behaviors
  • Driving at night
  • Railroad crossing
  • Shifting/transmission
  • Signaling/communication
  • Hazard perception
  • Skid control/recovery, jackknifing, and other emergencies
  • Driving in extreme conditions

Some of these topics cannot be simulated during training, such as emergencies or extreme driving conditions. In these circumstances, the instructor must have a two-way conversation with their students and address how to respond to the situations outlined in the required topics. 

Earn Your Commercial License

If you are interested in earning your CDL and becoming a truck driver, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help. Our programs meet the new ELDT requirements and we give our students the skills they need to succeed in the trucking industry. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help you earn your CDL in as little as four weeks.

FMCSA Regulations Truckers Need to Know

As a trucker, safety should always be a top priority. Part of staying safe on the road is following all regulations from the Federal Motor Safety Administration (FMCSA). This organization regulates the trucking industry. Following FMCSA requirements is important not only for your safety but also for avoiding fines and other consequences. The trucking company you choose to work for should assist you in staying compliant, but you are also responsible for being aware of regulations and following them.

Some of the key FMCSA regulations for truckers:

Drug and Alcohol Tests

Before you can drive a commercial vehicle, you will need to pass a drug test. Some companies may require an alcohol test before you begin employment as well. Throughout your career, there will be other circumstances when you are required to undergo drug and alcohol testing. These include random tests, after an accident, and if a supervisor has a reasonable suspicion of use/abuse.

If you fail or refuse to take a drug or alcohol test, your company will remove you from safety-sensitive duties, meaning you cannot drive. You will need to complete the return-to-duty process. Any drug and alcohol violations are reported to the FMCSA Clearinghouse, meaning they are visible to potential employers later on.

Hours of Service Limits

In order to help prevent truck driver fatigue, the FMCSA sets hours or service (HOS) limits. These regulations govern how long truckers can drive or be on-duty before they have to take a break. Truck drivers are responsible for planning their days to stay within these guidelines.

Depending on the type of trucking job you pursue, you will likely need to use an electronic logging device (ELD) to record your HOS. This means that if you are stopped by law enforcement or are subject to an inspection, your driving and on-duty time can be audited.

Here are some HOS rules you should know:

  • There is a maximum of 11 hours of driving time before you must take 10 consecutive hours off-duty. In the event that there are unforeseeable adverse conditions that make it impossible to find safe parking before the 11 hours is up, you can extend the maximum time to 13 hours. However, this only applies if the conditions were truly unforeseeable (e.g. rush hour traffic or predicted weather would not count).
  • After 14 consecutive hours on duty, you must take a 10-hour break. Driving time occurs within this window. On-duty non-driving tasks may include pre-trip inspections or fueling.
  • You must take a 30-minute break after 8 consecutive hours of driving.
  • In a seven-day timeframe, the maximum driving time is 60 hours. In an eight-day timeframe, the limit is 70 hours. You need to take a 34-hour break to reset this.

The above guidelines are the most basic you need to remember but keep in mind there are other rules you must know and follow. You can use the educational tool on the FMCSA’s website to help you understand HOS requirements.

Vehicle Inspections

Before you hit the road each day, you need to perform a pre-trip inspection to ensure your vehicle is in good working order. Per FMCSA regulations, this is a requirement for commercial drivers, and driving an unsafe vehicle or failing to ensure the vehicle is safe is a violation. If there is ever an issue during your inspection, you need to let your dispatcher know so they can arrange for it to be fixed promptly.

During hauls, you may also be stopped from a roadside inspection. These involve a thorough check of your vehicle, as well as your HOS and various documents. A pre-trip inspection helps you ensure you are ready if you are ever subject to one of these inspections.

Other Regulations

The regulations in this article are only some of the rules you need to know. When in doubt, keep in mind that you can always ask your supervisor (once you start working for a trucking company) or your instructor (while attending trucking school).

Get Your CDL and Enter the Trucking Industry

If you are interested in a trucking career, Phoenix Truck Driving School in Albuquerque can help. We teach you everything you need to know to pass your commercial driver’s license (CDL) test and offer job placement assistance to help you hit the road as soon as possible.

Contact us today to learn more about our CDL training programs.