What the CDL Driving Test Includes

To earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you will need to take two tests. One is a written exam and when you pass this, you will obtain your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The second is known as the skills test and includes three parts: a pre-trip inspection, assessments of basic vehicle control, and on-the-road driving. This CDL driving test evaluates your response to several traffic situations, as well as your overall driving skills.

How the CDL Driving Test Works

During the CDL road test, the evaluator will have you drive through a test route. They will score you based on your response to specific traffic situations. While you are driving, the evaluator will give you directions that you will need to follow. They will make sure to give you enough time to take any action. If the test route does not have a certain situation, you may be asked to explain what you would do if you encountered it. In addition to specific maneuvers, the evaluator will score your overall driving behavior. You must wear your seat belt throughout the test route, obey all traffic laws, and complete the test without an accident or moving violation.

CDL Driving Test Criteria

Some of the criteria the evaluator will score include:


When the evaluator asks you to make a turn, you will need to do so safely. Some of the factors for safe turning include checking all directions, slowing down or stopping smoothly without unsafe coasting, and using your turn signal. You will need to keep both hands on the wheel during the turn, check your mirrors to make sure you do not hit anything inside of the turn, and finish in the correct lane. After turning, the evaluator will expect you to ensure the turn signal is off, get up to the speed of traffic, and move into the right-most lane when possible, if you are not already there.


At intersections, you will need to thoroughly check traffic in all directions. If it is necessary to stop, you must do so smoothly, without coasting, and with a safe distance between your truck and any vehicles in front of you. As you pass through the intersection, you will need to continue to check the traffic around you and will need to accelerate smoothly and change gears as necessary.


As you enter an expressway or rural highway, you will need to check traffic, use proper signaling, and merge smoothly. On the expressway, you will be expected to maintain proper speed and lane spacing. When exiting, decelerate smoothly, check traffic, and use your turn signal.

Railroad Crossings

Before reaching a railroad crossing, you should decelerate, brake smoothly, and switch gears as necessary. Depending on the type of vehicle, you may be required to stop completely and activate your four-way flashers. You should look and listen for trains while also checking traffic in all directions. While in the crossing, do not stop, change lanes, pass another vehicle, or change gears.

Prepare for Your CDL Test

The above examples are only some of the situations you may encounter during your CDL skills test. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, our skilled instructors will help you understand the various aspects of safe driving. You will get hands-on experience and we can help you get on the road and earning in as little as four weeks.

For more information on how we can prepare you for the CDL driving test, contact us today.

Staying Healthy as an OTR Driver

Becoming an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver involves spending three to four weeks at a time on the road. This can be a great fit for individuals who are looking for more freedom and higher pay. Trucking is as much a lifestyle as it is a career. As you enter the trucking industry, it’s helpful to think about how you can stay healthy as an OTR driver. Although this lifestyle does have some unique considerations, it is possible to maintain and improve your health while on the road.

Some tips for making healthier choices as a long-haul truck driver:

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is essential for health and can even help you stay more focused and alert. Keep water in your truck and try to sip on it throughout the day instead of drinking only when you are thirsty. It’s also helpful to have water instead of less healthy drinks like coffee or soda.

Plan Healthy Meals and Snacks

Plan ahead and bring healthy meals and snacks with you to eat during your haul. You can pre-make meals before you leave so you can quickly and easily heat them up. More and more truck stops and restaurants on the road have healthy options if you prefer to purchase your meals. Try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and practice portion control.

Find Time for Exercise

There are many ways that you can exercise while on the road. One of the easiest is keeping a pair of running shoes in your truck and going for a quick jog during a break. Some truck stops even have gyms or you can get a membership with a gym chain that has locations across the country. Even 15 minutes of exercise can be incredibly beneficial.

Get Enough Sleep

Many people don’t pay enough attention to getting enough sleep. As an OTR driver, this can be more complicated, but some adjustments to your routine can help you get more and better sleep. Consider using earplugs to block out noise and use a good pillow and mattress in your sleeper berth. Comfortable sleeping conditions make it easier to fall asleep and get the most out of your time off.

Manage Stress

Health includes more than just your physical wellbeing and it’s important to remember to take care of your mental health as well. Connecting with friends and family back home, finding hobbies you can take on the road, and remembering to relax can all be helpful for this.

Implement Small Changes First

Keep in mind that even small lifestyle changes can have a big impact. Even if you only start with a few of these tips, it can be helpful. You might prefer to begin with easier adjustments and move forward from there.

Get Started on the Road to a Trucking Career

If you are interested in becoming an OTR driver, contact us to learn how we can help you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL).

How to Become an Owner-Operator

Trucking can be an incredibly rewarding job. One of the highest-paying career paths in the industry is becoming an owner-operator. This is an individual who owns their own semi-truck and either contracts with a motor carrier or hauls for shippers on their own authority. There are many steps to take before you can start your own trucking business and it’s important to understand what to expect.

Steps to becoming an owner-operator:

Earn Your CDL

In order to drive a tractor-trailer, you will need to obtain your commercial driver’s license (CDL). To do this, you will need to pass a written exam as well as a skills test. If you will need any endorsements for the type of vehicle you wish to drive or the kind of freight you want to haul, you will need to take additional written tests. Our program covers material for hazardous materials (hazmat), tanker, and doubles/triples.

Make a Plan

You should consider your unique circumstances and make a long-term plan for how to become an owner-operator. This can vary depending on your financial situation and other goals. Many owner-operators work for a trucking company as a driver before purchasing their own vehicle. This allows them to gain more experience in the industry and to save up the funds for starting their own trucking business. Many carriers even offer pathways to vehicle ownership, which can make it easier to achieve your goals. However, it’s also possible to buy a rig directly after CDL school if you have the money available and feel confident in this decision. Whichever path you choose, it’s a good idea to consider all of your options and to understand what actions you will need to take.

Purchase Trucking Equipment

Depending on what plan works best for your situation, you may choose to lease a rig or purchase one outright. Leasing from a trucking company can be a great option. This is because it allows you to start on the path to ownership while also enjoying the support of an established motor carrier. If you choose to purchase a new or used semi-truck instead of leasing, you will either need to have the full cost available or obtain a loan.

Get Registered

To be an owner-operator, you will need a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number as well as a Motor Carrier (MC) number. An MC number is also known as trucking authority or operating authority. If you are working with a specific company, you will most likely be working as a contract carrier. This is different from a common carrier, who can book their own loads and operates under their own authority.

In order to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), you will need insurance. There are different requirements for this depending on what type of freight you will be hauling.

Start Hauling

If you are working as an independent contractor with a specific carrier, you will haul freight for them. Otherwise, you will need to search load boards or work with existing contacts to find available hauls to start earning.

Get Started at Phoenix Truck Driving School

Our CDL school can help you take the first steps on the path to owning your own trucking business. You can earn your license with us and our job placement assistance team can help you find companies that offer leasing programs.

To learn more about starting your trucking career, contact us today.

Different Types of CMVs

After you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are many different types of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that you might drive during your career.  Knowing the many varieties of vehicles that you could encounter can help you find your niche as a trucker. It’s also important to know if any additional license requirements apply for the CMV you wish to drive.

Here are some of the different types of CMVs:

A semi-truck, one of the most common types of CMVs


The first vehicle that many people envision when they think of CDLs is a semi-truck. You may also hear the terms tractor-trailer, big rig, 18-wheeler, or semi-trailer. All of these refer to a tractor unit (the front part of the truck) with an attached trailer. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), semi-trucks transport 71.4% of freight in the United States. The first tractor-trailer was invented in 1898 and these vehicles have become more advanced over the years. They are an essential part of the supply chain and the nation would not be able to function without them.

The most basic type of semi-truck is a dry van, which has a trailer that hauls materials that do not have any special requirements. This can include many different types of cargo.

In addition to a basic tractor-trailer, there are types of semi-trucks that have different attachments:

A CDL truck driver setting the temperature for a reefer truck

Refrigerated Truck

Refrigerated trucks, also called reefers, have the same basic structure as a dry van tractor-trailer. The difference is that the trailer portion is refrigerated.

A long combination vehicle (LCV) with a triple trailer

Long Combination Vehicle

A long combination vehicle (LCV) is a semi-truck with more than one trailer attached to the tractor. These vehicles require the doubles/triples endorsement as there are additional factors to keep in mind when operating this type of truck.

A tanker truck, a type of CMV that requires an additional endorsement


Tankers are a specific type of semi-trucks. They have a front truck portion with a tank attached in place of the traditional trailer you see on most big rigs. This tank can transport liquids, gases, or dry bulk. If the tanker truck is hauling a fluid, the driver will need a tanker endorsement on their CDL. In many cases, a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement is also necessary, depending on the specific type of freight.

A flatbed truck, a type of semi-trucks/CMVs with a flat platform

Flatbed Truck

A flatbed semi-truck has a flat platform attached to a tractor. Freight can be secured on this bed and these types of CMVs are often used to transport oddly-shaped or large cargo.

CMVs Besides Semi-Trucks

After earning your CDL, you can drive other types of vehicles beyond semi-trucks.

Some examples include:

Two white box trucks, also called straight trucks

Straight Truck/Box Truck

Straight trucks, also known as box trucks, may look similar to semi-trucks at first glance. The difference is that the trailer is attached directly to the truck without a fifth-wheel connection. This means the trailer cannot be removed. These are commonly used for local deliveries.

A dump truck, one of the CMVs that can be used on a construction site with a CDL

Dump Truck

Dump trucks typically require a CDL to operate. Additionally, other types of heavy vehicles used on a construction site may or may not require a commercial license, depending on the specific circumstances. As a result, some CDL holders choose to work as highway maintenance technicians or other similar jobs. Some heavy equipment is transported to a worksite via a flatbed truck, so this is another reason having your CDL can be beneficial for this career.

Earn Your CDL

If you are interested in driving any of these types of CMVs, contact Phoenix Truck Driving School today.

What You Need to Drive a Fuel Truck

Semi-trucks are absolutely essential to our nation’s economy and transport a wide variety of goods and materials. One example is gasoline. Without trucks, gas stations in the United States would exhaust their supply within 2-3 days. Because of high demand and the additional responsibilities involved with transporting gasoline, driving a fuel truck can be a high-paying career.

Here is what you will typically need to operate a fuel tanker:

Commercial Driver’s License

The large trucks that transport gasoline are regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You must have a class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate one. In order to earn your CDL, you will need to pass a written exam as well as a skills test that includes on-the-road driving. Although it is possible to study for the CDL test on your own, attending a truck driving school can help you prepare for your career. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire CDL school graduates.

X Endorsement

To drive a fuel truck, you will need the X endorsement on your CDL. This is not actually one endorsement but is a combination of the tanker and hazmat endorsements.

Tanker Endorsement

The FMCSA requires that any driver who operates a tank vehicle have a tanker (N) endorsement on their CDL. The agency defines a tank vehicle as any commercial motor vehicle that uses one or multiple tanks to transport liquid or gaseous materials. To fit the definition, the tank(s) must have an individual rated capacity of more than 119 gallons. They also need to have an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more. The tank(s) can be permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle. An empty storage container that is temporarily attached to a flatbed truck does not qualify as a tank vehicle.

Fuel trucks fit these requirements and are considered tank vehicles by the FMCSA. This means that you need your N endorsement to transport gasoline. You earn this by passing the tanker portion of the CDL test. This includes 20-30 questions about safety considerations related to tank trucks.

Hazmat Endorsement

Any substance that has the potential to cause harm to the environment, animals, or humans falls under the definition of hazardous materials (hazmat). There are 9 different classes of hazmat. Gasoline is considered a Class 3 hazardous substance. This category includes flammable liquids. In order to transport gasoline or other types of potentially dangerous materials, you must have the hazmat (H) endorsement.

To earn your H endorsement, you will need to pass the written section of the CDL test that covers information related to safely hauling hazmat. In addition, you will need to undergo a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) background check.

Earn Your CDL and X Endorsement With Us

At Phoenix Truck Driving School, you can earn your CDL along with hazmat and tanker endorsements. This means you can consider a career hauling gasoline after graduation.

To learn more about how you can start on the road to fuel truck driving, contact us today.

What is a Commercial Learner’s Permit?

In order to become a truck driver, you will need to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). In the process of earning this license, you will need to take a written test and a skills test. After passing the written exam, you will earn your commercial learner’s permit, also called a CLP or CDL permit. This is an important step to starting a career in the trucking industry.

More information about CLPs:

When Do You Earn Your Commercial Learner’s Permit?

After you pass the written portion of the CDL exam, you will earn your CLP. In order to pass, you must answer 80% of the questions on the general knowledge test correctly. This exam covers material related to basic commercial vehicle safety and operation. You can take additional tests if you wish to earn endorsements and there is also a section about air brakes that you will need to pass to remove this restriction.

What Do You Need to Get a CLP?

In New Mexico, you will need to provide the following documents to obtain your commercial learner’s permit:

  • Proof of identity and citizenship or lawful permanent residence
  • Social security card
  • Medical certification from a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical, which can be stored electronically or as a hard copy
  • Two verifiable proofs of physical residency in New Mexico (bank statement, lease agreement, utility bill, mortgage documents, etc.)
  • A valid New Mexico driver’s license

What Can You Do With a CDL Permit?

A commercial learner’s permit allows you to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roadways as long as there is a CDL holder in the passenger seat. This person must be licensed for the specific type of vehicle you are driving. This is important so you can get on-the-road experience before you take your CDL skills test.

How Long is a CLP Good For?

A commercial learner’s permit is valid for 180 days. If you have not earned your CDL by this time, you may need to retake the written test to renew your permit.

How Do You Earn Your CDL?

After obtaining your CLP, you will need to wait at least 14 days to take your CDL skills test. This will include assessments of your ability to complete a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control skills, and on-the-road driving. If you pass all of these portions of the exam, you will need to provide your skills test scores, driver’s license, and commercial learner’s permit to the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) in order to receive your CDL.

The Value of CDL Training

While it is possible to study for the written CDL test on your own, it can be difficult to get the supervision and support you need to practice driving with your commercial learner’s permit. Attending truck driving school allows you to learn from experienced instructors, in addition to giving you access to resources such as job placement assistance.

Start Your Trucking Career

To learn more about the process of earning your commercial learner’s permit and CDL, contact us today.

What to Expect During a DOT Physical

In order for your commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be valid, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that you complete a medical examination every two years at minimum. This DOT physical helps ensure that you are healthy enough to perform the job duties of a truck driver.

Who Can Perform a DOT Physical?

A DOT physical can be performed by any medical professional on the DOT’s list of certified medical examiners. If you have a current primary care physician (PCP), they can perform this exam in many cases, although you will need to ask them to make sure.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

Bringing the proper information with you can help make your appointment go more smoothly. If you are seeing a physician other than your PCP, have your doctor’s contact information available. You should also have contact information for any other medical professionals you are seeing, as well as documentation regarding any health conditions you may have. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure your prescription is up to date and bring this to your DOT physical as well as your corrective lenses. You should also be prepared to tell your medical examiner about any medications you are taking as well as your medical history.

What a DOT Physical Includes


Your doctor will test your vision to ensure that it is at least 20/40. This can be with or without corrective lenses.


The physician will also check your hearing. You must have a hearing loss of less than 40dB in whichever ear is better, with or without hearing aids.

Blood Pressure and Pulse Rate

Your examiner will check your blood pressure and pulse rate. If these are not within the healthy range, further monitoring may be necessary for you to drive commercially.


DOT physicals include a urine test, which checks for diabetes and other health conditions. This is separate from the required drug testing. However, it is possible for the doctor to collect two samples, one to check for medical conditions and the other to check for the presence of controlled substances. If this is the case, they will inform you of all the necessary steps you will need to take during the testing process.

Full Physical Examination

In addition to the tests above, the doctor will conduct a complete physical examination. They will check for any indications that you are unable to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. This includes checking your heart, lungs, neurological function, et cetera.

Conclusion of Your DOT Physical

After completing the exam, your doctor will fill out the required forms and send these directly to the state’s licensing agency. If you pass the DOT physical, you will be cleared to operate a commercial vehicle for the next two years. You can also be approved to drive, but be required to return for follow-up exams more frequently, such as every 6 months or every year. If you do not meet necessary physical requirements, your CDL will not be valid. However, there are several options for how to move forward, depending on the specific reason you did not pass the physical. Your doctor can help clarify what your next steps should be.

Prepare for Your Trucking Career

If you are ready to begin your career in the trucking industry, we can help you get started. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the process and what you can expect when earning your CDL.

To learn more about Phoenix Truck Driving School, contact us today.


Air Brake Basics

Air brake systems use compressed air to apply pressure to the brake pads to stop a vehicle. By contrast, a hydraulic braking system uses brake fluid instead of air. An air system is considered a better option for large vehicles such as semi-trucks. In order to drive a vehicle with these brakes, you need to pass the air brakes portion of the written commercial driver’s license (CDL) test and you must take the skills test using a vehicle with an air brake system.

Air Brake Restrictions

In addition to the standard CDL, drivers can have endorsements or restrictions placed on their license. An endorsement allows a driver to operate specialized types of vehicles. For example, you can earn endorsements for long combination vehicles (LCVs), hazardous materials (hazmat), and tanker trucks. Restrictions, on the other hand, indicate that a CDL holder cannot operate a certain type of vehicle. There is no “air brake endorsement.” Instead, there are two different types of restrictions which are removed from your license if you meet the proper requirements.

The first type of restriction is a “Z” restriction. If this is on your license, you cannot operate a vehicle that uses air brakes, whether this is a full or partial system. You will have this restriction if you failed the air brakes portion of the written exam, failed the air brake inspection during your skills test, or took the skills test with a vehicle that did not have this system. The other type is an “L” restriction. This prevents you from driving vehicles with a full air system, although you can still operate vehicles with partial systems. This restriction will be placed on your license if you take the skills test with a vehicle that only has a partial air system.

What Appears on the Air Brake Test

The written test covers material from Section 5 of the CDL manual.

Topics include:

System Parts

There are many different parts of an air brake system and you will need to understand what these are and how they work. The CDL manual describes 16 different parts in detail. Some of these are the compressor, safety valve, and parking brake controls.

Dual Air Brake Systems

In most cases, commercial vehicles use a dual system. This includes two separate systems. One operates the front axle brakes while the other operates the rear axle brakes. Both systems use one set of controls.

Air Brake Inspection

To pass this portion of the CDL test, you must understand how to perform a pre-trip inspection for a vehicle with air brakes. This material appears on the written test and you must also perform all necessary steps during the skills test.

Using Air Brakes

The final subsection of this portion of the CDL manual discusses how to use air brakes in different situations. For example, you should know how to handle normal stops and emergency stops, as well as what the proper stopping distance is.

Earn Your CDL

At Phoenix Truck Driving School, you can earn your CDL and we cover material from the air brakes test so you will not have a restriction on your license.

To learn more about our truck driver training programs, contact us today.

What a Truck Dispatcher Does

Many different individuals and organizations work together to safely transport freight. A truck dispatcher communicates with the driver, motor carrier, and receiving company to help the process go smoothly. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that loads arrive on time and undamaged. If you choose to become a truck driver after earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you will need to understand what a dispatcher does and how to work with them effectively. Becoming a dispatcher is also an option. Although a CDL isn’t required for this job, it can help you stand out from other candidates.

More information about truck dispatchers:

What are the duties of a truck dispatcher?

Truck dispatchers manage schedules for drivers in their fleet and assign loads. They communicate with the various individuals and groups involved in freight transport. Their goal is to ensure the delivery arrives on time and undamaged. They also access driving logs to check the progress of a driver on their route. If there are any problems, the dispatcher will work with the driver to find a solution. They will also update the customer as needed.

What do you need to become a truck dispatcher?

Most dispatcher jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent. You need to have good computer skills and be able to communicate effectively. Although it is not necessary to have experience in the trucking industry, this can be very helpful. Dispatchers who know more about truck driving and who understand what drivers experience on the road are often able to build better relationships.

Who do dispatchers work for?

Dispatchers may work directly for one motor carrier and only manage their freight. Others may choose to do freelance work with multiple different companies.

How do you work with your dispatcher as a driver?

Your relationship with your dispatcher can have a large impact on your trucking career. To be successful as a driver and avoid stress, it’s a good idea to learn how to work effectively with your truck dispatcher.

Some tips:

Understand Each Other’s Jobs

One of the best ways to get along with your dispatcher is to have a clear understanding of each other’s jobs and the challenges you both face. As a driver, you can politely communicate with your dispatcher if they are making demands that you know are unrealistic given your experience.

Communicate Effectively

It is inevitable that you will encounter unexpected situations as a truck driver. When these delay your delivery, communication is key to help the dispatcher know what each of you can do to resolve the situation. You should also communicate clearly with your dispatcher before your trip to make sure you both understand the planned schedule, what possible concerns may arise, and any other factors that could have an impact.

Know Who to Ask for Help

Your dispatcher is likely one of the individuals you will work with most as a trucker. However, there are others that you can ask for help if you and your dispatcher are unable to reach an understanding for a specific situation. One example is your safety supervisor. This person ensures that your motor carrier is following safety regulations. You can reach out to them if your dispatcher is asking you to drive while you are tired or perform any other actions that are not safe.

Start Your Trucking Career

If you are interested in becoming a trucker or want to learn more about the industry before becoming a dispatcher, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help. We offer accelerated CDL training that can get you on the road in as little as four weeks.

To learn more about our CDL classes, contact us today.

Tips for Trucking With a Dog

Truck driving is one of the few jobs where you might be able to take your pet with you. Many trucking companies allow you to travel with a canine companion and this can help make life on the road more enjoyable. Pets do more than improve your emotional well-being. Studies show that spending time with a dog can even improve your physical health.

Here are some tips for trucking with a dog:

Find a Pet-Friendly Motor Carrier

Not every trucking company allows pets. If you want to hit the road with your furry friend, you should make sure to get information about a carrier’s pet policy before you start driving with them. Even companies that allow dogs usually have aggressive breed restrictions, weight limits, pet deposit requirements, and other rules you need to be aware of. Be sure to ask questions and make sure you fully understand their policy.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is a key skill for any truck driver and this is especially important if you are taking a pet on the road. Before you start trucking with your dog, you should visit your veterinarian and make sure they have all of their vaccines and are healthy enough to travel with you. In addition to visiting the vet annually for check-ups, have a plan in place if you need to take your dog to the vet while away from home.

You should make sure that you have enough food in your truck for the entire journey. It can be difficult to find a pet store that is accessible for your truck and there may be long stretches of your route that don’t have any nearby locations to buy dog food. You should also be sure to stock up on water bottles, cleaning supplies, treats, and anything else you need for your pet.

In addition to planning what to bring, you should schedule time to stop regularly and let your pet out of the truck. An added benefit of walking your dog while on the road is that it allows you to get some exercise and fresh air.

Dog-Proof Your Truck

If your pet gets into something it shouldn’t while you’re driving, this can be dangerous for you both. Train your dog to stay away from the clutch, store important documents where your pet can’t get to them, and make sure you have toys to keep your pet entertained.

Consider Your Dog’s Breed

You should consider your dog’s breed when deciding whether or not to take them on the road. If you don’t already have a dog, knowing which breeds are best for truckers can help you choose a companion that is well-suited for this lifestyle. In general, smaller and less active breeds are going to be a better fit.

Some recommended breeds for truckers are:


Pugs have a distinct appearance and are affectionate. They were bred as companion dogs, so they don’t require as much activity as hunting breeds. However, pugs are prone to shedding, so a seat cover is recommended if you’re going to be traveling with one.


Chihuahuas are loyal, charming dogs and their small size makes them a great choice for truckers. If you are traveling through areas with cold weather, make sure to pack some blankets to keep your pet warm, as this breed can get cold easily.

Boston Terrier

Boston terriers are a lively breed that is well-suited to the trucking lifestyle. They shed a small amount and don’t usually require too much exercise.

Take Your Dog to Work

If you want a career where you can bring your dog with you every day, you should consider becoming a truck driver. There are also many other advantages such as high pay, competitive benefits, and the freedom of the open road. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, you can obtain your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and start earning in as little as four weeks.

Interested in trucking with a dog? Contact us today to learn more about our CDL school.

How the Truck Driver Shortage Affects You

Truckers are absolutely essential to our nation’s economy. Without them, grocery store shelves would be empty, fuel wouldn’t be available, and hospitals would quickly run out of necessary supplies. Over the years, the demand for drivers has continued to increase, but historically there have not been enough qualified individuals to fill this need. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reports each year on the truck driver shortage, which has increased substantially since it was first documented in 2005.

Here is more information about how the commercial driver shortage may affect you:

Truck Driver Shortage Basics

The ATA’s Truck Driver Shortage Analysis 2019 is the most recent version of their annual report, which includes data from 2018. In order to calculate their findings, they use economic and industry growth information to model and forecast the shortage.

Here are some key facts from this document:

  • Between 2017 and 2018, the shortage increased by 20%, from 50,700 to 60,800 additional drivers needed to meet demand.
  • If current trends continue, the trucking industry will be short 160,000 drivers by 2028.
  • Within the next decade, trucking companies will need to hire approximately 1.1 million new drivers. This is driven both by industry growth and by older drivers retiring and needing to be replaced.

How This Impacts You as a Consumer

If the truck driver shortage continues to grow, it will likely have a noticeable impact on consumers. ATA data indicates that tractor-trailers transport 71.4% of American freight by weight. A lack of drivers to haul these goods and materials would cause significant disruptions to the supply chain. This would result in shipping delays, higher costs for consumers, and potential shortages of various items.

How This Impacts You as a Driver

Because of the high demand for truckers, now is an excellent time to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and start your career. Many motor carriers are competing with one another to offer the best driver pay, home time, and benefits. You can use this to your advantage to find a rewarding truck driving job. As you gain more experience, you become even more valuable to trucking companies and can continue to grow your earnings.

Starting Your Trucking Career

As a truck driver, you play a key role in keeping our country’s economy running and you can earn more than $65,000 a year* for your hard work. If this interests you, the first step is obtaining your CDL. Phoenix Truck Driving School offers an accelerated training program to get you on the road and earning in as little as four weeks. You will learn from experienced instructors and gain valuable skills that will continue to serve you throughout your career.

Learn More About Our Truck Driving School

Contact us today to learn more about how you can help reduce the truck driver shortage by earning your CDL with us.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $43,680. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $65,260 per year according to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CDL General Knowledge Test: What to Expect

In order to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you will need to pass an exam. This includes a skills test as well as a written portion. This written exam includes sections that are specific to different endorsements, as well as a set of more general multiple-choice questions that every applicant must complete. These questions make up what is known as the CDL general knowledge test. You must answer a minimum of 80% correctly to earn your license.

Here’s what you can expect from the general knowledge portion of the CDL exam:

Purpose of the Written Test

The written test focuses on your knowledge of safety and vehicle operation. When you pass, you earn your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). In order to obtain your CDL, you will then need to pass the skills portion of the exam. This evaluates your ability to actually drive a tractor-trailer. The combination of the written and skills tests ensures that you have a more complete understanding of trucking safety and are prepared to become a commercial driver.

What the CDL General Knowledge Test Includes

If you are working toward a Class A CDL, you should study the following sections of the CDL manual: Introduction (1), Driving Safely (2), Cargo (3), and Combination Vehicles (6). Note that combination vehicles are different from long combination vehicles, which are covered in Section 7. Questions about these types of tractor-trailers appear on the doubles/triples endorsement test.


This portion of the manual covers basic definitions related to commercial driving. It also outlines when a CDL is necessary, when a person may be unable to earn a license, and how the process of obtaining a CDL works. This is helpful for determining which tests you will need to take based on the type of trucking you plan to do.

Driving Safely

Section 2 has information about how to safely operate a semi-truck and it gives a detailed description of how to complete a pre-trip inspection. Understanding this is crucial not only for the written test but also for the skills test. During this exam, you will perform an actual inspection. This section also has tips for how to drive safely in specific situations, such as in fog, on mountain roads, or during the winter. You will also learn how to handle accidents and hazards.


The cargo section of the manual outlines how to transport freight. Understanding this is important to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. It also helps you protect what you are hauling. You will need to know how to load and inspect cargo, what types of freight require special attention, and what regulations may apply.

Combination Vehicles

A tractor-trailer is a form of combination vehicle and it is crucial to understand the unique considerations for driving this type of truck. This portion of the general knowledge test will evaluate your knowledge of key factors related to combination vehicle safety.

Prepare for Your CDL General Knowledge Exam

While you can prepare for your written test by just reading the manual alone, this may not be your best option. Attending CDL school gives you the opportunity to learn from skilled instructors and get answers to any questions that you may have about commercial driving. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we use a combination of classroom learning and hands-on practice to make it easier for you to learn the material that will appear on the CDL test. This also helps you be better prepared for a trucking career.

To learn more about how we can help you pass the CDL general knowledge test, contact us today.