9 Tips on How to Choose a Truck Driving School

Starting a truck driving career as a truck driver can be fun, rewarding, and exciting. If you are interested in becoming a long-haul trucker, you will need to decide how you will go about obtaining your CDL and where to go to truck driving school.

 

truck on highway during daytime

 

You most likely will have tons of questions about CDL training schools, CDL training programs, training time, and what the different schools offer. To narrow down your search and choose the best truck driving school, we encourage you to review the following tips.

 

Tip #1: Know the difference between paid CDL training programs and private truck driving schools.

When you are researching schools, you will typically come across two different options—paid CDL training programs and private truck driving schools. Paid training programs are normally company-sponsored programs offered by various trucking companies.

 

The trucking company will hire you and put you through their paid training. You are paid while you work on obtaining your CDL and on-the-road training. However, you will still have out-of-pocket expenses like housing, food, and tuition.

 

Another type of paid training is where the trucking company will offer tuition reimbursement after you finish truck driving school and meet other qualifications like being employed with the company for a specific period.

 

Private truck driving schools offer training programs and teach truck driver training. They may offer job placement assistance after completion of the program. This option requires you to foot the bill for all costs associated with the training program and obtaining your CDL.

 

Tip #2: Select a comprehensive training program.

You want to choose a school that offers you classroom instruction and on-the-road training. Paid training programs will often pair you with a dedicated trainer for your on-the-road training that can last between four and six weeks before you go solo.

 

Private driving schools will provide you with at least the minimum number of range and on-the-road training hours required to obtain your CDL. Once hired by a trucking company, they may also provide additional on-the-road training with a dedicated trainer.

 

Tip #3: Be careful if you are offered “free training.”

There are trucking companies that partner with private driving schools to recruit new drivers. They may advertise their training programs as being free. However, someone is still paying for the training.

 

For instance, the trucking company may require you to sign a financial agreement where you agree to pay them back for your training if you do not stay with the company for a set period. Other companies may start you at a lower pay rate to recoup the costs of your training. Just be aware of these programs and always read the fine print.

 

Tip #4: Review the job placement percentage of the school.

If you opt for private training, find out what percentage of students are placed with an employer after completing the program. Ideally, you want to choose a school that has a job placement percentage in the high 90s or even 100%.

 

Tip #5: Be willing to travel to get the best training possible.

The location of the school should not matter. Your objective should be to find the best schools with the best training programs. Sometimes you might luck out and have a school nearby in your state.

 

Other times, you may have to travel out of state to find the best school. If you choose an out-of-state school, verify that you can obtain your CDL in your state.

 

View of the green mountains from the front window of a truck

 

Tip #6: Find out what others have to say about the paid training or private school.

One of the easiest ways to decide if a paid training program or private school is right for you is by reading online reviews. You can see what other truckers had to say about their experiences with instructors, the quality of training, and so on. You will also be able to find out which ones you should avoid.

 

Tip #7: Visit truck stops and talk to the truckers.

Make a point to visit nearby truck stops and talk to the truck drivers. Ask them how they went about getting their CDL and if  there is a particular school or paid training program they would recommend. To thank them for taking the time to talk to you, offer to buy them a snack and a beverage.

 

Tip #8: Determine how you will cover the costs of your truck driver training.

There are several different options to secure the money required to pay for CDL training programs, such as:

 

  • VA Benefits – Your GI Bill may cover most of your out-of-pocket costs.
  • Federal Student Aid – Some schools are eligible to accept federal student aid programs like Pell Grants.
  • Student Loans – If the school doesn’t accept Pell Grants, you may still be eligible to apply for a federal student loan.
  • Private Grants – There may be various types of grants available in your state.
  • Scholarships – You may also find scholarship opportunities to pay for your truck driver training.

 

Keep in mind that you can often use a combination of financial aid, scholarships, and loans, so that all of your out-of-pocket costs are covered throughout your training.

Tip #9: Choose the best value, never the lowest cost.

The most important factor when deciding between private truck driving schools and company-sponsored paid CDL training programs is looking for which ones offer the best value. Never base your decision on the lowest cost. Otherwise, you might not get quality training to prepare you for a career as a professional truck driver in the trucking industry.

 

Why Truck Drivers Love Suburban Seating & Safety

After completing your CDL training program and becoming a solo truck driver, you can find truck accessories, safety products, cushions, parts, mattresses, truck seats, and more for your truck. Truck drivers love us because we help improve their lives while on the road by keeping them safe and comfortable.

 

Please feel free to browse our website to explore our product lines, or contact Suburban Seating & Safety at 844-727-7328 today!

 

Sleeping on the Road: What You Need to Know for Better Sleep

Do truckers sleep in their trucks? That’s a common question asked by aspiring truckers and people interested in trucking. If you’re just getting started as a truck driver, you’re probably wondering the same.

semi truck driving on highway at sunset

You must get proper sleep as a truck driver—especially when on the road. Not only do you need to get enough hours of sleep, but you must get quality sleep.

Without further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about sleeping on the road as a trucker.

Where Do Truckers Sleep in Their Trucks?

Over the road (OTR) truckers are so-called because they haul cargo over long distances. Because of that, they usually sleep on the road.

Where do OTR truckers sleep in their trucks? Long-distance truckers sleep in the sleeper cab of their semi-trucks. This is a small room located behind the driver’s seat, and it is also called a sleeper berth. The sleeper cab is usually kitted with a small bed.

Tips to Improve Sleep Quality on the Road

So, how do you ensure that you get the best sleep even while you’re on the road? Here are a few tips to help you do that.

Invest in a Truck Mattress

One of the first steps to ensuring that you get quality sleep as you’re on the road is to invest in a truck mattress. Sure, your sleeper cabin will have a small bed but, in most cases, the mattress is built more for convenience than comfort. That’s why you must upgrade your truck mattress by getting yourself a mattress designed for quality sleep.

Find a Good Place to Park

The other crucial element to getting quality sleep on the road is choosing a good place to park. There are many truck stops—rest areas—all over the country, and these are the best places to park for the night. Besides having enough space for your truck, rest areas also provide a safe place to sleep.

Another alternative is to arrange with your customer to sleep in their parking lot. This will help you maximize your driving hours.

Block Out Light and Noise

Quality sleep requires that you sleep in a dark, quiet place. You can use a white noise generator or noise-canceling headphones to block out noise from the truck stop. You can also block out light by investing in thick curtains for your sleeper cabin.

Avoid Caffeine

Avoid caffeine as much as possible before going to bed. Caffeine is a stimulant trusted by many truckers to keep them alert on the road. However, consuming it a few hours before bedtime will lead to poor-quality sleep.

Upgrade Your Sleeper Cab with Accessories

One of the most important factors of successful long-haul trucking is to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible. To do so, you must upgrade your sleeper cab with accessories that will make it feel like a home away from home. Some accessories to consider include:

  • USB chargers
  • Mobile device and laptop holders
  • Dash-mount
  • Cushions and cushion covers

You can also consider upgrading your truck seats, so you have a more comfortable day in the cockpit. That will help you have better sleep, as you’ll have fewer body aches and pains.

yellow heavy truck

Do Truckers Sleep in Their Trucks? Getting Quality Sleep on the Road

We’ve come full-circle to the question we started with—do truckers sleep in their trucks?

Yes, they do if they are long-haul truckers.

If quality sleep is something that’s been eluding you on the road, all you probably need are a few adjustments to your sleeper cab. The best place to start is a mattress. Also, make sure to find a safe and quiet place—for peace of mind—and avoid stimulants before bedtime. 

While we may not be able to help you with your choice of beverage and where to park your truck, we can help you with truck accessories to help you sleep better. So, go ahead and browse our selection of truck accessories. You can also give us a call at 844-727-7328 for personalized advice.

9 Essential Tips for New Truck Drivers

With the trucking industry growing, beginner truck drivers need to be prepared for their new careers as professional truck drivers. Many new drivers do not take the time to research and prepare for life on the open road. As a result, they can make common mistakes that easily can be avoided by using these great tips!

white and blue truck on road during daytime

Tip #1: Remain with the same employer your first year or longer.

The first year is going to be a time of learning as you develop your truck-driving skills. It is essential to establish yourself as a reliable and dependable truck driver. One of the best ways to do this is to remain with the same employer during your first year.

Doing so can open up opportunities down the road for better pay and competitive offers from other trucking companies. The longer you stick with the same employer, the more reliable and responsible you are considered to be.

Tip #2: Upgrade to a comfortable truck seat.

You will be sitting for most of the day driving. You want a comfortable truck seat so your back and bottom do not get sore. Take the time to find a seat with the features and options you want.

If you are driving for a major carrier, get their permission to upgrade. Most are accommodating and may even reimburse you for the new truck seat.

Tip #3: Develop a relationship with your dispatcher.

It is essential to develop a relationship with your dispatcher. After all, they are the one person who ensures you get loads. Take the time to ask how their day is going when you call or message them.

Don’t be afraid to inquire about their weekend plans or ask how their kids are doing. The more you get to know your dispatcher and build rapport with them, it can go a long way later on by leading to better, choice loads.

Tip #4: Keep your truck organized.

You will be living in your truck while you are on the road. Keeping the cab cleaned, picked up, and clutter-free makes it easier to relax and unwind after driving all day. Plus, you will not have to worry about funky odors or foul smells from dirty clothes, uneaten food, etc.

Tip #5: Keep your paperwork organized.

Invest in a portable file folder system to help keep track of receipts. There are also mobile apps you may want to use where you can snap pictures and digitally store receipts, file driving logs, and other job-related information.

Tip #6: Openly and professionally communicate.

You will have days when things do not go as planned, such as getting delayed in traffic, blowing a tire, or having to wait to pick up a load. Be prepared to make phone calls to your dispatcher, customer, shipper, etc., and keep them informed when there are problems. They will appreciate the your professionalism in letting them know what is going on.

white van on road near trees

Tip #7: Accept all loads.

Unless there is a valid reason, like you are sick, you should never refuse loads when starting your truck-driving career. Being willing to accept all loads shows your dispatcher and trucking company that you are reliable and willing to put in the time to advance your career.

Tip #8: Take care of yourself to stay healthy.

You need to make sure to get plenty of rest, eat well-balanced meals, and get in some exercise. Adjusting to life on the open road can seem different from sleeping and eating at home or in a hotel while you completed truck-driving school and CDL training.

Invest in a quality truck mattress and pillows for restful sleep. Purchase various appliances for your truck like a mini-fridge, microwave, cooking plate, or InstaPot, so you can prepare some healthy meals in your cab. Spend about 30 minutes each day exercising, even if it is walking or jogging around your truck.

Tip #9: Always follow safety protocols.

Your safety, the safety of your truck and load, and that of other motorists should always come first. Always be a defensive truck driver, obey speed limits, and keep extra space between you and the vehicles in front of you. If road conditions deteriorate or there are problems with your truck, find a safe location to pull over and stop.

While we’ve touched on nine of the more common tips for new and beginner drivers, there are others like using a map to learn the best routes, instead of your GPS, or asking for help when you require it. Just remember to be prepared, take your time, get plenty of rest, always accept loads, and rack up some experience during your first year as a new truck driver.

To find new truck seats, truck accessories, and other items for your truck to make life on the open road easier, please feel free to explore our online store or contact Suburban Seating & Safety at 844-727-7328 today!

Solo vs. Team Truck Driving: What You Need to Know

If you’re just starting out as a trucker, you probably have many questions concerning your career. One of the most commonly asked is whether to drive solo or opt for team truck driving.

 

Traffic on the freeway with cars and trucks overtaking

What Is Team Truck Driving?

Team truck driving is not a new concept. It refers to when two truck drivers drive together in the same truck and share the driving time. Of course, solo truck driving is when you haul your cargo alone. The biggest drawback of team truck driving is that you may be partnered with a driver you’re not comfortable with.

Benefits of Team Truck Driving

Why would you even consider team truck driving? To answer that question, let’s briefly look at some of the most significant benefits of team truck driving.

More Money

One of the most significant benefits of team truck driving is that you get to earn more money. Sure, you split the pay in two, but, as a team, you can drive more miles than solo drivers; hence, the pay increases.

Less Strenuous

Being behind the wheel for prolonged periods is strenuous. This is one challenge of truck driving that can be solved by being on a team. 

Reduced Downtime

Another major advantage of team truck driving is that your truck’s downtime is reduced. This means you make more money for the company. Because of this, there are more jobs for team truck drivers, as companies love this driving strategy.

Opportunity to Drive with Your Spouse

If your spouse has a commercial driver’s licence (CDL), you can form a truck-driving team. This reduces the time that you spend apart while earning more money for the family.

Solo vs. Team Truck Driving

When given the option, which should you choose between solo truck driving and team truck driving? Well, it all depends on your preferences and goals.

 

For example, solo driving is a better option for you if:

 

  • You don’t want to be away from home for too long. Team driving means driving more miles and spending more time away from home.
  • You’re an introvert and prefer not to be around people.
  • You want total control of your truck and schedule.

Other reasons could also influence your decision to drive solo. However, when it comes to the solo vs. team truck driving debate, team driving is usually the better alternative, as it means more pay. It also results in more job opportunities.

 

How to Build a Trucking Team

Team truck driving can be a nightmare for the drivers if they’re not partnered with someone they like. Driving long distances in such an emotionally charged situation is dangerous.

 

That’s why it’s essential to know how to build a good trucking team. To do that, you must consider your driver’s needs and preferences. For example, if one of your drivers doesn’t smoke, it would be a bad idea to team them up with someone who does.

 

Another thing to take into consideration is the personalities of your drivers. Put those with similar characters together.

 

Sure, talking to understand your drivers and creating schedules around them may be time-consuming, but, in the long run, it helps you build more efficient teams that bring in more revenue.

 

cargo truck at night

Improve Your Ride with Seats and Accessories

One of the biggest advantages of team truck driving is its biggest drawback—the long distances traveled. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that the cabin is as comfortable as possible. If not, it could lead to your drivers developing health issues like backaches.

 

The solution?

 

Improve the ride with comfortable seats. Because truck drivers spend most of their time in the driver’s seat, it must be as comfortable as possible. Because they spend most of their time away from home, the cabin becomes their home. That’s why you must accessorize it with accessories like comfortable mattresses, cell phone/laptop holders, and more.

 

If you want to improve your truck’s comfort levels, feel free to browse our catalog of truck seats and accessories. Alternatively, give us a call on 844-727-7328. We’ll be more than happy to help you pick the right seats and accessories you need for your truck.

5 Important Things to Know Your First Year as a Truck Driver

So you’ve just passed your driving test and obtained your commercial driver’s license (CDL). You’re excited about the achievement and looking forward to a life on the road. As you prepare for your career as a truck driver, there are some things you must know about that crucial first year.

 

Truck rides on the highway on the background of the mountain

Why Your First Year as a Truck Driver Is Important

Why is your first year as a truck driver so important? Sure, it signals the beginning of your trucking career, but there’s more to that first year. First of all, it signals you are entering your second driving school. You may have obtained your CDL with flying colors, but the first year as a licensed truck driver provides a significant learning curve.

 

There’s a huge difference between the curriculum you cover in your CDL training and the lessons you learn in life as a working trucker. So, take your first year as a truck driver to be your college of trucking and learn as much as you can.

Your First Year as a Truck Driver – 5 Things to Know

As you start your first year as a truck driver, there are certain things you must know. These are things experienced truck drivers wished they had known at the beginning of their careers. Let’s quickly dive into the top five things you must know in your first year as a truck driver, shall we?

1. Get All the Driving Experience You Can

Your first year as a rookie driver will be challenging. You’ll be getting used to the way things work in the trucking world. Or you may be assigned challenging routes that no-one else wants. Whatever difficulties or challenges you may face, don’t quit. Instead, make sure to get as much driving experience as you can. Gaining this experience will help you:

  • Get more work.
  • Make more money.
  • Become more confident behind the wheel.

If you’re fortunate enough to own your rig, make sure to fit it with comfortable seats to make those long trips easier. Otherwise, invest in making your rig more comfortable by getting yourself some cushions and other accessories. This is important, as a comfortable seat will help prevent back injuries.

 

2. Avoid Job Hopping

Thanks to the surge in online shopping, the demand for truck drivers has skyrocketed. Retailers and trucking companies are scrambling for experienced drivers. It may be tempting for you to switch employers as you search for greener pastures as a first-year truck driver. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, job-hopping will do you more harm than good. That’s because employers don’t feel comfortable hiring a driver who they can’t trust to stick with them for a long time.

 

So, in your first year of trucking, avoid job-hopping. Focus more on gaining experience than making money. In the long run, your good track record will help you get better-paying trucking jobs.

 

3. You May Have to Share Your Rig with a Driver Trainer

It’s your first year as a trucker. You’ll be responsible for an expensive vehicle plus clients’ precious cargo. That’s why many employers try to mitigate the risks associated with first-year truck drivers by assigning a trainer to go with them on the first few trips.

 

What this means for you is that in those first few weeks or months, you’ll be sharing your rig with a stranger. It may be awkward at first, but know that it’s just a temporary situation. Use this time to learn as much as you possibly can from the experienced driver.

 

Truck on highway in mountains

4. Set an Impressive Record

Just like any other career, setting a good record is vital in the trucking world. That’s especially true for you as a first-year truck driver. A good record involves:

  • No accidents. You must be extra careful on the road in your first year to show you’re a good driver.
  • Time in the seat. Log as many hours as possible in your first year. This reflects on your experience.
  • Deliver on time. This will show that you’re a responsible and reliable driver. Employers are always on the lookout for drivers they can depend on to meet deadlines.

A good record will help you become an in-demand driver and give you more leverage when negotiating your salary.

 

5. Find an Employer Close to Home

One of the most important things you must do in your first year as a truck driver is to try as much as possible to find an employer close to home. This is very important, as it will help you ease into the trucking world without feeling homesick. Working for a trucking company with a terminal close to home allows you to visit your family between loads.

 

Your First Year as a Truck Driver – Preparing for Life and a Career as a Trucker

Your first year as a truck driver is an essential milestone in your life and career. Because of that, you must treat it with the gravity it deserves. Prepare for it well by knowing what to expect. Prepare for it by getting yourself the right accessories to make life on the road more pleasant. Make sure to browse our catalog for seats, cushions, and other accessories. Or, if you need to talk to someone about what you really need, get in touch, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

 

Source:

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/truck-driver-pay-record-high-coronavirus-2020-9

How to Launch Your Career in Trucking

Do you envision yourself as a truck driver? If the answer is yes, then reading this is your perfect starting point.

 

Understanding the industry will support your quest to get into trucking. You’ll have the opportunity to work as a trucker for yourself or for someone else. Overcoming the challenges that drivers running their own trucking business face comes with perks. Sourcing your clients allows you to target the kind of work and people that you enjoy the most.

 

person hand on truck steering wheel

 

You might find that working as a driver for someone else better suits your situation. Working for another person will require you to buy or lease a truck. Your dedication to a career as a truck driver will justify the high price tags of these vehicles.

 

Finding the right trucking job for you should be a primary objective. An ideal truck driving position will provide you with an optimal balance between work and your personal life.

 

A quality truck driving employer should:

 

  • Reimburse relevant expenses.
  • Provide benefits.
  • Offer a stable schedule.
  • Help you earn extra pay beyond only driving extra miles.

 

Truck driving is a professional endeavor that requires specific education and licensing. Let’s dive into what these particular requirements look like.

 

Requirements for Trucking Careers

Truck driving school is an essential step in becoming a trucker. It’s appropriate to say that truck driving school isn’t inexpensive.

 

The average truck driving school costs $5,000 to complete.1 Thinking about your truck-driving education as an investment can help you come to terms with this critical step in becoming a trucker. A trucking company might pay for your driving school with the agreement that you’ll begin your work receiving a lower mileage rate over a certain period.

 

There are a wide range of trucking schools across the country. It’s vital that you select a trucking school that meets your specific needs.

 

You’ll gain exceptional trucking education if you enter a school that:

 

  • Employs trainers with plenty of experience
  • Provides you with an ample amount of actual driving time
  • Possesses a diverse amount of trucks

Trucker Licensing

The acquisition of trucker licensing follows the completion of driving practice requirements and a comprehensive written test. Different styles of truck driving come with different requirements. The transportation of hazardous materials is an example of a job that requires an endorsement.

 

Getting in touch with your local department of motor vehicles will give you all the insight you need to take your licensing exams.

 

Once you’re ready to hit the road, you’ll benefit from implementing strategies that help you manage your stress on the job.

 

Learn How to Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress and truck driving are known to go hand in hand. Classic trucking stressors include traffic, difficulty locating destinations, backing into small parking spots, and more. Taking your stress in stride will do wonders in aiding your mission to be an exceptional truck driver.

 

Communicating effectively goes a long way in helping you avoid stressful trucking situations. Dispatchers, customers, and repair shop workers are all people who play essential roles in your success as a truck driver. Fostering these relationships will help you flow in your profession.

 

white volvo semi truck on side of road

 

Final Piece of Advice: Improve Your Trucking with the Right Accessories

The accessories you choose will make or break your experience as a trucker. Suburban Seating & Safety can help you achieve the former instead of the latter.

 

We quickly deliver the trucking seat solutions that support the industry’s growth. Suburban Seating & Safety’s 60-plus years of experience can help you start your experience as a trucker the right way.

 

Trucking seats aren’t the only thing that we provide. Our site’s accessory inventory covers beginner truckers from A-Z. Contact Suburban Seating & Safety at 844-727-7328 if you’re in need of support from one of our quality customer support representatives.

 

Source:

 

  1. https://work.chron.com/way-start-trucking-career-25876.html

Benefits of Company-Sponsored CDL Training and Truck Driving School

There are several paths to earning your CDL when you want to learn to drive a truck so you can become a professional semi-truck driver. One option some truck drivers pursue is through a company-sponsored CDL training and truck driving school program. This program covers the costs of training through a truck driving school and ensures employment once you complete your training.

How Can I Qualify for Paid CDL Training?

Training Truck Driver School Trucking License Certification 3d Illustration

You will want to contact the bigger trucking companies and inquire about company-sponsored CDL training opportunities. Most large trucking companies have some type of program. It is important to review the terms and conditions of the program before signing any agreements.

Some trucking companies may offer better perks than others, so you’ll want to make sure you are getting the best “deal” when you sign an agreement with a trucking company. Agreements contain various terms and conditions, such as agreeing to work for the company for a set period after getting your CDL.

These agreements can also include details about low-interest loans to cover living expenses while completing truck driving school, payment rates during on-the-road training, and payment rates once you are out on your own.

What Are Some Advantages of Company-Sponsored CDL Training?

The primary benefit of company-sponsored training is it is the least expensive path to getting your CDL and becoming a professional truck driver. You could always decide to go it alone. However, you have to cover all the costs of truck driving school. After you complete the program, there is no guarantee of a job.

Other advantages include:

  • You won’t need to take out student loans or worry about the costs of truck driving school since the company you sign with will cover these costs, which can run several thousands of dollars.
  • You receive CDL training from a professional truck driving school and instructors. They will ensure you are taught everything you need to know to drive a big rig safely.
  • A company-sponsored training program can get you on the road much faster than doing it on your own. Programs typically run about a month before you start your on-the-road training.
  • You will have a job waiting for you once you complete truck driving school and on-the-road training.
  • The company may cover the costs of your CDL test and CDL license.

truck driver standing by the truck and showing his commercial driver license

Are Company-Sponsored Training Programs Really Free?

It will depend on the company and program. Some companies may cover the costs upfront but then make regular payroll deductions for the costs of training. If you stay with the company longer than the required time, the money may be returned.

Other trucking companies will cover all the costs and only ask you to drive for them for a set period. Yet, a tradeoff is often a lower starting wage for your first few years. However, if you want to get on the road as soon as possible with the least out-of-pocket expenses, a company-sponsored CDL training program is best.

Once you are on the road on your own, make sure you set up your truck so you are comfortable, with custom truck seats, truck mattresses, truck accessories, and other essential items. To find truck seats, mattresses, and other accessories for your truck, please feel free to shop online at Suburban Seating & Safety or contact us at 844-727-7328 today!

Must-Have Items for a Truck Driver’s Packing List for Maximum Comfort

Being on the road as a professional truck driver requires you to be prepared before leaving home. You want to make sure that you have everything you need while you are gone. Prior to heading out on long-haul runs, verify you have these must-have items on your truck driver packing list for maximum comfort.

 

Toiletries

Save money on toiletries by buying in bulk and picking up the appropriate-sized containers you need. You will want soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, shower shoes, razors, shaving gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, wet wipes, and more. Essentially, anything you use at home should be on your list.

 

Clothing

You will want to pack a variety of clothing for different weather conditions. For instance, during the summer months, you want lightweight clothing, shorts, and breathable t-shirts. You may want a windbreaker and rain jacket as well. In the winter, you want heavier clothing like a winter jacket, snow boots, gloves, jeans, thermal underwear, and so on. Don’t forget to include facemasks, disposable gloves, and other such safety equipment on your clothing list.

 

young transporter on the truck with face mask and protective gloves

 

Medications

You never know when a headache or allergies can flare up. Pack the appropriate medications to take with you on the road. Buying medications at truck stops can be pricey.

 

Laptop and Laptop Mount

If you have a laptop and take it with you, a laptop mount is a must-have item. The mount allows you to set the laptop on a stable flat surface so you can use the laptop from your truck seat when parked.

 

Cell Phone and Cell Phone Accessories

You will want to stay in touch with your employer, friends, and family. You may also need your cell phone for GPS and other such services. Make sure you have an appropriate plan to cover your talk, text, and data needs. You will also want to include on your list cell phone accessories like chargers, cables, screen protectors, etc.

 

First Aid Kit

Stock your first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and other such essential supplies you might need if you are injured, such as instant ice packs and heat packs. It is also a good idea to stock up on road flares in case you break down, so others can see your truck easier at night.

 

Truck Mattress and Bedding

Having access to a comfortable truck mattress and bedding is essential to get restful sleep that keeps you awake and alert when driving. Not to mention, a quality mattress can help you avoid the back pain, neck pain, and other body aches you get when sleeping on a poor-quality mattress.

 

Cleaning Supplies

You will want to keep the interior of your truck neat and clean. Make a list of cleaning supplies you’ll need to take care of housekeeping chores. A small portable vacuum cleaner is also a great investment.

 

Comfortable Truck Seats

If you notice your truck seats are not as comfortable as they were when they were first new, you will want to put new truck replacement seats on your list. Remember to include newer features like heated and cooled seats, seats with massage features to help prevent back pain, and more!

 

Truck driver preparing for the next destination

 

We hope these must-have items for a truck driver’s packing list help you prepare better for your long-haul trips. To find truck mattresses, truck replacement seats, truck laptop mounts, cell phone accessories, and other items you need for your truck driver packing list, please feel free to shop online at Suburban Seating & Safety or contact us at 844-727-7328 today!

 

 

Becoming a Truck Driver: Costs You Need to Be Aware Of

So, you want to become a truck driver? If you are motivated, do not mind spending time on the road away from family and friends, and enjoy traveling, then this could be the perfect career for you. Not to mention, the career outlook for truck drivers is growing, as there is a shortage of qualified drivers.

 

One common question anyone who is considering this career has is “How much does it cost to be a driver?” Some of the more common costs you will incur include:

1. Truck-Driving School Tuition

Truck-driving school tuition is required to earn your CDL. The costs will vary based on the school. However, most schools offer financial aid, accept the GI Bill, or have employee-sponsored programs to lower the costs of tuition.

 

Money dollars on the hand truck

 

2. Housing Costs

Unless you are lucky to be living with your parents or have a partner or spouse who already works, you will need to have money set aside to cover housing costs. Some truck-driving schools will have arrangements with places that offer affordable housing, so check with the school first.

 

Otherwise, you will want to look at other options, like a short-term rental lease or an extended-stay hotel. Housing costs can vary based on the location of the truck-driving school.

3. Meals and Entertainment Costs

Some schools will include lunch with tuition, and others may not. You should budget meal costs, depending on whether you have access to a kitchen to cook meals or need to dine out. Entertainment costs can include the cost of streaming services, games, and so on.

4. CDL Exam and CDL License Costs

There will be a cost to get your CDL and take your CDL exam. These, as well as any endorsements you need on your CDL license, can vary from one state to another. You should budget around $400. Sometimes, these costs will be bundled with your tuition, so check with your truck-driving school.

The Benefits of Employer Sponsorship

Many trucking companies offer employer sponsorship for truck-driving school. Taking advantage of this option is a great way to defer many of the costs associated with becoming a truck driver. Your total tuition could run just a few hundred dollars. Some companies may also offer a weekly stipend or interest-free loans to help with meals and housing costs.

 

Professional trucker in cabin driving truck and smiling

 

When you finish school, you typically agree to drive for the company for a set contract period. This is a great way to become a truck driver. Just remember to consider these benefits when negotiating your truck driver salary.

 

After finishing up your on-the-road training and driving on your own, don’t forget to customize your truck to make life on the road easier—like upgrading your semi-truck seats. To find truck seats, mattresses, and more for your truck, please feel free to shop online at Suburban Seating & Safety or call us at 844-727-7328 for further assistance today!

Truck Driver Lifestyle: Tips for Bringing Home with You on the Road

The truck driver lifestyle can result in being away from home and family quite often. It can be difficult being away this much, but that comes with the job. However, there are several things you can do to bring a piece of home with you on the road to brighten up your journey.

1. Hang up family photos in the interior of your semi-truck.

It’s nice to be reminded of your loved ones while you’re on the road. Hang up pictures of friends, family, or pets in the cab and sleeping area of your truck. Just make sure not to obstruct your view of the road.

2. Bring sentimental items.

Being on the road doesn’t mean that you have to be away from your most prized possessions. Make yourself feel more at home by bringing your favorite pillow, a love letter, a stuffed animal, or any other item that reminds you of home.

3. Personalize the exterior of your semi-truck.

Adding decorations and personal touches to the exterior of your truck will make it feel more like home. Just make sure whatever decorations you place on the exterior are secured in place, so they do not blow off. Make sure to not block your field of vision, backup camera, or RoadWatch sensors.

 

Male driver hands holding radio and steering wheel

 

3. Go with the flow.

Don’t get caught up thinking about plans or activities that you’re missing out on. Instead, focus on everything that you are grateful for and all the things that make you smile. Your friends and family will be eagerly awaiting your return.

4. Take advantage of Zoom and other video conferencing technologies.

Just because you are on the road doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy spending time with your family. Schedule regular video calls during your off hours throughout the week. You could even plan virtual family meals and game nights.

5. Cherish your family when you have time at home.

Being on the road so often means that it is even more important than ever to cherish your loved ones when you do get to spend time at home. Create special memories and enjoy every second you can with friends and family.

 

Happy family hugging

 

6. Treat yourself to some upgrades for your cab interior.

Rewarding yourself for your time on the road can help make the lifestyle easier. You could install new custom truck seats with the features and options you want. You might want to get a new comfy truck mattress if you are having problems sleeping.

 

A homey cab can make being on the road for long periods of time more enjoyable. To find new custom and replacement truck seats, truck mattresses, and more, please feel free to shop online at Suburban Seating & Safety. You can also call us at 844-727-7328 for further assistance today!