Exercising to Offset Hours of Sitting at the Wheel

Sitting all day has been shown to increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, plus it can lead to muscle weakness, back pain, and more. As a truck driver, you can’t exactly get up and move around the office like some people with jobs that require extended periods of sitting, but there are still things you can do to fight back against the toll that sitting all day can cause. Try these exercises to keep your body fit when you’re spending long days on the road.

Take a Walk

Taking a walk is an easy and free way to get your blood pumping and your legs moving. Many rest areas have trails around, which allow you to get some fresh air and some downtime and exercise off the road. If you’re not near a rest area with trails, a few laps around the truck stop parking lot will do the trick. You can go for a long walk once a day, or take a quick 10-minute strolls every time to stop to build up activity over the course of the day.

Keep Exercise Equipment in Your Cab

A few hand weights, a kettlebell, or some exercise bands are just some of the portable fitness equipment you can take with you on the road. Arm lifts, squats, leg lifts, and crunches will help your body recover from being sedentary behind the wheel, and they will also help your muscles and joints loosen up, so that you’ll be less prone to pain.

Stretch Before and After Driving

Soreness and muscle stiffness can be serious issues for drivers. You can help to reduce the risk that they will be a problem for you by stretching before and after long drives. Spending just five minutes stretching each can significantly reduce your chances of feeling stiff and sore.

At Phoenix Driving School at Ft. Bliss, we give you all of the tools you need to thrive in your new career as a truck driver. Learn more about our El Paso truck driving school by calling (877) 206-8344.

4 Great Reasons to Become a Truck Driver

Are you looking for a career filled with adventure, new challenges, and the potential to earn big? If so, a career in trucking could be right for you. Truck drivers work with a great deal of autonomy and get to see the country while being paid a competitive salary. There is a greater demand for drivers than there are drivers to do the work, so there are plenty of jobs available for qualified drivers. Are you considering a career as a truck driver? Here are four things that make the job great.

You get to start working without a prolonged training period.

Many careers require years of training before you can actually start earning money. Working as a truck driver is different. Most drivers can complete the training necessary to earn a commercial driver license (CDL) in weeks, rather than months or years. That means you can be earning money without years of trying to make ends meet while in school.

You have access to a strong job market.

The need for truck drivers is increasing. The availability of drivers is decreasing. As such, trucking companies are almost always hiring, and they offer great salaries and benefits to try to lure drivers to their teams. As a truck driver, you’ll be in demand and have plenty of options for finding your perfect career.

You get to see new places.

Do you love to travel? Would you love to see more of the country? As a truck driver, you get to do that, and you get to get paid to do it. Instead of being stuck behind a desk, you’ll be behind the wheel, crisscrossing the country, so no two days will be the same.

You get to be your own boss.

As a driver, you may work for a trucking company or own your own truck, and you’ll have to deal with dispatchers and delivery schedules, but you will be in charge behind the wheel. No matter what kind of job you have, you’ll enjoy a great deal of freedom every day.

Are you ready to take advantage of the benefits of a career as a truck driver? If so, Phoenix Truck Driving School at Fort Bliss is here to make that dream a reality. Contact our truck driving school in El Paso today at (877) 206-8344.

Tips for Driving Through Big Cities

Once you graduate from truck driving school with your CDL, you’ll be ready to build a rewarding career on the road. However, you’ll continue to learn from practical experience long after you graduate. It may take a little trial and error before you’re flawlessly executing trips in and out of major cities, but the following tips will help you get off on the right foot.

Try to avoid rush hour.

City streets are difficult enough to deal with, but rush hour traffic can make it far more challenging. Always plan your trip so that you’re driving through the city during less highly trafficked times of the day or night. Some truckers like to enter big cities at night and park overnight at the customer’s lot. Always call ahead before you do this to ensure there’s a safe place to park.

Double-check your directions.

While you’re driving through a major metropolitan area, the last thing you want to worry about is having to turn around. Get directions from the customer, your GPS, and your company via the Qualcomm. Make sure there are no low bridges on your planned route, and check for construction detours. If you’re driving to a new customer, you might also consider checking the address on Google Earth. It’s helpful to know exactly which entrance you should use and where the loading docks are located.

Know the local rules.

Some major municipalities have designated trucking routes that you should follow when you’re in town. New York City is one example. You can go on the NYC DOT website to get the current information on the Local Truck Route Network. When you’re in that area, you’re expected to use the designated routes as much as possible.

Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss is located right on base in El Paso to help servicemembers make a seamless transition to civilian life. Our CDL training programs can get you on the road in as few as eight weeks! Call (877) 206-8344 to prepare for a lucrative career in the trucking industry.

These Trucking Companies Are Hiring Military Veterans

The trucking business is among the most military-friendly industries in the U.S. Some trucking companies go out of their way to hire military veterans and military spouses. These employers understand that the skills, experience, and work ethic of military veterans readily translate to the trucking business. Once you graduate from truck driving school and earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you might consider checking out opportunities at the following military-friendly companies. All of them offer competitive pay packages.

DSW Drivers

DSW is based in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ. It’s a family-oriented company that treats every trucker like family. DSW actively hires military veterans. Through its veteran apprenticeship program, Project Open Road, you can maximize your GI benefits. You can receive benefit checks on top of your regular paychecks during your apprenticeship.

SWIFT Transportation 

SWIFT Transportation has a nationally approved Military Apprenticeship program for military veterans. Eligible veterans and their families can receive a full scholarship to the Swift Academy, on-the-job training, dedicated routes and competitive pay and OTR bonus plan.

Knight Transportation

Knight Transportation is another trucking company that actively recruits military veterans. It also features competitive pay and great bonus, flexibility of scheduling and opportunities for professional growth. 

Schneider National

Schneider has been independently ranked as a military-friendly employer. This company actively hires military veterans and reservists. Their Credit for Military Experience Program allows a veteran trucker to join the company at a higher rate of pay if the veteran drove military trucks. Schneider also offers flexibility for those in the military reserves. Any reservist who needs to leave for military commitments is guaranteed to still have a job when he or she returns.

As a military-friendly school, Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss is committed to serving active service members, military veterans, and military families. Our friendly team will assist you with each step of the process, from exploring your financing options to offering job placement assistance. Call our office in El Paso at (877) 206-8344.

Working Well with Your Dispatcher: Tips for New Drivers

One of the most important working relationships you will have as a truck driver is with your dispatcher. For new drivers, getting this relationship right can be challenging. Your dispatcher is supposed to tell you where to go and when, but they may not always seem to be making the decisions that are right for the way you work or the driving conditions. Because the dispatcher will report the miles you drive—information that is then used to generate your paycheck—you don’t want feuds, drama, or misunderstandings. These tips will help new truck drivers avoid dispatcher conflicts while they adjust to the job.


Recognize What Dispatchers Do

Some new truckers struggle with their dispatchers because they really don’t understand their roles. Dispatchers are in charge of making sure that the trucking company can transport the maximum amount of goods in the fastest time possible for as little money as possible. This allows the company to be profitable. They schedule truck drivers based on this goal. Although they want their truckers to be able to meet the schedules that they set, their job isn’t to make sure the route you want to take suits your needs, but instead that it meets the goal of maximizing the company’s bottom line.


Confirm Job Details Before a Run

When your dispatcher gives you job, make sure you understand all of the details. Review the mileage, figure out who is responsible for paperwork, and discuss any obstacles that you think you might have. It will avoid conflicts later if you are both on the same page before the job begins.


Speak Up for Safety

If a dispatcher is giving you an unrealistic schedule that will compromise your safety, speak up. You should also avoid agreeing to a specific delivery date and instead confirm that you will do your best to get it there on time. When you need to speak up about your schedule, don’t argue. Keep your cool and work towards a solution that works for you both.


At Phoenix Truck Driving School at Fort Bliss, our experienced instructors will prepare you for all aspects of your new career. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a truck driver and earning your CDL in El Paso, call us at (877) 206-8344.


Can You See Yourself in a Custom Luxury Cab?

When you start your truck driving career, one thing that will become apparent almost immediately is that you will be spending a lot of time in your cab. Not only will you be sitting in it when you’re driving, but you’ll also likely be sleeping there, changing clothes, and relaxing between runs. However, traditional cabs are small, and many drivers find them uncomfortable, so a market has sprung up for luxury, custom cabs. These cabs have more space and lots of features that make life on the road a little easier. Could a custom cab be right for you? Here is what you need to know.


What exactly is a custom luxury cab?

The typical cab can only accommodate a twin mattress that is usually crammed in so tight that changing clothes is difficult and team driving is next to impossible. In the 1980s, big-berth trucks with large cabs became popular, but they fell out of favor because of their heavy weight and difficult management. The idea of having a bigger cab with plenty of space has come back into fashion, in the form of luxury cabs. These cabs have lots of space to spread out, and they make team driving more manageable. They feature plenty of home comforts, and because of changes in materials and design, these cabs are much more lightweight than those of the past.  


What is in these kinds of cabs?

Truck drivers can get luxury cabs designed to their specifications. However, most have a bed, seating area, computer desk, kitchenette with a microwave and electric stove, a bathroom, and even a shower. The design is similar to an RV, although smaller, and the features can be adapted to meet the driver’s preferences.


Who should consider a custom luxury cab?

Over-the-road drivers who are out for long stretches of time can save money in overhead costs, since they have so much of what they need on board. These cabs are also beneficial for team drivers. The extra living space makes team driving much more tenable, which in turn increases earning potential.


Phoenix Truck Driving School at Fort Bliss can help you get on the road to your new career in as little as eight weeks, plus, we offer extensive support to help you land your first job. Find out more about our El Paso truck driving school by calling (877) 206-8344.


Top Educational Podcasts for Truckers

Being a truck driver means long stretches alone on the road, which provides the perfect opportunity to listen to podcasts. Listening to podcasts as you drive will break up the monotony and help to keep you engaged, which in turn will help you concentrate on the road. There are podcasts out there for every interest, including some that will expand your knowledge and let you dive deeper into topics that interest you or that you want to learn more about. If you’re interested in listening to podcasts, here are some suggestions to get you started.

Good Job, Brain!

If you like trivia, then you will love Good Job, Brain! This podcast combines a quiz show with offbeat news and trivia about everything from literature to Patrick Swayze. There are nearly 200 episodes available for you to enjoy now, and new ones are added periodically. Listening to this podcast on the road means you’ll be ready to beat all of your family and friends in your favorite trivia games when you return home.

Stuff You Should Know and Stuff to Blow Your Mind

Stuff You Should Know and Stuff to Blow Your Mind were both created by the team behind the popular HowStuffWorks website. Stuff You Should Know offers general information on a huge variety of topics, in a similar fashion to the HowStuffWorks website. Stuff to Blow Your Mind, as the name suggests, is focused on little-known facts about evolution, cosmic mysteries, and more.

Back to Work

Back to Work deals with topics that are of significant interest to truck drivers, such as productivity, time constraints, communication challenges, and other issues that often come up in working life. If you’re struggling with things like dealing with dispatch or managing hours on deliveries, this podcast is for you.

Get a head start on your career as a truck driver with help from Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft Bliss. Our truck driving school in El Paso is on base and offers the training you need to launch your new career. Learn more about enrolling by calling (877) 206-8344.


What CDL Drivers Must Know About Mountain Driving

Driving on mountain roads can be a challenge for any driver, but it’s an especially critical skill for any commercial driver to master. If you aren’t cautious and alert at all times while you’re driving under these conditions, you run the risk of getting into an accident. Here are some things that all CDL drivers should know about mountain driving.

Pick an appropriate speed.

The steepness of a mountain road affects the speed of your vehicle, so it’s important to drive with that in mind. You should also take the size and weight of your vehicle into account, including the cargo you’re carrying. Always obey the speed limit, and slow down when you’re driving in difficult conditions such as snow-covered roads.

Use a lower gear.

You’ll want to shift into a lower gear as soon as you’re driving on a mountain road. You will need to make sure that you do this before your speed increases, or you could end up causing damage to your transmission system. In most cases, you’ll want to use a lower gear in driving downhill than you would in driving uphill. Older trucks, however, may be safe using the same gear.

Don’t overuse the brakes.

When you’re driving downhill on a mountain road, you’ll be using your brakes to keep your vehicle from speeding. However, you should make sure that you’re not relying too much on your brakes—overusing them in stressful conditions can cause them to be less effective, which can leave you and your truck more vulnerable to an accident.

Have you always dreamed of becoming a truck driver? If so, your journey begins with enrolling in Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss. Our eight-week CDL training program will fully prepare you for the challenges of the road. Are you ready to learn more about our courses? Call us at (877) 206-8344 with your questions!

Budget-Conscious Truckers: Here’s What You Can Make on a Hot Plate

When you’re on the road, it’s all too easy to fall into the habit of eating fast food, junk food, and other unhealthy meals. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: Buy a hot plate. Hot plates are a convenient way to prepare meals for yourself no matter where you are, and you can cook more things than you might have imagined. Here are a few meals you can make with a hot plate:


Instead of stopping at a greasy diner, why not make yourself a breakfast of scrambled eggs? You can prepare your eggs any way you like, as long as you have a spatula, a frying pan, and any extra ingredients you want to throw into the mix. You may even want to lightly toast some bread to go with your morning eggs.


Cooking meat on the road may seem like a hassle, but chicken is a good, all-purpose meal that is surprisingly easy to prepare. Chicken cooks quickly, and you can chop it up and turn it into a sandwich, chicken salad, or even a chicken quesadilla. Be sure to stop at a grocery store first so you can pick up sauce, seasonings, and anything else you want to add.


Pasta is one of the easiest types of food to cook, and having a hot plate means that you can prepare it easily even when you’re far from home. Just boil some water, cook some noodles, and mix in some sauce from a jar, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect dinner! Grated cheese is a good ingredient to keep on hand while you’re traveling.

Are you considering starting a new career as a professional truck driver? Your dream may be easier to achieve than you realize! Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss will provide you with the skills you need to become a truck driver. If you’d like to find out more about our program, give us a call today at (877) 206-8344.

Spotlight on the CDL Exam: Demonstrating Basic Control of the Vehicle

Just like the process to obtain a regular driver’s license, the exam for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is broken down into a written test and a road test. The road test evaluator will judge you on your ability to exercise basic control of the vehicle. In other words, you’ll have to show that you can control its speed and direction in a safe and appropriate manner. Aspiring truck drivers often get nervous about the skills portion of the exam, but there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll get all the practice you need during your CDL training program.


Accelerate the vehicle gradually to prevent it from jerking. This is important because rough acceleration can damage the coupling when you’re hauling a trailer. If the road is wet, speed up even more gradually. Otherwise, you might lose control.


The road test evaluator will check whether you have both hands on the wheel at all times. This is significant because, if you hit a large pothole, you might lose control unless you have both hands on the wheel. Keep your hands on opposite sides of the wheel.


Braking is far more complicated in a big rig than it is in a passenger vehicle. Remember that you’ll need a great deal more space to stop. Depress the brake pedal slowly to bring the vehicle to a smooth stop.

Backing Up

Make sure your vehicle is in the best possible position to execute this maneuver safely. Don’t hesitate to get out and walk around your vehicle to check its position. Back up very slowly, checking your mirrors often. It’s safer to back up and turn toward the driver’s side, since this allows a better field of vision.

Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss will thoroughly prepare you to ace your CDL exam so you can get started pursuing your lucrative truck driving career. Call us at (877) 206-8344 to find out about our upcoming class schedule. Don’t forget to ask about our next open house event!

Here’s How OTR Truckers Stay Connected to Their Kids

Once you graduate from truck driving school and obtain your CDL, you can choose from local, regional, and over-the-road (OTR) assignments. OTR truckers can earn great pay, but they must be away from home for days or sometimes a couple of weeks at a time. To stay connected to their kids, OTR truckers flex their creative muscles and make good use of technology.

Video Chats

Video chats are an excellent way to stay in touch across long distances. Truckers use Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts to talk to their kids and partners. Try to keep these conversations “light.” That is, if the kids are having problems at school, and the situation isn’t urgent, an in-person conversation is better.

Lunch Notes

Count the number of school days you’ll miss at home. Write out a series of short notes to the kids, and have your partner enclose one in each lunchbox every morning. These could say anything from “I love you,” to “Have a great soccer game today!” If your kids like brainteasers, you could sprinkle in a few riddles into the mix.

Long-Distance Gaming

Did you know you can play computer and video games with your kids no matter how far away they are? Look into long-distance gaming consoles or online computer games that you and your kids would all enjoy. This is a great option for older kids who feel that lunchbox notes are too “babyish.”


Technology is great for bringing people together. But for kids, there’s something special about receiving snail mail. Bring a booklet of stamps with you, and look for postcards at truck stops

Memorable Home Time

No matter which tricks you use to stay connected on the road, you should make your home time memorable. Take your kids to a mini golf course, zoo, or aquarium. Devote an entire day to simply being present in their lives.

You can jumpstart your new career by enrolling in the commercial truck driving program at Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss. Give us a call at (877) 206-8344 to get the details on enrollment and find out about upcoming open house events!

All About the CDL Learner’s Permit

It isn’t necessary to obtain your commercial driver’s license (CDL) permit before you attend truck driving school. In fact, a comprehensive program should prepare you to pass the written exam before you move on to on-the-road training. However, you should make sure you can meet the eligibility requirements to obtain the permit before you enroll in truck driving school.

CDL Learner’s Permit Requirements

You must be at least 21 years of age to obtain a learner’s permit. If you’re at least 18, you can obtain an intrastate CDL permit, which will only be valid in Arizona. You must also be able to pass the DOT medical exam. Finally, you must be able to provide the required documentation, including your Social Security card, a valid driver’s license (not CDL), and an acceptable form of identification.

Permit Test Format

The written exam is in a multiple choice format. To achieve a passing score, you must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. Always read each question carefully before selecting your answer, as some of the questions may be worded in a tricky fashion. For example, you may be asked to select the only incorrect answer out of a group of statements. If you fail the written exam, you can take it again, but not on the same day.

Permit Recipients

Once you pass the written exam, you’ll receive your CDL learner’s permit. It’s valid for six months from the date of issue. That means you must take the road skills exam within that time period, or you’ll have to take the written exam again. Of course, you’ll likely take your road skills exam much sooner than this if you’re enrolled in truck driving school. However, you must wait at least 14 days from the date of the written exam to take the skills test.


At Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss, you’ll spend the first three weeks of your program preparing to excel on the written permit exam, followed by five weeks of intensive, hands-on training. Call (877) 206-8344 to inquire about our upcoming classes.