• Never Be Without the Essentials

    You've made the decision to start a new chapter of your life working as a truck driver. That's great! Truck driving is a fulfilling and rewarding profession. But what items should you bring along to make your new career a successful one? Below is a list of several items that many truckers have said are necessary for a successful driving career. They have been broken into categories of essential, emergency, and comfort items, so you can easily choose which items you need the most.

    Essential Items

    No matter how long you plan to be on the road, the following items are absolutely essential for a safe, successful truck driving career. These items can also make your trip a little more enjoyable:
    • Change of shoes and clothes
    • Non-perishable foods and snacks
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Baby wipes
    • Sunglasses
    • Personal hygiene products
    • Rain gear (coat, poncho, and boots)
    • Shower shoes
    • Document binder
    • Electronic chargers
    • Hands-free phone mount

    Emergency Items

    Anything can happen while you are on the road, and it is important to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. The following essential items will help keep you—and other people on the road—safe:
    • First aid kit (including bandages, disinfectants, and pain medication)
    • Mylar blanket
    • Paper map
    • Toolbox
    • Tire chains
    • Flashlight
    • Flares
    • Light-reflective clothing
    • Extra cash

    Comfort Items

    You are going to be spending a lot of time in your truck. Make it feel like your home-away-from-home with some of the following luxury items to keep you comfortable and entertained:
    • Camera
    • Insulated lunch bag
    • Thermos
    • Cooler
    • Portable toilet
    • Sleeping gear
    • Grip-coated gloves
    • Seat cushion
    • Coffee maker
    • Entertainment (music/audio books/podcasts, books, crossword puzzles, a laptop, etc.)
    If you follow this truck driver essentials list, you are sure to be well-equipped for your routes and truly enjoy you.Still deciding if a career as a truck driver is right for you? At Napier Truck Driver Training, we want to see you succeed. Contact us here with any questions or browse our website for more information.
  • Truck Inspection

    Prepare for Orientation at a New Trucking Company

    You have finished your CDL training and you're excited to get on the road, but there is one more step before you can get behind the wheel. Most trucking companies will start with a CDL orientation. Each trucking company will have its own training specific to their company. However, there are many topics that are generally covered by every company. Knowing what to expect from your orientation can help you be prepared and learn the most information possible.

    Questions to Ask Before CDL Orientation

    • How long will orientation last?
    • How soon after orientation will I be getting into a truck?
    • What supplies do I need to bring for my training?
    • What documentation do I need to bring?
    • Is there food and lodging provided during orientation?

    What Information To Expect During Orientation

    • An overview of the trucking company you are working for.
    • The rules, regulations, and procedures of the company you are working for.
    • Presentations/lectures from leaders within the company.
    • Company safety procedures.
    • Communication requirements from the company.
    • You will likely receive an informational packet from the company.
    • You will learn the expectations the company has for you while you're on the road.

    What You May Need to Do

    • You will fill out HR paperwork and payroll information.
    • A physical exam.
    • A drug test.

    Activities During Your CDL Orientation

    • There may be time to meet other new hires to the company.
    • You may be broken up into groups.
    • A walkthrough of the facilities is normal.
    • Additional training and testing

    The Driving Test

    Generally, during your first week, a driving test is required to test your skills. Typically, someone will ride along with you to test your abilities and skills. Once you have completed all of the necessary steps of the orientation, you will be on your way to a successful career as a trucker.If you haven't yet started your CDL training Napier Truck Driver Training can help. Contact us for more information on what you need to do to become a top-rated truck driver.
  • Dallas Young and HomeRun Truck

    Napier Produces Another Successful Truck Driver

    Dallas Young wanted to drive trucks since he was a kid. However, but it wasn't until the plant where he worked a for 17 years closed down he finally decided to pursue a career in trucking. When it came time to choosing the right school for CDL training, Napier was his obvious choice. Young was born and bred in Ohio and Napier was local just like him. They also had the best reputation among trucking companies.

    Where did you begin working after graduation from Napier?

    "I graduated in July of 2017 and had already been pre-hired by several companies, including McElroy Truck Lines, and Boyd Bros. I always had my heart set on being a flatbed, so that is what I focused on. In the end, it was the family feel at HomeRun that convinced me to accept a job with them. Even two years later I am still happy!"

    How was your first year trucking with HomeRun?

    Young's first year of trucking came with a learning curve. "The first six months of being on my own I learned so much! To be honest, I am still learning every day. The biggest challenge for me was being away from home. It gets lonely." Young wasn't sure if he wanted to continue this truck driving lifestyle. However, he discussed his challenges with the owners at HomeRun and they immediately offered him a more local position. "I am home nearly every night. Best move I ever made! I work harder driving local than OTR, but I like it that way!"

    What is the most rewarding part of being a truck driver for HomeRun?

    "In May and October of 2018, I was awarded the Trucker of the Month Award.  Then, in January 2019 HomeRun told me I was named Trucker of the Year for 2018!" Young's schooling, hard work, and dedication had quickly paid off.

    Why did you choose a career in flat bedding?

    "I love the challenges flatbed trucking offers and the freedom that comes with it. Every day is different. All loads are secured differently on a flatbed. And then you have the weather. We are out in the sun, rain, snow, sleet, bitter temps, and scorching heat ... You have to love being outdoors to enjoy a flatbed job."

    What does your future career in trucking look like?

    Over the next 10 years, Young hopes to "still be getting paid to see the countryside, but only time will tell. My #1 goal when I started this path was to eventually be an owner-operator. Ultimately, I would like to get into heavy haul/oversize loads, within the next 10 years."If you are ready to break through those four office walls and explore the freedom of a new career in trucking, contact Napier today.
  • Two men talking with clipboard and a semi in the background

    Best Trucking Companies to Work For After CDL School

    You're ready to start your CDL training but are curious where you'll work after your training. As a newer driver, you may be worried it will be difficult to get hired. While experienced drivers are highly sought after in the trucking industry, there are still several companies that are happy to hire new drivers!Below is a list of five carriers that train and employ new drivers with little to no experience. If you're ready and willing to start building up mileage, it definitely won't hurt to consider giving any one or several of the companies below a good look.

    Western Express

    Western Express is a company that maintains its fleet age at a maximum of no more than 1.5 years old. Benefits include a bonus program with competitive pay raises, paid vacations and consistent weekly/bi-weekly home time. The Western Express fleet includes Volvo, International, and Freightliner trucks. Each truck is equipped with NAVIGO GPS and a Custom Trip Pack App for conveniences such as smartphone bill scanning. Of-age applicants must possess a Class A CDL, acceptable MVR, and successfully pass both a DOT drug test and physical assessment test.

    C.R. England

    C.R. England offers new drivers, both permit or non-permit holding, competitive benefits and access to a generous line of new rigs with updated features. In addition to competitive pay, drivers who complete C.R.'s truck training program have the benefits of targeted career control support through CareerTrak and the CRE Toolbox mobile app for consistent communication on the go.The C.R. England fleet includes the 10-wheeled 2019 Cumberland LT C10 with an X15 Efficiency Series Engine and hands-free Bluetooth radio. Also included is the 2019 Freightliner Cascadia, featuring cab-centralized eVault housing for the ECU, active headlight interruption, and split-second active safety systems. Applicants earning their permits must complete a 17-day CDL training program that includes both a physical and a drug test. The first week for permit seekers consists mostly of classroom instruction while the second (first for permit holders) and third weeks are hands-on driving-focused.

    PAM Transport

    PAM Transport is perfectly accommodating for aspiring drivers looking for an opportunity to get paid training on the job. PAM allows its eligible students to take full advantage of GI Bill tax benefits. In addition, once more experience is gained, PAM offers its drivers the opportunity to earn more by instructing new drivers as a PAM Driver Mentor. Other benefits include fuel surcharge and fleet tire discounts. PAM also offers layover pay on a contextual basis.The majority of the fleet's freight consists of cosmetics, air conditioner units and automotive components on a drop-and-hook system. Applicants to PAM may either have their CDL already or earn their CDL through PAM's training program with a guaranteed job opportunity. Passengers of at least 18 years of age and family members of at least 13 years are permitted through the passenger program with a small insurance fee for non-spouse passengers.

    TMC Transportation

    TMC Transportation prides itself as the industry's "premier open deck carrier" and hosts an abundant fleet of rigs equipped with late-model equipment. As a regional carrier, TMC drivers have the benefit of regular weekend home time. The performance pay structures make it so that compensation isn't as largely contingent upon strict mileage length. With the percentage performance pay program, drivers can benefit from the opportunity to make more than they regularly would with a program that strictly pays by the mile.The TMC fleet is specialized for handling freight that demands flatbed trailer transport such as wallboard and steel building materials. Drivers typically deliver five loads by collectively hauling under 500 miles on a daily basis. Applicants to the driver program receive $500 per week for the duration of their flatbed or over-the-road training.

    Roehl Transport Inc

    Roehl Transport pays its top line of experienced drivers as much as 59 cents per mile. At the less experienced level, however, new drivers are still more than welcome to come and get their first bit of real road work done. Drivers are given personal control over their pay raises and can earn more through the Roehl referral program. Roehl also offers a mobile app to help drivers manage their time more efficiently.Roehl is a driver-founded fleet that has been in operation for over 50 years since its inception. The majority of fleets have weekly home time and are 95% no-touch. Trucks are kept up to date with industry-current components and automatic transmissions. Applicants without their CDL can earn $500 per week for a month of on-the-job training under the direct supervision of designated instructors. Training is offered near one of Roehl's terminals located at the various area around the country.There are plenty of top trucking companies like Western Express, C.R. England, PAM Transport and Roehl Transport Inc that are happy to hire brand-new drivers. Ready to land a CDL job you'll love? After you finish your CDL training with Napier, we'll help you with job placement! We work with over 50 trucking companies to help our graduates get hired. Contact us if you're ready to learn more about our CDL training programs!
  • A collage of three semi trucks driving down country roads

    Explore Your CDL Job Options!

    Earning your Class A CDL can open doors to new career opportunities! There are multiple job options to choose from within trucking. And if you ever get tired of one trucking job, it's nice to know your skills can be transferred to another! Explore a few of your options to find which one is best for you!

    Tractor Trailer

    Driving a tractor-trailer is a great place to start in your trucking career. Since it has the least requirements to get started it is ideal for those looking to gain experience on the road. Tractor trailer drivers can drive both long and short distances. There are options to work locally and be home every night or to drive long haul routes across the country. A few of the responsibilities of the job include:
    • Delivering goods in the time frame specified
    • Reporting any issues to the dispatcher
    • Inspecting the trailer before and after the trip
    • Keeping a log of your activities
    • Keeping your truck and equipment in good working order
    Most tractor-trailer drivers plan their own routes and are responsible for setting aside their legally required rest periods. Some drivers eventually buy or lease their own trucks and become owner/operators of their own businesses. Tractor trailer driver jobs are expected to grow over the next several years. The average salary is between $35,000 and $45,000 a year, with local jobs being paid by the hour and long distance jobs paid by the mile!

    Tanker Vehicles

    Driving a tanker truck requires more qualifications than driving a dry van truck. Drivers that are transporting fuel will need a hazardous materials endorsement. This cargo is highly regulated and therefore comes with greater responsibility. These drivers typically receive a higher salary, on average between $40,000 and $50,000. Tanker drivers are also expected to:
    • Visit well sites and use a hose to fill their truck, and then transport the liquid cargo to disposal sites
    • Keep precise records
    • Accurately read gauges and carefully record levels
    • Avoid leaks and ensure all equipment is working properly

    Livestock Carriers

    Drivers that work for livestock carriers often have a history working with farm animals. They need to be knowledgeable in the handling and care of the animals they are transporting. Their most important objective is to make sure the animals arrive at the destination healthy and safe. Due to the extra responsibility and education needed, these drivers are often paid more than other truck drivers. Other responsibilities to consider:
    • More time is spent outdoors loading and unloading animals
    • Driving is often done on rural roads
    • Extreme caution must be used to ensure the safety of the animals
    • They work closely with ranchers and the livestock industry. It is important to remember these animals are their livelihood. Always act in a safe, courteous, and professional manner.
    • It is important to stay on top of all rules and regulations

    Flatbed Trucks

    Flatbed trucks are used to carry things that cannot fit into a trailer due to size, shape or weight. Due to the difficult nature of the cargo, these drivers are among some of the highest paid. Salaries on average are from $60,000 and up. These trucks also face the heaviest Department of Transportation regulations. Flatbed truck drivers must:
    • Be able to balance heavy loads in all weather conditions
    • Be able to handle heavy lifting including managing tarp procedures to cover cargo in inclement weather
    • Must be very organized and excel at following rules and regulations
    All of these truck driving careers have two things in common; they are all projected to grow over the next several years and they require a Class A CDL! Napier Truck Driver Training can get you ready for a new career in trucking in just 5 weeks. We offer both full-time and part-time training so you can find a training schedule that works best for you. Contact us today to learn more!
  • Man in a jean jacket with clipboard and hand on a red semi

    Here's What Experienced Drivers Love About Trucking!

    Every job has its fair share of challenges and benefits. Unfortunately, some individuals apply for openings in various companies without an idea of what to expect. If you lack insight into your obligations when applying for a particular job, you may not enjoy what you do or it may be a difficult adjustment.There are a few things most experienced truck drivers enjoy most about the job. Here are some things you can look forward to in your new trucking career!

    High Earning Potential

    Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road depending, especially long-haul truckers. The upside to spending so much time on the road is the high earning potential that comes along with it. The best thing is that pay increases with more experience. Over time, you will gain access to better-paying CDL jobs.

    Access to Better Benefits

    Truck drivers can receive a variety of benefits depending on the job. The quality of their benefits may depend on how risky their job is, the distance they cover, among other things. Experienced truck drivers with a clean record are favorited among carriers!

    Travel Opportunities

    Unless they're working local, truck drivers are required to travel to various destinations. As a result, they gain experiences one would never get working in an office. Take Napier graduate, Mike Maloney, for example. Mike has been able to travel all over the US and even meet with long-lost family members along the way. All because of his career in trucking!

    Making New Friends

    It is not unusual to build lasting relationships on your journeys as a truck driver. Traveling truck drivers meet many new faces on their routes and that becomes an opportune moment for creating new friends!

    Interacting with New Technology

    Rapid changes in technology have now become a norm, and the trucking industry is no exception. New trucks with comfortable, ergonomic seats, help keep drivers alert throughout their journey. Most individuals and companies will entrust trucks featuring the latest inventions to experienced drivers.Are you ready to start your trucking career? Napier Truck Driver Training can get you trained and ready for your new career in just 5 weeks! Contact us today if you're ready to learn more.
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