• White semi truck driving on road

    Learning to Become Successful in Your First Year

    Once you graduate from CDL training and obtain your Class A CDL, it’s time to get out on the road and begin your new professional truck driving career. Going out for the first solo drive can be nerve-wracking for some. One way to ease this stress is by ensuring you are fully prepared before departing on this journey. Check out our tips below on how you can successfully begin your first year of driving.

    Keep Expectations in Check for Your First-Year

    At the beginning of your career, you won’t be taking home as much money as some of the veteran drivers at your company. However, this is standard for any job, so don’t get discouraged! Once you prove that you are a reliable and safe driver for the company, they will be more inclined to give you a raise. Keeping your expectations at a realistic level will help motivate you to become a better driver and want to keep learning while out on the road.

    Safety Matters Most

    Safety is at the forefront of everything in the trucking industry and is no exception when driving. Navigating your routes safely is the top priority for your company, especially as a first-year driver. When driving, make sure to watch your speed and give the cars around you plenty of room. Subtle things such as checking the weather before you leave can also go a long way in helping you prepare for the drive and route you will be taking. Staying accident-free in your first year is more important than racking up miles. These small measures create trust with your company and could quickly increase your earning potential.

    Develop Strong Communication Skills

    Good communication is a must-have skill in almost every job today, including truck driving. Staying in touch with your dispatcher as a first-year driver can show your company that you are reliable and builds trust with your dispatcher. By keeping in touch, your company will know exactly where you are and if you would need anything in the event of an emergency or break-down on the road. Communication skills aren’t only for your company, but also for your friends and family! Staying in touch with loved ones while on the road can be a good way to keep yourself company, even if they aren’t physically with you. This can be important for over-the-road drivers as they can be out for weeks at a time before going home. Keeping in contact with family and friends can also boost your morale while driving and give you something to look forward to when you get home.

    Trusted CDL Training with Napier Truck Driving Training

    If you are someone who doesn’t have their CDL yet, consider Napier Truck Driver Training to help you get out on the road! Our CDL training programs will get you out on the road in a new career in just five weeks. We have part-time and full-time class options for students to fit training around their schedules. Along with training, we offer students Job Placement Assistance and Financial Aid options to help students pay for training.
    Step into a new career today! Contact Napier at 888-368-2495 to speak with an Admissions Representative about getting enrolled!
  • White Trucks parked in a row

    How to be the most efficient driver on the road

    Once you have completed training and hit the open road, you will need to learn how to make the most of your time. Being an efficient truck driver will help you succeed and help you earn more money. The following tips are ways you can become the most efficient driver.

    Plan your route before leaving

    You can save valuable time by planning your route before your set off. When you know the route you are taking, plan where you will make your stops. It will save you time and the hassle of finding a spot while driving. Having your route planned out can also help you find suitable places to get a good night’s sleep, helping you to be fresh and ready to go the next day.

    Increase your fuel efficiency

    If you can increase your fuel efficiency, not only can you improve your time on the road, you can reduce the total cost of your journey. Some of the ways you can increase your fuel efficiency are:
    1. Reduce additional friction causes such as low tire pressure, uneven wear on tires, and unnecessary extra weight.
    2. Limit the amount of time spent idling.
    3. Stay within the speed limit as the best miles per gallon speed is 55 to 60 miles per hour.
    4. Keep your truck engine in working order to burn fuel cleanly and efficiently.

    Drive during downtimes

    When possible, drive in the early morning or late night when fewer drivers are on the road. This will help reduce the amount of time spent in slower traffic. When planning your trips, it is best to try and drive through major cities early in the morning or after rush hours. The best time to drive on the interstates is during the middle of the day after the morning commute is over.

    Keep your truck in working order

    Knowing how to repair the basics on your truck can save you hours while driving. If you have an issue that requires you to pull over, knowing how to fix it yourself can save you time instead of waiting for a repair company. Also, by performing maintenance while on the road, you can ensure your engine is running correctly and prevent any unforeseen issues.

    Stay Alert

    Making sure you are well-rested and alert while driving prevents errors from happening. If you are not focused, accidents have a higher chance of happening and can cause more stoppages in your route. While driving, you must constantly adjust based on the traffic around you, and if you are alert and rested, you can adjust easier. When you start your training at Napier, you learn all the skills needed while behind the wheel. The more practicing you do, the higher confidence you gain helps make you a better driver on the road. We teach our students all the above and more!
    Contact us today if you are ready to get your CDL and hit the open road!
  • truck driver sitting in driver side on the road

    Packing List for Truck Drivers

    What truck driver essentials do you need when you are on the road? Packing can be one of the most important steps for truck drivers when going on a long trip. You want to make sure you do not forget anything from your packing list at home so you can have a successful trip.  Do you have your personal products ready to go? Is your commercial driver’s license packed? Do you have any emergency tools packed? These are all important questions to ask before you head out on the road. A little planning goes a long way. Before you start your next trip, look through this packing list for truck drivers to make sure you have these essential items.

    Personal Products for Truckers

    Personal products are necessary for truck drivers to have with them while on the road. These are items that you would always bring on a vacation such as clothes, medications, and toiletries.  It is crucial to pack a variety of clothes, especially for drivers traveling across different terrains. Be sure to pack a rain jacket and a heavy coat. Weather conditions can vary and affect your truck, the docks and interiors at your pick-up and delivery locations, and even elements of roadside stops. It is also important to pack high-visibility clothing for any unexpected roadside stops that truck drivers might have to make. This will help protect you from oncoming traffic. If you take any medication regularly, be sure to pack your regular dosage along with a few extra doses. Trips could be extended by bad weather or a load taking longer than anticipated. If you do take any medications, always ensure they are approved under the Department of Transportation and reviewed by a medical professional certified under the DOT.   Toiletries are other essential items for truck drivers. You will save money by packing your own toiletries. Buy a small shower bag or shower caddy and fill it with all of your necessary items such as body wash, shampoo, and toothpaste.

    Emergency Supplies Truck Drivers Should Have

    Emergency supplies are another must-have packing list addition for truck drivers. Between winter blizzards and summer storms, you never know what types of road conditions you will face. That is why it is so crucial to pack emergency supplies like a flashlight and batteries, a first aid kit, and basic tools.  If you find yourself needing to make a stop to fix something in the dark, your flashlight will come in handy. They can also act as a signaling option if you need help from another driver on the road. Truckers should remember to pack some extra batteries in case you need to switch them out of the flashlight or other devices that you decide to bring. Another item to pack is a first aid kit. You never know when you or another driver could need help. Items such as bandages, sterile gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, and disposable gloves are just some of the essentials truck drivers need to pack. A basic toolkit is another must-have for truck drivers to pack before going on a trip. Truck drivers are not expected to be mechanics, but having a few tools on hand can save a lot of time for easy repairs instead of having to wait for an emergency maintenance team. Consider packing a screwdriver, sledgehammer, and wrench.  

    Important Truck Driver Documents

    Before you head out on the road, be sure to double-check that you have all of the essential driving documents. Whether you call it a permit book, paperwork binder, or document folder, double-check that you have your necessary documents packed. Some documents to consider double-checking include your Class A CDL, insurance, and registration. Other documents might be required depending on which trucking company you work for and what goods you are transporting. Without these documents, you can run into some serious consequences. Make sure you have a list and make certain everything is packed before you head out on the road. We know that these must-have essentials for truck drivers can be easy to forget when you start packing. We hope this list helps you next time you are about to begin your journey. 
    If you are ready to get your CDL and begin your career as a truck driver, call Napier at 513-756-2280 or contact us today!
  • Red truck driving through mountains

    Learn what makes regional trucking so appealing

    Many people know about OTR (Over the Road) and local truck driving. Still, one job that is often overlooked is regional trucking. Regional truck drivers are tasked with the responsibility to haul freight in specific regions of the United States. Regional driving allows drivers to have more dedicated routes as they may have deliveries to the same businesses. Region sizes tend to be dictated by the population of the states per region. Most regions tend to have between 4-5 states within them or around a 1000-mile radius that drivers will deliver to.

    Why choose regional trucking

    For many, the benefits of the job are one of the first things they look at when deciding if it is the right fit for them. That should be the same for truck drivers when choosing between OTR, regional, or local driving. The thing that makes regional trucking so appealing to many is that it combines the worlds of OTR and local.

    Pros

      • More time at home: Since regional drivers mainly have deliveries during the week, they then have time off on the weekends, which allows them to be home more often than OTR drivers.
      • Better relationships: Regional drivers can have dedicated routes that allow them to get to know the area they drive in and build a relationship with the people they are serving.
      • Travel: Many drivers enjoy the open road and the travel that comes with it. For regional drivers still get to experience that thrill of travel as they are moving between states.

    Cons

      • Sleeping on the road: Due to regional drivers having to travel in-between states, they will have to spend nights either in hotels or in the cab of their truck.
      • Quick turnaround: Most jobs that regional drivers take cross state lines which means that deadlines can be tight due to the distance, which leaves little time for drivers to have out of the truck.
    The pay drivers receive for being a regional truck driver can be seen as either a pro or con, as most drivers are paid by the mile. Regional drivers are paid more than local drivers as they drive more miles; however, OTR is still the best-paid driver. The benefits that companies offer tend to be similar for all three types of drivers; however, they still differ in some ways. Regional driving may be exactly what certain people are looking for as it combines OTR and local driving. Napier trains our students to be career-ready upon graduating. Our Job Placement program aims to help graduates find a trucking career that fits them, and their family needs best.
    If you are ready to get your CDL and begin your career as a Regional Truck driver. Contact Napier at 888-368-2495 or contact us today!
  • The Importance of Truck Driver's Role in the Supply Chain Proven.

    With every passing day, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in the lives of people all over the world. Stores, businesses, hospitals, and more struggle to get essential supplies and keep up with demand. Keeping the supply chain from collapse has proved challenging, especially in the United States where a well-documented truck driver shortage has plagued the trucking industry for the last several years. Currently, the US employs 2 million truckers, but actually needs and additional 50,000 truck drivers to meet shipping demands across the country. As many people were instructed to follow government shelter-in-place guidelines during the pandemic, panic buying and stockpiling groceries increased. Keeping store shelves stocked put even more strain on a trucking industry already suffering from a truck driver shortage. Without truck drivers, the economy would be at a standstill. During unprecedented times, truck drivers became true heroes, braving a world filled with uncertainty to help Americans get the essential supplies they need. Aimee Napier, President of Napier Truck Driver Training, praises truck drivers amid the COVID-19 health crisis, "In light of the coronavirus panic, I wanted to pay tribute to all of the truck drivers who are working 24/7 to attempt to keep our stores stocked. We have A LOT of students who work for US Xpress on their Kroger-dedicated routes here in Cincinnati as well as Meijer-dedicated routes in Tipp City.  One posted yesterday that they had 200 loads for the day and 20 drivers!  Wow, that's a lot of hustling!" During an April 16 White House event, even President Donald Trump praised truck drivers saying, “Thank God for truckers... American truckers are the foot soldiers who are really carrying us to victory… They’ve done an incredible job. We’ve had no problems. It’s been just — it’s been just great.” As the world struggles to overcome a time of crisis, truck drivers are making a huge difference in the world by staying dedicated to their careers. We cannot do it without them. Consider training with Napier Truck Driver Training. We have comprehensive commercial driving programs that can give you the skills necessary to start your truck driving career. If you are interested in becoming a truck driving hero, contact Napier today to learn more about truck driver training. 1-888-368-2495
  • Photo of Truck on the Highway

    Do you know how important truckers are to your everyday life?

    Trucking in the United States alone moves an estimated 71% of the total freight in the country, including medical supplies, food supplies, and many more. Sadly, if the trucking operations were to stop suddenly, the effects on the economy would be more devastating than anyone might expect. This explains the significant role truckers play in mitigating the adverse impact and ensuring the well-being of all Americans. So, what would happen if truckers were to cease working for just three days?

    THE FIRST DAY -

    Healthcare Industry Healthcare providers, together with the consumers, depend on regular delivery of medication and healthcare supplies to hospitals and pharmacies. The first day without trucking would mean a huge risk of running out of essential medical supplies, such as catheters and syringes, which are usually needed within hours after ordering. This would jeopardize health care services for cancer patients as their medication uses radiopharmaceuticals, which can only last for a few hours before expiring. Transportation and Retail Sector Beyond the effects on the healthcare industry, delivery of packages and mails would immediately come to a halt. Within a few hours of truck stoppage, busy gas stations would run out of fuel supplies as an average service station needs a delivery every two days. Grocery stores could start to run out of supplies due to panic buying by the consumers. There would also be more rampant delays in the manufacturing industry for the lack of components and materials. As a result, companies would incur substantial losses.

    NEXT TWO TO THREE DAYS

    Retail, Banking and Waste Removal The truck stoppage would, in the next two days, spur hoarding and immense increases in consumer purchases of essential goods such as powdered milk, bottled water, and canned foods. Eventually, this could end up in food shortages nationwide. ATMs and bank branches would be cashless. Shortages would materialize drastically, which could result in civil unrest. Without fuel, the pile-up of uncollected garbage would increase in urban and suburban zones.

    BOTTOM LINE

    As demonstrated, stopping all truck operations will have a swift and devastating impact on the American economy. With the current shortage of truck drivers in the US, there's a greater need for trained truckers to meet the massive demand. Need professional training in trucking? Contact us today to kick-start your new trucking career.
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