Trucking: The Industry That’s Keeping America Moving During COVID-19

At a time of widespread shutdowns, truck drivers are the lifeline of our economy. They are the frontline of the pandemic, delivering essential medical supplies to hospitals and stocking the shelves of grocery stores who have fallen victim to panic buying. 


Described by the President as “the heroes of our nation’s great struggle against the coronavirus”, truck drivers leave their homes for days, or sometimes weeks on end, to deliver essential supplies that American families rely on during these unprecedented times. They connect every farm, hospital, business, and manufacturer as a nationwide community. 


Although not even the heroes of our nation are immune to difficulties caused by the virus, almost all truckers are trying to navigate a new wave of challenges on highways and at loading docks. Many truck-stops, restaurants and dining rooms have closed down or have switched to take-away only. They have done this to comply with the health orders that are in place to control the spread of coronavirus. 


The American Trucking Association (ATA) has submitted a letter to President Trump with the purpose to seek exemptions from certain restrictions for truckers who are delivering essential goods. The ATA also requested that rest stops remain open and that the government provide guidance on driver health, including the possibility for more COVID-19 testing amongst the trucking community.


Demand from retailers and manufacturers has significantly increased since the start of the pandemic and trucking capacity is beginning to run thin. According to online freight marketplace DAT Solutions, since February 29th, the average price to hire a truck has increased by 6.1% to $1.89 per mile including fuel.


Before the pandemic, the American Trucking Association estimated that there was an existing truck driver shortage of 35,000 to 40,000 drivers. Demand is even higher now, meaning that there has never been a better time to join the industry. 


How to become a truck driver

So how do you join the industry that’s keeping America moving? It’s as easy as 1,2,3!


Obtain a CDL 

 To obtain a Commercial Driving License (CDL) through your local DMV. To get started, you will need to meet the state/federal requirements and company qualifications.


Find a truck driving school.

Once you have met the requirements, you’ll need to find a truck driving school such as RTDS Trucking School in Las Vegas. RTDS will provide full CDL training which will prepare you for the CDL knowledge and skills tests.


Find a job 

Attending a reputable trucking school, like RTDS, is your key to new and exciting opportunities! 


Already thousands of truck drivers are reaping the benefits of their chosen career. As a trucker, you can decide if you want to travel local, long-distance or even drive across regions. It’s the perfect way to see most of the US while earning a competitive wage. But perhaps the most important benefit is the high level of job security during a time when so many people are losing their jobs and becoming unemployed. 


At a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world, there is one thing that will always remain certain in The United States: truck drivers are always in demand. You’re never too old to join the truck driving community and it’s so easy to get involved.


Contact RTDS Trucking School to make the first step towards your new career. Our goal is to provide students with the highest level of education that will enable them to become a professional truck driver. There are a variety of study options available, taught by industry experts with over 10 years’ experience.

Types of Truck Driving Licenses Explained

Sometimes differentiating the various driving licenses can become quite a task.

Here is a comprehensive guide explaining the differences in the truck licenses that you get from your state.

Types of CDL licensing

A CDL (commercial driver’s license) is a must-have if you want to operate semi-trucks, tractor-trailers and even buses.

Now, under the controlling Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, you can be awarded any of the following licenses depending on your goals and where applicable, the truck driving training you’ve undergone:

Class A CDL: A CDL A License is mandatory if you wish to operate any combination of vehicles with a GVWR (gross combination weight rating) of a minimum 26,001 lbs. going up, including towed vehicles exceeding a weight of 10,000 lbs.

Examples of vehicles you can drive with a CDL A License:

  1. Tanker vehicles.
  2. Truck-trailer combinations, double & triple trailers included.
  3. Livestock carriers.
  4. Tractor-trailers.
  5. Tractor-trailer buses.

Class B CDL: Class B commercial drivers’ licenses are given for those desiring to operate single vehicles/trucks with a gross combination GVWR greater than 26,001 lbs. in addition to vehicles towing another vehicle whose weight rating doesn’t exceed 10,000 pounds. 

Examples of vehicles you may drive with a Class B License:

  1. Segmented buses.
  2. Dump trucks (with small trailers).
  3. Large buses (city buses, school buses, and tourist buses included).
  4. Box trucks (furniture delivery, delivery drivers, and couriers).
  5. Straight trucks.

Class C CDL: Class C CDLs mandate you to operate all vehicles designated to haul 16 + passengers (counting even the driver). You can additionally operate vehicles that transport hazardous materials (as per the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act).

Examples of vehicles you may drive with a Class C CDL License:

  1. Passenger vans.
  2. Small vehicles (carrying Hazardous material).
  3. Combination vehicles (but those specified in Class A and B).

CDL Endorsements:  CPL Endorsements help you operate extra vehicles not originally included in your CDL license. For example, if you hold aClass B Licenseand have an opportunity to work in a firm dealing with transportation of toxic waste, you’ll need to add a HazMat (hazardous material) endorsement to your Class B License. There are other such endorsements relevant to each category of CMVs.

Requirements to get  a CDL
There are slight variations in the requirements among the different states. However, in general, the following conditions apply:

  • Age: at least 18 (and minimum of 21 years for intrastate driving).
  • Residence: You must have lived in the state for a specified time(not all states need this).
  • Medical requirements: Some states ask that you submit a medical examination certificate.

As I mentioned, there could be more in your state. For instance, in Nevada (for those in Las Vegas), you have to be at least 25 years old to be endorsed for vehicle combinations beyond 70 feet (length).

Check your state’s specific requirements before starting.

CDL Training

You can go the DIY (do it yourself) way, by studying the book and take the requisite tests on your own.

However, working with a commercial trucking school makes the whole process of satisfying the CDL requirements easier.

In most state, passing majority of the tests needs you to be perfect in general motor knowledge as well as understand combination vehicles convincingly.

And while you can get some useful guidelines in the CDL handbook/manual online or in your booked testing sites, a truck driving school will hold your hand making everything easier.

You must hold the applicable class of CDL to be allowed to operate trucks across the country.

And as we have seen, the requirements can be a bit confusing so attending a CDL training can be worthy of your time.

Commercial truck driving industry: What does the future hold?

The American economy is booming. People have recovered their taste for purchases and so demand for goods and services is peaking. Now, Over 70% of U.S. cargo goes on trucks and so demand for shipping is on an upward trajectory.

Of course, you may have heard about the persistent CDL truck driver shortage and the invasion of technology in the trucking industry. What about the future? What’s beyond the horizon?

Here are three potential outcomes:

The Autonomous Truck Could Be Parking on your Doorstep 

The hype surrounding self-driving trucks isn’t going away soon. Or so it seems.

Despite Uber discontinuing their self-drive truck program (to focus on auto-driving cars), more players have emerged. Tesla, Daimler, Waymo (Google connected), and even the Beijing-based TuSimple are all busy testing and re-engineering their mooted automated trucks.

Well, it’s too early to tell whether self-driving trucks will indeed take over truck driver jobs and render associated services such as truck driving training extinct or a CDL A License irrelevant.

That being said, some experts believe that it will be years before we see a driverless truck on our roads, especially in Las Vegas, Nevada or Salt Lake City, Utah. Keeping an eye on the developments will, however, do no harm.

Demand for Commercial Truck Will Remain High

In the last few years, the American Trucking Association has been reporting impressive growth figures in the market for commercial trucks. The immediate future for Las Vegas and Salt Lake City Truck Drivers could even be rosier.

Partially fueled by a rebounding manufacturing sector rebound and a performing economy, the demand will remain big and truck makers like Paccar should expect healthier bank balances.

The Roads Will Become Safer

For decades, truck driving has been rated as a dangerous job with drivers falling victim even when driving in cities with good highways such as Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

Review of laws leading to new requirements like the installation of electronic logging devices is helping. Besides, more trainee drivers are choosing to go through a truck driving school instead of self-training to get requisite licenses meaning they’re likely to obtain better highway skills from their chosen commercial trucking school.

Technology is also playing its part with inventions such as the GPS boosting road safety through intelligent routing and vehicle management.

Fledgling innovations like truck platooning (linking of two/more trucks in a convoy using virtual technology and automatic driving support systems) are further anticipated to benefit driver’s safety.

Such inventions will certainly be entering into the picture moving forward so the country should be experiencing fewer incidents.


It’s hard to accurately foretell what lays ahead for trucking in our nation. Nevertheless, some of the current trucking industry activity clearly point to a future which is both intriguing and filled with optimism.

For example, we may not be sure of the dates when the proposed smart truck (driverless trucks) will land. And while this could herald a new era of efficiency and cost savings for companies, the eventual fate of drivers is still misty.

In contrast, technology, a burgeoning economy, and better laws/policies are projected to help make driving safer, sustain truck demand, and are generally very promising.

Financial Assistance

RTDS understands that not everyone can afford the cost of the tuition up front. We offer several options to assist you with your tuition so you will be able to begin your training. You can pay via cash, check, credit card or bank transfer. Students also have the option of paying 50% at enrollment, and the remaining 50% before the start of their training.

Our representative will be able to provide you with all the details that will enable you to choose the best plan to suit your needs. Contact us for more information.

Becoming a safer Truck Driver

A competent CDL training program will cover road security rules and regulations, the basics of operating a commercial vehicle and inspection procedures. The courses should also teach you about the nitty-gritty of air brake systems (including pressure gauges and dual air brakes). In addition, you should also be informed about how to manage and inspect combination vehicles. We, at RTDS, provide over 10 years’ worth of expertise and a full-range of instruction programs, tailored according to the students’ needs and flexible schedules.

Did you know that there is a shortage of over 30,000 truck drivers in the US? While the perks of having a career in trucking seem appealing too many, few people manage to go through the necessary training and deal with the daily hassles of life on the road. Although there are companies which provide specialized programs and hire students from within the organization, most commercial drivers have to start small.

The majority of people involved in the trucking industry look for a cost-effective, reliable course that can be thorough in its teaching, as well as provide hands-on practice. If you’re interested to find out about what proper truck driver training looks like, here you will find a quick guide regarding the key-elements to focus on when choosing your program.

An effective instruction program will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of driving and will be geared towards classroom learning. Here you will study the rules and regulations of safe driving, what is needed of you in order to be a resourceful, fuel-efficient driver, as well as the particular road requirements for different states. The best truck driver training programs are usually developed by certified CDL schools, which have been inspected and reviewed by a third party. When it comes to the knowledge tests and driving examination, most schools will follow the US Department of Transport (DOT) standards and curriculum.

Whether you want to drive intrastate, interstate or foreign commerce, you will still be required to learn and practice the basics of commercial driving. This means that the truck driver training you’ve enrolled in should at least cover the following – signals on the road, trip planning logs, map reading, handling a larger capacity and weight load, safety rules and regulations, backing up, turning, loading procedures and managing logs for deliveries and hours spent on the road. At RTDS, we cover these essential topics and more, as well as provide students with a qualified instructor who can supervise them during practice.

Instruction programs are usually not free and require a relatively minor investment (compared to the thousands of dollars spent for university degrees and formal education). The cost of training will vary dramatically from school to school. However, the average price is around $3,500 to $6,000, which is reasonable when considering that you’ll be learning for a life-long career. But what exactly can a proficient truck driver training do for you? Aside for providing you with job placement within a reputable company, driving schools ensure financial security and long-term positions.

The national demand for commercial drivers is expected only to increase throughout the decade. Additionally, obtaining a CDL boosts your earnings considerably and allows you to work within a flexible schedule. Here are some other perks of joining the trucking industry – life insurance, paid vacation time, team driving for couples and friends, retirement savings plan and medical and dental insurance.

The most reliable truck driver training programs have instructors selected from the best in the business, offering extensive preparation for the CDL exam. Whether you choose to join a private school, a specialized company or a standard driving school, you should make sure that the training program and documentation they provide is certified by a third party. Moreover, we generally recommend that you check to see if the school can make you eligible for the type of permit that you require (class A, B or C), as well as allow for certain endorsements that you might want in the future.

A Better Driving School

Due to the significant shortage of drivers, companies are more than willing to increase salaries and offer extra pay for longevity and safety records. A job in the trucking industry can provide you with both financial security and the ability to travel on a regular basis. This type of consistency and flexibility allows you to know beforehand what you will do each day and exactly where you will be working.

Truck driving is without doubt one of the most straining and difficult jobs available today, but it’s also one of the most thrilling and rewarding careers one can pursue. If you’re independent, a bit adventurous, you can drive for hours on end and you work well with people, then considering a career in the trucking industry might just be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

While this is a job that will never bore you or cease to be unpredictable, it’s important to realize that the lifestyle and work environment of truck driving require an employee who can carry the load and be trustworthy. That being said, if you’re interested in finding out how you can make a profession out of what you love, then keep on reading for some tips on gathering information and experience in the trucking industry.

If you’ve decided that you want to become a commercial driver, then you need to learn more about how to get training and certification. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a lot of instruction and testing that goes into learning how to be a reliable and efficient truck driver. Training programs vary in both length and course consistency, but usually follow the same general guidelines. You can enroll in this type of program at a CDL driving school, which can provide you with one of the 3 types of licenses – class A (enables you to drive most combination and commercial vehicles), class B (for single vehicles) and class C (limited to smaller vehicles).

In addition, a decent CDL driving school will ensure that you have access to theoretical information and useful learning tools, as well as provide you with a medium in which you can practice your driving skills before your examination. If you’re interested in finding out more about the different types of specialized instruction courses available for students and eager drivers, you can browse through our Training Programs section and see which one is best suited for your goals and schedule.

Generally speaking, embarking on a lucrative career involves years and years of study and training. The exorbitant costs and often inflexible schedules can be very difficult to deal with and even leave you with unwanted debts in the future. With truck driving, all the learning and information available is condensed into courses which last up to a month. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on the proficiency of both the instructor and the student.

A competent CDL driving school will offer you expertise when it comes to operating large vehicles, understanding procedures and anticipating unexpected situations. Moreover, you should also have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience with driving (whether in the school’s assigned location or in city driving areas) to prepare you for the CDL examination.

When it comes to payment, the license you own, whether you are an intrastate or interstate driver, as well as the CDL driving school you were affiliated with will all dictate your earnings. As a rookie truck driver, the starting salary is usually somewhere around $30,000. This is a decent amount, considering that you can get both your training and certification in one month’s time or less. In addition, if you have a class A license, you can receive extra benefits and earn up to $40,000 per year.

Once you become a more experienced driver and have more than 5 years under your belt, you’ll see your salary increasing yearly. Either way, in a relatively short period of time you’ll be able to earn a considerable amount, without any need for college degrees or formal education.

Training for your CDL License

Due to the significant shortage of drivers, companies are more than willing to increase salaries and offer extra pay for longevity and safety records. A job in the trucking industry can provide you with both financial security and the ability to travel on a regular basis. This type of consistency and flexibility allows you to know beforehand what you will do each day and exactly where you will be working.

With the right license, truck driving can turn into quite a lucrative, intrepid career. However, more important than your on paper certification is the experience and knowledge you gather during your training.

CDL training is offered by multiple truck driving schools from across the country, as well as by community colleges and specialized companies. The instruction program you choose is crucial in both establishing a solid information basis for trucking and finding an organization that you can associate with and land a job at in the long run. Moreover, even though certain employers train applicants from within the company, directly affiliating with a specific organization might not be beneficial long term. This is because if you only obtain a class B or class C license, you will have very few endorsements available and too many restrictions to deal with.

This is why it’s important to enroll in a program that can teach you and efficiently prepare you for unexpected situations, as well as offer you a reliable license and a wide array of opportunities when it comes to commercial vehicles. Proper CDL training will not only teach you how to handle large vehicles, but also provide you with the broadest training options and instruct you when it comes to cost-efficient driving and safety techniques.

A competent CDL training program will cover road security rules and regulations, the basics of operating a commercial vehicle and inspection procedures. The courses should also teach you about the nitty-gritty of air brake systems (including pressure gauges and dual air brakes). In addition, you should also be informed about how to manage and inspect combination vehicles. We, at RTDS, provide over 10 years’ worth of expertise and a full-range of instruction programs, tailored according to the students’ needs and flexible schedules.

The courses cover theoretical information and will precede your field training. You will be provided with study materials and comprehensive learning tools, including resourceful lectures and introductory demonstrations. Moreover, our CDL training program ensures that you get the chance to practice procedures firsthand before taking your final examinations. Our qualified instructor will guide you through safe operating procedures, emergency conduct, skid control and loading maneuvers, as well as supervise your progress. When you’re ready, the instructor will join you in city driving areas and allow you to practice driving, visual search, safety techniques and shifting in traffic.

So what are the requirements for enrolling in a proper CDL training program? They vary from company to company, but generally involve owning a valid driver’s license, being over 21 years old and submitting a DMV driving record. The cost of the courses will also vary greatly from school to school, which is why you need to carefully consider how much would be worth paying for a career that can generate around $40,000 per year.

RTDS offers several options when it comes to CDL training – a Full Program (which involves 160 hours of comprehensive, in-depth courses, as well as extensive range and road training), a 3-Week Program (designed for candidates with basic driving experience, 120 hours), a 2-Week Program (quick and efficient, involves 1 week of courses and 1 week of range and road training) and an Express Program (suited for experienced drivers who are looking for a fast, reliable certification, includes 3 days of hands-on practice). If any of these CDL training programs appeal to you or fulfill your current professional requirements, then take a closer look and apply!

Testing for the CDL

Are you interested in starting a career in the truck driving industry? Do you know the basics of handling commercial vehicles, but you’d like to enroll in a specialized instruction program to improve? Are you comfortable being on the road for several hours every day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to learn about how you can receive training and a license for your practice. Keep on reading for a quick guide on what to expect from your future CDL test and how to best prepare for your written exam.

CDL stands for Commercial Driver’s License and is a clear-cut course designed to teach students how to securely maneuver a truck and other supplying vehicles. Aside from theoretical knowledge, the instruction program also involves practical tasks and activities conceived for developing hands-on experience with driving on public roads. In addition, students are educated about safety procedures, efficient loading and managing different types of materials. After your course has finished, you will be tested by your instructor both via a written examination and a practical “road test”. Before beginning your field training, you will be required to pass a written evaluation known as the CDL test.

Whether operating in intrastate, interstate or foreign commerce, all commercial truck drivers require a CDL. But before getting into the nuts and bolts of truck driving, you have to prove that you have the necessary information for this practice and pass a CDL assessment. The written exam generally features a series of tests covering general knowledge, combination vehicles and air brake. These quizzes are meant to assess if you have a basic grasp of elementary knowledge concerning road rules and regulations, safe management of commercial vehicles, as well as standard truck driving procedures and cargo weight.

Moreover, the tests are also designed to determine how much you know about functional topics like coupling and uncoupling and more specialized techniques such as trailer jackknife, safe backing and brake systems. Additionally, the air brake test is conceived to evaluate your knowledge of the air brake system and pressure gauges, as well as your ability to inspect and handle air brakes.

So how do you prepare for a CDL permit test? The first step is to find learning material or an online platform which can supply you with theoretical information. You can also try looking for your state’s CDL manual, which should cover topics including shifting gears, vehicle inspection, rail road crossing, driving at night and in different weather conditions, accident procedures, braking, managing space with other vehicles, controlling speed, skid recovery and driving emergencies. You can find a printed manual if you visit your local Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) or download an online copy from their website.

However, the manual alone won’t be resourceful enough to help with some of the tricky questions in the permit exam. This is why we recommend checking out some practice tests meant to prepare you for the evaluation and provide you with possible subjects. On our platform at RTDS you can find several learning tools, including a useful Hand Book with basic information and a Questions and Answers section covering the 3 types of knowledge tests.

Before you being studying, make sure you’re actually eligible for obtaining a CDL. In most states, the requirements involve owning a valid driver’s license and being over 18 (over 21 if you want to drive interstate). If you’ve got that covered, then all you have to do is find a manual and additional study resources and start learning and taking practice tests. After passing the written evaluation, you will be assigned for a CDL exam in order to receive your license.

Benefits of a CDL License

It’s a myth that higher education degrees automatically earn you a well-off, secure job in the modern world. Oftentimes, students graduate without any plans or ambitions or any idea on what they want to do for a career. And the documentation they receive from college or university no longer guarantees a big paycheck or even a stable job.

While studying is an important part of becoming educated in a certain field, there are many soft skills that cannot be learnt from a textbook. In response to the crisis of ill-preparation that we face today, more non-conventional approaches have stemmed in every industry, providing eager learners with a platform to discover and acquire practical skills in their profession. When it comes to truck driving, CDL schools can offer both education and certification, making landing a good job much more accessible than in other domains.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the trucking industry, then you first need to obtain a license for practice, as well as learn your trade and practice extensively. In this respect, you have a wide range of CDL schools to choose from, that can offer both specialized training and a commercial driver’s license. Given that the potential income for truck driving is between $38,000 and $43,000 per year for most positions on the road, it’s important to invest in a proper instruction program, which can teach you more than the basics of commercial driving. Whether they’re self-employed, hired from within a particular company or they switch from employer to employer, truck drivers require training and certification from an authentic, reliable CDL school.

So why should you join a trucking instruction program? Aside from being passionate about travel and a career that allows you a flexible itinerary, there is a considerable shortage of truck drivers in the United States. According to the latest report from the American Trucking Association (ATA), there is a shortage of 30,000 to 35,000 drivers in the US. This is great news if you’re interested in becoming a truck driver yourself, as you will receive more job opportunities and higher pay. That being said, you’re still required to present a valid license and have proper training from a CDL school in order to be hired.

The training programs available cover basic driving and safety information when it comes to large commercial vehicles, as well as hands-on instruction and loading or inspecting procedures. All the learning and practice takes place between 3 to 12 weeks, depending on the school you chose. There are also quick programs for certification, designed for more experienced drivers. Our CDL school at RTDS provides programs that can issue a license in any period of time – ranging from a few days to a full month, depending on the scope and consistency of the training.

When it comes to requirements for joining a CDL school, you must be at least 18 years old if you want to drive intrastate and over 21 in order to drive nationally. Moreover, you need a valid driver’s license, a DMV driving record and in some cases a high school diploma or a GED certificate. In addition, certain companies will require you to pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination and a drug screening, as well as provide proof that you have a clean driving record. If you fulfill these requirements, then choose your desired training program and send an application!