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What Does 2019 Look Like for the Trucking Industry?


image of a semi truck driving down a highway with the text '2019 outlook for the trucking industry'

Trucking Companies Budgets Continue to Increase

Reports say that trucking budgets are expected to climb again in 2019, though at a slower pace than past years. In the page, some companies saw budget rates increasing by as much as 15% year-over-year. That number is set to slow to between 7% and 10% during 2019.

The Amount of Freight Needing Moved Continues to Increase

The amount of freight that needs to be transported throughout 2019 will continue to rise. The average annual increase between the years 2019 and 2024 is estimated to be about a 2.3% increase each year. This means there is plenty of work for truck drivers to stay on the road and take home a paycheck.

The Truck Driver Shortage Continues

The truck driver shortage is predicted to continue and to get more severe throughout 2019. This means that the current shortage of about 50,000 drivers is set to increase even further. This means that anyone who is looking to get into the trucking industry has a perfect opportunity to get into the industry at their fingertips.

Diesel Driving Academy Can Help

As the shortage of truck drivers becomes more severe, this makes a perfect time to get into truck driving as a career. DDA is the perfect place to start! We can help you get your CDL at any of our campuses which are located throughout Arkansas and Louisiana. We offer both Basic & Advanced CDL classes, all of which can be completed in 30 weeks or less (depending on the program you choose).

Upon completion of your CDL training, you will be ready to take on a new career in a promising and thriving industry that is in need of drivers. Salaries for most positions start at around $40,000+ annually, as well as come complete with paid vacation time. You will get full benefits including healthcare and retirement savings as well. Finally, many truck carriers are even happy to offer tuition reimbursement opportunities for drivers who sign to drive with their carrier (usually a contract that lasts one year or maybe longer).

There has been no better time to get into trucking than right now. The industry’s performance is strong and there is a need for companies to hire more truck drivers who are trained and ready to take the road. The salaries and benefits are excellent and have a lot of room to grow throughout an individual’s career.

For more information on registering to get your CDL call and talk to our Admissions staff today! 1-800-551-8900

The Quickest Route to a Local Driving Job


image of interstate highway bridges with the text 'how otr can be the quick route to driving local'

Want to Drive Local? Why Going OTR May Get You There Quicker

If you’re thinking about a career as a truck driver, but want to be home every night, the fastest way to get in the driver’s seat and gain the experience you’ll need to land a local driving job is to start as an over-the-road (OTR) driver. Most local companies require a minimum of two years driving experience and they do not provide further training, which driving school graduates must have.

The Road to Experience is OTR Driving

Major OTR carriers are the opposite, their businesses depend on hiring driving school graduates. They provide extended training to get drivers ready for their own truck. This is the best way to gain the experience you need.

Signing on with an OTR carrier right out of driving school has a lot of benefits. Some companies offer sign-on bonuses, others may reimburse your driving school tuition if you fulfill your contract. Deciding to go OTR means you probably won’t have to look very hard for a job either, recruiters will be searching for you. Find a truck driving school that has good relationships with the major carriers.

Regional, Dedicated, and Local Positions

Many large trucking companies have regional and dedicated routes that allow drivers to be home every weekend, or even more often, but these jobs go to proven employees. Local delivery and pickup positions are also common at the big carriers, as well as yard drivers who work at the terminal moving trailers, mostly in and out of docks, with tractors designed for that task.

If you want a local driving job remember that local companies typically do not put a premium on driver comfort. They tend to have older and outdated equipment, but OTR carriers pride themselves on running modern fleets with all the features of a luxury car.

Start your career with a truck driving school that works with major carriers to get you the experience you need. Call Diesel Driving Academy and get enrolling in our next class, today! 1-800-551-8900


We Can Help You Start a New Career For the New Year


image of a semi truck driving down the road with text reading new year new trucking career

If you are considering starting a new career in 2019, Diesel Driving Academy is here to help! If you have ever considered truck driving as a new career opportunity for you, there is no better time now than to pursue this option for your future!

As the new year begins and you look to make your resolution, enrolling in Diesel Driving Academy can be just the start to a new career you need!

Why Enroll at Diesel Driving Academy?

Diesel Driving Academy offers a complete array of courses that will help you obtain your CDL license. We offer classes that are both basic and advanced in nature to help you obtain your CDL license.

Basic CDL Course

These classes are for drivers who do not have any previous trucking experience. This course will teach you the basic rules of the road and everything you need to know to get started.

Advanced CDL Course

The Advanced course is for those who are looking for more in-depth CDL training. No experience is required to enroll in this course, however, this is a much more in-depth CDL experience unlike the more basic training class mentioned above. This coursework includes more extensive teaching of maneuvers in a larger vehicle in addition to complete roadway safety and advanced roadway operations.

Choose a Schedule Based on Your Needs

Students can choose the Basic or Advanced course based on training needs. Each program can be completed through a daytime or evening classes (some evening classes are held at specific campuses only.) The program can be completed in little as a month or up to 30 weeks if you choose to take the Advanced evening class.

Multiple Ways to Help You Pay

We understand that many people will balk at the cost of getting your CDL which can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on the program which you choose to complete.

However, we do have a variety of financial aid options available to help you pay for schooling. These financial aid options include special options for veterans or those who are currently serving in the military.

We also offer programs that can provide grants and additional assistance to help you with your schooling. There are also carrier programs where carriers are willing to pay you for signing a contract with their company. Typically, they give you a specific percentage of the money back each week that you spent on your training if you commit to work for them for a set period of time (usually a year).

Trucking is an In-Demand Position

Trucking is an in-demand job which is guaranteeing your job security for the future, As consumer demand continues to rise, more and more driving jobs are becoming available. Pay is also quite good starting around $40,000+ for the average trucking job with the possibility of getting north of $100,000+ for certain positions.

Most positions also come with paid vacation time. You also get retirement and full healthcare benefits with the trucking company. Finally, many are willing to help pay back the cost of your driving school if you commit to signing a contract with them for a certain period of time (usually a year).

As the new year approaches, join us in our CDL courses so that you can give yourself the treat of a new career for a new you in the near.

For more information on registering with Diesel Driving Academy to get your CDL, call today! 1-800-551-8900

Can I use My GI Bill® to Get a CDL?


As a military veteran transitioning to a career in the trucking industry, you may want to know if you can use your G.I. Bill® for CDL training. At Diesel Driving Academy, you can use a number of different VA tuition benefits programs to help cover training costs.

What VA Benefits Can I Use?

Veterans and servicemembers may be eligible for benefits through numerous GI Bill® programs. In addition, spouse and family members may also benefit from training assistance programs.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Active duty and reservists may be entitled to receive a monthly education benefit through the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). Besides those, other VA programs that DDA participates with include:

  • Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA)
  • Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
  • DoD Tuition Assistance (TA) Program
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

Why Choose Trucking as a Career?

Right now, there is a high demand for new truck drivers. Not only are there close to 51,000 truck driving jobs open that need to be filled, but that number is expected to grow in the next few years. With skills that easily transfer from the military to trucking, you’ll start a new career with incredible job security and high-earning potential.

A career in trucking offers many opportunities in an exciting, respectable, and well-paying industry. On average, an entry-level truck driver can earn $41,000+ in their first year of driving. Similarly, the average truck driving team can earn $70,000 – $100,000+ per year. Plus, trucking companies are offering incentives to new drivers, like sign-on bonuses, full health benefits, and plenty of home time.

If you’re ready to start a new career as a professional truck driver using your MGIB benefits, give Diesel Driving Academy a call! With training that is quick and affordable, you’ll be on the road in no time! 1-800-551-8900


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

Troops in Trucks: Getting your CDL As A Civilian


For many, the transition from life in uniform to life as a civilian can be challenging. However, many industries are committing to helping veterans make the transition back to civilian life easier. One of those is the trucking industry.

CDL Requirements

Military veterans enter the civilian workforce with a unique set of skills and experience. The Military Skills Test Waiver Program allows veterans with heavy-duty driving experience to earn a CDL without taking the road test portion of the exam. You’ll need to apply for this program within 12 months of being discharged from your US Military Service. Drivers will still have to take the written portion of the test.

Physical Impairment? You May Still Qualify

Drivers with physical impairments can obtain a Skill Performance Evaluation waiver granted by the FMSCA. This certification allows drivers with missing or impaired limbs to drive commercial motor vehicles across state lines. Drivers must complete on-and-off road activities and demonstrate the ability to safely drive a truck. And, under the recently enacted FAST Act, military veterans will be allowed to have their DOT physical done through the Veteran’s Administration.

Why Choose Trucking?

The trucking industry will need to add more than 4.5 million workers between the years 2014 and 2021. Many trucking companies have shown a long-time commitment to hiring veterans after their military service is complete. Diesel Driving Academy is a proud supporter of our men and women in uniform. Our programs prepare veterans for careers in the civilian workforce, and we partner with trucking companies that regularly hire military veterans.

For more information on why truck driving is a great career for a returning veteran and why we want to give back to those who have served our country, call DDA today! 1-800-551-8900

Autonomous Trucks: Do I Still Need to Get My CDL?



With all the talk in the automotive and trucking industries turning toward autonomous, self-driving vehicles, many are wondering if getting a CDL is still worth it. The short answer is YES! While autonomous trucks may be a part of the future of transportation, truck drivers are not out of the equation.

The Role of the Driver in Self-Driving Vehicles

While the transportation industry is working toward making vehicles totally autonomous, recent news reports of their failure to avert accidents have left some wondering about the future of this technology. Like in the airline industry, autonomous vehicles are not ready to be completely driverless. In the case of the airplanes, the autopilot function is there to assist pilots. It allows the pilot to release their hands from the wheel while maintaining total awareness of their surroundings. Autonomous vehicles would allow drivers to do the same. Drivers could also override these “autopilot” functions in specific or dangerous situations.

The Future of the Truck Driving Industry

No one can say for sure what the truck driving industry will look like 5, 10, or 20 years. However, the skills you learn when earning your CDL license are invaluable. With the industry slow to adopt a fully autonomous vehicle, highly skilled drivers will still be in demand for the foreseeable future. Having a fully trained person behind the wheel, like in the airline industry, is essential to maintaining safety on the highways.

The immediate outlook for truck drivers is positive. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that from 2016 to 2026, the industry will see a 6% growth. This translates to another 90,000 drivers needed NOW through 2026. With the future of autonomous vehicles rolling at a (very) slow pace, those jobs are just waiting to be filled!

The trucking industry is booming, and the demand for new drivers is high! Find out how you can get your CDL and get on the road to a new career. Call Diesel Driving Academy today! 1-800-551-8900



Understanding the Truck Driver Shortage


The demand for truck drivers has been steadily increasing over the last 15 years. With more than 70% of goods moved by trucks each year, there is a high demand to replace an aging workforce. The average age of today’s tucker is 55 years old. Now, with more truckers nearing retirement age, and starting salaries averaging $40-50,000, the industry is primed and ready for new entry-level drivers.


While starting salaries are around $40-50,000 per year, new recruits can earn signing bonuses. Long haulers can earn even more money with some drivers topping out at $100,000 per year. In some cases, smaller companies may also consider profit sharing. Companies are reporting record bookings this year and increased pay per mile. There are long hours in the trucking industry but more companies are implementing schedules that allow for more home time.

Industry Future

With more and more people ordering goods online, there has been a sharp increase in the number of items being shipped across the country. This means an endless supply of work for truckers. While some in the industry are talking about self-driving trucks, this doesn’t appear to be something that will be coming to US highways anytime soon. With the increase in workload and shortage of drivers, many truckers are earning even higher wages for their service.

National Programs

The trucking industry knows it needs more drivers. In an effort to encourage military personnel to join the trucking industry, in July 2018, the US began an Under 21 Pilot Program. This 3-year study looks at a test group of military personnel from all branches of the armed forces who are 18-21 to determine if the training they receive in service can be applied to the truck driving industry.

It’s a great time to get into trucking! Start a new chapter and earn your CDL with driver training from Diesel Driving Academy! To get your start in this growing industry, call us today! 1-800-551-8900

The Benefits of Team Driving


For those new to the trucking industry, the concept of team driving is when two drivers take turns driving. Seems simple enough but this requires that both of you be driving together in the cab. While one of you is driving, the other one sleeps. This constant driving allows you and your teammate to get through deliveries faster by making fewer stops and therefore drive up your profits.

How Does It Work?

There are some rules and regulations you need to follow. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has guidelines that limit the amount of time a driver is allowed to drive. It also regulates the amount of time allocated for sleep and breaks. For example,  there is an 11-Hour Driving Limit if you are coming off of a 10 hour sleep or break (this can also include days off). These guidelines extend to how many hours you can drive in a week.

Who is My Teammate?

Well, anyone who has a CDL can become your teammate. Often times, this is a family member or spouse but it can also be someone who you met in during a training program. Remember, you are going to be spending long hours in tight quarters so you should choose your teammate wisely.

What is My Earning Potential?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average team payout is about $62,000. This is higher than the national average for a solo driver at $40-50,000 per year. For some drivers, this may mean spending less time on the road to earn more money.

Team driving provides more flexibility to take on long-haul routes. As a team, you can spend less time on the road while covering greater distances and making yourselves more money in the end.

Learn more about how you can earn your CDL and get on the road, call us today to get started…maybe you’ll meet your teammate! 1-800-551-8900


6 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a CDL School


You’ve decided on a new career and are taking the right steps to earn your Class A Commercial Driver’s License by enrolling in a training program. The best way to decide which training school is right for you is by meeting with an admissions representative and asking questions.

While this can be intimidating, knowing what questions to ask can help you make the right decision. The most important questions you should ask the admissions rep are related to cost and the structure of the training. Below are some excellent questions to ask as well as the types of answers to expect from the admissions rep.

Cost-related Questions

How much does the program cost? 

It’s important to know how much the program will cost, and what is included in that cost. The answer to this may vary, depending on the program. Your admissions representative will likely ask some questions to get an idea of your skill level. This will help them determine which training program is best for you.

What kind of financial assistance is available? 

Knowing how you are going to pay for training is important. While you can pay out-of-pocket, there may be other options for paying for your training. Some CDL programs may offer more – or different – financial assistance than others. Financial aid staff can help you complete any FASFA applications, and see what types of assistance you qualify to use.

Do you work with any companies that offer tuition reimbursement? 

Many trucking companies offer tuition reimbursement for tuition costs. This means that your future employer will pay you back for part of – or even all of – your training costs.

Program Structure Questions

What is the student to truck ratio?  &  What is the student to instructor ratio?

Knowing how the program works is essential. Two things you should ask about are the student to truck ratio and the student to instructor ratio. In both cases, the lower the number, the better. The more time you can spend with a qualified instructor in a truck, the better prepared you will be.

What types of certifications does the program have? 

While specific certifications aren’t required, asking an admissions rep if the school is licensed, accredited, or if the instructors are CVTA certified can give you an idea of the quality of the program.

Knowing the right questions to ask can help you decide on the best training school for you. Have more questions you need answered? Talk to a DDA admissions representative for more information on your CDL training. Call today! 1-800-551-8900

Back to School: Starting a Career in the Trucking Industry


Many adults want to go back to school to get their CDL license and start a new career in the trucking industry. But, the idea of going back to school can be rather intimidating and may raise a lot of unanswered questions. Some may question their ability to afford career training, while others may wonder if they are at the right point in their lives to go back to school in the first place.

Many adults will have a lot of unanswered questions about going back to school, you’re not alone. Today we take a look at what going back to CDL school might mean for an adult!

How am I supposed to afford the training?

There are a variety of ways that you can get assistance in paying for CDL school. From grants to financial aid and even scholarships, there is a variety of ways to help adults pay for career training. The financial aid staff at DDA will help you fill out your FAFSA forms to see if you qualify for loans or aid to help you be able to afford to start your CDL training.

If I work full time, can I still take my CDL training courses at Diesel Driving Academy?

Yes, of course! For those who have full-time day jobs, families, and other responsibilities to attend to we offer night time classes as well. To earn your CDL in the evening program, class will be completed in 30 weeks (the daytime program is 20 weeks). You will receive the same great training as the participants of our day-time class, just on a different schedule.

What if I never really had a career before? 

Some of our students are moving from one career path to a new one as a truck driver. But, a lot of our students are just getting started in a career for the first time. Whether you are looking for your first career, are transitioning out of military service, or want to shift gears completely, we got you covered! We do require that our students are a minimum of 21 years old (at graduation) however, there is never an age limit on learning, knowledge, and getting yourself ready to start a great new career.

If you are considering a great new career and are interested in getting your CDL license or want more information about getting signed up to complete a training program, call us today! 1-800-551-8900

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