Which CDL License Type is Right for You?

Depending on your needs, there are three types of CDL license types to choose from. Some have weight, travel, and cargo restrictions, so it’s best to know what you plan on doing with your license or what kind rig you plan on driving.

Which CDL License Type is Right for You?

I Want to Drive Big Cargo Loads

If you’re looking to drive the rigs that handle the biggest cargo loads, you’re looking at a CDL License Type A. Drivers who have a Class A CDL can operate vehicles with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight) of more than 26,000 pounds, or a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. To obtain a Class A CDL you’ll need to take a written test in addition to a hands-on skill test. CDL License Type A will also allow you to operate license Type B and C vehicles.

I Want to Drive Trucks Within My State

If you want to drive trucks within you’re state, you’ll need a CDL License Type B. Having a Class B CDL allows you to operate a commercial vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds, with the towed portion being less than 10,000 pounds. With this license, you can specialize in intrastate hauls or commercial deliveries. Having a Class B CDL will also allow you to operate Class C CDL vehicles within your state.

I Want to Drive Trucks Across Country

If you’re looking to drive rigs across country, you’re going to need a CDL License Type A. If you’re definitely looking for long-haul gigs, you can only do so with a Class A CDL. This license allows you to drive across state lines with the maximum haul weight allowed. Again, as we covered before, a CDL License Type A will allow you to operate CDL License Types B and C vehicles as well.

On-the-Road Hobbies for Truck Drivers

On-the-Road Hobbies for Truck Drivers

In the Cab

Audio Books: Listening to audio books while you’re driving is a great way to pass the time, entertain your mind, or even learn something new. Websites like audible.com have hundreds of thousands of books, and will even give you a free trial to help you decide if audiobooks are for you! They’re easy to load onto your smartphone, iPad, or mp3 player.

Podcasts: There are countless podcasts available to listen to with countless themes. From sports to history, news and politics, niche hobbies, and everything in-between. They’re free to listen to using Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, and more.

Learn a New Language: If you want to do something really productive while you drive, you could always learn a new language. According to Fluentu.com, the 5 best audio programs for learning a new language are Pimsleur, iSpeak, Michael Thomas, Living Language Drive Time, and Berlitz.

Out of the Cab

Exercise: Taking the time out of your schedule to exercise is great for both body and mind. There are quite a few health issues that truckers have to deal with due to sitting for long periods of time, but you can combat these issues with enough exercise. Lifting weights, stretching, or even just taking a walk are great places to start.

Photography: With all of the books, online tutorials, and YouTube videos about learning photography, picking up this art form is easier than ever. Photography is challenging, rewarding, and a great way to spend your free time.

Wood Carving: Learning how to carve is another fantastic way to exercise your creativity on the road. Just like photography, there are plenty of books and online tutorials to pick up this new hobby, but the initial startup cost will be much cheaper since you only need a few tools and some wood.

Tips for Reducing Stress While On the Road

1. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

Keeping healthy eating habits helps your body run better. Eating foods with rich in omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin C will give you the energy you need every day. High-fiber and foods that are rich in carbohydrates have the same effect as eating comfort foods, but the trick is to find healthy alternatives. Examples of healthy comfort food are baked sweet potatoes, sauteed veggies, and minestrone soup. It’s also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system. Any fruits with vitamin C provide stress-busting antioxidants.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial to your well being, and not just your stress levels. Sleeping is a fundamental human function that allows our brain and body to rest and recharge. According to the American Psychological Association “When we do not sleep long or well enough, our bodies do not get the full benefits of sleep, such as muscle repair and memory consolidation. Sleep is so crucial that even slight sleep deprivation or poor sleep can affect memory, judgment and mood. In addition to feelings of listlessness, chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to health problems, from obesity and high blood pressure to safety risks while driving.”

3. Make Time to Exercise

There are a lot of benefits to exercising regularly. First, it pumps up your endorphins, which are your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. It also improves your mood and relax you by giving you focus on a single task. Studies have shown that it can lower the symptoms associated with mild anxiety and depression. There are plenty of ways to exercise on the road, from walking, lifting weights, yoga, and more.

4. Find Positive Ways Relax

Finding positive ways to relax, like taking the time to enjoy a hobby, is a great way to reduce stress. Spending time with a hobby, reading a book, or anything else that lets you take the time to unwind in a healthy way is important to your over-all health.

Common Truck Driver Health Concerns

With so much time spent on the road, truck drivers have a harder time maintaining their health. There are major health concerns, both mental and physical, that truckers have to watch out for. If you’re concerned about any of these health issues, it’s best to consult a doctor.

Common Truck Driver Health Concerns

1. Obesity

Unfortunately, with so much time spent sitting in one place while driving, truckers are prone to obesity. Obesity in the truck driving industry can be linked to a lack of exercise, poor sleeping habits, and a lack of good nutrition. Obesity can additionally cause other health concerns such as type 2 diabetes, sleeping disorders, and heart disease.

Luckily, obesity issues can be combated with proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, and incorporating exercise into your daily schedule.

2. Lung Cancer

About 60% of truckers engage in smoking tobacco products. Smoking can raise your chances of obtaining heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and can also increase your risk of having a stroke. Additionally, when truckers have the habit of smoking daily, there’s a greater chance of developing lung cancer. Smoking isn’t the only way to develop lung cancer for a trucker. Inhaling diesel fumes and other toxic chemicals that can be found in the industry can also increase your chance of developing lung cancer.

By giving up smoking and checking your truck’s ventilation system to minimize your exposure to hazardous fumes, you can lessen your risk of developing lung cancer.

3. Musculoskeletal Injuries

Another health risk that truckers face are musculoskeletal injuries. These types of injuries can occur from sitting in your truck for hours at a time, improper sitting positions, and constantly loading and unloading cargo. Constant straining of your body and overexertion can lead to further musculoskeletal injuries.

Adjusting your posture, getting regular exercise to strengthen your body, and stretching can help prevent any damaging musculoskeltal injuries.

Tips for Being Sick While on the Road

Getting sick usually happens at the worst time, especially when your job requires you to be alert and physically capable. If you’re a trucker, you can’t always take the time off that you need when you’re sick. If you have to keep driving, here are some tips for being sick while on the road.

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is key to beating your illness. There are so many benefits to drinking enough water, especially while you’re sick. Drinking water can help relieve constipation, treat or prevent headaches, maximize physical performance, and help with energy and brain function.

Find a Doctor

It might be more difficult to find a doctor while you’re out on the road, but depending on your insurance, it’s not impossible. You should be able to find a list of doctors in the area that take your insurance, either by calling your insurance company or by looking online.

Treat Yourself Right

If you’re sick then it’s important to take the necessary steps to get better. This includes eating right, taking the right medicine, and getting enough sleep. It’s not always easy to find healthy food while on the road, but look for low-sodium soups, healthy fruit smoothies, or plain food that won’t upset your stomach. It goes without saying that getting enough sleep is one of the most helpful things you can do for your body when you’re sick. Make sure you’re getting a solid eight hours of sleep a night.

Take More Breaks

Rest when you need to and don’t worry about taking breaks. Overwhelming yourself will only make your illness worse and you’ll have to take more time off in the long run.

Stop if You Need To

Don’t be afraid of stopping your trip if you have to. Everyone has their limits, and it’s important to know when to stop. It’s better to stop than to risk getting into an accident or stuck on the side of the road.