How to Fight Fatigue While Driving Over the Road

Fatigue is dangerous for every driver, but can be fatal for truck drivers. Exhaustion slows down your reactions and can often impair your judgment without you even knowing. We have heard our graduates tell us some interesting tricks to staying awake such as putting rocks in your shoes so the uncomfortable feeling keeps you up, or having a cold rag to put on your face to shock you awake. Some common signs of fatigue are:

–          Tiredness or sleepiness
–          Irritability
–          Loss of appetite
–          Digestive problems
–          Increased susceptibility to illness

To avoid fatigue and stay alert:

–          Drink water instead of coffee
–          Exercise regularly, even if it’s a 20 minute brisk walk
–          Maintain a healthy diet; choose foods rich in fiber and antioxidants (sugar is tempting for the spike in energy, but you’ll just crash harder later)
–          Do not multi-task while driving, keep your eyes on the road!
–          Listen to your body, it knows when it’s tired and needs rest

These may work temporarily, but in the end it is rest, diet and exercise that are the best things for your body, in and out of the truck. Take care of your body and you’ll be less stressed, more alert and feeling great. You’ll be able to tackle any challenge the road throws at you. Check out www.cdllife.com/health for great tips for trucker specific exercise, meal ideas and support.

How to Comply with the Hours-of-Service Regulations

What they are? The hours-of-service regulations were set in place to provide safety to all drivers. They regulate when and how long you may drive so to reduce driver fatigue. The hours-of-service regulations are found in Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

What are the limits? Specific limits are placed on the amount of time you may drive your truck and how many total hours you can work before you are no longer permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
There is a 14 hour “driving window” limit and an 11 hour “driving limit”.

14 Hour Driving Window
This is the daily limit where you can drive up to 11 hours; the remaining hours may be used to fill up gas, inspection, waiting at a terminal, etc. A person will not be allowed to drive again until they have been off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours.
*Commonly known as 11-14-10*

11 Hour Driving Limit
You are only allowed to drive your truck up to the 11 total hours as stated above. Since June 30, 2013, driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty. A 30-minute break is mandatory for all drivers if they have driven 8 consecutive hours.

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On-Duty vs. Off-Duty
Time spent On-Duty is part of your 14 hour limit of daily working hours. Any time you are working for a motor carrier whether paid or not is considered on-duty. Time spent at a plant, terminal, or facility is considered on-duty, along with loading or unloading. Any pre or post-trip inspections are on duty as well.

Off-duty time is when you are relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. When you can walk away from your truck and leave it where it is parked to experience any fun activities that you choose to do; such as sightseeing, exercise, etc.

Penalties for Violating
Minimum penalties would include putting a person out of service until they have met the requirements. A log book examination would be performed, resulting in a $1500 minimum fine, but can range in price depending on if there have been multiple violations. It will go on your permanent record with the DOT for 3 years and can be viewed by perspective employers and other government agencies. Also a person can be terminated if violations continue.

You Don’t Need a 4 Year Degree to Have a Good Paying Job

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that by 2020 the nation could face a shortfall of about 875,000 machinists, welders, industrial-machinery operators and other highly skilled manufacturing professionals. Without trades, we could find ourselves struggling to get a plumber to our house.

lathe-239191_640Kotkin wrote in the OC Register, that many students that have graduated with a 4 year degree are unable to find work. Other majors that are not related to science or engineering, have left graduates to only find part-time work, or to accept a position as a barista or janitor. Kotkin states that people have been put into debt with their student loans, being forced to default on them. Unemployment has soared from 10% to 35% in the college graduate community.

Now is the time to learn a trade and become skilled in it, because 2020 is not too far away! We offer CNC Machining Programs along with Auto Repair – Tune Up and Emissions. Machinists held about 370,000 jobs in 2006 and it has increased substantially in less than 10 years. Here at CCS, we always want you to think about the future and where you want to be when it comes.

Refer-a-Friend

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We have had so many great success stories and we just want to keep them coming. Many people have started a new career path and gone to amazing companies and seen a lot of interesting places. Here at CCS we just want to say thank you for making our experience enjoyable. So now it is time to return thefavor. Earn extra income for helping a friend find a career.

 

Tell your friends about our program!

Spread the word; share with them your success story!

Earn referral rewards when you refer your friends to sign up!

 

Fall down 7, get up 8

 After getting his commercial class A license last week, Steve Fisher sat down and shared with us his difficulties and how they brought him to our doorstep.

“After I lost my job I was a little bit of a wreck. I was trying to think what I should do next and for the better part of 7 years I’ve always thought about getting my Class A license. So I decided to take the first step and look online for schools. CCS was the first one on the list. So I gave them a call and I talked to a gentlemen and he was very nice and gave me a rundown (over the phone) of the school. He told me about a program that went through Coastline Community College and that also had ties to One-Stop Center of Orange County. The program was designed to help people start a new trade and also find a new job. The gentleman told me that the program would help pay for the course. After talking to the gentleman, I went and looked at some other schools, two that were close to me and they were a little cheaper. But one school I would have had to go out to Riverside to train and CCS– they trained here in Anaheim.”

The key thing, he told us was, “I just wanted to be able to start a new, fresh start. I also was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do or even finish the course. I’m glad that I proved myself wrong.”

“It was more than one light bulb that went off. Each step from the test that I had to study, the pre-trip, 5 point brake inspection, the alley dock, the parallel parking and learning to double clutch,” Steve added. “The difficulties and obstacles I faced were that I have a really bad memory and how did I overcome it? I just wouldn’t let myself quit. I just had to do this. To prove to myself I could do it!”

We asked him what was surprising or unexpected about his experienced. He said, “There was when we went to take the test at the DMV and to see all the different schools that were there and how bad their students were at doing the skills test. I was very lucky that my instructors showed me the right away and safe way to drive and park.”

“The school wouldn’t give up on me,” Steve told us. Right now, he concluded, “I’m looking forward to getting a new job. There are many different schools out there but if you want one of the best then CCS is the best choice.”

When One Door Closes, Many Open

Returning from a flight from Chicago, our Homeland Security and Investigations graduate, Kirk Wahrman decided to drop by and say hello. We had lost touch with him for a while since he was in the process of applying for a health and safety supervisory position on the other side of the US.
Before coming to California Career School, Mr. Wahrman was in the health and safety industry working happily and enjoying his duties. However, an unexpected discovery with his own health had forced him out of the job—he was diagnosed with cancer. After several months of testing and various visits to hospitals, he returned to his work place only to find that he was relieved of his position.

This devastating news forced him to turn to the Employment Development Department (EDD) for the next step. “They kept telling me,” Kirk recalled, “You have good experience but you don’t have a degree.” Having been in the industry for years, Kirk’s experience level was high but a school background was lacking. After more dead ends and little progress in his search, Kirk changed his focus and decided to look into the security field. From 1975 to about 1995, Mr. Wahrman served in the Navy . “I was in security many years ago. Getting back into the business, being post 9/11, I knew there were going to be many changes,” he expressed.

“And that’s how I found California Career School,” Kirk said. Various aspects of security needed to be looked at in very different ways than what had been done in the past. “Roland,” said Kirk, “was very supportive and flexible, very knowledgeable, very thorough, generally takes an interest in the students and wants to see them succeed.” Roland Esquivel is our course instructor for the Homeland Security and Investigations course.

We asked Kirk about his favorite part of the course. “Graduation day,” he exclaimed, “with all the food and festivities. No, I’m just teasing. But the sense of accomplishment was there, that I completed a huge 500 hours of training.”

“We studied a lot of real life security issues, things in the news, things that were current.” Students would read these articles and the class would break them down into what laws were applied in those given situations, what procedures were taken, correct and incorrect actions taken towards a suspect, and other types of observations. “It really helped me learn the right way to look at a situation and be a better security officer.”

“Once I finished California Career School, I was considered for higher than entry level positions.” His military background played a huge part in that. Since then, the California Career School placement office has helped Kirk obtain offers from Securitas and Allied Barton. Kirk worked for both of these companies but as of this writing, he will hopefully be returning to Chicago to pursue an opportunity that he recently found in the industry he was originally in: health and safety.

We hope that Kirk will make it into this job as it is the one that he was originally looking for before reaching out to California Career School. It is indeed in his own health and his own safety that we wish him well. We would like to thank Mr. Kirk Wahrman for repeatedly taking the time to come in to visit with big smiles and always something funny to share.

“He’s got a lot of talent—he was a great student,” said Roland, our instructor. “[He] had a lot of fun experiences to share with the class, made the class more interesting… he had a great sense of humor, he will do great at whatever he puts his mind to.”

G.I. Jobs Top Veteran Friendly Colleges for 2014

CCS does it again! A new year is just around the corner and California Career School has once again solidified its spot on the G.I. Jobs top veteran friendly colleges, making this our 5th year in a row!

With our convenient locations and a knowledgeable VA staff it’s easy to see why CCS was placed on this elite list with other top tier schools from around the nation.

The job placement program we provide is proactive, putting you back in the work force upon completion of school. Our admissions staff aids veterans by helping them with a smooth transition from a military to civilian lifestyle and are more than helpful in explaining the variety of career choices offered by our establishment.

CCS also works hand in hand with tuition assistance and the G.I. Bill. We understand that you worked hard for your benefits and we ensure that you get the most out of your education. Take a step in the right direction and gain real world skills at California Career School. For a full comprehensive list of military friendly schools, please visit militaryfriendlyschools.com

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From Graduate to Job Promotion

Ricardo Barbosa came to California Career School back in January of 2011 and took our Homeland Security program. He came last week to tell us the good news! Ricardo is now the proud father of a baby boy, Evan! Congratulations from everyone here at CCS! Also, Ricardo received a promotion with his company three months ago. It seems like everything is going in the right direction, and what perfect timing. He is now a Post Commander at Universal Protection in Brea, CA. Ricardo told us that the most amazing thing about this promotion is that “most people do not receive a promotion like this until they have been with a company for 5-6 years, but I have only worked here for a year and a half”.

Ricardo used to work in construction before he came to CCS, so we asked him, why choose a vocational school? “Honestly,” Ricardo expressed, “construction wasn’t paying enough and I had a buddy that worked border patrol who told me that if I wanted to get into his field I would need to take a Homeland Security program”. Ricardo found us online and started here soon after.

So we went on to talk about firearms. Ricardo shared with us that he bought his first gun and that he received his license to carry an exposed weapon. “There are dangers, so you have to be careful.” Over the course of training, Roland, our course instructor, helped Ricardo refine a number of things, one being trigger reset while handling firearms. Another thing that Ricardo had trouble with was report writing, this may not be the most exciting part of the job, but everyone has to do it, especially in the police/sheriff department, “Roland really worked with me on this” and eventually he got it.

Ricardo told us that “Roland made the class! The best part of the class was learning baton training; we all had such a great time”. Ricardo is interested in working in the Sheriff’s department and because Roland is a retired LAPD, he has been able to help give advice. It is nice to hear that our students and instructors still keep in contact, especially since it has been over a year since Ricardo graduated. “Roland went over and beyond in all aspects of the class, I knew where my strengths and weaknesses [were],” he described. “Roland helped turn my weaknesses into strengths… There’s always room for improvement.”

 

Helping His Family From Afar

Jacob came back to our headquarters last week to share that he is about to buy his own truck and has secured a job for Fedex doing OTR as an owner operator! After things settle down for a bit, he will be visiting his family in Liberia to see what he can do for them.

Congratulations Jacob!!

Eight years ago, Jacob Benson left his home in Liberia, Africa to pursue his dream of becoming a professional truck driver and find a way to help support the family he had just left behind.

Jacob dedicated the next few years to saving up money so that he could help his family get away from the war in Liberia. He worked diligently. Eventually, Jacob had sent enough money that his family was able to move out of Liberia and start a new life in the safety of Ghana. Once he knew that his loved ones were safe and well provided for, he was able to pursue his dream.

Jacob enrolled in trucking school. He completed his training, received his CDL and applied for a driving position with Swift Transportation. Although his application was approved, when it came time to complete Swift’s driving tests, Jacob found himself struggling. “The experience I got in training wasn’t enough.” Jacob stated, “I had my license but the type of transmission I was used to driving was not up to their standards.” Swift recommended that Jacob reapply after completing some additional training.

Disappointed but determined to succeed, Jacob had a realization. He explained, “I found California Career School a few years ago. A truck class was training in a lot behind my house. I stopped and talked to the instructor, Robert, about my plans to become a truck driver. I wasn’t ready at the time but he told me to contact the school as soon as I was… and that is how I ended up at California Career School.”

At enrollment, Jacob explained his situation. Since he had already obtained his CDL, it was agreed that the classroom time and permit study would be redundant. Jacob was given credit for the first two weeks of the program and joined his classmates once they were ready to head out on the road. “The training offered here was so much better.” Jacob said “At my previous school, I was trained on an 8 speed, 28 foot trailer. Here, we train only on full size trailers with 10 speed manual transmission. My first day training here I said, ‘wow, backing a 48 foot truck is very different than backing a 28 foot truck.’” He continued, “I was also able to drive on the freeways here. I was never given that opportunity at the other school. Robert made sure to let me practice in the real situations that I will face as a professional trucker.”

Jacob met with his placement coordinator early in training to get started on the pre-hire process. He applied for driving positions with Swift Transportation, Werner Enterprises, Gordon Trucking Inc., CRST, Schneider, Covenant Transport, US Xpress and Stevens Transportation. Jacob wanted to choose a company that he would stay with for the duration of his career, so he began researching each of the carriers to find his perfect fit. Jacob explained, “I looked at each company’s policies, how well and how long they train you and I read the testimonies of their drivers. I also looked at what kind of equipment they provided and whether or not they upgraded it on a regular basis.”

Ultimately, all (yes, ALL) of the carriers he applied for responded and offered him a position with their company. Jacob had already decided that he would like to work for Covenant Transportation. He smiled and said, “My first choice was Covenant and I am sticking to it.”

Jacob just completed his training with Covenant and stopped by to visit while he was in town waiting to be assigned a truck. He told me stories from the road and talked about the different kinds of weather conditions he had encountered while driving with his mentor. Jacob has finally achieved his goal! I asked what he planned to do next. Without hesitation, Jacob replied, “Once I have driven for one year, by the grace of God, I am going to buy my own truck and become an owner operator. Then I will come back to visit and show you my truck. I couldn’t have done this without you.”

Before leaving, there was one more update that Jacob wanted to share… he had just received his legal resident status and would finally be able to visit his family in Liberia!!!

What an exciting couple of months it’s been!!! Congratulations Jacob from all of us at California Career School! We are so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to share in your success. Good luck out there! We are looking forward to your next update!!!

“I would recommend California Career School to anybody that wants to be a professional truck driver. I would like to thank the instructors for their efficiency and the administration for being very professional, helpful and kind towards me and everybody that I trained with.”
–Jacob Benson

10 Years with CCS!

Wow! Tony Passalacqua is celebrating his 10 year anniversary with California Career School. How time flies!

Congratulations for completing 10 years successfully. It has been wonderful working with you, and your contribution and dedication to CCS is admirable. In the past 10 years you have impacted so many students and fellow coworkers. Any person that knows Tony would say that he is very helpful and knowledgeable about trucks and what needs to be worked on. He is always willing to help on off hours with his fellow employees. Tony is an outstanding driver, and always prompt. He is willing to travel with the school to all of our locations. Tony also has a good teacher-student relationship and any student would tell you how great of an instructor he is.

The company is thankful for having you. It’s because of your hard work and loyalty CCS has been able to grow tremendously. Our students love you and everyone on the team does too!

You have been an inspiration to all the team members, and we appreciate your service for so many years. It is your hard work which has given you and the company success on many projects.

Keep up the good work and we wish you success in the years to come.