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.

Helping People Start Their New Career

This past May, California Career School hosted a career resource fair at our Anaheim location. It was filled with several vendors who presented information about their need for more employees. All of the vendors had contacted us in search of someone to hire from our school. There were also other resources available such as financial planning or different funding available. Some of our Twentynine Palms and Oceanside students came to receive information from their areas of interest and joined in the fun. One of them was selected in a raffle and won a USMC jersey.

Donnavin, the Instructor Supervisor, stood at our booth for all of those that came from surrounding cities. People were also able to sit in on presentations from companies and learn about what they offer. Some of our current students were offered jobs on the spot, while other people were told if they attended our program that they would be qualified to work at their company.

CCS is always trying to help the community and show people that there are many opportunities out there, and with just a little bit of training, you too, can start your career.

 

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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.

Student describes his experience at CCS

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Eugene Cannida came to California Career School today after he  received his Commercial Drivers license three days prior. He states that we are not just a school but a family and he wanted to see everyone again. CCS has placed over 300 graduates in the oil fields and Eugene has been working with a few companies to eventually move to North Dakota.

North Dakota has recorded the highest personal income growth among all states for the sixth time in the last seven years. Statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that the state’s personal income grew 7.6 percent in 2013; this is mainly due to energy developmentMany oil companies are in need of people with a CDL and Eugene knew that he would have a better chance getting hired if he received one.

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.

Albert Follows in his Fathers Footsteps

Albert Sais graduated with his commercial truck driver’s license, proudly sharing with us, “My father was a truck driver.”

The skills yard training was tough. He said, “The clutch would give me trouble along with the parallel parking, but I just listened to [my instructor] and got it down.”

He said that his current plans are to “possibly start for a company that I got a pre-hire from, if not, apply at some jobs back home and put my CDL skills to work.” At this time, he is working with the placement department to see his options.

We asked him what surprised him the most. Albert answered, “The knowledge the instructor has. I was nervous about taking the course and when I saw [my instructor's] teaching skills and ability to teach anyone, I knew I could do it. [...] You get all endorsements, great teaching, flexible, and a smart choice.”

“I just wanted to have something else on my background and to also show my Dad I can do it.”

Homeland Security Grad

Walter David Hinds, athlete and hunter, came to California Career School back in October last year. He has a son in Afghanistan and is a graduate of various weapons and training schools.

We asked him, why choose a vocational school? “Honestly,” David expressed, “I needed the permits.” He talked about his weapons training, being an edge weapon instructor, avidly participating in jujitsu and all kinds of other activities. Yet, application after application, employers would press him, “Where’s your permit for pepperspray?” or “Where’s your permit for baton training?” Some employers told him that his concealed carry weapons permit was not valid for the job—that he needed a regular firearms carry permit. That’s how David Hinds stopped by our front door here at California Career School. He earned his firearms permit, pepperspray training permit, baton permit, first aid/CPR permit, and finally his guard card.

“Right now, I’m headed to the gym,” he joked. “Right now, I’m focusing on one job,” David referred to Social Security or any Veteran’s building. “I’ll apply to other different places. I’m a protective agent,” he explained, “that’s what I enjoy.”

So we went on to talk about firearms. He described to me a situation some time ago when he was approached by some individuals out in Moreno Valley and was shot twice in the chest during a robbery. “There’s dangers, so you have to be careful. Good things happen from [guns]—bad things happen from [guns].” When the robbery occurred, he thought, “I didn’t really think anything would ever happen to me.” David expressed that, no matter how prepared you feel to be, there are always threats.

Fast forward to today, after his completion of the Homeland Security and Investigations Course. He talked about the importance of keeping face as a security officer and to use the mind before resorting to force. He said, “Always got to keep sharp. You have to balance it out. You don’t want to be hurting someone for no reason.” Over the course of training, Roland, our course instructor, helped David refine a number of things, one being trigger reset while handling firearms. Another more personal type of focus was David’s left eye dominance, which he had previously been unaware of. Adjustments in firearm grip and technique needed to be made because of this.

“I knew where my strengths and weaknesses [were],” he described. “Roland helped turn my weaknesses into strengths… There’s always room for improvement. I definitely feel improved.”

OTR to Local in 3 Months

After returning from 3 months of the mentor program with a trucking carrier, Vanessa Abdin landed another job locally! “I just enjoyed the driving!” she explained to us. Over the duration of her time, she saw Georgia, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and all over the Midwest. “I finally got to see all over my home state!” Vanessa is from Texas. The most beautiful thing she saw was the Rocky Mountains, she described to us. “It’s a whole new world!”

abdin“This will probably crack Ken up but me mentor said I was a natural at backing up!” Vanessa mentioned what her mentor said about her driving.

Now she’s working for school services driving a bus locally to help disabled children. She feels like she is really making a difference. She went on her own to obtain a passenger endorsement and picked up the job recently. On top of that requirement, her class A license made her competitive among the rest of the applicants. It is also getting her higher wages than those without the class A license at her company. “Having a clean record really helps,” added Vanessa. “I feel so good about this bus driving.”

She told her CCS instructor, “you’d be so proud of me, I can drive anything now!” He told me, “You’ll never forget what you experienced out there.”

“I’d do it again, thank you,” she replied.

Student Transfer

Lidia T. graduated with her commercial truck driver’s license, and proudly shared with us that she is, “excited to get to work”!

Lidia did not start her training here at CCS, but transferred here. Luckily the Agency she was funded by, allowed her to transfer to our program at no cost to her.

LidiaTLidia had a better experience here, and received the training that she needed. Lidia said that our instructors here are “nice, and patience can really help people learn better.” Coming here Lidia was able to train on full size equipment which made it easier for her to be employable. She also had better hands on training, doing her entire training on the truck and not in a classroom. Lidia worked with our Placement Department and discussed a selection of companies that would fit her needs best. Truck driving is an adventure and she is prepared now and will find her way as she goes.

Lidia shared with us a story that she used to tell her kids when they were younger, “Princess Diana had the heart to hug sick people even though she was beautiful and wealthy. We all try to run away from people that are ill or ugly, but we are all special”. Lidia knows that she is going to face difficulties in a “man’s world” but says that “we all deserve respect” and she will not allow others to walk over her.

Lidia said, “I would recommend CCS to anyone! Just the other day, I encouraged someone to come here while sitting at the agency”. Thanks Lidia and congratulations on all your hard work! We wish you all the success.

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.

 

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