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Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs

  • How it will Increase in the Coming Years

    The trucking industry is chronically short of drivers, and that isn't likely to be fixed anytime soon. For someone considering a career in trucking, this is great news. Jobs are plentiful and companies are paying their truckers more than ever.

    Why the Shortage

    The main reason for the driver shortage is the increased need for cargo moving at the same time many baby boomers are aging out of driving jobs. Amazon and Walmart are examples of the increased need for cargo movement, selling increasingly more items by the internet. The economy is humming as well, which increases the number of goods moving over the roads. Additionally, Electronic monitoring and maximum hours rules have increased the number of days it takes to complete longer trips. The improved safety is a plus, but longer trip times also mean an increase in the number of drivers needed.

    Why it will Continue

    At a time when more drivers are needed, there are many older truckers hanging up their driving gloves to retire. Dan Leathers, head of Werner Enterprises, recently told NPR in an interview that the average trucker is 10 years older than the average worker. This means the aging of boomers hits trucking harder than other industries. In their 2017 Truck Driver Shortage Analysis, ATA's chief economist estimated the driver shortage would increase to 174,000 by the year 2026 and that hiring would need to be about 90,000 drivers per year to meet demand.

    How it will Improve

    According to a survey by American Trucking Associations (ATA) of 100,000 drivers, pay for truckers rose 15 percent from 2013 to 2017. And the increase was even better, at 18 percent, for drivers working for private fleets. Improved benefits and bonuses are also being used to attract more drivers. For those entering the trucking profession, that's bright news. If you're interested in a secure job that pays well, or if you're just looking over career options, feel free to contact us at Advanced Career Institute. We'd be glad to talk with you!
  • Tips to Trucking with Your Pet

    It can get lonely on the road. Many trucking companies have realized that an easy way to boost the morale of drivers is to allow truckers to bring a friend on the trip—especially a four-legged friend! If you're one of the lucky drivers working for a pet-friendly company, it's important to make sure you understand all the company's and your pet's requirements before setting out on the road together.

    Check Your Company's Regulations

    • Types of pets allowed
    • Weight and size restrictions for pets
    • Additional fees for damage and cleaning
    • Where pets are permitted in your truck
    • Waiting period before pets are allowed
    All pet-friendly companies allow dogs, but some also allow cats. A few even allow any pet as long as it's not aggressive. If you have a cat or other pet, check with your company to find out if they allow non-canine companions. Many companies have weight restrictions on any accompanying pet. They will likely charge fees to cover damage your pet may do to the truck or to pay for cleaning the truck. If your pet damages your truck beyond any required fees, then you will be responsible for the repairs. Definitely make sure your pet is well-trained and well-behaved before hitting the road. Most companies also have a trial period of a few months before you can bring your pet with you on trips. As companies develop their pet policies, they often update their rules and regulations, so stay up-to-date on any changes along the way.

    Basics of Having a Pet on the Road

    • Bring pet vaccination records
    • Get a Certificate Of Veterinary Inspection for crossing state lines
    • Train your pet on which parts of the truck are off-limits
    • Have plenty of blankets, toys, and treats
    • Bring a leash and poop bags for stops
    • Bring cleaning supplies for any accidents
    • Have a travel crate for delivery and pick-up stops
    • Bring plenty of water
    Once you get the green light from your company and you can bring your furry friend with you. You will first want to make sure they enjoy the ride as much as you before they join full-time. As exciting as it is to be on the road, it can also be nerve-racking and exhausting for some pets. That's why it's important to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. Bring blankets and toys and treats to keep them warm, occupied, and rewarded. Remember to bring a leash for walks at rest stops and bags to clean up after your dog (you should also have cleaning supplies for accidents between rest stops). Most pick-up and delivery stops don't allow dogs to roam free. You will want to bring a travel crate to ensure your pet doesn't accidentally escape while you load and unload. Most importantly, you should always make sure you have plenty of water on hand for your pet, especially on those hot days. As for the legal side of things, the FMCSA is fine with pets in the cab as long as safe driving isn't compromised. Train your pet to stay away from your clutch and brakes and other parts of the truck that may be off-limits. When it comes to the safety of your pet, they must be up-to-date on all their vaccinations, and you need to have proof of vaccination for authorities. If your route takes you across state borders, you should also have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection to speed up inspection.

    Bringing Your Pet Along for the Ride

    If you're excited about the potential of bringing a pet on the road, the first step is finding out which companies are the right fit for you. Trucking Truth is a great resource and has created a helpful list of pet-friendly companies and their basic restrictions. Once you find a company that fits both your trucking and pet aspirations, take the time to thoroughly understand the pet rules. Having a pet on the road is a joy, but it does require more work than riding alone. If you're prepared, it makes everything run more smoothly. If you or a loved one is embarking on a career in trucking, then you've come to the right place! Contact us to learn more about our training program and how we can help you achieve your career goals.
  • Common Questions Asked By New Welding Students

    New welding students often have a lot of questions. These questions can range anywhere from work prospects and equipment, to history. Below are a few of the most common questions our instructors receive:

    1: Where do welders work?

    • Welders can work in a variety of industries, including construction, shipbuilding, industrial maintenance, repair, and manufacturing.

    2: What skills are most important for a welder?

    • A good welder should not only be well versed in the theory and practice of the different welding applications, but should also have strong problem-solving skills, the ability to read plans and blueprints, and have strong communication skills.

    3: Is there really a difference between cheaper and more expensive auto-darkening helmets?

    • Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is your first line of defense in keeping yourself safe. It is important to read ratings on products before purchase. Spending a bit more may get you a more comfortable and longer lasting helmet.

    4: What are the most common types of welding used for?

    • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW): This type of stick welding is most commonly used in industrial fabrication applications to weld iron and steel, fabricate steel structures, and can be used in the shop or in the field.
    • Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG): This is the most common type of industrial welding, and is a bit faster than SMAW because of the continuous electrode wire feed. This application can also be used in the shop or in the field for fabrication.
    • Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW): FCAW is most commonly used in portable applications to weld thick and out of position metals.
    • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW/TIG): TIG welding is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and copper, aluminum or magnesium alloys.

    5: When was welding first used?

    • The first historical evidence of a welding process dates back to the Bronze Age. During this time there is evidence of pressure welding being used to create small gold boxes. Later on, people in Egypt and Mediterranean learned how to weld pieces of iron together to make tools.
    At Advanced Career Institute, students gain the quality education and training needed to start a new career. Our Welding Program combines both hands-on experience and in-class technical training for California truck driving, commercial and school bus driving, and welding. We have three campuses located throughout California's Central San Joaquin Valley in Fresno, Visalia, and Merced, California. If you are interested in a career in welding or learning more about our programs, please contact us.
  • Celebrating Father's Day with Your Trucking Dad

    Finding the perfect gift for Father's Day can be a challenge. For those families that have a truck driver as a father, this task can be even more complicated. It can be difficult to come up with new ideas for every occasion or holiday. Most of their time is spent on the road so choosing something practical that he can use in his cab or while traveling is a good option. Here are a few gift ideas for the truck driving dad.

    XM Radio

    Truck drivers spend the majority of their time on the road in their cabs. XM radio can be a great way to entertain while driving. There are hundreds of stations to choose from including music and talk radio. Subscriptions generally range from around $30 for a 6 month period.

    Sheet Set

    Getting a good night's sleep is very important for a truck driver. A truck driver should be as comfortable as possible even when on the road. The beds in trucks are usually a twin or twin XL size. Sleeping bags and pillowcases are also great accessories to purchase with a sheet set.

    Bluetooth Headset

    Talking on the phone while driving can be very dangerous and is also against the law in several states. Truck drivers need that connection with their loved ones and should be able to talk while driving. Purchasing a hands-free headset can solve that problem. They can stay connected while driving safely.

    Portable Mini Fridge

    A mini fridge can be a great addition to a driver's truck. The mini fridge gives them the ability to pack options that are healthier and can also save them time. Look for a 12-volt option that is easy to use with a cigarette adapter.

    Compact Microwave

    A small microwave can also eliminate the number of stops that a driver has to take. This can help them deliver their loads quickly. A small microwave can also help them eat healthier. They can heat up vegetables, pasta, and many low-calorie frozen meals whenever they chose to.   Remember this, if your dad is not yet a truck driver, acquire an application from the Advanced Career Institute as a gift. The best vote of confidence in his dream is to help him with that first step. This Father's Day celebrate your dad and let him know how much he means to you and your family. From all of us at Advanced Career Insitute, we wish you a Happy Father's Day.
  • A Bus Driver's Goal is to Keep it's Passengers Safe

    Dear Motorists, As a bus driver, my first priority is ensuring that the students under my care arrive safely and securely at their destinations--and I need your help to make that happen. Road safety is my #1 priority. In order to accomplish those goals, can we reach an agreement? There are several common laws that have either been forgotten or which many of you simply choose not to follow.

    Rule #1: When My Lights Flash and Arm Extends, You Have to Stop

    Legally speaking, you're required to stop your vehicle when my stop sign is extended and my lights are flashing. This isn't a deliberate effort to inconvenience you; it's a safety measure for the students in my care. Keep in mind these key rules:
    • On a divided highway, only the traffic traveling on the same side of the road as the bus needs to stop. If you're on the opposite side of a divided highway, feel free to drive on through!
    • If we're not on a divided highway, all lanes of traffic must stop when I stop. This is for the safety of my students, who may have to cross the road to reach their homes.
    • If my yellow safety lights are flashing and my red stop lights aren't and my stop sign isn't extended, you need to proceed with caution. Make sure you're looking carefully around you, but you may not need to come to a complete stop.

    Rule #2: Don't Rush to Pass Illegally

    My bus takes up a lot of space on the road, and all too many motorists try to zoom around it without stopping to think about what it does for visibility. I know that you're in a hurry. You need to get to work on time, or complete your errands, or make it home before your own students get off of the bus. Rushing around me--especially illegally--is more likely to cause an accident, especially when you can't see what's going on--and that might impact more than you. It might also impact the dozens of children on my bus.

    Rule #3: Keep Your Distance

    When you're stopping behind me, take a minute to consider how close you are to the bus. Children are at the greatest risk for being hit in the zone about ten feet around the bus--and that can be a serious problem if you're edging closer. Check out our state's regulations for how far away from the bus you need to be stopped and proceed accordingly. With your cooperation, we can make students much safer and prevent accidents--and that's a win for everyone involved. Sincerely, A Concerned Bus Driver   If you have more questions about the rules of the road and maintaining proper etiquette and safety when dealing with a school bus, contact us! we'll make sure that you understand the key elements of road safety to keep both students and drivers safer.
  • Staying Close to Home as a Truck Driver

    Homesickness is a huge reality for over-the-road truck drivers. It's a feeling that brings even the strongest-minded drivers to the point of second-guessing their career choice. However, paying the bills, maintaining a stable environment for family, and the enjoyment of a fulfilling career seems to keep you on the road. So, what can be done to overcome the challenges of the lonely open roadway? Here are a few tips to help you stay connected with loved ones while on the road:

    Schedule Time to Video Chat

    Almost all cell phones allow you to video chat. Video chat or Facetiming allows families and friends to talk online face-to-face and is just like using a webcam on a computer, but so much more convenient. On most Android or IOS phones, just open up the software and make the call. You will be connected just like any other call, but you will be able to see the person. It is a great way to interact and keep up with milestones in your family's life. Be sure to plan and schedule video chat times so everyone will be present.

    Create Social Media Profiles

    Almost everyone today has a social media profile, and if you don't, well it's time to get connected! Social media is one of the best tools to keep up with friends and what is going on back home. It is also an effective way to alert friends or family when you are traveling in their area. You might just have extra time to meet up for a quick visit. If you don't want the whole world to see what you are up to, set your profile to private so that only those you want can see your posts.

    Send Texts

    Send fun and up-to-date texts to your loved ones. You might not be up-to-date on the teen 'lingo' used today but a quick text just to check in with them will keep you in the loop of their activities and other family members. The good news is most teens love to text, so your chances of getting a response back are high.

    Take and Share Pictures

    Take lots of photos with your phone. Share fun photos and places you have traveled. You can also have pictures from family printed out and posted in the cab of the truck. It's a great alternative when you can't see faces in person.

    Decorate Cab of Truck

    Decorate the cab of your truck with items that remind you of home. You can put up pictures and special gifts given to you by friends and family. Also, try putting a familiar scent in the cab that reminds you of being home. Everyone has a special scent that triggers memories to happier times.

    Record Videos

    Record your own videos. Most smartphones have this capability as well. You don't have to miss special school events of a child or community events. Recording the occasion will give you the feeling of being present. Video recording is the next best thing to being in person.   At Advanced Career Institute, we don't just prepare you for your CDL, but we also help prepare you for the life of a trucker. With the help of ACI you will soon be on the road and enjoying this new chapter of your life! We'll help you each step of the way until your dream is fulfilled!