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Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs

  • Know How Hours of Service Rules May Change Your Schedul

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) passed new Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that affect most big rig drivers on US roads. The goal of the rules is to make roadways safer by having better-rested truck drivers. As a truck driver, new or experienced, it is extremely important to understand how these regulations could affect your work schedule. It doesn't matter if you're OTR, short distance or interstate, all Class A drivers need to follow these new HOS rules!

    HOS Rules Breakdown

    • Your day of driving begins after 10 hours off.
    • You can drive 11 hours, then you must take a 10-hour break.
    • During your first 8 hours of work, you must take a 30-minute rest break.
    • Drivers must reset: they must spend 34 hours or more not driving, either after driving 60 hours in a 7 day week or 70 hours in an 8 day week.

    A Day with the new Schedule

    • 4:00 am, arrive to work, check your load, do your safety walk and drive.
    • 11:50 am, you've been driving for almost 8 hours. Take a 30-minute break.
    • 12:20 pm, you're back on the road for 3 more hours after a safety walk.
    • 3:20 pm, you've reached your 11-hour limit. You now need to take your 11-hour break. Sleep, eat, explore the city you are in, as long as you are not driving.
    • 1:20 am, you have your beauty sleep! Do your safety walk and get back on the road! You've got 8 hours until your 30-minute break.
    New electronic log devices (ELDs) are helpful to keep an eye on your 11-hour shift. They also reduce the ability to cheat on a logbook or do any other "creative recordkeeping". Again, the whole purpose of both the new HOS rules and the ELD rules is to ensure that truckers are well rested when they're on the road.

    Are you an Exception?

    As of August 2019, only livestock haulers and insect haulers are exempt from the HOS rules. Livestock needs to rest and drink, so a livestock hauler may need to go 12 or more hours straight to get to their destination, rather than leaving live animals on a trailer for 10 extra hours at a standstill. **Note that on of August 14, 2019 FMCSA has released some proposed changes to the new HOS rules, but they have not been implemented yet.** At Advanced Career Institute, we focus on training qualified CDL drivers who are employable and safe. Truck drivers are in high demand and these HOS rules are just becoming a part of the job! Contact us if you think the life of a trucker is for you!
  • Is Truck Driving More Than Meets The Eye?

    A truck driver's job is to drive, right? Obviously, driving the truck is the biggest responsibility, but it is certainly not where the job ends. As a truck driver you need to take on several additional responsibilities in order to be successful. Here are five of the most important duties that a truck driver has on top of driving:
    1. Know the rules:  As a truck driver you need to know and abide by the rules of being on the road. For example, your hours of service rules, traffic laws and how they may vary by state.
    2. Know proper procedures: You need to know unloading and loading procedures, how much weight your rig can handle, etc. What are the procedures if you get involved in an accident? Take time to understand these before hopping on the road.
    3. Know your equipment: You need to keep your equipment in good repair. While major repairs are handled by maintenance or a mechanic, truck drivers need to do basic, routine stuff like keeping the truck clean, inspection before and after any trip, checking your oil, etc. It's also your responsibility to note anything that needs to be repaired.
    4. Become a planner: You need to be a good planner. Choosing the best route is up to you and can greatly impact your success as a truck driver. It helps to be familiar with GPS and other route planning technology. However, be careful to not become overly reliant on it. Even in this day and age map reading is a useful skill. You will need to plan alternative routes to get around traffic congestion, accidents, or weather-related problems in order to get your goods to the client on time.
    5. Keep good records:  Although many modern trucks have black boxes that log certain things automatically, truck drivers need to be able to keep all of the required logs. You have to log break times, load and unload times, delivery instructions, etc. In many cases, it is the driver's responsibility to know what should be loaded onto the truck and make sure that the goods match what they are supposed to be.
    Being a truck driver does involve long hours behind the wheel, but there are other skills you need to develop as well. Without these skills, you may not find the quick path to success that you were hoping. Take pride in being a truck driver and with that, take the time to perfect your skills. To find out more about getting the best training to prepare for this demanding job, contact Advanced Career Institute today.
  • Understanding Welding and its Beginning

    Welding is an ancient trade. Our earliest known welded artifacts are gold boxes dating back to the Bronze Age, according to a publication by Miller Welds. Little changed for the trade for nearly two thousand years. From the skilled efforts of respected Viking blacksmiths who forged weapons and shod horses for their raiding trips, until the late eighteenth century, welding technology remained largely static. We didn't see significant changes in the trade until the early 1800s. Worldwide efforts and advancements during those few centuries changed the process swiftly.

    The 1800s: Patents and Technology

    Major developments in welding technology began in England. There, Edmund Davy discovered acetylene (C2H2) in 1836. Acetylene is a colorless gas used for both welding and metal cutting. The electric generator was an important part of machinery invented mid-century, and arc lighting became the popular method among welders. Gas welders and cutters were developed later in the century as well. Finally, arc welding with the carbon arc and metal arc was developed. Resistance welding (the joining of metals by applying pressure and passing electrical current) became the practical process. Carbon arc welding remained the popular welding method through the early 1900s. Meanwhile, in Detroit, C.L. Coffin was awarded the first U.S. patent for an arc welding process.

    The Early 1900s: WWI & WW2

    During the early 1900s, resistance welding processes were being developed such as seam welding, spot welding, and flash butt welding. Each process required tradesmen to garner new skills and technique. With these new skills came new opportunities, particularly for the military. The onset of World War I brought tremendous demand for weapons and armament. Welders were pressed into work as a commodity to take care of general machinery and ships. According to Welding History, the first all-welded hull vessel was the HMS Fulagar, of Great Britain. They go on to state, "because of a gas shortage in England during World War I, the use of electric arc welding to manufacture bombs, mines, and torpedoes became the primary fabrication method." Welders became highly prized tradesmen among the armed forces. In 1919, the American Welding Society was founded by 20 members of the Wartime Welding Committee of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, under the leadership of Comfort Avery Adams. That same year alternating current was invented. Stud welding was developed at the New York Navy Yard in 1930. This method quickly became popular among shipyards and construction sites. This method of welding still remains popular today. Around this time the submerged arc welding process took hold. It was developed by the National Tube Company and was designed to make the longitudinal seams in pipes, for a pipe yard in Pennsylvania. In the 1940s Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) "was found to be useful for welding magnesium in fighter planes, and later found it could weld stainless steel and aluminum," buy Welding History. They go on to say, "the invention of GTAW was probably the most significant welding process developed specifically for the aircraft industry and remained so until recently, with the Friction Sir Weld process of the 1990s." Again, welders found themselves highly prized with the military. In 1948, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees established the Department of Welding Engineering as the first of its kind for a Welding Engineering curriculum at a University.

    Today:

    Laser welding would be welding's most recent advancement. Laser beam welding "is mainly used for joining components that need to be joined with high welding speeds, thin and small weld seams and low thermal distortion. The high welding speeds, an excellent automatic operation, and the possibility to control the quality online during the process, make laser welding a common joining method in the modern industrial production," according to Rofin. Laser welding is especially appropriate for modern delicate work, with applications in aerospace and IT. Welding has come a long way since the Bronze Ages. These highly skilled tradesmen and women are in great demand during both in the past and present. Exciting new advancements like laser welding keep the industry both exciting and relevant. To learn more about welding training, contact Advanced Career Institute.
  • What's Your Best Option for Welding Training

    Career Training or Community College? Which is the right choice for you? These are big questions and can determine your career path. Let's go over the main points of each.

    Career Training (such as Welding School)

    • Goal: To earn a certificate, diploma, the opportunity to take a licensing exam or an apprenticeship/work as a journeyman
    • Training is specific to the career path, no general education courses required
    • Focused on hands-on learning
    • Smaller class sizes
    • Up to date with current field technology
    • Most trade school certificates can be obtained in under 2 years
    • Over 50% can be held in under 12 months
    • Trade school costs about ¼ the average 4-year degree

    Community College

    • Goal: To earn an associate degree, possibly transfer to a 4-year university
    • More educational preparation required
    • General education coursework required (Math, English, History, Science, etc)
    • Mostly classroom or lecture classes, possibly some hands-on depending on the field
    • Usually compatible with a 4-year degree program
    • Minimum time to complete: 2 years
    • Community College costs less than half the average 4-year degree

    Selecting Your Best Option

    To summarize, a trade school, like welding, is for someone who is sure of their desired career path. They also learn best by doing and wanting to join the workforce quickly. On the other hand, a community college is ideal for someone who wants to try out several different fields before choosing one. This person also needs to be good at learning in a classroom setting and should be able to devote 2 years to education. You may wonder what kind of salary you can look forward to with each of these options. While it is true that someone with a bachelor's degree will generally, throughout their lifetime, out-earn someone with a trade certificate, it really matters more what career path you want to follow. Certain professions will be served better by earning a 2- or 4-year degree, while others are best suited to a trade school education. When you're ready to discuss your next career steps, contact Advanced Career Institute. We'd be happy to help you decide if our courses are your perfect fit. Contact us today to learn more about our Welding and CDL training!
  • Watching Your Expenses while Truck Driving

    Trucking can be a hard and lonely job. Sometimes it seems as if time stands still when you're on the road, but of course, we know that it doesn't. It is easy to spend money while traveling. You are not thinking about the bills or daily expenses waiting for you at home. Here are some money-saving tips for truck drivers that will help keep more cash in your pocket while you travel.
    • Bring Lots of Clean Clothes - If you're washing your clothes on the road, you are wasting what will add up to a big chunk of change. Bring plenty of clean laundry and save up your dirty clothes to do when you get home.
    • CDL Discounts - Businesses including hotels and restaurants offer CDL discounts. Sometimes CDL discounts are not always advertised, so you may have to ask about them. However, any discount can amount to good savings over time. Check out Love's and their CDL discounts offered.
    • Loyalty Programs - When you are on the road, you may be stopping at a lot of the same places. Many of these truck stops and restaurants will offer a loyalty program similar to the Pilot and Flying J reward program. Ask the if they have one and what the perks are for membership. You already log lots of miles, so getting rewarded for services you already use is a no brainer.
    • Make Your Own Food - This may be the best way to save money. Preparing all or most of your own meals will drastically lower your expenses. The Trucker Tips Blog offers some ways to make great tasting meals right in your truck. They suggest that a lunch box cooker and refrigerator specifically designed for trucks may be the way to go.
    • Quality GPS - Getting a GPS system that will alert you to upcoming traffic jams, road closings and give you the shortest route possible is a must. This can help you save time and fuel which as we all know equals great savings.
    • Utilize Truck Stops - Truck stops are a great resource for truckers. They cater to drivers with very inexpensive coffee, shower facilities and often times an exercise room and lounge. These stops will often have loyalty reward programs, so make sure you ask.
    • Drive Safely and Within the Speed Limit - Truck drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to safe driving. Making sure your equipment is running properly and you are driving at the speed limit can be a huge cost saver. Your driving record is part of your livelihood and paying for tickets will add up quickly.
    • Use Cruise Control - As an extension of driving at or below the speed limit, using cruise control can help make sure a lead foot doesn't start to make you go faster. Beyond this though, the cruise control will help regulate the amount of fuel you're using. Extra breaking and accelerating use much more fuel, so avoid it altogether by setting your cruise control.
    • Bring Your Own Cups and Containers - Save your leftovers by bringing extra plastic containers. At many stops, you will find that you can get a discount on beverages if you use your own container. Give it a shot and always be on the lookout for places that offer this discount so you can frequent them more often.
    • Get Some Exercise - There's a reason health insurance companies give a discount for having a wellness check. It costs less money when a person is healthy. Driving a truck doesn't allow for a lot of activity and movement. Try to find truck stops that have exercise facilities, or simply stop at a park for some fresh air and a walk on a regular basis. Staying healthy will save you in the long run on doctor bills and healthcare costs.
    Being a truck driver is a great occupation that can have lots of rewards. Along the road, you'll meet new people and see lots of new and interesting places. Contact us to find out how you can get into this exciting profession.
  • A Perfect Score for Yurika at the DMV!

    Advanced Career Institute would like to congratulate Yurika Lambert on passing her DMV Exam with a perfect score! This is a huge accomplishment, and we could not be prouder. This is on the second occurrence that many ACI staff have ever seen. We sat down with Yurika to see how she liked her time training at Advanced Career Institute and what is next for her in the trucking industry.

    JOINING THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY

    Yurika Lambert comes from a trucking family. She grew up around trucks her whole life. Her father was a truck driver for 25-years before he passed, and her brother is currently a trucker as well. Yurika chose a different career to begin her life. She studied and became a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Although she found her career rewarding, she longed for the open road and independence of being a truck driver. Yurika came to Advanced Career Institute’s Fresno Campus with a goal in mind of becoming a truck driver and earning her Class A CDL! She most certainly obtained her goal!

    TRAINING AT ACI

    During her time at Advanced Career Institute, Yurika said she, “really liked being able to get things done and learning new things while still having fun. Both the instructors & other students were very helpful and friendly. The relationships that were built at ACI is what I miss the most.” Yurika was overjoyed when she had learned she got a perfect score at the DMV. She felt very blessed to have such a great support system. From both her family and the ACI staff and instructors, Yurika believes her success comes from them.

    WHAT’S NEXT FOR YURIKA

    What’s next for Yurika in the trucking industry? She is very excited to begin driving for TJT in Coalinga, where she resides. She looks forward to this new career path and all of the adventures she is about to embark upon. For her future, she is most excited about trying to start her own trucking company. This is something her father and she had discussed prior to his passing and would really like to do it in honor of him. We have all the belief in the world that Yurika will accomplish her goals and we are excited to see what’s in her future!

    ADVANCED CAREER INSTITUTE

    Again, we want to congratulate Yurika on her accomplishments. We love seeing our students are succeeding in their new career. Yurika earned her CDL by training at Advanced Career Institute. ACI provides both CDL training and Welding training throughout California’s Central Valley. If you’re interested in beginning a career as a professional truck driver, learn more about our CDL training programs.  
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