From the Experts

Hear from the Experts on all things Trucking and Welding

  • 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.
  • What Would Happen if Truckers Stopped Driving

    Every product you touch was made available to you thanks to a truck driver. If that seems like a bold statement, take a moment to look around you. Food, beverages, electronics, clothing, and furniture are all in full or in-part transported from somewhere else to be purchased or assembled by you or a service you use! If all the truck drivers suddenly stopped driving their trucks, not only would luxuries become unavailable, but necessities as well. Clothes and home goods wouldn't make it to our favorite department stores. Food would not be delivered to grocery stores or restaurants! Bottled water would run out quickly.

    Life Without Truck Drivers

    Consequences of a world without truck drivers extend beyond the products that are transported for us to buy directly. Restaurants wouldn't be able to remain open without supplies. The same applies to service providers ranging from salons to hospitals! Without truck drivers, medical supplies would never reach the people who desperately need them. It is not an overstatement to say that truck drivers are the heartbeat of the economy. In fact, it may be more accurate to compare them to the blood that flows through the country, bringing goods to the people who depend on them to survive.

    Why the World Needs Truckers

    The demand for truck drivers will only increase in the coming years. As every other market seems to change from year to year or even month to month, the only thing changing in the trucking industry is that more products need to be transported! Almost every other career, in a big or small way, relies on truck drivers. Become a part of the lifeblood of the economy. Check out Advanced Career Institute and get on the road to your truck driving career today.
  • What is Your Next Step after Earning Your CDL?

    If you're reading this blog, you're probably interested in driving a big rig or have some degree of training and want to know what to expect after the certification process. Simply put, once an individual completes their CDL training, they're ready to land a job and put their CDL to use. Passing the test and completing Commercial Truck Driver training is mandatory before you hit the road. This user-friendly guide will help users understand what they can expect after CDL training.

    What To Expect After CDL Training

    You know what it takes to get your CDL. Now, we'll take a deeper look into what to expect after the certification process.
    1.  Find A Suitable Carrier.  
    The first step after completing your CDL training is signing with a carrier. Find a carrier as soon as possible because there will still be a few steps involved before you hit the open road. Advanced Career Institute will help you with carrier options upon completing their course. In fact, there are several trucking companies who are eager to hire ACI students and graduates. What To Look For In A CDL Carrier: 
    • Pay
    • Benefits
    • Opportunities/Flexibility
    2. Advanced Carrier Training.   Once you've decided on a carrier, it's more than likely the carrier has its own unique training course. This is also considered to be your "next level" of training. A carrier will usually provide additional training until they're confident you can navigate the road on your own. Don't panic though, you're on the road to earning money by completing the CDL training. 3. You're Ready To Hit The Road!  Now it's time to take the wheel of your big rig. You've decided on a carrier, completed additional training, and you're ready to begin your career as a professional truck driver. You will have the opportunity to drive using your CDL with your new trucking company. After a few years of experience, you'll be able to continue your solo truck driving career or work as a team. In fact, CDL drivers with experience have an opportunity to expand their driving career to different areas (i. e. hazardous material, bus driver, etc.).

    Why Choose Advanced Career Institute

    At Advanced Career Institute, students receive comprehensive training for Class A and Class B CDL certification. Best of all, graduates with good standing with the school will receive Job Placement Assistance. We simplify the transition from training to actual driving. Our team of experts will provide you with the tools necessary to find a job in truck driving. You're encouraged to contact us at the Advanced Career Institute to accelerate your career in the trucking industry today.
  • tanker truck driving on road

    The Pros and Cons of CDL Endorsements

    When you see those little letters on your Commercial Driver's License (CDL), just what comes to mind? Are they relevant to your career? Those little letters (i.e. endorsements) are the government's way of giving commercial drivers the authority to transport heavy, sensitive, difficult, people, or potentially hazardous cargo. Endorsements certify that commercial drivers have received the necessary training needed for specific commercial driving tasks.

    Endorsements that may be added to your CDL:

    •  H-Hazardous Materials*
    •  N-Tank Vehicles*
    •  P-Passenger**
    •  S-School bus**
    •  T-Double/Triple Trailers*
    •  X-Tank Vehicle/Hazardous Materials Endorsements*
    *Knowledge Test Only **Knowledge & Skills test CDL endorsements do matter. Consider how much a driver with a Hazmat Endorsement makes versus a driver that isn't certified. The blog, Trucker Country says, having the right endorsements, "can land driver's a meaningful career with higher pay." They also agree that every endorsement that a driver pursues broadens their driving opportunities. The CDL certification exams are short, simple, and very affordable. So, with the opportunities that CDL endorsements can add to your career, it's a great idea to qualify for as many as possible. Diverse CDL endorsements offer you flexibility and increase your job opportunities. Drivers that wish to switch fields can go from a truck driver to a bus driver with ease. Plus, multiple endorsements give you the edge over other drivers. If you qualify to drive a double or triple trailer or even a tank, you will have the advantage over other applicants without the qualifying endorsements. You may not ever use all of your endorsements or feel like it's a drawback that has cost you time and money. Quite arguably, an employer may see you as a mature more qualified applicant because you went through the time and expense of qualifying for multiple endorsements. The endorsements that suit your lifestyle or career goals will be entirely up to the driver. Your decision about endorsement certification should be based on the longevity of your career and not a spare of the moment decision. The endorsements that you choose could determine your future and the success of your career in truck driving.

    Why Truck Drivers Choose The Advanced Career Institute

    Advanced Career Institute offers advanced CDL training programs to get you started in a career in truck driving. We also cater to students with no prior experience or knowledge of the trucking industry with our Class A training. Our hands-on training and curriculum help our students succeed with confidence. With over 25 years of experience, we understand the unique situations and challenges that our students may be facing and we're here to help. If you qualify, our financial assistance programs can help you pay for tuition. Contact us today for more details on a rewarding career in trucking available to both men and women.
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