From the Experts

Hear from the Experts on all things Trucking and Welding

  • Advanced Career Institute Opens School in Bakersfield

    Bakersfield, CA – Advanced Career Institute would like to announce their newest location in Bakersfield, California. Their new school is located at 2925 Mosasco St. Unit B, Bakersfield, CA 93312, the former John Lopez Welding School. ACI had their first welding class start on Wednesday, July 24, 2018. President of Advanced Career Institute, Barry Bither said, “It is with great excitement that I am able to announce we opened with our first welding class in Bakersfield… All of our staff has done a great job getting the new campus off to a great start. We have completed the purchase of John Lopez Welding School and wish John all the best in his retirement. In the next few weeks, we will be diligently working on adding all of our truck driving programs to the new campus. Please welcome the new employees we are adding to the ACI family.” The new Bakersfield Campus will have both Welding and CDL Training. The Welding Training will consist of the Advanced Welding Technology Program that lasts 38-weeks and a new Basic Plate Welding Program that will last 5-weeks. The CDL Training programs at the Bakersfield Campus will consist of their Professional Truck Driver Program, lasting 4-weeks, and the more advanced Agriculture Transportation Training Course lasting 20-weeks. The first transportation class start date will be August 13, 2018. Like all ACI Campuses, Bakersfield students will gain the quality education and training needed to start a new career. Advanced Career Institute programs combine both hands-on experience and in-class technical training. ACI offers financial aid to those who qualify. The Admissions staff will work with every student to determine their eligibility, and then help them apply for financial aid. The Career Services staff will provide students with the tools that are necessary to find employment, which includes helping them search and apply for current job openings. All staff and instructors at Advanced Career Institute are excited about this new school opening in Bakersfield and the potential to help new students begin their careers in trucking and welding. For more information about our Bakersfield Campus and the training programs provided, call us at 661-535-1480.  
  • Trucking Industry Misunderstandings

    Over the years, many misconceptions have developed about what it's like to be a truck driver. The truth is that truck driving is growing at a steady rate with opportunities left and right for qualified individuals. Unfortunately, getting some people to think beyond what they have heard or been told, isn't always easy. Here are five common misconceptions about truck driving and the real truth about each.

    1. There's No Money in Trucking

    The truth is that wages for truck drivers are better than ever! Companies are looking for reliable individuals that are properly qualified. Because every company is going after the same talent pool, they are highly competitive when it comes to pay. Often, you can even get reimbursed for your truck driver training classes.

    2. You're Gone all the Time

    While this is the case for some types of drivers, it's important to know that there are all kinds of truck driving jobs. Many of these jobs are regional and/or local that will put you home at the end of your workday. Just because you drive a truck doesn't mean that you have to go across the country for weeks at a time.

    3. It's a Lonely Life

    Truck driving allows for meeting, communicating and working with a lot of different people. Truck drivers will meet new people all the time, with opportunities to share the bond of the road. With modern technology in many trucks, drivers can stay connected and have conversations with just about anyone even while they drive.

    4. Uncomfortable Living Arrangements

    If you look at most of the trucks on the road today, you might notice that there are actually pretty roomy sleeping cabs. Truck drivers don't have to be uncomfortable when they pull over to get some rest. They can only drive a certain amount of time each day, giving them plenty of opportunity for rest in a comfortable environment, even when on the road.

    5. Men Only

    There are a high number of women that drive trucks for a living. The profession is not just for men, with women being accommodated and welcomed in every segment of the trucking industry. Don't let gender get in the way of a very inclusive and equal opportunity profession.   These are just some of the many misconceptions that people have about the trucking industry. If you are interested in taking the next step into the exciting world of truck driving, contact us to help get you started down the path to success in this booming industry.
  • A Study Guide for Passing the CDL Test

    Like any test, the Commercial Driving License (CDL) exam requires study and preparation because you will be tested on a lot of information. However, simply trying to memorize the entire CDL manual, which is typically around 180 pages long, is not the best way to prepare for the exam. Instead of wasting countless hours becoming tired and frustrated, study smart. Here are six study steps to help you prepare for and pass your CDL exam.

    Plan Ahead

    Cramming a day or two before your CDL exam will not yield the best exam results. Besides causing sleep deprivation and trouble focusing, you won't retain important material that you need to understand as a responsible, safe driver. Pick a day to take your exam and start studying ahead of time so that you are fully prepared. If you are new to the exam, consider taking a training course online or in-person, which some states require. There are a number of programs you can choose from, so shop around for a course that works best for you. For example, at Advanced Career Institute, we offer Class A and Class B CDL training courses as well as CDL refresher courses for experienced drivers in California.

    Find Out What to Study

    Are you wondering what exactly is on the CDL exam? Take a look at the DMV CDL study guide, which breaks down the test section by section in terms of the CDL manual. For a detailed, free, comprehensive guide, check out Study Guide Zone's CDL Test Study Guide. No matter what kind of CDL you are studying for, you'll have to know General Knowledge. Based on the type of CDL you wish to receive, you'll have to study specific topics, such as School Buses and Hazardous Materials.

    Take a Diagnostic Exam

    It doesn't make sense to study what you already know. To find out what you do know and what you don't know, take a diagnostic exam. Driving-tests.org allows you to select your state and take a free, full-length general knowledge practice exam. Taking a diagnostic test will also help you get a feel for the exam so you'll be better prepared on exam day.

    Collect Your Study Materials

    Make sure that you have everything you need to help you study. The most important tool will be the CDL manual, which you can download on your state's DMV website. You can also pick up a hard copy from your local DMV. The DMV endorses DMVCheatSheets.com, which provides a number of cheat sheets with a money-back guarantee if you do not pass your CDL exam after using the service. Consider purchasing a CDL test prep book, downloading an app from the Apple App or Google Play stores, and saving helpful websites with study guides and other prep tools.

    Study What You Don't Know in an Effective Environment

    Using the results from your diagnostic exam, review the material that you don't know in the CDL manual. If you have purchased a test prep book, you can find the sections that you need to review using the table of contents. When studying, make sure you have a distraction-free space. Remember to take breaks and have some snacks nearby to refuel.

    Test Your Knowledge

    After reviewing what you need to from the CDL manual, test your knowledge through flashcards and additional practice questions. Union Test Prep offers free CDL flashcards and practice tests based on specific subjects. There are a number of apps that can also help you study on the go. You can also ask your family and friends to help quiz you on the sections that you have trouble with. Using these tips and tricks can help you pass your CDL exam. Of course with your training at Advanced Career Insitute, we will help prepare you for this exam by going over every little detail. The goal is, by the time you go in for the test, all questions should be second nature to you. For more information about passing your California CDL exam and our training options, contact us today!
  • Tips to Staying on Schedule While on the Road

    Now that you have your CDL license and an exciting new career on the road, you will want to learn some time management techniques so that you can do your best job and be as safe and efficient as possible. Like any job, there is a learning curve to driving trucks. You will learn little tricks as you gain more experience, but here are a few time-saving tips that may help you out quite a bit as you hit the road!

    Traffic

    Traffic is out of your control, but you can plan your route with the intention of avoiding the biggest cities and roads when they will be the most densely populated and traffic will be at it's worst. We all know that rush hour is the worst time to be driving in and around any large city. The best thing you can do to manage your time is to work your routes around this knowledge and make sure you aren't driving into LA, Houston, Atlanta, etc. during the peak traffic hours. This will save you a lot of time sitting in your truck.

    Load and Unload

    A part of route planning is loading and unloading your cargo. If you can plan your routes with the intention of dropping off and loading your cargo as early as possible, you will save time and make your customers very very happy. The more consistent you are in pleasing customers, suppliers, dispatchers in this way, the more likely they are to give you better jobs in the future and it can lead to more money earned for you.

    Rest

    Just because you are trying to work ahead of schedule does not mean that you get to forget about rest. You need to sleep every night in order to provide the best service and be the most efficient driver that you can be. The key to time management is planning. Plan your sleep times and rest periods as stringently as you plan your routes and your load and unload times. Planning is the key to time management, there are apps like Apple's calendar on iOS and Google calendars that are great organizers. These apps will buzz and make a noise like an alarm clock if you set them. Ultimately, you need to be in control of yourself. Calendar tools will help you stay organized and remind you when to stop resting or driving etc, but at the end of the day, you will be as organized as you want to be. Planning and organization are the cornerstones of time management. What time management tips do you have for truck drivers? At Advanced Career Institute, we don't just prepare students for CDL Training, but all aspects of trucking. Interested in entering this in-demand industry? Contact us to learn more about our training programs.
  • How Welding Has Changed Through the Years

    Welding all started centuries ago, yet many people still wonder what welding is all about. This quick snapshot will walk you through everything you need to know about the history of welding.

    What is Welding?

    Welding is the process of joining or melting two or more pieces of metal together. This process is also used for plastic, but the term "welding" often refers specifically to the use of metal. The process of welding creates strength and reinforcement for structures, ships, and modern machinery.

    Welding's Ancient Roots

    The practice of welding dates back to the Bronze Age, the era in human history when people began to use metal. People living during this time created small gold boxes using pressure welding on lap joints. As welding techniques became more refined in the Iron Age, this gave people the opportunity to build things using iron. During this time, Ancient Egyptians and other cultures used the skill for welding tools, among other necessities. While useful, this trade was limited by the tools used to perform the welding function.

    Advancements in Welding

    The 19th century saw great advancements in welding and its capabilities for modern applications. In 1800, Englishman Sir Humphry Davy introduced the arc to welding, a form made between two carbon electrodes using a battery. In 1836, Edmund Davy discovered acetylene, a gas capable of producing the hottest flame. This discovery led to a rise in popularity for gas cutting in 1850. While there were other notable welding innovations, the next major advancements came in the 20th century.

    The Creation of Modern Welding

    The 20th century saw many exciting advancements in the welding field. These advancements were, in large part, due to electrical power companies figuring out how to generate and distribute power. This accomplishment motivated scientists to find a way to use electrical power for welding. In 1920, General Electric's P.O. Nobel invented automatic welding thanks to his use of a bare wire electrode guided by a direct electrical current using arc voltage. From here, further research led to the discovery of various types of electrodes as well as alternate forms of gas welding and resistance welding. Work to refine welding techniques continued into the 1950s and 60s. In 1954, the Dualshield process gave welders a more efficient, portable option by using an external supply of shielding gas. This process was later abandoned for Innershield welding, which left the shielding gas behind and eliminated the need for welders to lug heavy containers around the job site. This improved process also made it possible for welders to work in outdoor conditions without having to worry about the wind blowing the shielding gas away and contaminating the weld. Since then, welding processes have become modernized, leading to the use of friction welding and laser welding. Welding techniques are sure to evolve as technologies advance. Scientists and inventors continue to look for more precise, safe, and environmentally friendly ways to build the products and infrastructure needed. The future for welding is bright. If you're looking for an opportunity to move the world forward, welding could be a great fit for you. We offer welding training at our Visalia and Fresno campuses. Learn more about our welder training program today.
  • An image of a black and white commercial bus driving on a road after the pre-trip inspection.

    Safety Starts With The Pre-Trip Inspection

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) inspection is one of the most important aspects truck driving safety. Knowing your truck is safe and sound and ready for action gives you peace of mind, but also is a reassurance to everyone else on the road that your truck is fit for duty. Inspections are conducted annually and are a comprehensive look at the truck both inside and out. They are subject to the strict regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can read those regulations here. All truck drivers should be interested and involved in the DOT Inspection. While the regulations state that the motor carrier is responsible for the maintenance of the truck, you should be aware that your neck is on the line if you don't pass the inspection. Do you trust the trucking company’s inspectors to find everything wrong with the truck? As the driver, no one knows the rig better than you. You'll be able to tell when there is a problem with the truck. You can tell by the feel of the truck whether the brakes are off, or many times by the sound of the truck whether there could be a problem with the motor. Be sure in the weeks and days leading up to the inspection that you are up front and vocal about any issues with the truck. Any small problem can cause issues with the inspection report. Make sure you are proactive—write down a list of issues so you don’t forget or overlook something. Remember that your truck is your livelihood. You and the truck form a symbiotic pair—two entities that rely on each other. The proper operation of the truck determines your safety and ability to make a living. If you're ready to take the next step towards a career in the truck driving industry, the right training makes all the difference. Learn how ACI can help you reach your career goals! Fill out the form you see on this page, or give us a call at 1-877-649-9614. If you'd like more information on the Training Programs available at Advanced Career Institute, please visit www.advanced.edu/programs
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