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Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs

  • Everything ACI Graduates Need to Know About Being Pulled Over in Their Truck

    Can a truck driver be pulled over? Yes, at some point in your trucking career, you could see blue and red flashing lights behind you indicating you to pull over. Being pulled over in your truck is extremely nerve-racking, but the following tips will help ease the process.

    What to Do When You See the Flashing Lights

    If you are being pulled over, don’t just whip the big rig anywhere on the side of the road. You need to look for a place to pull over that ensures safety for both your truck and the officer. Try not to stop the flow of traffic. The best areas to pull over are typically off-ramps or paved areas. Additionally, avoid stopping on soft-shoulders because your truck may get stuck. However, remember your main responsibility is to look out for your safety and the safety of other drivers even when being pulled over.

    Necessary Documentation to Have On Hand

    After being pulled over, the following documents may be requested by the officer: CDL, registration, logbook, and bill of lading. A bill of lading is a receipt detailing what is being shipped, how much, where it is going, and when it should be there. It is typically signed by the shipper, receiver and carrier representative. However, only present the documents that the officer requests. Additionally, your documentation should be located in an easy to reach place in your truck. You don’t want to have to get up to get your documents because this could cause the officer to question their safety because they may be unsure of what exactly you may bring back.

    Important Things to Remember While Being Pulled Over

    First, do not remove your seatbelt before the officer sees you wearing it. This helps to avoid possible additional violations the officer may ticket you for. Second, when the officer asks why you think you were pulled over, don’t say anything that could be taken as an admission of guilt. Give brief, but honest answers. Also, it is vital for you to be polite to the officer regardless of whether you believe you should have been pulled over or not. Lastly, always remember to thank the officer for doing their job whether they gave you a ticket or a verbal warning. Although being pulled over may be overwhelming, it is important to park your truck in a safe location. Be prepared with the correct documentation. And always be polite to the officer! If you have received a ticket, check out this blog for what to do next! Interested in becoming a truck driver? Advanced Career Institute offers hands-on truck driver training in California. ACI campuses are located in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. For more information on earning your California CDL, head over to our Class A CDL Training!
  • Truckers must complete DOT physical exam in order to continue their trucking career!

    Everything ACI Graduates Need to Know About The DOT Exam

    There are a variety of steps to take in order to become a professional truck driver. First, you must complete CDL Training. After graduation, you must also pass a DOT (Department of Transportation) Physical Exam. Truckers must meet certain health standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to be eligible to drive. Continue reading to learn more about the DOT Exam!

    What Is the DOT Exam?

    All truck drivers are required by law to pass the DOT Physical Exam before getting behind the wheel of a big rig. The FMCSA has set a variety of mental and physical health regulations that truckers must meet in order to fulfill the demands of a truck driving career. All professional truck drivers must hold an up-to-date physical certification at all times. Typically, drivers are required to get physicals every 1-2 years. It is important to meet the standards of the DOT physical to ensure both the truck driver’s safety on the road as well as the safety of other motorists.

    What Can I Expect During the DOT Exam?

    The DOT Physical conducts a variety of mental and physical examinations. In addition to a drug screening, drivers can expect to be examined in the following areas:
    • - Vision
    • - Hearing
    • - Blood Pressure
    • - Pulse Rate
    • - Heart & Lungs
    • - Coordination

    What Happens if I Fail?

    Failing the DOT Exam does not necessarily mean that you are incapable of driving a truck. If you have a condition that can be treated, consult your doctor for further treatment. If your condition has improved, consider taking the exam again. Additionally, the FMCSA offers exemptions for certain impairments. Refer to your doctor to see if you qualify. Are you considering a career as a professional truck driver? Advanced Career Institute offers hands-on training to earn your California CDL. ACI campuses are located in Merced, Fresno and Visalia. To learn more about truck driver training, head over to our Class A CDL Training Program!
  • Healthy Living for Truckers!

    Tips for Living a Healthy Lifestyle Over-The-Road

    Obesity is a rising issue in the truck driving industry. According to a study conducted by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nearly 69% of long-haul truckers are considered to be obese. To avoid obesity and potential health risks, truckers should be well rested, eat healthy snacks throughout the day and exercise at least 15 minutes each day. Check out these simple, effective workouts you can do over-the-road!

    Workouts in Your Cabin

     No equipment? No problem! The following workouts can be completed without equipment from the comfort of your sleeper.
    • - Pushups – Pushups only require body weight and minimal space which makes them the perfect exercise for truckers. In addition to increasing your strength, push-ups can improve your posture and flexibly, and can help prevent injury.
    • - Planks – Similar to pushups, planks only need minimal space to complete. Planks work to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.
    • - Sit-ups – As a staple in many fitness routines, sit-ups are a great workout to strength your core. It only takes a few minutes to crank out a few sets of sit-ups. You can easily complete this exercise before beginning your morning routine.
    • - Tricep Dips – Lastly, another easy, effective arm workout to do in your cabin is tricep dips. You can do them on the ground or by using your bunk as support to lower your body by bending at the elbow.

    Exercises from the Driver’s Seat

    Stretching is extremely important to reduce stress and to avoid injury. The following stretches can be done from the driver’s seat.
    • - Shoulder Stretches – Shoulder shrugs are a great way to reduce tension and stress from your shoulder area. When stopped, raise your shoulders up to your ears. Hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat.
    • - Hand Stretches – Long-haul truckers spend a significant amount of time gripping the steering wheel causing their hands to cramp up and feel stiff. Overtime, this could lead to arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. To reduce the risk of these illnesses, truckers can perform hand stretches. Try rolling your wrists in a circle or gently pulling your fingers toward your body. Check out this blog for more stretches!

    Stretch Your Legs

    A final exercise to add to your daily routine is either walking or running. This is a great way to stay in shape. Cardio helps to strengthen your lungs and lose weight. We understand it may be difficult to find time to do cardio during your busy routes. However, walking or running is an easy exercise to complete while waiting to pick up your loads. Plus, it allows you to stretch your legs and no longer be cooped up in your cab! Whichever exercises you choose to complete, it is essential to add physical activity to your everyday routine. It will help you to look better, feel better and live a healthier life.   Interested in becoming a truck driver? Advanced Career Institute offers California Truck Driver Training. ACI campuses are located in Fresno, Merced and Visalia. Head over to Our Programs to learn more about our Class A Truck Driving!
  • There are a variety of steps you can take for sustainable trucking!

    How to Improve Fuel Economy in Your Truck

    Our nation and economy depends heavily on the trucking industry. Trucks transport an assortment of goods that we rely on in order to maintain our every day way of life. Trucking is the only efficient way of transporting goods across the country. That being said, we must also take into consideration the carbon footprint of the trucking industry. Many trucking companies have began to shift their focus towards environmental consciousness. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for nearly 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. When released in high concentrations, greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere which essentially warms our planet. As the planet warms, there is a ripple effect that negatively affects various aspects of the climate and overall environment. This may include: creating more severe natural disasters, melting sea ice and receding coastal lines. As a trucker, you cannot solely rely on your carrier to make all of the environmentally conscious adjustments. There are a variety of simple ways to reduce your truck emissions and improve the fuel economy in your truck (which saves you and the company money!) Read on to learn 3 easy tips for sustainable trucking!

    Control Speed & Minimize Idling Time

    You play a major part in controlling the fuel economy in your truck. Improving the fuel economy in your truck can reduce your personal carbon footprint. A study conducted by the American Trucking Association showed a 35 percent difference in the most and least fuel efficient drivers. Here are a few of ways to improve your truck's fuel economy:
    • - Maintain an average speed (ideally around 55 mph)
    • - Use cruise control when possible
    • - Minimize idling time
    • - Reduce the amount of times you accelerate and decelerate

    Create Efficient Routines

    The fuel efficiency in your truck is only partially controlled by your actual driving and gear shifting. A lot of it has to do with the weather, routes you choose to take, truck maintenance and aerodynamics. Luckily for you, you can semi-control some of these elements. Develop fuel efficient routines by:
    • - Fueling in the morning
    • - Driving routes with less traffic and stop lights
    • - Plan routes with efficient drop offs and rest stops
    • - Maximize your time at rest stops
    Reducing the carbon footprint of the trucking industry begins with you. Every little adjustment has a positive effect on your individual fuel economy and on the environment as a whole.   Interested in being involved in a fundamental industry in our nation? Truck driving may be the career for you! Before beginning your trucking career, you must complete Class A CDL training. Advanced Career Institute offers hands-on truck driver training courses in California. Trucking classes are taught at three campus locations: Merced, Visalia and Fresno. Head over to Class A Truck Driving to learn more!
  • After Welder Training At Advanced Career Institute, You May Have The Opportunity To Become An Underwater Welder! Learn More!

    Everything You Need to Know About Underwater Welding

    Underwater welding is a dangerous career yet it employs numerous people. Why is this so? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of underwater welding.

    What is Underwater Welding & How Does It Work?

    Underwater welding has been around since 1932, and is often referred to as hyperbaric welding. It can take place in wet or dry environments. Wet welding is when the welder is entirely submerged in water. The welding is executed using forms of arc welding that employ a waterproof electrode where the welding supply connects to equipment through cables and hoses. Conversely, dry welding is used for high integrity welds. During dry welding, the weld is completed within a sealed pressure chamber that prevents water from entering the work area. They often use a form of gas tungsten arc welding. Dry welding is often used to repair pipelines and ships. Underwater welding research is being conducted at depths of up to 3,300 feet.

    Why is it dangerous?

    My guess is that your first thought about underwater welding was “Electricity and water aren’t a good mix. Isn’t that dangerous?” The answer is…yes! However, many safety precautions are taken to reduce the risk. Underwater welding is completed using a welding stick where a layer of bubbles is created to shield the weld from water. Dry welding is also a safer method since the weld itself is not exposed to water. However, electricity does not pose the biggest threat. Welders operate at high pressures that threaten the body. Additionally, large bubbles created by the weld and the overall dark atmosphere underwater makes it hard to see, and is threatening to the welder. The most notable underwater risk is differential pressure or Delta P. In Delta P, water from one area attempts to rush to fill another. The pressure difference accumulates hundreds of pounds which can draw divers in and make it very hard to escape. Although there is a high risk of Delta P, companies have come up with action plans on how to avoid this fatal occurrence. For more information on Delta P, check out this video.

    Why do people choose to take these risks?

    Many welders choose this career path because it is exciting, peculiar and challenging. Additionally, underwater welders are essential components to industries all over the world. This means that skilled welders are in high demand. Currently, companies do not possess the technology to complete underwater welding tasks without humans. This provides underwater welders with job security. On top of it all, underwater welders have the opportunity to make significant salaries that they would not have access to as a typical welder.

    The Future of Underwater Welding

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an underwater welder is around $53,990 per year or $25.96 per hour. Underwater welder jobs are concentrated in California, Florida, Michigan and Washington. Your career can take place in one of two locations: inland or offshore. Inland welders typically make less than their offshore colleagues. They tend to work on bridges, dams and small water vessels. Although there is less pay involved, you operate on a less demanding schedule (40-hour work weeks) and less travel is required. However, offshore welders tend to bring in the big bucks. They work on oil rigs and large ships. In this job, you may spend a significant time out at sea and can expect to long work weeks, even up to 80 hours!   Interested in becoming an underwater welder? The first step is to get your welding certification. Advanced Career Institute offers hands-on welder training in the California area. ACI welding campuses are located in Visalia and Fresno. For more information, head over to Welder Training!
  • Trucking School or University? Which One Is Right For You?

    Truck Driver Training – The Road to Success

    How many times have you heard that in order to get a good job you must go to college? Going to college means 4 more years of studying, 4 more years of tests, and 4 more years not getting paid. On top of all that, tuition will cost you an arm and a leg. Although we were conditioned to believe otherwise, a college degree is not the only way to be successful. There are a variety of career options that offer high paying salaries and job security without a 4-year degree. One of those career options is truck driving. The truck driving industry is facing a shortage of drivers, so there are a significant amount of jobs available. Employers are willing to pay big bucks for drivers in order to keep their fleets running. To become a trucker, you will need to attend trucking school. Lucky for you, truck driver training with Advanced Career Institute only lasts around 4-6 weeks! Learn why trucking school is the right fit for you.

    Cost of Schooling

    So you’re telling me that in order for me to make money, I have to spend it…a lot of it? When attending to an instate university, you can expect to pay at least $16,000 per year in tuition and room and board. By the time you earn your degree, you will have spent around $64,000. Most times, students are required to take out loans because financial aid does not cover the entire cost of schooling. With high interest rates on these loans, students are left with crippling debt. On top of the significant debt, students are required to take a variety of courses that are unrelated to their future career. So is there an alternative? Truck driver training can be completed in a matter of months, and costs a meager amount in comparison to college. Most trucking schools cost around $3,000-$7,000 in total. During CDL training, you will gain hands-on experience, over-the-road training and learn skills that you will use every day in your career. The best part? In a matter of months, you will start receiving a hefty paycheck, unlike in college where you have to wait 4 years just to get begin your career. 

    Similar Salaries

    According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 4-year college graduates make an average salary of $50,556 per year. Similarly, glassdoor reports that the average entry-level salary for a truck driver is around $43,000. Not only are these salaries incredibly similar, truck drivers start earning a paycheck almost 4 years sooner than college graduates. Additionally, truckers are able to keep more of their paycheck each month because they don’t have student loans to pay back. As you become a more experience driver, you will have to opportunity to earn a higher salary up to $70,000 per year.

    Not Your Average 9 to 5 Job

    Finally, truck driving is not your typical job. The job setting is very laid back, and there is no dress code, so you won’t have to sport a suit and tie each day to work. Similarly, you won’t be stuck behind a computer all day. You are free to travel the open road and see different parts of the country. As you drive, you can sing along to your favorite CDs, listen to podcasts, and have plenty of time to think. Lastly, most companies pay for your gas, so you won’t have to put your entire paycheck into your gas tank for the commute back and forth to work each day. Hopefully now we have proved that you don’t have to go to a 4-year college in order to land a high paying career. Trucking school is another road to success.   Interested in truck driving school? Advanced Career Institute offers hands-on Class A CDL Training. Our campuses are located in Fresno, Visalia and Merced. To learn more about our CDL Training, check out Our Programs!