Planning to Become an OTR Trucker? Know These Packing Essentials

Over-the-road (OTR) trucking jobs can take you all over North America. You’ll see incredible sights, meet friendly people, and benefit from a great rate of pay. And after you’ve completed a few of these long routes, you’ll get the knack for making your sleeper berth a comfortable home away from home. Use these packing tips to get started.


You’ll need more than jeans and T-shirts for your OTR assignment. Bring comfortable, seasonally appropriate on-duty and off-duty clothing, steel-toed work boots, comfortable sneakers, and shower shoes. You should always bring a jacket and a raincoat. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses with broad-spectrum UV protection.

Personal Products

Create a shower kit with everything you’ll need for bathing, including:

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Washcloth
  • Towel

You’ll also need these items:

  • Comb
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash

Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses, if applicable. Additionally, some truckers wouldn’t think of taking an OTR route without a portable toilet.

Cleaning Products

Your truck will be your home while you’re on the road, so bring everything you need to keep it clean. Disinfectant wipes are a must-have, along with an all-purpose cleaner and paper towels. Bring a handheld vacuum cleaner too, and don’t forget the laundry detergent!


Depending on where you’re parked on any given day, your entertainment might include visiting local attractions, hiking nature trails, or enjoying beautiful scenery. But you’ll also want a few items to keep yourself busy in the truck, like an e-reader, music player, tablet, or laptop. You could even bring along a game console and a small TV. Bring reading materials, crossword puzzles, or Sudoku booklets for some non-electronic entertainment as well.

Students at Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss receive exceptional career planning and job placement assistance. We start the process while you’re still working your way through our CDL training program, and after you graduate, you can have unlimited job placement services! Call (877) 206-8344 today.

Truckers: How You Can Help Stop Human Trafficking

An estimated 40 million people are living in slavery around the world. Some of those victims are being bought and sold for labor. Most have been forced into sexual slavery. Human trafficking has a significant presence in all 50 states. It exists in major cities, small towns, and along the nation’s highways. Because professional truck drivers spend much of their careers on the road and around service areas, they are uniquely situated to identify and assist in the recovery of human trafficking victims. Will you help?

Take and promote training courses.

As an individual, you can join Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)—the industry leader in certifying truck drivers to recognize and recover human trafficking victims. They offer a free online training course that will give you all the tools you need to save lives. But don’t stop there. Contact HR at your trucking company and encourage them to make TAT training mandatory for all drivers. When you talk to other professionals at service areas, discuss TAT training and encourage them to sign up for it.

Recognize the common signs of human trafficking.

Human trafficking victims can be male or female, young or older. Victims of human trafficking often display physical abnormalities, such as:

  • Malnourishment/underweight
  • Signs of physical abuse, restraint, or confinement
  • Signs of drug abuse
  • Tattoo/brand on back of the neck

They may display:

  • Loss of sense of time
  • Confusion about the location they’re in
  • Inability to provide an address
  • Claims of just passing through the area
  • Inconsistencies in story

These are just a few of the red flags. Get TAT trained to become better aware.

Report possible human trafficking victims.

Use the National Human Trafficking Hotline to report any suspicious behavior. Keep this number programmed into your phone: 1-888-373-7888. Even if you aren’t sure whether something could indicate human trafficking, it’s far better to err on the side of caution and report it right away. You could be saving someone’s life.

Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss prides itself on graduating fully qualified, ethically-minded truck drivers. Many of our students are veterans or military spouses. If you’re ready to transition into another career where you can make a difference in your community, you’re invited to call our truck driving school at (877) 206-8344.

Unique Lodging Experiences You’ll Find Across the Nation

One of the things that makes America so interesting is the sheer number of diverse cultures that can be found throughout the whole country. The Blackhawk Hotel, Jules’ Undersea Lodge, and Hotel Deco XV are three completely different types of lodging options that offer an unforgettable time to their guests. Continue reading to learn more about these unique experiences.

The Blackhawk Hotel
Anyone who has stayed in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at any point since the 1850s may have stayed at the Blackhawk Hotel. Since it’s such an old building, it offers a glimpse into the area’s architectural past. You’ll find exposed brick walls as well as furnishings that will take you on a trip back in time. The Blackhawk Hotel is, unsurprisingly, the oldest in the state to stay open continuously. If the antique vibe isn’t what you’re looking for, you can look at the modernized motor inn that sits just behind the hotel.

Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Perhaps one of the most one-of-a-kind lodging experiences that the United States has to offer, Jules’ Undersea Lodge is exactly what it sounds like. This is the only hotel in the nation that is completely underwater. You’ll go 30 feet below the water to find two bedrooms and a bathroom. When you’re inside, you can watch nearby fish and dolphins through the window, and you can even order a pizza for an airtight delivery if you get hungry.

Hotel Deco XV
The Blackhawk Hotel is old, Jules’ Undersea Lodge is underwater, and Hotel Deco XV in Omaha, Nebraska is super-modern. Hotel Deco XV is 89 rooms of luxury, and the architecture makes it clear. The lobby is also home to the best bourbon bar in Omaha.

There’s a lot to discover all over the United States, and becoming a commercial truck driver will give you the chance to explore it for yourself. Call Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss at (877) 206-8344 if you’re thinking about enrolling in one of our programs.

Talk the Talk: A Quick Glossary of Trucker Lingo

Truck drivers use CB radios to communicate with each other while they’re on the road. They let each other know if weigh stations are open or closed and when there’s traffic up ahead, but the vocabulary might take a little while to stick. If you want to know how to talk the talk, here’s a quick glossary of trucker lingo.

10 Codes
Commercial drivers use codes to communicate clearly and efficiently, so it helps to know what they mean when you’re on the CB radio. The most popular 10 code is 10-4, which acknowledges that you’ve received and understood a message. If the message is coming in poorly, you would say 10-1, and you can say 10-9 to have the person repeat the message. 10-7 means you’re going to leave the air, and 10-10 means you’re done talking and are ready to listen. 10-20 is another common code, and it’s used to ask a person his or her location.

Come On, Come Back
When you get a call from another driver, you can say “come on” to let the person know you’re listening. This gives the person the go-ahead to speak the message. If you’re unable to hear the message due to interference or poor service, you can say “come back” to ask the person to repeat the message. In general, it’s a way to invite another driver to talk to you.

Go to Company
If you’re talking to another driver from your company over the radio, you might ask him or her to “go to company.” This means switching to the designated channel where you won’t be heard by other drivers outside of your company.

Once you get a handle on trucker lingo, you’ll be more comfortable on the CB radio. At Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss, we’ll teach you what you need to know to get your career started. Give us a call at (877) 206-8344 or look at our website for more information.

How to Prepare for Your First Long Haul

A lot of preparation goes into a long-haul drive, so you need to know what you’re up against ahead of time. Some aspects of your preparation won’t be as obvious as others, so get your routine in order before you hit the road. Keep reading and find out how you should prepare for your first long haul.

Eat and Sleep Right
A long drive can be tough to handle if you’re not in the right state of mind, which means you should get yourself healthy and prepared to take on the journey ahead. Your eating and sleeping habits will become even more important when you spend your days and nights on the road. The sooner you get yourself into a healthy routine, the easier it will be to stick to it once you set out for your first long haul.

Check Your Vehicle
Before you take your truck out for any amount of time, you should inspect it to make sure there are no necessary repairs or maintenance issues to deal with. This is especially important before going out on your first long haul. Check out your vehicle while you’re still near your local mechanic.

Bring Entertainment
It’s normal to get a little lonely when you’re out on the road by yourself, but entertainment can be a lifesaver. If you’re not traveling with a companion, be sure to bring a media player so you can listen to music or audiobooks while you drive. This way you get some entertainment out of the experience, and you might not feel so alone. Remember that you’ll also have plenty of time off from driving while you’re out, so take that time to catch up on your favorite TV shows or watch a new movie.

Are you an aspiring truck driver who wants to get ready for the first long haul as soon as possible? Call Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss at (877) 206-8344 to see how our school can help you prepare yourself.

Involve Your Family in Your Trucking Career

Some people who would be well suited for a career in truck driving end up missing their chance, because they’re worried about leaving their families. The reality is that there are plenty of ways that you can stay close to your loved ones while still holding a fulfilling driving job. Read on and involve your family in your trucking career.

Video Chatting

Staying in contact with your loved ones is easy in today’s day and age, thanks to the technology that goes into modern cellphones. Texting back and forth, talking on the phone, and sending each other pictures helps create a sense of connection between you and your family when you’re out on the road. Video chatting takes this to the next level, and there are many platforms that can let you see and speak with your family back home.

Partner Driving

If you get lucky, you won’t have to leave your family at all when you go to work. Team or partner driving allows you to go out on the road with your significant other. In this case you’ll spend your workdays side by side with the person you love, so it never feels like you’re away from your family.

Family Vacations

Even if your job takes you far away from home, you always get to come back. When you do come back and see your family, do your best to make the most of your time together. Consider planning a family vacation once a year so you and your family can relax, enjoy each other’s company, and not have to worry about the road.

Professional driving can give you the freedom you need while still letting you enjoy your time with your family, and the Phoenix Truck Driving School at Ft. Bliss can help you prepare for the road ahead. Give us a call at (877) 206-8344 or view our website to find out exactly how.