Top 5 Challenges For New Trucking Graduates

As a new trucking graduate, you’ve worked hard in truck driving school and earned your commercial driver’s license (CDL). But the journey is only the beginning. Navigating the trucking industry as a new graduate can be daunting.


Here are the top five challenges trucking graduates must face when starting their careers:

  1. Getting Hired

Landing a job in the trucking industry is your first step after graduation. Luckily, there is high demand for qualified drivers, and many students are pre-hired while they are still in school. In most situations, you’ll have more opportunities to build your experience with over-the-road (OTR) jobs and will face more competition for shorter routes. If you’re more interested in a local or regional job, you may need to spend some time building experience first. 

  1. Mastering the Skill of Truck Driving

After you’ve been hired, the next challenge is mastering your truck driving skills. While you learned the basics of truck driving during your CDL training, driving efficiently on the road requires a lot of real-life practice. You’ll need to master shifting gears, handling all types of weather, and navigating different roads. You’ll also need to maneuver varying loads and use the safety equipment properly. Taking your time and being patient is vital as you practice these skills.

  1. Understanding the Regulations

The trucking industry is heavily regulated, and you’ll need to understand all the laws and regulations involved in professional truck driving. This includes knowing what loads you’re allowed to carry, how to properly document your trips, and how to adhere to the hours of service rules. Staying updated on all the regulations is essential to staying compliant and avoiding potential penalties.

  1. Dealing with Homesickness

As a professional truck driver, you’ll be away from home for long periods. This can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the industry. You’ll need to find ways to stay connected with your family and friends, such as keeping in touch via phone or social media. Additionally, when you’re out on the road, taking time for yourself should be a priority. This can help you stay positive and reduce feelings of homesickness.

  1. Managing Your Finances

As a truck driver, you’ll be responsible for managing your finances. This includes setting up a budget, tracking expenses, and preparing for taxes. Keeping your finances in order and making sure you’re setting aside enough money to cover any unexpected costs is crucial. Additionally, you may want to create a retirement plan or other investments to start saving for your future.

Start Your Truck Driving Career With DSW

At DSW, we take pride in recruiting the best CDL graduates. With our state-of-the-art equipment, competitive pay and benefits, and family-focused company structure, we are confident that we offer the best trucking jobs in the industry. We will work for you just as hard as you work for us.

Check out our website to browse our current job openings.

Mental Health In Trucking

Mental health is an issue that affects everyone, including truck drivers. It is important for drivers to be aware of the potential mental health risks associated with the trucking lifestyle and to take steps to protect their mental health.

Stressors in the Trucking Industry

Like any career field, the trucking industry has its share of physical, mental, and emotional stressors. For many, the pros of trucking far outweigh the cons, but it’s still important to be aware of potential challenges so you can respond to them properly. 

Physical and Mental Stressors

The trucking industry is a demanding and sometimes stressful environment. Long hours, unpredictable schedules, and cramped living conditions can lead to fatigue, stress, loneliness, and depression. For OTR truck drivers, these issues can be exacerbated by the fact that they are often away from home and family for long periods. Furthermore, the trucking industry is constantly changing, and truckers must be able to adjust to the ever-evolving economic and political conditions in this career field.

Emotional Stressors

In addition to the physical and mental stress of the job, truck drivers face the risk of accidents, injuries, and illness. These risks can take an emotional toll on truckers and their families, as they often put their lives and safety at risk to make a living.

Protect Your Mental Health in Trucking

It is important for truckers to be aware of the potential risks to their mental health and to take steps to protect themselves. Healthy eating and exercise, adequate rest, and social support are all important components of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, truckers should take the time to recognize and address any mental health symptoms they may be experiencing.

Seek Support From a Mental Health Professional 

Along with taking proactive steps to protect their mental health, truckers may also benefit from seeking support from a mental health professional. A mental health professional can help truckers develop effective strategies to manage the stress of their job. They can also provide guidance and support for truckers struggling with mental health issues.

Take Advantage of Available Resources

It’s also helpful for truckers to be aware of the mental health resources available to them in their area. Many trucking companies offer mental health programs and services, such as counseling and support groups, as well as information and referral services. Additionally, many national organizations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), provide mental health services and support to truck drivers.

Prioritize Mental Health Along With Physical Health

Finally, truckers must remember that mental health is as important as physical health. Taking the time to recognize and address any mental health issues they may be experiencing can help truckers stay healthy and safe on the job. Addressing mental health issues can be difficult, but with the right support and resources, you can protect your well-being and mental health in trucking.


Additional tips for improving mental health as a driver in the trucking industry are:


  • Staying connected with loved ones.
  • Finding ways to relax on the road.
  • Knowing and addressing the warning signs of declining mental health.

Drive With The Right Trucking Company

Driving with a mental health-conscious trucking company is another way to take care of yourself while on the road. DSW prioritizes mental and physical health and provides truckers with resources to ensure they stay safe, healthy, and happy. When you drive with us, you can enjoy better home time, bigger paychecks, and great benefits.

Start your truck driving career today by applying with DSW.

The Importance Of Semi-Truck Maintenance

Semi-trucks are an essential part of the transportation industry. They transport goods from place to place, often over long distances. As such, keeping these vehicles properly maintained is vital to ensure their safe and efficient operation. Semi-truck maintenance is a critical component of the trucking industry, and drivers must understand the importance of regular maintenance and servicing.


Three key reasons why semi-truck maintenance is beneficial are:

  1. Ensure Safety

Regular maintenance and servicing of semi-trucks ensure the safety of the vehicle and the cargo it is carrying. Properly maintained semi-trucks are less likely to experience breakdowns, which can be costly and time-consuming. Regular maintenance can also help maximize the life of the vehicle, as well as its fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency can result in significant cost savings in the long run.

  1. Reduce Emissions

In addition to safety and saving money, properly maintained semi-trucks can also help reduce emissions. Reduced emissions are especially crucial in today’s world as more and more countries and cities are implementing stricter regulations to reduce emissions. By ensuring that semi-trucks are maintained and serviced properly, truck drivers and motor carriers can help to reduce their environmental impact.

  1. Customer Satisfaction

Finally, regular maintenance and servicing of semi-trucks can help improve customer satisfaction. When semi-trucks are maintained and serviced, they are more likely to deliver goods on time and in the promised condition. Keeping this promise can help to build customer loyalty and trust, resulting in a positive effect on a trucking company’s reputation.

Additional Benefits of Semi-Truck Maintenance

In addition to the three key benefits above, keeping your vehicle in top condition has several other advantages:

  • Reliability: Regular maintenance helps to keep the semi-truck running reliably to ensure that commercial truck drivers deliver their goods on time. 
  • Optimize performance: Regular maintenance helps to keep a semi-truck running at its best, ensuring it performs optimally.
  • Reduce repair costs: Regular maintenance helps reduce wear and tear on the semi-truck, ensuring it stays in good condition for longer. Preservation helps prevent mechanical issues from occurring, reducing the need for costly repairs.

The Bottom Line

Overall, semi-truck maintenance is a critical component of the trucking industry. Properly maintained and serviced semi-trucks can help ensure the safety of the vehicle and the cargo it is carrying, maximize the life of the truck, reduce emissions, and improve customer satisfaction. As such, it is essential for truck owners and operators to understand the importance of regular semi-truck maintenance and servicing and to make sure they carry it out regularly.

Drive With The Best

Knowing the importance of semi-truck maintenance is a valuable skill to have as a truck driver and one that trucking companies look out for in potential employees. If you are ready to drive with a company that prioritizes safe driving and well-maintained vehicles, look no further than DSW. Our modern equipment can help drive forward your future in the industry.

Apply today to start your truck driving career with DSW.

Big Vs Small Motor Carriers

Every truck driver must decide whether to work for a big or small motor carrier in the trucking industry. Driving for both can be a great way to make a living, but truckers must first consider the differences between the two. Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of big vs small motor carriers to decide which one is right for you.

Big Motor Carriers

Driving for big motor carriers can be a great way to make a living, but it also has some drawbacks. Let’s explore the pros and cons of driving for big motor carriers.

Pro – Better Benefits

The most obvious pro of driving for a big motor carrier is they often provide better benefits than smaller carriers. The larger companies are more likely to offer health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits. These benefits are advantageous for drivers who want to ensure their long-term financial security. 

Pro – Better Equipment and Resources

Additionally, big motor carriers typically have access to better routes and have more resources available to their drivers. These carriers tend to provide their drivers with newer, more reliable, and better-maintained commercial vehicles than smaller carriers, resulting in more efficient and reliable deliveries. This is especially true for the larger motor carriers specializing in long-haul trucking.

Con – Less Flexibility 

On the other hand, there are some potential downsides to driving for big motor carriers. One of the most common complaints is the lack of flexibility. Large carriers are less likely to be willing to accommodate personal requests. 

Con – Less Personal

At a big motor carrier, it’s unlikely you’ll know as many individuals in your fleet or higher up in management. This can make the atmosphere feel more impersonal. 

Small Motor Carriers

Driving for small motor carriers offers advantages and disadvantages as well. While many of the same benefits of working for larger companies still apply, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind. 

Pro – Personal Relationships

Smaller motor carriers typically have closer relationships with their drivers, who often become part of the company’s community. These personal relationships can lead to more opportunities for advancement and better working conditions.

Pro – More Control

In addition, drivers for small motor carriers may have more control over the routes they take and the freight they haul. This flexibility often means the ability to take on jobs that larger carriers may not be able to accommodate.

Con – Limited Resources

Driving for a small motor carrier has some disadvantages as well. One con is that drivers may not have access to the same financial resources or support systems as larger companies. These limited resources can lead to delays in payment or difficulty obtaining necessary repairs or maintenance.

Con – Uncertainty

Another disadvantage is smaller motor carriers are often less stable than larger companies, which may lead to financial uncertainty. Drivers may find themselves without a job if the company goes out of business or fails to secure enough freight to stay afloat.

Drive With the Best at DSW

When you drive with DSW, you won’t have to weigh the pros and cons of big vs small motor carriers. We offer a small company atmosphere with big carrier freight, giving our drivers the best of both worlds. You can drive your future forward with our trusted trucking company.

Start a truck driving career today by applying to DSW.

Planning For Weather When Trucking

Challenging weather can cause all kinds of issues when transporting freight. In fact, weather is responsible for nearly one-fourth of all truck delays. Weather conditions can also make roads more hazardous and it’s important for drivers to be aware of how to stay safe. Learn how to plan for the weather when trucking in our blog below.

Planning For All Types of Weather

Inclement weather conditions can lead to dangerous road conditions, power outages, and capacity limitations, so it is essential to prepare for all types of conditions, including rain, snow, wind, fog, and extreme temperatures.


Nearly half of the 25% of trucking accidents caused by weather occur when it’s raining. Rain decreases visibility and increases the potential of hydroplaning, creating one of the most dangerous bad-weather trucking combinations. Practicing safe driving techniques, such as slowing down, can help truck drivers stay safe during a storm. If the rain impacts your visibility, you may have to pull off to the side of the road until it passes.


Snow and ice also have an impact on trucking mobility. If you expect to drive through the snow along your route, come prepared with the right gear, such as tire chains, to ensure safe travel. Every driver should also equip themselves with an emergency safety kit with items like a reflective vest, extra warm clothing, and nonperishable food and water. Additionally, give yourself extra stopping distance when driving in snowy or icy weather, and avoid quick, sharp turns. As with rainy conditions, don’t hesitate to stop and wait for it to pass. 


High winds cause dangerous driving conditions for truckers by blowing obstructions into the road and impacting a rig’s stability. If you are driving in high crosswinds, find a safe place to stop, ideally facing the wind head-on to minimize the risk of flipping. Fog also has unique challenges for truckers, causing decreased visibility. If your visibility declines, pull onto the shoulder of an off-ramp to wait it out. Avoid stopping on the side of the road if possible, as your tail lights may confuse traffic behind you.

Extreme Temperatures

Extreme cold or warm temperatures can affect cargo quality, driver capabilities, and vehicle performance, so drivers must prepare for these conditions as well.

Driving in cold weather can damage a truck’s internal workings, forcing the engine and its parts to push harder than they’re designed to. To prevent this, start and run your rig for 15 minutes before driving. Running the engine allows it time to warm up the oil, fuel, and other fluids so they can move freely through the system. Extreme cold also leads to low tire pressure, so keep a gauge on hand and check your tire pressure regularly. 

Warm Weather

Warm weather can have just as much of a negative impact on a semi-truck as cold weather. Hot road surfaces can compromise tire performance or cause engine failure. Drivers and cargo can also face some consequences in high temperatures, even in an air-conditioned cab or refrigerated truck, so it is vital to slow down and take regular breaks to mitigate the effects of the heat. Try to park during the hottest part of the day, continuing your trip in the evening when the temperature cools.

Drive With the Best at DSW

Employer support is crucial when facing unexpected weather as a trucker. At DSW, our management is composed of former drivers that understand what life on the road is like. When you choose to drive with the best, we will work as hard for you as you work for us.

To inquire about our available trucking positions, contact DSW today.

When To Use Tire Chains

Winter is upon us, and with the new season comes new weather challenges for everyone on the road. While most motorists can simply change to a set of all-season or winter tires to help manage the snow, preparation for inclement weather is more difficult for truck drivers. One of the best safety precautions a trucker can take is installing tire chains on their rig. Here is everything you need to know about when, how, and why to use tire chains on your semi-truck.

Semi-Truck Tire Chain Use

Tire chains allow semi-trucks to gain additional traction during snowy and icy road conditions and are a crucial tool during the winter. Most states have tire chain laws, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) issues a notice when it’s time to put them in place. However, if you are experiencing slippery conditions, you do not have to wait for the authorities’ announcement to install chains. You can also use chains to get your truck back on the road if it is stuck.

While tire chains are vital during inclement weather, they can damage dry roads. Make sure to remove them as soon as the snow and ice melt.

How to Put Tire Chains on a Semi-Truck

Now that you understand when and why to use tire chains, let’s discuss how to put them on your rig. Although semi-trucks have 18 wheels, you only need to install chains on the drive wheels.

Follow these six steps to install tire chains on your truck:

  • Inspect chains. Lay each chain flat in front of each drive wheel with the adjustment cams outward. Inspect them for any damage, twists, or knots.
  • Drape chains over wheels. Start with the inside of the tire and loosely attach each chain link at the bottom of the tire. You can also drive your truck forward a few feet to roll the wheels onto the chains.
  • Connect chains. Once the chains are on your tires, hook the inside clips of each chain.
  • Tighten cams. Ensure a secure fit by using an adjusting wrench to tighten the cams.
  • Test chains. Drive a short distance after installation and inspect each wheel for any malfunctions. 
  • Add extra security. For additional security and tension, attach a bungee cord or tire strap across the outside of the wheel to hold the chains in place.

Tips For Driving a Semi-Truck With Tire Chains

Driving with tire chains differs from driving with bare tires.

The following tips will help you drive safely with tire chains installed:

  • Reduce your speed. You risk chain failure and can damage your truck at speeds over 30 mph.
  • Check your weight. Tire chains can add up to 1,000 pounds to your vehicle weight, so adjust your freight load to ensure you pass weight station inspections.
  • Follow tire chain laws. Local requirements regarding tire chains vary. To avoid a fine, familiarize yourself with your state’s regulations and follow them throughout the winter.

Drive Safely During Every Season

No matter what season it is, truckers should practice safety. At DSW, we prioritize the well-being of our drivers, providing them with state-of-the-art equipment to help ensure safety and efficiency on the road. We also provide live, 24/7 support to all our employees while they are on their routes.

Apply today to start your trucking driving career with DSW.

OTR Vs Regional Trucking

Trucking is a unique career and is more of a lifestyle than a job. Within the field of trucking, there are variations in the types of routes that affect what exactly this lifestyle looks like. One example is the difference between over-the-road (OTR) and regional trucking. OTR routes can travel through any combination of states and may involve long distances, whereas regional routes stay within a smaller area, e.g. the Southwest United States.

Similarities Between OTR And Regional Trucking

Both OTR and regional trucking involve hauling freight. Compared to local routes, both types of driving involve spending multiple days at a time on the road and you will often sleep in the semi-truck. This means that whether you pursue OTR or regional trucking, your day-to-day will likely line up with what is typically considered the “trucking lifestyle.”

Both pay well due to high demand. Semi-trucks move 72.2% of freight in the United States according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Some of this freight must move a long distance whereas other shipments stay regional. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), 56.7% of goods by value moved less than 250 miles between origin and destination.

Difference – Time On The Road

The biggest difference between OTR and regional routes is the time on the road. The exact length of time will depend on the haul. OTR drivers typically are out for several weeks at a time. Regional routes vary from a few days to a few weeks, but are shorter than OTR routes and get drivers home more often.

Difference – Variety

Regional routes, as the name implies, stay within a more limited area than OTR. This keeps drivers closer to home, but it can also limit the variety. Many regional routes work with one customer or a smaller group of customers.

Depending on your preferences, this can be an advantage or a disadvantage for regional vs OTR. You’ll be able to get used to the routes more easily and can learn the quirks of traffic, weather conditions, truck stop options, et cetera. On the other hand, it can get repetitive, and if you want to wake up somewhere new every day, OTR would likely be a better fit.

Now Hiring For OTR And Regional Routes

If you’re looking for a well-paying truck driving career with excellent benefits, you can find one at DSW. Whether you prefer regional or OTR, we have positions available for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. We offer the best home time around and are a family-owned trucking company. At DSW, we know our drivers by name, not by truck number, and we strive to work as hard for you as you work for us.

To learn more about our available trucking jobs based in Tucson, contact us today.

Extra Items To Improve Your Trucking Experience

As a trucker, your vehicle is your home away from home. The interior of a semi-truck may not be particularly large, but there are many ways to make it feel like your own. New truckers will typically need to stick to the basics, but as you get used to the rhythm of life on the road and understand how to maximize space, there are many “extras” you can consider to improve your trucking experience.

Some items include:

Better Mattress And Bedding

Sleep is essential for health and well-being and for truckers, it can be difficult to get used to how to get enough high-quality sleep. Investing in a better mattress can make a big difference, and so can adding additional pillows and bedding. You can also use your bedding to personalize your truck’s interior.

Slow Cooker

Eating well on the road is sometimes challenging. Although you can find more healthy options than ever, preparing your own food is more cost-effective and usually more nutritious. A slow cooker makes it simple to enjoy home-cooked meals as a trucker. You can simply add the ingredients before you start driving and have a warm meal ready when you shut down for the day.

Exercise Equipment

You don’t need an extensive gym setup to work out. Depending on your preferred exercises, you likely can find small semi-truck-friendly equipment to take along without using up too much space. For example, if you like cardio, you can bring a pair of running shoes and/or a jump rope. For weights, small kettlebells or weight sets can often fit in your cab for quick work-outs on the go.

Supplies For Hobbies

Finding hobbies you can take on the road gives you something to do during your free time and can help reduce stress. There are many hobbies that are compact enough to take on the road.

Some examples include:

  • Photography – Bring a camera on your hauls and take pictures of the sights you see.
  • Video Games – A handheld console is very easy to take on a truck, and with an inverter, you can even hook up a small TV for gaming.
  • Reading – An e-reader makes it possible to take an entire library on your truck.
  • Drawing – A sketchbook and art set can easily fit in your cab and gives you a creative outlet.
  • Writing – A small laptop or even traditional pen and paper allows you to write stories or document your life on the road.

Trucking Jobs Based In Tucson

If you’re looking for a new truck driving job, DSW is currently hiring for over-the-road (OTR) and regional routes. We are a family-owned trucking company with excellent home time and competitive pay and benefits. We work as hard for our drivers as they work for us.

To learn more about our trucking positions, contact us today.