The Best Truck Stops Around

Truck stops are a big part of life on the road, so it’s important for truckers to choose the right ones when they stop. Once you’ve found the best truck stops along your route, you’ll know exactly where to go to shower, do your laundry or just see something cool. What would it take for a place to make your list of top truck stops? Here’s a list of some of our favorites.

  • The world’s largest truck stop is in Iowa. Off I-80, on exit 284 in Walcott, you’ll find not only fast food restaurants, but also a movie theater, laundromat, showers, barber shop, dentist office, truck stop, and a trucking museum, all within a 100,000 square foot space that even offers church services on Sunday.
  • The Tiger Truck Stop has a unique attraction – live tigers. Not only can you get up close with a tiger, but this Louisiana truck stop also offers shopping and a 24-hour café. Exit 139 in Grosse Tete, La.
  • Looking for a place to eat in Illinois? In Morris, on I-80, the R-Place serves delicious baked goods and American cuisine, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which makes it one of the best truck stops to grab a meal. In fact, the food is so good that they cater.
  • Thinking it would be fun to visit an amusement park at a truck stop? If you’re truck driving through South Carolina, you’re in luck! South of the Border, in Dillon, South Carolina, is home to Pedroland, where you can ride the Ferris wheel, carousel, or bumper cars, or play mini-golf and arcade games. You’ll also find six different restaurants from which to choose, featuring everything from casual dining to a steakhouse. Off I-95.
  • A truck stop with a beautiful view. Well, technically it’s a rest stop, but it’s certainly a worthwhile place for truckers to stop. The Travel Channel has called Bear Lake Rest Stop off US-89 in Utah the rest stop with the best view in the U.S. There’s a hiking trail, as well as parking and bathrooms.
  • Country music fan? Stop by Billy Bob’s Texas Truck Stop in Fort Worth! In its 127,000 square feet, Billy Bob’s hosts some of the biggest stars in country music, as well as live professional bull riding, a Texas-sized dance floor, and 32 individual bar stations.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect carrier or just need tips about things like finding the best truck stops, Professional Driver Agency can help. At Professional Driver Agency, we want to help truckers live their best lives, because we understand that qualified truck drivers are essential to the success of a carrier, and deserve every advantage owed to them. Our goal is to change the landscape of the transportation industry by connecting professional drivers with the right carriers and negotiating for appropriate home time, pay, benefits and more. To learn more about what PDA can do for you, visit our website or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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How to Jump Start Your Trucking Career

Trucking careers are a great option for those who are more attracted to earning a living by seeing the country out on the open road rather than sitting behind a desk every day. You might also be surprised to learn that truck driving jobs not only represent a viable alternative to college, but also make it possible to start earning money quickly in a rewarding career. A truck driving job in your future may be more in reach than you thought. We’ve pulled together a list of requirements and training needed to get your driving career started off on the right foot.

Obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
In order to get a CDL, you will need to obtain your commercial learner’s permit and enroll in a student driving program to help you learn how to drive a truck safely. Although you can earn your CDL as young as 18, it’s important to keep in mind age limit requirements when driving over state lines and when you’re applying to jobs. Drivers must be at least 21 to drive outside his or her own state and many carriers have a minimum age for driver applicants.

Trucking school
There are a number of trucking schools to choose from and it’s important to find the one that offers you a great foundation for your future career. Certified schools, which meet the trucking industry standard, are often the best choice, but you can also find company-sponsored CDL training schools that allow students to train directly through a trucking company. Trucking school can be completed within a matter of weeks, so you can finish the program quickly.

Truck driving skills exam
The truck driving skills exam is the next step in preparing for a truck driving job. This exam tests your driving skills and knowledge. Once it’s completed, you’re ready to choose a company to work with.

Earning potential
Truck driving careers for people ages 24-30 tend to offer a median salary of $28k. When it comes to negotiating salary and benefits and choosing a company that offers a competitive earning potential, working with an agency like Professional Driver Agency can give you a great advantage.

Take the next step
When it comes to finding the best salary and benefits and choosing a company that offers a competitive earning potential, working with agency like PDA can give you a great advantage. When you’re ready to make a leap into a trucking career, let PDA help you find the right carrier, home time, pay and benefits you deserve. We understand how important it is to find the best match for your professional and lifestyle needs. To learn more about what PDA can do for you, visit our website or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Technology Trends in the Trucking Industry

As is the case with technology in every field, trucking technology has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past several decades. What’s next in terms of technology trends for the trucking industry? Will it be more sophisticated equipment, better fuel efficiency, or even self-driving trucks? Would you believe that trucking technology is going to include all that and more?

  • Taking the most difficult to believe first, let’s talk about autonomous trucks. While there’s been speculation that advances in autonomous vehicle technology could help relieve the stress of a driver shortage, that’s not really the case. It will be many decades before self-driving trucks advance to the point of not needing a driver to focus and take back control if necessary. New developments do allow a driver to take a break from driving for a while, as truck technology keeps the truck at a safe distance from other vehicles, centered in the lane, and moving at an acceptable speed. There’s even a concept that empowers the truck to travel a pre-mapped route leaving the driver to simply supervise, rather than driving.
  • Platooning is another use for autonomous truck tech. It uses technologies such as cruise control, collision avoidance systems, and GPS data to allow trucks to “platoon” in groups of two or more, in a tight formation at highway speeds. There is a lot of interest in platooning, and we could see this in use on the roads in as few as five to ten years.
  • Fuel efficiency is a big priority for the trucking industry. We’re already seeing a drop in fuel costs, but you can expect, over the next several years, to see alternative fuels coming into play and advances in fuel efficiency.
  • Telematics is making a big splash in terms of trucking technology. Telematics, information technology that deals with long distance transmission of computerized information, can increase productivity by increasing connectivity and promoting more efficient load planning and load organization.

No matter how trucking technology progresses, quality truck drivers will always be essential to the success of a carrier. That’s why Professional Drive Agency works hard to make sure truck drivers are given every advantage owed to them. Professional Driver Agency can help you find just the right opportunity to match your professional and lifestyle needs. Our goal is to change the landscape of the transportation industry by connecting professional drivers with the right carriers and negotiating for appropriate home time, pay, benefits and more. To learn more about what PDA can do for you, visit our website or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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How to Use PDA to Make Your Next Career Move

How to Use PDA to Make Your Next Career Move
Most trucking professionals want to improve their career and find a carrier that matches their professional and lifestyle needs, but many don’t know or understand how Professional Driver Agency (PDA) can help. Professional athletes are represented by agents, and we believe truck drivers should be too. Read on to learn more about how our streamlined employment process can help you navigate your career.

Who is PDA?
PDA is not a recruiter! We work with YOU—the driver—to find out what you want from your professional driving career and pair you up with a carrier that meets your needs. Whether you’re fresh out of driving school or a veteran driver, choosing PDA is a great way to block out the noise of unfulfilled promises and find your dream job at no extra cost.

The PDA Process

  1. Driver Profile
    When you call PDA for the first time, one of our professional agents will be assigned to you and will discuss your personal and professional wants and needs. We’ll set up your driver profile which includes important information to help us match you with the best career opportunity. Among the things we’ll discuss are:

    • Your preferred pay
    • Amount of home time you need
    • Benefits that are most important to you (vacation time, insurance, bonuses and other perks)
    • If you need a pet or rider policy

    If you’re not sure what the industry allows, we can help you determine if any of your desires are unreasonable. This is also the time to ask us any questions you have about truck driving regulations, including HOS and how to maximize your income. Call PDA at 844-732-8326 to get started today.

  2. Job Matching
    Once your profile is created, we then we run our job-matching software to find carriers and available job opportunities that match your needs. We can often identify matching opportunities and find multiple options for you to choose from.
    We present the results of our search and ultimately, YOU decide which job YOU want to take.  If any opportunities sound too good to be true, your agent will there to help answer any questions or concerns you may have.

  3. Job Application Submission
    After you make your decision on your best job fit, your PDA agent can assist you in the application process.  If you prefer, your agent can be available to answer any questions about your application.Once the application is processed, we stay in direct contact with the carrier. We’ll reach out on your behalf, effectively keeping your application at the top of the pile.

  4. Carrier Follow Up
    After the carrier processes your application, you will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a company representative to ask additional questions and help them learn more about you. Your PDA agent will help you prepare for discussions with your potential employers.

  5. Job Offer and Acceptance
    Congratulations! PDA will help you review your official job offer and make sure you are good to go.  We’ll know every promise, every commitment.  We confirm all of that with the carrier, make a record of it and make sure they follow through. Upon accepting an offer, PDA will make sure you have your travel arrangements for orientation to simplify the process of starting your new job.Your PDA agent will do all of the heaving lifting and make sure this process is efficient and that YOUR time is not wasted.

  6. Keeping in Touch
    Our job isn’t over after you find your dream job. If any issues arise with your employer, your agent will be there to help you with a plan of action or even discuss the problem with the carrier directly, if needed.

Are you excited to start your trucking career or leave your current carrier far behind? If so, visit our website to learn about securing your dream truck driving job through PDA. Then find us on Facebook and Twitter to find answers to any other questions or call us at 844-732-8326.

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Asa Hazelwood | PDA Agent Profile

Meet Asa Hazelwood, a PDA Agent who can help you advance your truck driving career.

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Myths and Facts About Bed Bugs

“Sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

It’s an innocent enough phrase spoken by mothers to their children, but bed bugs are a real threat in some places. Right here in the U.S., bed bugs plague subways, skyscrapers, hotels, motels and sleeper mattresses. Since truck driving may put you at greater risk of coming in contact with bed bugs, it’s time to learn more about these creepy crawlies.

Since truck driving may put you at greater risk of coming in contact with bed bugs, it’s time to learn more about these creepy crawlies.

Bed Bug Facts

  • Bed bugs are about the size and color of an apple seed. They love to hide in the tiny folds and crevices of mattresses and bed sheets. Since they’re nocturnal, your bedtime is their breakfast time. They sneak out from their hiding places to nibble on your feet and legs, leaving small red bites behind.
  • Bed bugs are so pervasive because they spread as humans travel. It’s easy for them to hide in luggage and travel from hotel to hotel. As a result, bed bugs are found in all 50 states.
  • Anyone who travels a lot or handles transportation of used household furniture is at an increased risk for bed bug To decrease the risk of bringing these pests home with you, keep your luggage off hotel room floors and launder all your clothes without delay once you get home.

Busting Bed Bug Myths

  • Even though being bitten by these tiny insects isn’t exactly pleasant, bed bugs don’t spread disease. The tiny red dots on your legs may itch and burn for a short time, but you won’t get sick.
  • Since they’re attracted to blood – not food or filth – having a bed bug infestation isn’t a sign that you have hygiene problems; it simply means you had bad luck on your truck driving travels and picked up unwanted hitchhikers somewhere along the way.
  • Some people believe there’s nothing you can do once a bed bug infestation begins. While over-the-counter products may not be the most effective way to get rid of these pests, you don’t have to submit to their will. Hotels hire pest control companies if guests report bed bug problems, and you can do the same to eradicate the tiny critters from your truck’s sleeper or your bedroom at home.

If you enjoyed these truck driving tips about bed bugs, please visit our website to learn more about sending your trucking career to the next level. Then find us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about our driver recruitment services.

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Scott Dismuke | PDA Agent Profile

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Professional Driver Agency at MATS

As the largest annual heavy-duty trucking industry event in the world, the Mid-America Trucking Show, or MATS, has developed quite a reputation over the years. More than 1,000 exhibitors will be attending, including Professional Driver Agency. If you’re planning to be among the MATS 70,000 attendees flocking to Louisville, Kentucky from March 31 through April 2, here’s how to get the most out of your visit.

¬Professional Driver Agency is attending MATS again this year. Learn more about the event and what to do while you’re in Louisville.

Find Professional Driver Agency at MATS

If you’re a professional driver hoping to achieve a worthwhile career, Professional Driver Agency could be the resource you need to find the perfect carrier for your lifestyle. PDA agents work on your behalf to help you secure better home time, higher pay and other benefits from your favorite carrier. The intent is to not only match you with the ideal trucking opportunity, but to mentor you as your career develops and flourishes.

At MATS this year, you can find PDA at booth 67004 in the west wing. When you visit, be sure to register to win a $250 gift card! You might even be the lucky winner of a set of Eco Flaps for your truck. You’ll also find a few trinkets at the PDA booth, including key chains and backpacks.

Other Things to Do at MATS

While the exhibits are certainly worth visiting, be sure you don’t miss out on other great events planned during MATS. First, there’s a free on-site Craig Morgan concert on April 1 at 7:00 p.m. in Freedom Hall. You can pick up a ticket at the Mobil Delvac booth 18160 in the north wing.

There’s also the PKY Truck Beauty Championship. You can view the trucks entered in the contest any day during the event in lot J behind the west wing. Awards will be given out on Saturday for the best-looking rigs.

You even have a chance to spot a few celebrities while you’re at MATS this year. Alex Debogorski from Ice Road Trucker, Edgar Hansen from Deadliest Catch, Kentucky Headhunters and country music star Terri Clark will be at the first day of MATS.

Things to Do in Louisville

During your downtime, you also have the chance to check out the city of Louisville. Nearby attractions include:

  • Louisville Slugger Museum: Located at 800 W Main St, this museum’s 16,000 square feet of exhibit halls are the perfect place for baseball fans to pass the time.
  • Big Four Bridge & Waterfront Park: Big Four Bridge, a sightseeing opportunity overlooking the Ohio River, gives walkers and bikers excellent panoramic views of the water and skyline. Nearby Waterfront Park is an urban park spread out along the Ohio River.
  • Kentucky Derby Museum: Enjoy the history of this world famous horse race! Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, is one of the main attractions in Louisville. Take some time to catch a race and visit the museum to learn more about this historic event.
  • Fourth Street Live! Unwind and take in the city at Louisville’s premier dining, entertainment, and retail destination. Dine, drink, and play in the heart of downtown Louisville!

If you’ll be attending MATS this year, be sure to visit the Professional Driver Agency booth! To learn about PDA and our driver recruitment services before the big event, find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Neal Hager | PDA Agent Profile

Meet Blake Neal Hager, a PDA Agent who can help you advance your truck driving career.download full movie Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017

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Why Trucking is a Great Career Choice for Military Veterans

As a returning military veteran, you have done your country proud! We thank you for your service and welcome you back with open arms!

While it feels good to be welcomed home, what you might really be looking for is a new career. Finding a job can be tough after being in the military for so long, but truck driving could be just what you’re looking for. Picture starting a trucking career where you can put your military skills to use and feel proud of your new job.

Many of the skills and qualities you developed in the military translate to a trucking career. Returning veterans often make great truck drivers.

Why Military Veterans Make Such Good Truck Drivers

Many of the skills and qualities you developed in the military translate to a trucking career. Here are the reasons you’re bound to excel as a truck driver if you served in the military first:

  • Safety: You have a keen situational awareness, which helped you remain aware of your surroundings when serving in the military. This translates well behind the wheel, since you need situational awareness to be a safe truck driver.
  • Logistics: You know how to get things done effectively. You need the same logistical skills to plan routes and make deliveries on time as a truck driver.
  • Accountability: When you’re out on the road, there’s no boss breathing down your neck to get the job done. You’re held accountable for delivering shipments on time, the same way you were held accountable for your responsibilities in the military.

Why Military Veterans Should Consider a Trucking Career

With so many career paths to choose from upon returning to civilian life, you may wonder what reasons you have to start a trucking career. Consider these points:

  • The current truck driver shortage has left many carriers scrambling to fill vacant drivers’ seats. As a military veteran with plenty of relevant skills to offer, you have what carriers need. Unlike other overcrowded industries, finding a job as a truck driver shouldn’t prove difficult.
  • The lifestyle of a truck driver is similar in many ways to a military serviceman. You’re entrusted with a job and expected to carry it out independently. You’re out in the real world, not stuck in a gray cubicle. You’re in charge of yourself and expected to perform with integrity.
  • If you opt for an over-the-road trucking position, you’re already familiar with what it’s like to be away from home for long stretches of time. Your family is accustomed to months-long absences, so two or three weeks on the road is completely doable for many veterans and their families.

Clearly, becoming a truck driver is the perfect choice for many returning veterans. When you’re ready to launch your trucking career, please visit our website. Then find us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about our driver recruitment services.

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