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Ben H.'s Comment
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Evening everyone, newbie here. After earning my Bachelor's, for the last 15 years I have worked as a regional salesman in various industries, both as an employee and business owner. Over the last 6-8 years, I have become more and more disenfranchised with the profession as a whole. I just don't enjoy it like I used to. I have always enjoyed being behind the wheel (typically 30k-40k miles/year for work) and have often thought about switching to driving. I just recently was let go from my job and have finally had it with the prospect of having to search for the next "sales" job that provides terrible training and not many prospects as far as a career. My wife and I talked about me getting my CDL a few years and she has now given me her blessing now that the kids are a little bit older. I am leaning towards attending school at the Trainco in Perrysburg. I live about an hour from there and can take night classes making it easier to help getting the kids to and from school. I do have a few questions though.

Will Trainco prepare me for the road test and for an entry level position?

The more I've thought about it, I would like to look at starting in food grade tankers. I live in northern Ohio near the Indiana border. I am near the following metro areas: Fort Wayne - 1 hr Toledo - 1 hr Lima - 1 hr Findlay - 1.5 hr Dayton - 2.5 hr Any suggestions on which outfits to look at?

Any other suggestions and advice are always welcome.

Thanks everyone.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Patrick C.'s Comment
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Entry level food grade tankers. Only one company comes to mind. Prime, Inc. most any other Tanker requires at least a year experience. Schneider has entry level Tanker positions, but not food grade that I am of aware of.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Ben. Best place to start is with these three links:

Setting realistic expectations is perhaps the most important thing you can do right now. The first two links are a primer of sorts to set you up to succeed in this business. The third link is Trucking Truth's computer based training called The High Road. It's designed to take the guess work out of passing the permit exams and addresses other elements of trucking.

Your desire to drive FG Tankers, we suggest entry level drivers seriously consider and understand the additional challenges of managing the surge that occurs operating a smooth bore tanker. It can be done, but it's a tougher road and typically better suited for a more experienced hand.

Trainco like any of the schools either private or Company-Sponsored Training Programs teach only the basics required to pass the CDL A tests. Not much more than that. The company you choose as your first employer will road train you for several weeks, up to a couple of months. At that point you really learn how to operate and perform the duties of a truck driver.

Good luck!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I pulled a food grade tanker for a year one time and I loved it. Great job. It's quite interesting.

But please don't even consider doing that straight out of school, even if you find a company crazy enough to let you. You really need some experience first pulling a box, or even with a flatbed (which also makes me a bit nervous for rookies). But the surge in those tanks can be violent, and learning how to shift, brake, and corner with 50,000 pounds of sloshing liquid behind you is a nightmare.

I would plan on getting at least 6 - 12 months of experience in a box or with a flatbed and then look at food grade tanker. Those tanks are just extremely difficult and dangerous to handle.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

My recommendation is going company sponsored with a company that has different divisions. I keep reading about students who paid for CDL school but then couldn't get hire due to past issues (driving record, background etc) that the school didn't tell them would be a problem. IMO its better to be told upfront that you are disqualified rather than putting out thousands of dollars for nothing. However, if you dongo to oriavte school, you might find a company that dies tuition reimbursement.

Prime was mentioned above. I drice reefer for lPrimw, but if I wanted to switch to tanker it would be no orobelm at all. The training period here is long, but no matter how long, new drivers are always nervous to go solo. So as suggested by Brett, if you drive reefer or flatbed for a bit, you could switch to tanker.

Plus, driving different divions makes you more marketable for future jobs.

Good luck.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I drice reefer for lPrimw, but if I wanted to switch to tanker it would be no orobelm at all.

Holy cow, Rainy. Did you wake up and put your hands on backwards this morning? Wow! I don't mind making a correction or two once in a while, but geesh!

smile.gif

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hahah sorry Brett n thanks. Just woke up...guess I shouldn't drive for an hour or so huh?

Hahha

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hahah sorry Brett n thanks. Just woke up...guess I shouldn't drive for an hour or so huh?

Hahha

Yeah, maybe a cup of coffee and short stroll might not be a bad idea.

smile.gif

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Ben I am a former tanker driver. I enjoyed it and got a better deal lical or I would still be doing it. Tanks are so different and a challenge. Please do yourself a favor and get some experience with a box van first. As far as foodgrade goes Prime, Oakley, and Indian river are your biggies. I had some food grade stuff but was generally hazmat chemicals. Heniff is big in your area for general chemicals.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I drice reefer for lPrimw, but if I wanted to switch to tanker it would be no orobelm at all.

double-quotes-end.png

Holy cow, Rainy. Did you wake up and put your hands on backwards this morning? Wow! I don't mind making a correction or two once in a while, but geesh!

smile.gif

See......Now even the BOSS MAN is making fun of you!!!!

rofl-1.gif

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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