Time To Take Charge

Topic 20501 | Page 1

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Brian T.'s Comment
member avatar

How's it going everyone? I'm 23, been working virtually dead-end jobs pretty much since I graduated so I have decided to finally follow my dream and get my CDL. I've always wanted to drive trucks, ever since I can remember. Went and did my permit test today and passed the General Knowledge first try. Failed on the Combination so now I have to go back sometime this week when I get off work early enough and finish the Combination and Air Brakes. After that I will be putting apps with every company I can find that hires rookies. Moral of the story, IM READY TO MAKE A CAREER OUT OF TRUCKING. Wish me luck on my next go at the permit test. - BT

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Brian. I think we have what it takes to get you past your first hurdle...

Right here: High Road Training Program

The High Road is designed to help you learn the knowledge required to pass the permit exams.

Other pieces that will also help as you build a knowledge base and a realistic set of goals and expectations...

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

Good luck, let us know if you have any questions.

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.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Brian, and good luck! Because of your [enviable] youth, I'll give you one piece of advice right off the bat: start out as a company driver. Some companies prey on their new drivers, encouraging them to become owner-operators or lease-op. Resist that urge and remain a company driver, for at least a year. See you on the road soon!

Brian T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies! I have checked out the High Road program and also used the Crist CDL practice tests. Been reading through the ND CDL Manual as well pretty much daily. I'm pretty confident next time I go in I'll be walking out with the permit.

Pete,

Thanks for the advice man! I definitely plan on being a company driver for AT LEAST a year. I want to save up enough money to put a heft down payment on mine own truck, when that time comes, as well as get into a real home (I hate this apartment life) before making the jump to O/O.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Brian...your comment about saving to buy a truck after a year of company driving? You might want to read this link...

Becoming an owner operator

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Brian T.'s Comment
member avatar

That's why I said at least a year. I know how much to expect to make the first year, and obviously know that I won't be able to afford buying a truck after just one year. Could probably finance one with a decent down payment, but I'd rather wait like five years down the road and pay for a majority of it outright. I have no problem being a company driver.

I got my permit today! :)

Brian...your comment about saving to buy a truck after a year of company driving? You might want to read this link...

Becoming an owner operator

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Brian T.'s Comment
member avatar

So I actually read the article, after responding before reading it. I think it's a good perspective, and definitely gives people something to think about. Only problem I see with it is he says he's never done it but acts like an expert on the topic. I'd rather hear testimonies from people who have owned trucks, the pros AND cons of it, and then compare acts that with my future experience as a company driver. I have a lot to learn and go through before I ever actually make the decision to go truck shopping or just keep driving someone else's rig. Either way, thanks for looking out G-Town!

Brian...your comment about saving to buy a truck after a year of company driving? You might want to read this link...

Becoming an owner operator

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
he's never done it but acts like an expert on the topic

I've been in the trucking industry for going on 25 years and I've been a successful business owner for over 10 years. I'm not acting like anything. I know what I'm talking about but please, feel free to prove me wrong if you like. I've challenged owner operators and lease drivers for many years to prove to me they're making the big money they always claim they're making, and never has even one of them been able to do so. Not one.

I'd rather wait like five years down the road and pay for a majority of it outright

So you want to spend all of your cash to start the business instead of financing the truck using the lowest interest rates in history?

But yeah, I'm the one who doesn't know what he's talking about.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Brian...I am into my fifth year,...no way I would ever consider O/O or L/O.

Take a look at this link especially the long-winded last reply and my response to it...Buying or leasing a truck

Jim A.'s Comment
member avatar

I am in no way an expert on owning my own truck although I did own a construction co and did well for 15yrs. I did drive with and for my father in law back in the day ( in the 70s) that man worked his behind of for years. He made a decent living, but he was never 1 big problem from being broke. Noway in hell would I want to be an O/O or a renter.

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