Advice For A Newb

Topic 20767 | Page 1

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IamMyOwn's Comment
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Good evening y'all.

So I'm in the CDL School's Troops into Transportation program down here at Fort Hood, TX. My issue is that I graduate o/a 10 Oct 17. Yes I'll have my doubles/triples, tanker, endorsements. They did say however, to wait 'till I move home to MT to get my hazmat. Gonna get that one, one way or the other. But the moving "back home to Montana" part is the main issue right now. I get my coveted "blue ID card" 1 Mar 18, but my ol'lady won't move until the kids finish school next June.

So this means I have from 1 March to end of June/beginning of July before I am available to work. I've been interested in this industry since I was just a boy, but y'all know how persuasive that military pay check can be. So I really need advice as to weather or not I should look for work here in TX, knowing I'll be leaving soon, or just wait 'till I move home to get a job driving? I'm seriously more excited about this career transition than I've been about anything work related in the last 10 years and don't want to screw it up from the start. Please advise.

A big thank ya, to all of you admins and members for making such a fantastic resource for newbs like me just starting in the industry.

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.

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

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

Simple answer is you could go with a company that runs in both locations and it shouldn't be a problem.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep, what Parrothead said. Werner, Schneider, and Watkins Shepard (now owned by Schneider) are all good starter companies that have locations in both states.

ChickieMonster's Comment
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Or Jim Palmer out of Missoula. Being part of the Prime family, they have access to yards all over the country.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Most national companies can pick you up in Texas now, and when the time comes to move up north, allow you the off-time to move in June. And you'll still have the same job!

In checking out companies, look for their hiring area covering both places as Parrothead said.

ACO476's Comment
member avatar

What everyone else has said. I just wanted to thank you for your service. You picked a great career field to transition into. Stick with it and it will be one of the more rewarding things you'll ever do.

IamMyOwn's Comment
member avatar

Wow, thank you all for the help and advice. I just passed the CDL written test today. More than half my class no-go'd. Pretty disheartening for me. Our instructor is really good, they just didn't put out the effort at home to study. I felt confident going in however, being towards the back of the line classmates were coming out of the testing room with heads down, cussing before I even sat down to go over my paperwork. Sort of shakes your confidence to say the least. Anyways, I'm rambling. My point is, thanks to all of you that have gone before me for all the great advice, and this enormous web-based library of human knowledge. Y'all are the transportation industries most vita resource. Keep 'em rolling.

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.
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