Paid CDL School & The Big Boys

Topic 20889 | Page 2

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Steve,

You're probably the person I'm looking to talk to. I'm in Monticello.. I'm looking for any and all information I can get from someone fairly local.

Dan, I've noticed that your strategy is to get the inside scoop from people you think you can relate to in some way. Either they're from law enforcement, they live near you, or they're attending a school you're considering. On the surface that makes perfect sense. In reality, it isn't going to help you much at all.

If you want the best chance at success it comes from preparation, hard work, and a great attitude. There is no secret sauce that someone you feel you can relate to or that's going through the same school you'll be going through can offer that's going to help you succeed out there.

I highly recommend these links if you haven't used them already:

Make sure you go through the Logbook Rules and Weight & Balance in the High Road, along with everything for the permits and endorsements. I know you have some background on this stuff but I guarantee you it isn't enough. You don't know the proper way to load cargo or calculate fuel burnoff or adjust weight properly, things like that. There are also a lot of specific facts they're going to test you on for the permit and endorsements.

My book and our career guide are going to help you understand the industry from an insider's perspective like you're looking for. You'll learn what to expect, how to prepare, and the strategy for getting your career off to a great start.

Spend your time preparing with our materials and ask us any questions you may have right here. Just don't worry so much about getting specific information from people you think have walked the same path. There is no secret sauce that goes with a particular company or school. They all operate very similarly. Prepare with the training materials, our guide, and my book. Then go in there and work really hard, have a great attitude, and get along well with everyone.

Check out my podcasts if you haven't already. Here's an especially fitting one:

Episode 18: Stop The Fear And Doubt, Focus On Your Own Success

Here is the podcast page:

The Road Home: TruckingTruth's Podcast

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Dan Snyder's Comment
member avatar

I appreciate the response. I am looking to make contact with someone who has gone through where I am at now (in the recent past) and get first hand information. The education is BY-FAR great, but I am also seeking one-on-one information. As an instructor in the law enforcement realm, I know the book provides basic general knowledge about a topic... But nothing can beat first-hand experience, especially from someone who has recently completed the task.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Dan searches:

But nothing can beat first-hand experience, especially from someone who has recently completed the task.

You have stated one of the core ideas about Trucking Truth. Sure there are well seasoned experts here to answer any question, and there are others (the ones you are looking for) who have recent experience on may things, from how to back up that truck & trailer to what team driving is really like.

Dan, keep looking for the person who can help you out, but continue to look at the big picture, as Brett suggests.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I appreciate the response. I am looking to make contact with someone who has gone through where I am at now (in the recent past) and get first hand information. The education is BY-FAR great, but I am also seeking one-on-one information. As an instructor in the law enforcement realm, I know the book provides basic general knowledge about a topic... But nothing can beat first-hand experience, especially from someone who has recently completed the task.

I agree nothing beats first-hand experience. The contributors to the TT forum have "it" and are willing to share "it". Although on the surface it may not appear so, we have all "gone through" where you are right now. Where you come from and what you have accomplished professionally doesn't factor into this career. I know that sounds difficult to believe, but it's absolutely true. The success or failure of someone with your exact background is not a valid indicator of yours. The education process for trucking is truly level.

The one-on-one information you seek is available 24x7 on Trucking Truth. The best place to find current examples of recent graduates is in the diary section. There are several active threads that might further your understanding. Also attempt different searches using the search facility in the upper left hand corner.

Good luck.

Dan Snyder's Comment
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Thank you everyone. It is truly appreciated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Where you come from and what you have accomplished professionally doesn't factor into this career. I know that sounds difficult to believe, but it's absolutely true.

This is 100% true. Your experience in law enforcement won't help you in trucking any more than my experience in trucking would help me in law enforcement. I'll give you some examples of where your experience is actually going to make this new career very difficult on you.

In law enforcement you're used to having complete authority almost all of the time in all circumstances. In trucking, you will almost never have any authority in any circumstances. You're going from the top of the totem pole to the very bottom.

You're also used to getting a ton of respect from most people most of the time. In trucking, you're now entering a field where you'll have about the least respect of any profession in this country.

In law enforcement you're used to being home every night. Now you're going to be away from home for days or weeks at a time for at least the first few months of your career.

Those drastic changes to your daily life are the type of things that make or break people in this career. Pretty much anyone can drive a truck. Anyone can learn the regulations. Anyone can get their CDL and get an opportunity with a large carrier. But very few people can handle this lifestyle. That's why people drop out of this industry. They think, "Hey, it's just trucking. How hard can it be? The biggest idiots in the world are truck drivers. Anyone can do it."

They don't realize the failure rate in this industry is astronomically high. They don't realize how much trucking will consume their lives. They don't see the extreme isolation and solitude coming. They don't understand the importance of working as part of a team, or pushing into the gray areas of the laws, or what it's like to work 70 hours every 8 days.

The other thing I'll warn you about is the extreme number of misguided people and the overwhelming amount of misinformation you'll find in this industry. There's a reason I named this site TruckingTruth. It's because the overwhelming majority of everything you'll find on the Web and everything you'll hear from drivers is complete BS. I've never in my life been in an industry where most of what you hear is completely unhelpful and often times blatantly false.

So for instance, if you considered going to work for one of the major carriers you might decide to hang out at their terminal and talk to some of the current drivers. That's probably the worst thing you could possibly do for your career. You're going to come across all kinds of disgruntled drivers sitting around with nothing to do but complain and blame. Why? Because there are a huge number of people that simply don't have what it takes or don't know what it takes to operate at a high level in this industry. They're not getting the miles, they're not getting any special favors, and nothing is working out for them at all. They're going to tell you their company sucks, this industry sucks, and you should run for your life while you still can.

Believe me, there are tons of these people in this industry. They're all over the other trucking forums and all over YouTube. They're loaded with conspiracy theories, false notions, and ominous warnings about this industry. We refer to them as terminal rats. So be careful where you get your information from, and be careful making assumptions about what you think you need to know. I can assure you there will be 1,000 surprises about this industry once you get started. Helping people survive that first year is what we do.

Episode 10: Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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