Starting A New Career?

Topic 20925 | Page 1

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Susan E.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi all,

I just found this forum and joined. I was wondering if I could get some advice. I'm a newbie and would like to get my CDL class A, but don't know where to start. I've contacted some colleges here in PA for more information on their training programs. Does anyone have any suggestions as to driving schools or company paid training here in PA?

I really don't want to do long haul trucking. I'm looking to do local trips for a company like J.B. Hunt. I heard they are good.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Susan, Welcome to Trucking Truth. The first thing I'd like to say, is that a local position, fresh out of CDL school is a tough job, often with more difficult backing and close quarter/tight maneuvering, that is often too advanced for a rookie skill set, and is generally not recommended for inexperienced drivers. Most local positions will also require OTR experience before they'll consider you.

Don't be discouraged though. Depending on your area, you could possibly consider an LTL type position. Some companies, depending on your home area, will hire an inexperienced driver for LTL.

I highly encourage you to post this in our "general forum" because it's way more active and you'll get so many more replies there.

Here's some info to help get you started, but please post in the general forum too.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Trish D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi ladies!

I'm in the same boat. I am currently a material handler where I work. I love driving a forklift and what I do but I absolutely hate where I work at now. I use to love working there but between working 3rd shift and the amount of people who are only there to bring home a check, without doing any work, just blows my mind and eats at me every time I walk in that door.I hate that I bust my ass every day I am there and they can just stand around for 8 hours with NO consequences. I have been trying to find a new job and interviewed at a few places with NO luck. I think it's time for a change.

My husband has been trying to get me to at least look into getting a CDL. I have finally given in and started looking into it and am finding interest in it. I have found that it would cost from$3000 and up to go to school. I've been suggested to go to the DMV , get the book, study and get a permit and find someone who is willing to teach me to drive. My husband does know a couple people who would most likely do that for me. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this. Any suggestions and/or advise would be greatly appreciated!

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Sue in Wisconsin's Comment
member avatar

I have gotten my CDL certificate from my States DMV. I am at the end of my first week at the Swift academy. There are ample study materials. The class is taught from the perspective of knowing nothing. The highly regulated industry requires a DOT physical and hair and urine drug, prescription screening. We lost nearly 1/2 of our class during the section. As long as you study and listen to your instructors, anyone can pass. You need to take it seriously. It isn't a vacation. It is an opportunity and a career. Although you will travel and can see the most amazing scenery!

Go for it! Get your CDL and decide if its for you or not.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Doug W.'s Comment
member avatar

It was a good thing that I joined this forum! I've been learning a lot just by checking this post I am also planning to start a career in the trucking industry

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