Driving School Long Ago Preparing To Come Back To Driving

Topic 20968 | Page 1

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Kevin L.'s Comment
member avatar

As many of you on here know I have recently been trying to gather my paperwork to get back into driving tractor trailer after a long time not driving commercial vehicles. I am pretty sure that my previous experience is unverifiable. I know I will need more time in a truck for whatever I did know to come back to me. I just want to make myself as valuable as I can to a prospective company. I have to stay at my current fulltime job until Mid December or January so I have not rushed into contacting recruiters yet. I feel like I have time to get my paperwork in order ahead of time.

When I first got my class A CDL in the late 80s early 90s I went to a driving school in Glen Burnie, Maryland called Porter's Drive-Rite. It was run by a Retired Maryland State Trooper who was my instructor. While I was looking at the requirements for some of the positions I will be seeking they mention having a Diploma from your driving School. I contacted Porter's Drive Rite ( now called simply "Drive-Rite") and was told that they only keep their records for 4 years and then they destroy them after that. So they have no records and therefore cannot send me a copy of their Certificate or Diploma. I do not know how that will effect me in this career.

I currently hold a Valid Class A CDL with all the endorsements (SPTX) and only restriction is I cannot operate a Class A Bus as I took my School Bus test in a Class B School Bus. I am not sure I have ever seen a Class A bus in person as it is a bus that pulls a passenger trailer registered over 10k lbs. I also hold a valid DOT Medical Examiners certificate and a school bus endorsement card and school bus physical card which is different then the DOT physical card. Should I apply for a passport or twic or FAST (north, south, both) cards. These seem to all be mentioned by companies and if I had them prior to going for a job that would be even less the prospective employer would need to put out for me.

As I have mentioned before I really want to learn tankers so I am thinking about places like Prime Inc (as suggested previously) Or maybe Schnieder as I know they both hire people without verifiable experience and will train them. I am all for learning as much as I can especially when it comes to driving safely. I am concerned though that during whatever training period I have to go through I need to be able to make the bills here at home and survive on the road as well for the training. It seems that most of the companies web sites talk about those applicants needing to go through several thousand miles of training prior to getting their permit or CDL and they are not hired until they have their CDL. I already have my CDL and still need more practice to be able to do the job safely and confidently. They also talk about having to put out thousands of dollars worth of training to simply get these people their CDL. I have no Idea how much they would want me to commit to financially or time of service agreement to pay back for training. I also have no idea how long I would be getting reduced training pay. I just don't know what to expect other than as soon as I apply I think they will be all over me to work for them.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Are you currently working as a bus driver? If you have kept up your CDL and med card all these years, a company will require some refresher training and time with a trainer. I think Prime tankers are all food grade. I don't know about Schneider. I know Prime pays while out with a trainer. A Prime driver may be able to answer your questions better. I don't think it would hurt anything to call a recruiter and ask some questions. I hope that helps some.

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.
Trader James's Comment
member avatar

Kevin,

I am also coming back into trucking after a hiatus and after looking at all of the major and even minor players, I ended up choosing to go back to Schneider. They do want be to go back through their 3 week training program at the OC closest to me which is absolutely fine, but there isn't any commitment on my end other than concerning the sign on bonus offered. I have applied for a regional run where I will be home on weekends and it comes with a $10,000 sign on bonus if you have driven at least 3 months (not sure about how long ago that 3 months needs to be within). The bonus is paid out 20% @ 45 days, 20% @ 90 days, 20% @ 6 months and 40% @ 1 year. No payback required if I leave before the year is over, I just don't get the rest of the payouts if not employed on that date. I do know Schneider has a tanker fleet and it is my understanding it is food grade dry goods, but I might be mistaken. I really liked the company when I was with them before, but had to leave for purely personal family reasons. I'm excited about starting orientation this coming Monday.

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.

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.

Kevin L.'s Comment
member avatar

Are you currently working as a bus driver? If you have kept up your CDL and med card all these years, a company will require some refresher training and time with a trainer. I think Prime tankers are all food grade. I don't know about Schneider. I know Prime pays while out with a trainer. A Prime driver may be able to answer your questions better. I don't think it would hurt anything to call a recruiter and ask some questions. I hope that helps some.

Yes I am currently working two jobs one of them is part time as a School Bus driver. I have kept my CDL all these years but have let some endorsements drop a few times only to get them added again later. As far as keeping up on my medical card that lapsed for several years but is up to date currently and valid till Aug 2018.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Kevin. The industry is going to view you as being a brand new driver with no experience. If you get on with one of the Company-Sponsored Training Programs they'll put you through their program as quickly as you can handle it. If it all comes back to you easily they'll push you through a little more quickly than the others.

You're going to get a new physical when you start a new job anyhow, so that current medical card won't matter.

The only difference with you is that you won't have to take the written or driving exams to get your CDL. Otherwise, you'll be going through the same training program as everyone else. But hey, that's no big deal. You'll enjoy it, and things will come back to you quicker than you expect.

Every company is different as far as the pay goes during training. Some will pay you right from day one, others will put you through a few weeks on the yard doing backing and shifting maneuvers before your pay begins. Prime will lend you money during the training process to help you get through the unpaid portion of it.

Follow that link I gave you above and start reading up on the various companies that offer training. I would start applying to companies about a month before you're ready to start.

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.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Prime is food grade tanker. Schneider is chemical tanker, so you will need hazmat as well.

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

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Schneider is chemical tanker, so you will need hazmat as well

Schneider actually has both liquid chemical and dry bulk tanker divisions. I don't know if the dry bulk is food grade or not.

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

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

At Schneider, everything we pull is liquid; maybe they used to haul 'dry' bulk, but it's liquid now, and none of it is food grade. About 60-65% of the loads are HAZMAT , but we don't touch most of that stuff, nearly always a 'customer unload.' I've unloaded a few HAZMAT loads myself, but they were only mildly HAZMAT.

Length of training is approx. 4 1/2 weeks... 2 wks classroom/hands-on, 2 wks OTR with a trainer (mine was only 8 days)... A bit short for my taste, but I didn't know it was going to be that brief; and 3 days evaluation before going solo.

Beginning with 1st day of orientation, you are paid $85/day while in training. Schneider pays for lodging, which includes breakfast, and lunch. They don't have their own school, but do offer tuition reimbursement, as well as sign-on bonuses. You don't owe them anything after you've completed your training, so you can leave two months after you've been with them, but you don't want to do that, not with any company.

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

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Pete, there is a dry bulk division at Schneider. They have a completely different type of "tanker" than you are pulling. Everything you pull in your tanker is going to be liquid, but everything they haul over in the dry bulk division is a dry product like lime or sand.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Pete, there is a dry bulk division at Schneider. They have a completely different type of "tanker" than you are pulling. Everything you pull in your tanker is going to be liquid, but everything they haul over in the dry bulk division is a dry product like lime or sand.

Not anymore; Schneider got out of it over a year ago.

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